Today is a momentous day for me.
It’s a day of great reflection and a day of digital pride.
It was four years ago today on July 31, 2008, that I started writing my first book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.
Four years later, on July 31, 2012, I’m now sending out my 15,000th tweet to 25,000+ loyal followers on twitter. I’m humbled. I’m grateful. I’m filled with joy. I want this digital milestone to be meaningful and I’m honored to share this story of a powerful and passionate reinvention you. My life changed dramatically four years ago. It’s an honor and joy to help singles find love on the Internet. It’s time to share my journey. I hope you enjoy the ride.
In the beginning
How did a broadcaster turned technology executive become an online dating expert?
It wasn’t a childhood dream of mine to be an online dating expert or create Cyber-Dating Expert. It was my dream as a young child to become a music radio DJ. I considered myself a “musicologist,” listened to the radio non-stop and knew that was my calling. I was fortunate to have lived that dream as the first female DJ at a big FM rock station in Upstate New York, where I wanted my listeners to be enriched by sharing my favorite songs on the radio. I believed my listeners would be my forever friends. There was no such thing as BFFs, tweets, updates, and broadcasting was a unilateral. I spoke. People listened. That all changed with social media, where it’s now about the conversation and community. It appears I now have the digital gift of gab.
My love affair with technology started many years ago when I became a network executive. At RKO, we were the country’s first digital-delivered satellite radio network. I was, and still am a hopeful romantic and my life was filled with music and love. I had no idea that my future would include the marriage of love and technology. It makes perfect sense now, of course. I was an early adopter of the Internet and an early adopter of online dating. Why not marry the two things I was so passionate about?
Four Years Ago Today
So what exactly happened on July 31, 2008, and why did I feel the need to open up my entire personal life for people to read about and comment? Basically, I lost a bet at girls night out at Jazz Night at the Hollywood Bowl. It could have been as simple as flipping a coin. One could say I lost the bet. Other’s say I won. I was sharing some of funny dating stories while passing my BlackBerry around to my married girlfriends to view photos of a date I was considering going on. The odd thing about this particular date was, his mother selected me on behalf of her son on Match.com. She said I was perfect for her never-married son. I found it quite odd that she was looking for love, while playing the role of wing-woman for her son. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how it would play out. That story ended up in Chapter 13 of my book, “The Perils of Cyber-Dating” in the story called, “The Mother-in-Law.” We never met, but it made for humorous conversation.
Then the floodgates opened. I shared the story of the man who went berserk in a restaurant over 10 years earlier because he thought I looked like his recently deceased wife, the gentleman who told me graphic details of his colonoscopy while we were eating lunch, as well as the fairytale romances leading to marriage proposals. All of these stories were a result of online dating. Could I be alone, I wondered?
What we all realized on that important night was that singles everywhere were struggling to find love, both online and offline. These amusing dating stories weren’t unique to me. I had spent years perfecting the Irresistible Profile and helped singles throughout the U.S. shorten their search so they could ride into the digital sunset together. I knew I had a gift. I was told from my mentor that my storytelling skills from being a media personality could be transferred to literary works. I believed him because he believed in me.
When my girlfriends dared me to write a book, I laughed it off and said, “sure.” They were serious and I thought it was funny. However, I reflected to a day 13 years earlier when I decided to write a book about my online dating stories and came up with a the title of “The Perils of Cyber-Dating.” This was as a result of being proposed to by a married man. That would be perilous, wouldn’t it? I shared the love for my book title with my girlfriends who all agreed it would be perfect. “Of course someone must have written this book already,” I said to the girls. Then they made a bet with me. If this title had not been published, I must write the book. If it was already written, then being an author wasn’t in the cards for me. I agreed, thinking that I’d be off the hook. Certainly in all these years, there must have been others wanting to write about such perilous stories.
When I returned home, I received a call from my girlfriend who was determined to win the bet. I checked online. I checked on Amazon. Apparently no one had written The Perils of Cyber-Dating. However, as a marketing and communications strategist, I knew I’d need to have the corresponding domain name. I assumed someone was blogging under this title, or perhaps it was parked somewhere. I wasn’t sure how it would pan out. I jotted down chapter titles and a few stories and went to sleep exhausted but enthusiastic about writing the book I promised myself I’d do over a decade before.
The next day, I checked to see if perilsofcyberdating.com was available. Much to my surprise and joy, the domain name was available! “How could this be?” I asked. Then I knew it was meant to be. I had hundreds of stories that I had collected from almost 15 years. I was on the Internet before most people even knew the Internet. I had been a charter member of Love@AOL before the days of Match.com, eHarmony, and mobile dating.
From my Heart to Print
And so my love affair with my first book began. I wrote. I edited. I reflected. I laughed. I cried. It was empowering, healing, cathartic and more. I knew my story had to be told. There was no one else with such a unique perspective from dial-up to mobile. I knew I needed to help other singles and that humor and wit would shine along with my authenticity. The first agent I contacted told me that no one would be interested in anyone’s dating stories. Apparently he was wrong and didn’t see the future on how dating blogs and television dating shows would rise in popularity.
When I finished writing the manuscript, I created CyberDatingExpert.com as a place for singles and couples to share their online dating stories and to provide free dating advice for singles looking for love online. Readers started to submit stories for the Cyber Love Story of the Week and Peril of the Week features and commented with enthusiasm.
I remember how exciting it was to create my book cover. I had a vision of a girl getting ready for a date with a city background. The day my first copy of “The Perils of Cyber-Dating” was delivered to my home. It was like giving birth. I was so very proud. I had received glowing advanced praise including Joan Rivers who said, “Hilariously Funny! Singles of all ages need to read this book” and E. Jean Carroll from Elle magazine said, “It’s Like Sex and the City in a Web 2.0 World.”
I started tweeting about my book’s progress using my social media marketing strategies and engaging like-minded singles leading up to my Valentine’s Day launch. On the day it was released, I was filled with tears of joy. “The Perils of Cyber-Dating” became a best selling dating book in several categories. My passion for helping singles became known worldwide and I started coaching more and more singles every day by giving them the tools to be confident in the digital age.
Words can’t express how grateful I am to have been able to reach millions with my online dating advice. Every day I thank those who have supported me on my journey. Cyber-Dating Expert is now one of the top online dating advice sites on the Internet and has been nominated for numerous awards. I’ve been named “One of America’s Ultimate Experts” by Woman’s World magazine and “The Pioneer of Online Dating” by Cosmo. Our advice has been featured and quoted in and on over 450 stories around the world. I’ve had the opportunity to write for Betty Confidential, eHarmony, Huffington Post, JDate, Match, Your Tango, among others. It’s been an honor to have been quoted on ABC, CBS, Mashable, Men’s Health, and NBC and speak at the Internet Dating Conference.
In the Future
As online dating continues to grow and evolve with mobile dating, our team is at the forefront. Our mobile app, Dating Expert is celebrating its third year and our annual “Top 10 Mobile Dating Apps” list is highly respected by journalists and singles. Our team created Mobile Dating BootCamp in 2012 and we’ll be casting a second season to be held in Las Vegas in 2013. I’m in the final stages of finishing my second book, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web as well as an exciting screenplay.
I was just a girl with a dream, a huge heart, and hundreds of stories, who happened to be an early adopter of online dating. I now have dreams of seeing my story on the big screen and riding off into my very own digital sunset. I have a feeling my dreams will become a reality.
My message to all of you is to follow your heart. Dream big and be open to the possibilities of a new beginning in both love and work. Don’t discard someone who isn’t perfect. None of us are. Be honest and authentic. Remember that patience is a virtue and the best things in life are worth waiting for. Your shelf life does not have an expiration date on it and you can ask for forgiveness and give love another chance. One of our featured couples in the Cyber Love Story of the Week found love on eHarmony at the age of 70. Find your passion and it will welcome you with open arms. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me share the love every single day among 6 continents. I couldn’t have done it without you.
At the end of the digital day, I wish you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
What do you get when you match up 8 single daters and 8 mobile dating apps?
Hi, this is Julie Spira and I’ve created Mobile Dating Bootcamp, a social dating experience to help singles find love from the convenience of their mobile phones.
With over 14 million singles using mobile dating apps, we decided to put mobile to the test. Let’s see what the daters had to say.
It’s time to take a moment and share some of our favorite articles about dating, love and romance in a Web 2.0 World that we shared on Twitter and thank those for including Cyber-Dating Expert’s advice in their stories.
A huge thank you to our friends at Mashable who posted two stories, How Social Media Helps Romantic Relationships Thrive and 10 Dating Apps To Help You Find True Love. Both were tweeted over 1300 times each. Thank you from the bottom of my digital heart for including our Mobile Dating BootCamp in the story.
On Twitter, Kathleen Miles from Huffington Post alerted me to the new risque billboard on Sunset Boulevard for dating site Cougar Life, so I shared it on the LA Dating Advice column on Examiner in, Is Sunset Boulevard the New Home for Cougars? I’ll let you decide.
Thank you to Online Personals Watch for sharing and contributing to Dating in a Mobile World. Mobile Dating BootCamp contestant videos should be posted shortly and we’ll start casting for Season 2, to be held in Las Vegas. Best Background Checks posted Experts Reveal 7 Tips for Safer Online Dating,
If you missed the Magnetizing Love Telesummit, you can catch our 25 Twitter Secrets to Finding Love Online and catch up in a few minutes. Our friends at GalTime posted a great article, Getting Rid of Past Loves, which we had to share on Twitter. Sometimes it takes awhile to knock your ex of his or her pedestal. This article should help. We tweeted The Phoenix New Times article, The Seven Strangest Online Dating Sites and was surprised to see sites for dating with food allergies and dating a redhead.
You can share your dating stories in our Peril of the Week and remember our friends at Bad Online Dates and ABC’s 20/20 are looking for your videos on dating disasters, so keep your iPhone handy and start shooting away.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira and the Cyber-Dating Expert Team.
It was an honor and joy to be included with 45 relationship experts in the Magnetizing Love Telesummit. The best part of my conversation with Julie-Anne Shapiro was the live tweeting of the event, so if you missed the call, check out the 25 best tweets and feel free to retweet and share the love.
You can still sign up to listen to all of the recordings here.
1. Don’t look online to replace a lost love. Work on yourself first. #quote #juliespira #relationships #dating
2. Enjoy your singleness and know the journey starts with you before beginning online dating. #quote #juliespira #relationships
3. Explore the common values and spiritual growth of potential partners. #quote #juliespira #dating #relationships
4. Don’t think you know you’ll marry someone after 1 date, start a journey and take time. #quote #juliespira #relationships
5. Meeting someone new, take time and get to know them-family background, how they treat you. #quote #juliespira #relationships
6. Over 40 Million singles looking online for love. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating #dating
7. An irresistible online dating profile: great photos, like an ad for yourself.#quote #juliespira #onlinedating
8. For your online dating name use your passion and create interest i.e. pianobaby #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
9. Online dating profile should not be a novel length description–overwhelming, drama. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
10. Online dating profile shouldn’t have photos of children, no sexy photos. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
11. Online dating profile should include your passions, such as recent concert or movie. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
12. Online dating profiles shouldn’t include cliches like beach walks State what makes you happy. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
13. Taking online dates to offline starts with only a few emails but after a week move to phone. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
14. Within a week of the phone call, meet the person in a public place. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
15. Avoid texting as a way to make a date, do it on the phone. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
16. Hearing their voice is important, so texting isn’t the best way. Phone is better. #quote #juliespira #dating
17. Googling someone can cause you to jump to conclusions cause everything isn’t accurate online. #quote #juliespira #dating
18. Telling someone you have Googled them makes you look like a stalker and puts them off. #quote #juliespira #dating
19. You don’t kiss and tell, you don’t Google and tell It becomes awkward. #quote #juliespira #dating
20. Don’t send a facebook friends request before or after a first date. #quote #juliespira #relationships
21. Keeping dates organized, spreadsheet of important facts. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
22. You can color code your spreadsheet of dates for the ones you are most interested in. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
23. Login to dating sites 1/2 hr 3 days a week, then check in every day. #quote #juliespira #onlinedating
24. Never discuss the ex, money issues-switch the conversation to other things. #quote #juliespira
25. Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam #quote #juliespira
It’s no surprise that it’s competitive online. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but often your profile is ho-hum. The result is your inbox may be rather empty. There’s no need to quit after a week or a month, but you should think about having a digital facelift to ramp up your search.
Before you hang up your digital hat, know that it doesn’t take an army to help you create an irresistible online dating profile, but just like a good newspaper or magazine article, you do need to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Here are five tips that you can try on your own. If you need a little hand-holding, visit IrresistibleProfiles.com and we’ll get you started in no time.
Tips for Creating an Irresistible Online Dating Profile
1. Create a Catchy Screen Name. Stumped as to what’s catchy? You’d be surprised how many people take the random name assigned by the computer. Suzie12389 isn’t as catchy as BalletDancerinNY. If you’re still scratching your head and your favorite name is taken, remember the lyrics to a song that you were singing to in the car. How Music Can Enhance Your Online Dating Profile
2. Be Specific. While browsing through profiles, you might notice that so many just seem to look alike. Who wants to date a plain vanilla when they can have sugar and spice or cookies and cream? Don’t say you like music. Say you like classic rock music and are a Bruce Springsteen fanatic as you grew up in New Jersey. Who knows? You might get invited to a concert. Don’t say you like to travel, but say you loved skiing in Lake Tahoe one winter at a specific ski resort. Get the picture?
3. It’s all About the Photos. If hiring a professional photographer is in your budget, it’s an excellent idea. Perhaps you don’t need to buy that extra dress on sale. If not, grab a friend with a digital camera and snap about 100 photos in 5 different outfits. You can always fall back on browsing the photos you’ve uploaded on Facebook to add to your profile. Men are visual. If you look like you’re photo, he’ll be pleasantly surprised and will let you know. Most men are disappointed when you post photos from your Senior Prom, or that are a decade old. Post 3-5 photos, and remember to make one of them a full-length shot. Hint: He might be checking Facebook to see if your online dating photos resemble those you’ve posted on Facebook.
4. Leave the Novel at Home. There’s no need to reveal all. Sometimes, less is more. Profiles with over 200 words will be looked over after the first few sentences. It’s best to leave some mystery for your phone conversations and when you meet in real life.
5. Leave the Baggage Behind. Whether it’s an ex-boyfriend, ex-spouse, or ex-boss for that matter, no one wants to hear your dirty laundry. Avoid being the “Debbie Downer” of online dating and write about things you love. Everyone has had a bad date or two, but it’s not worth broadcasting. Ask yourself what you’re the most passionate about and let your potential date know what brings you joy.
At the end of the digital day, online dating is a numbers game. With over 120 million people worldwide logging on looking for love, there’s no better way to fill your date card until you find “the one.”
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, bestselling author, and the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating and relationship advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter and follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
As we get ready for the Mobile Dating Conference, I spoke with NBC News in Miami about how to find love from your mobile phone. It’s becoming the most popular way for singles to find finding love in a Web 2.0 World.
“They’re not just using them for phone calls,” author and online dating expert Julie Spira said. “They’re making dates, reservations, buying shoes, buying books … and dating fits into that as well.”
Many traditional online dating sites are now launching their own apps. Spira said some offer instant gratification.
“We call it location-based service dating, so if you’re at a Starbucks and there’s somebody down the street at a sandwich shop and you’re on the same mobile app, maybe you can meet for dessert,” Spira said.
Many thanks to everyone at NBC 6 in Miami for featuring CyberDatingExpert.com in your story.
For more about mobile dating, visit our Mobile Dating BootCamp site, where 8 contestants are using 8 mobile apps and will be talking about their findings at the Mobile Dating Conference in Beverly Hills in a focus group, moderated by Julie Spira.
Julie Spira is an online dating, cyber-relations, and mobile dating expert. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
Here are five dating and relationship tips to help everyone appreciate Father’s Day
1. If your relationship is new and you haven’t met his kids yet, let him enjoy the day alone with them. It’s not time to introduce his new girlfriend to the relationship. Go ahead and send a sweet text message in the morning wishing him a “Happy Father’s Day.” He’ll appreciate that you care enough to acknowledge the day and aren’t making the day all about you.
2. If you’ve already met his kids and don’t have children of your own, have a conversation about how he wants to spend the day. Offer to celebrate Father’s Day with him separately by perhaps suggesting a home cooked dinner on a different night or giving him tickets to his favorite sporting event for him and his children to attend.
3. If you have children of your own, don’t insist on blending the families if your children won’t be with their father or suggest splitting the time on Father’s Day between two families. Everyone will feel a bit left out with half of a celebration. Go ahead and let your date know you respect his time with his children and make other plans with your kids and go to a movie.
4. Don’t go buying him an extravagant gift if your relationship is new or suggest going away for a weekend trip. He might feel overwhelmed if you haven’t become serious yet and withdraw from the relationship. Send him an iTunes musical CD if he loves music from his favorite band. It’s the thought that matters.
5. If you’ve met his kids and see them on a regular basis, ask your guy if he wants to be alone with them on Father’s Day. Then ask him to ask his children if they’d like to go out as a group or just with their dad. They’ll appreciate that you consider their feelings on the day that they celebrate their dad.
Remember, single dads are really interested in meeting women with children. Match reports that single dads are 56% more likely to email single moms than men without children. Eventually if your relationship progresses, you’ll be blending the families on the weekend, but don’t rush into it just yet.
How are you planning on celebrating Father’s Day this year?
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She creates irresistible profiles and coaches singles on the dating scene. Like her at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and follow her @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice.
Nine single daters are using 6 mobile dating apps, as online dating and mobile dating expert Julie Spira helps them find love from their mobile phone. Meet our contestants and cheer them on.
We’re counting down the days until the first Mobile Dating Bootcamp goes live! The 12 contestants have been selected by ThreeDayRule and will be announced shortly. Until then, enjoy our video and take a moment to like us at Facebook.com/MobileDatingBootcamp