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Online Dating Safety Tips from an Expert

datingsafety 240x300Online dating safety is something that everyone needs to be concerned with. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we take safety seriously and are always sharing ways for you to feel safe and enjoy the Internet dating experience.

In Louisiana, three stories occurred this month involving people who met online dating, social networking sites that resulting in hijacking and other crimes such as a robbery in a car.

In one case, a man went to his car to meet a potential date, and instead of finding the woman, ten men were there, which resulted in a carjacking.

I spent the morning on the radio on WWL AM/FM in New Orleans to provide dating safety tips to help prevent such occurrences.

While these occurrences are rare, it’s still important to point out the following, whether dating online or offline.

1. Meet in a public place and don’t pick up your date.

2. Don’t give out your last name or information where you work

3. Let a friend know where you are meeting and call in or text to let them know you’re fine

4. Don’t suggest a late night date

5. Never go back to someone’s home on a first date

6. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol, which will impair your judgment

7. Carry pepper spray on your key chain for when you’re walking to your car at night

8. Conduct a Google search for your date’s name, phone number, and email addresss

9. View your date’s profile photos in a Google reverse image search by uploading it to Google.com/images

10. Do a background or people search for your date on sites such as Radaris or Spokeo

11. Set up a free Google voice account with a number exclusively for dating

12. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason, leave

13. If your date makes you feel unsafe online or offline, report their profile to the dating site

14. Take your time getting to know someone on the phone and through emails before meeting

15. Trust your intuition

Realize that while maybe 10% of your dates might not be truthful or may have ulterior motives, about 90% of the dates are truly great people looking to connect. There are millions of singles finding love online. Keep these safety tips in mind as you schedule your dates, but still enjoy the time getting to know someone.

OkCupid Relaunches OkTrends Blog – Reveals if Looks Matter

OkTrends 300x200One of my favorite parts of OkCupid had been the fabulous data curated into blog posts by co-founder Christian Rudder on OkTrends.

For the past three years, OkTrends has gone into silence mode. Today, Rudder revealed data from their Internet dating user base showing that looks aren’t always what counts when it comes to communicating in an online dating site. Rudder announced, “We Experiment On Human Beings” as the title of the long-awaited post.

From OkCupid’s day of hiding photos, to suggestions of a higher percentage for a potential match, one thing we know for sure, the algorithms do have an impact while looking for love online.

Full blogpost here

Let’s take a look at the three different experiments.

1. Love is Blind, Or Should Be

On the 10th anniversary of OkCupid, they launched Crazy Blind Date, a mobile app. The basis of this was that you’d meet someone who’s face had been “mashed up” like a puzzle, so you didn’t know what they looked like. In celebration, OkCupid spent one day mashing up all of their members in an experiment, only to find that 44% of those wrote 1st messages to people, of which they had no idea what they looked like.

2. So What’s a Picture Worth?

OkCupid previously let users rate profiles based on looks and personality. Eventually, they changed it to rating based on looks only. What they found is that only 10% of people rated a profile based on it’s text. Does that mean that 90% of people rate profiles based on looks only? Understandably so. This is why all of the mobile dating apps have been so popular and game-like.

3. The Power of Suggestion

As a Digital Matchmaker, I spend hours-and-hours every day analyzing profiles to find the perfect match for my clients. They have to go by my word and recommendation to write to or respond to a flurry of potential dates because I strongly advised them to do so. This has resulted in singles dating outside their social circles and meeting men or women that they didn’t think was their type.

OkCupid seems to agree. By changing the suggested recommendations from one with a low match percentage to a higher match percentage, their users started to communicate with people that weren’t necessarily a match, based on the algorithms. Were they playing with your digital mind? Just a bit.

Time reports that Rudder will be back to business posting on the OkTrends blog every four weeks while waiting for his book Dataclysm: Who We Are to be released in September.

Are you rating profiles based on looks alone? Do percentages matter to you? Your comments are welcome.

Photo credit: Fotolia

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

What to Do if He Only Wants to Text Me

In this video on Your Tango’s Quickie Series, we tackle the subject of the guy who only wants to text you for a date, or in between.

The problem many women have with this is they don’t want to fall into the category of booty call or be uncertain about their relationship status.

While I believe texting can be fun in a relationship, when your guy says, “Thinking of u” or you say “Can’t wait for your delicious kisses,” too many women complain that their boyfriends won’t pick up the phone and call.

Here’s the truth ladies: Most guys don’t really like to talk on the phone. They’ll call to make you happy, if you let them know it means a lot to you. Otherwise, get ready for showing up on a date after being sent a text with the date and time of your next rendezvous. Watch our video to help him go from casual to crazy about you, online and IRL.

But if you tell him the sound of his sexy voice helps you fall asleep with a smile on your face, you just might get this text-happy guy to pick up the phone.

Are you in a text only relationship?

Watch our other Videos.

Your comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Update Your Dating Profile at Girls’ Night Out

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Ladies in Los Angeles, do you want to make your online dating profile pop? Join me with Match and bebe for a night of fashion and hair styling, dating advice, wine, light bites, profile-worthy photos and music.

The new you starts here at the Beverly Center Location on July 17th from 6p-8p.

Summer’s the perfect time to freshen up your look. Join us at bebe for Girls’ Night Out and a makeover that will grab attention online. You’ll get a flirty new style and personalized tips to use on your next date.

But that’s not all: Professionals from Sexy Hair will be styling hair for FREE! Grab the on-site photographer for a few “after” headshots to use in your dating profile!

Event treats include:

  • Drinks and appetizers
  • bebe’s summer clothing collection to try on
  • Advice from dating coach Julie Spira, founder of Cyber-Dating Expert (Yes, that’s me!)
  • 20% off all regular-priced merchandise purchased at event*

On Facebook or Twitter? Snap a selfie afterwards and share it with hashtag #sexysummer. RSVP today for only $10.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for expert online dating advice and to learn more about how to create an irresistible online dating profile.

Want to Date a Smarty Pants? Match Will Help You Find a Mensa Genius

mensamatch 300x300Looking to date a genius? It will no longer be lonely at the top as Match.com has now paired with American Mensa to help singles in the top 2% in U.S. date someone with the same brainy credentials.

Together, they’ve launched a new online dating site called MensaMatch.

Singles are always saying that being with someone smart is sexy. The Match Singles in America study found that 80% of singles say they “must have” or find it “very important” to be with someone of the same intelligence level.

On the Match blog, Dr. Helen Fisher, Match’s Chief Scientific Advisor says, “Why do we want a smart partner? Because intelligence is correlated with many benefits, including:  higher income; sense of humor; creativity; social skills; coordination; and problem solving. These are sexy. People everywhere gravitate to smart lovers, because an intelligent partner comes with a host of sexy perks.”

Before you jump to take the Mensa test, now through July 6, 2014, you can take the Mensa home practice test for only $1 to see if you might have the chance to qualify to become a member of Mensa. Visit https://www.us.mensa.org/join/mht/ and Use Promo Code MATCHSUMMER14.

If you’re already a member of Mensa, as a Match member, you can now add an elite badge to your profile to express your interest in the High IQ organization. It’s quite possible you’ve already taken the Mensa test while in school, so if you have your scores handy, they can be used to join the MensaMatch. Otherwise, take two hours and after a good night’s sleep try the test on your own.

If you’re a tad shy from becoming a member of Mensa, don’t fret. Keep using key words such as intelligent, smart, and educated in your profiles and make sure to list your advanced degrees, should have a diploma to prove it.

If you’re in the 98% of those who crave intelligence without being a Mensa member, to look for smart singles, check out the profiles in these top 20 cities of the smartest singles in the U.S. with the highest percentage of Ivy League graduates.

  1. Durham, NC
  2. North Alamos, NM
  3. Ithaca, NY
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Ann Arbor, MI
  6. Charlottesville, VA
  7. Santa Fe, NM
  8. Boulder, CO
  9. Starkville, MS
  10. Vernon, TX
  11. New York, NY
  12. Oxford, MS
  13. Boston, MA
  14. Gainesville, FL
  15. Las Vegas, NV
  16. Bridgeport, CT
  17. Trenton, NJ
  18. San Jose, CA
  19. San Francisco, CA
  20. Taos, NM

Photo credit: Fotolia.com
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been helping singles find love on the Internet for two decades. For online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Cyber Dating Expert Weekly Flirt.

Need help with your online dating profile or decoding those cryptic text messages? Find out how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.

The Great Love Debate – Los Angeles 7/17

It’s with great enthusiasm to let you know that I’ve been asked to participate in the Los Angeles Great Love Debate on July 17th at the Pacific Design Center.

On July 17th
Over 400 of Southern California’s most dynamic singles will be at the
Silver Screen Theater @ Pacific Design Center
to take part in

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Are YOU ready to answer the question –

WHY IS EVERYONE STILL SINGLE?

Don’t miss a night of guys, gals, great guests, giveaways… and pre & post show parties catered by Wolfgang Puck!

Tickets on sale at http://LoveLA.eventbrite.com

FIRST 50 PEOPLE TO USE PROMO CODE JS10 SAVE $10!

THIS EVENT WILL SELL OUT, NO TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR!

Doors open at 6:30pm for cocktails, Showtime is 7:30pm
“Meet, Greet, Mix, Mingle, & Match” after-party immediately follows!

Presented in partnership with image003&

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Register now with promo code JS10 to save $10 before it sells out!

lovela.eventbrite.com

See you there!

 

10 Summer First Date Ideas

The good news is summer officially starts on Saturday, so you can celebrate the Summer Solstice all weekend long.

Here are ten of the best summertime first date ideas that won’t break the bank, nor will it put too much pressure on a date with someone new.

Happy dating and enjoy the sunshine!

 

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1. Ride the Ferris Wheel.

Go to an amusement park and ride the Ferris Wheel or even the roller coaster, if you dare.

 

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2. Find a free outdoor concert.

Bring a picnic meal and a blanket and take in the sounds of local artists. Some museums and parks actually have well-known musicians.

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3. Watch an outdoor movie.

While drive-in theaters have become obsolete, the trend of watching movies on a big screen at a shopping center or local park has become all the rage.

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4. Barbecue.

Make sure to go grocery shopping together to spice up the date. Cooking together can be filled with laughter. Don’t forget to pick up chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers to make s’mores for dessert.

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5. Go on a bike ride.

Make it more memorable by renting a bicycle built for two! Remember to take photos and of course, ask for permission before posting to Instagram.

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6. Take a Beach Yoga Class.

Yoga is sexy on a date. Remember to bring your sunscreen. If you don’t live near a beach, check out the many outdoor classes in a park.

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7. Take a cooking Class.

Stores such as Sur le Table nationwide have cooking classes on their calendar. If you can’t find one near you, check out the local universities and colleges or a MeetUp group for foodies.

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8. Snack at the Food Trucks.

Many neighborhoods have a food truck day. Find out which day or night they’ll be parked in your neighborhood. From the healthy green truck to a spicy Mexican cuisine, there’s a favorite truck for every type of palate.

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9. Go to a baseball game.

It’s the season for America’s favorite past time. Nibble on peanuts and Cracker Jack and enjoy the 7th inning stretch. Check the MLB.com website for dates and times. Not in a baseball city, find a minor league game near you.

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10. Go to a zoo.

It’s fun to feed the animals at the zoo Take it a step further and walk into the petting zoo and spend time with the llamas and sheep.

Don’t forget to memorialize your fun outdoor date by snapping photos. Who knows, you just might end up with a nice kiss at the end of the date to add to your digital memory book.

Follow @JulieSpira for online dating advice and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She coaches singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Profiles programs to help them find love offline.  

Online Dating Rules for Dating a Single Dad

singledad 300x300No one can be a true expert in the art of dating as a single parent, as each situation and the family dynamics are so very different.

Even though Father’s Day is a recent memory, it’s good to point out that single and divorced dads are quite active on online dating sites.

As a matter of fact, Match reports that 30% of their male subscribers are indeed single dads. PlentyofFish tells us that almost 45% of single men in the United States on their site who are between the ages of 30 and 50 are single dads!

So what’s the secret to blending your dating life and dating a single dad?

1. Communication. Talking about your relationship with your children is the most important part of dating a single or divorced parent. Some single dads have split schedules with their children and others are full-time dads. Some have children in college and some even have grandchildren. Talking about your schedules, when to introduce them to someone you’re dating and your long-term goals about staying single or blending a family should happen in the early stages of dating.

2. Tell, don’t post. While your kids are a priority, posting photos of them in your primary dating photo is not recommended. Instead, mention in the body of your profile the ages of your children and how important they are in your life.

3. Respect the calendar. Be understanding of his schedule. Remember, a single dad is juggling kids activities, carpooling the children back to their mother’s home, and possibly a demanding work schedule, while still trying to find time to date. When it comes to to big holiday events, you just might need to celebrate with him on a different date.

4. Love, but don’t parent. There should be an endless amount of love for all children, but when they aren’t your own, resist the urge to discipline and become a parent. Show them love and kindness and make sure it’s not your goal to steal his heart away from his children. It’s not a competition to see who ranks higher on the totem pole. It’s about adding joy to their lives, when the time is right.

The good news is that single dads are 46% more likely to meet someone on their dating site as compared to men without children, according to Match.

When are the guys most often searching for love online?

Match reports that single dads log on most often between 6:00am and 9:00am in the morning before their workday begins.

The good news is that more than half of single dads will email single moms than men without children. Single dads spend time in the trenches with their kids, so they will tend to be more empathetic to your family schedule as well.

Are you a single dad looking for love online?

Find out how our Irresistible Profiles can help you find your dream date.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and helps singles who are looking for love online and IRL. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Los Angeles Singles – Win Tickets to #Coherence Movie and Pre-Party

 

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What’s more fun that finding love and going to a fun Hollywood party when you’re single?

Our friends at Cupid.com are hosting a screening for singles to the film Coherence in Los Angeles for some of their lucky members the night before it opens and they’ve asked us to spread the word for them!

In their Set Love Free promotion, Cyber-Dating Expert readers will get to attend this event for one of the best sci-fi films of the year.

If you sign up now and for tickets to the pre-screening of the Coherence movie, you also get invited to their private pre-party, with some cast members and free food and drinks.

About Coherence the movie:

On the night of an astrological anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, this film is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.

Watch the Trailer

Here are the details:

coherence 150x150What: Coherence Movie Screening and Pre-Party

Where: Pre-Party: Good Luck Bar, 1514 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026; Screening: Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA

When: Thursday, June 19, 2014; Party at 5:30pm, Screening at 7:30pm

Why: Because Cupid.com is launching in Los Angeles!

RSVPhttp://www.evite.com/event/0355VMUVMIAQ6I7C6EPD3GX2XP5VBI before it fills up!

Follow: @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebookcom/CyberDatingExpert for more details

Cyber-Dating Expert is working with Cupid.com as a paid spokesperson for their #SetLoveFree program.

Online Dating: Why does it take so long to find a date?

radioshowlogo3 150x150The reasons why online dating works so well is that that 50% of the 111 million singles in the United States are dating online and that it’s available 24 hours a day. Add in the fact that dating sites have mobile apps, finding love from your cell phone means you can date on the fly. The reason that online dating fails for many is that they aren’t taking a proactive approach to the process. If you just post a few photos, a bio, and who your perfect date should be and wait for someone to find you, your date card won’t be filling up fast.

Singles are obsessed about how people date and how to find decent dates, no matter what city they live in. However, most singles struggling to find love think their city is the worst to find a compatible mate.

A beautiful woman in her 40s who I’ve been coaching thinks online dating takes too long to find a good guy. She was frustrated that she only had two dates in one week and that men weren’t writing to her. Her first date didn’t work out, as he told her before even meeting her that she should take her profile down so they could date exclusively. It was too much too fast, so she realized he wasn’t her guy and they never met. While she liked her second date, he never called her again. Finding two dates in one week, whether they advance to a second date or not is not a bad statistic for online dating. This is actually the normal dating process.

The reason it’s taking her too long to find dates is because she believes it’s improper for a woman to contact a man. She wasn’t using the tools to benefit from the algorithms that the site provided. After one month of online dating, she wondered what she was doing wrong and why it wasn’t working. While she “liked” and “favorited” a few guys she saw on Match, she waited for them to write back to her so she could be pursued in an old-fashioned traditional way.

What she didn’t understand is that everyone’s digital dating behaviors and patterns vary. Some men will only read emails from women and don’t use all of the features of the sites. Others only look at photos. They may not look to see who has viewed them, hot listed them, winked, flirted, or liked their photos. Dating is a two-way street. Men are trained to be the pursuers, but when they get frustrated when they don’t receive responses online from women, they slack off a bit. When women take a passive approach to online dating it simply just doesn’t work.\

Ossa Fisher, Match.com’s SVP of Strategy & Analytics defines this dating type as a “Cherry Picker,” or one who has a hard time finding a date because they put a beautiful profile out there and sit and wait. Even though finding love is a priority, a cherry picker doesn’t take matters into their own hands.
Many dating sites have sophisticated algorithms. When I visited Match.com’s headquarters recently, we talked about their dating algorithms. The only way these algorithms work to help you find a compatible date is to make sure you are an active user of the dating site. Simply put, the more often you log on, the more data the site receives on your likes, dislikes, and communications.

Fisher states the only way to maximize your experience on dating sites is to be truly engaged in the process. She says that compared to Match users who haven’t met someone, those who have met someone sent 30% more likes, favorited 26% more users, and responded to 3-7% more messages. They were clearly engaged in the process.

If the “Cherry Picker” starts writing short emails to five to ten men a day, the results will be dramatic. Men will be flattered to receive her email and many will most likely pursue her. You see guys get frustrated too with the process since they write to so many women who don’t respond. By initiating an email to a guy, you’re not losing your femininity, you’re just showing that you’re confident enough to reach out to a guy.

Modern day dating must include a proactive approach and it’s time to toss the old dating rules out the window. This is no different than looking for your dream job. The digital playground is crowded, but the possibilities are huge and have never been better for singles looking for love online.

At the end of the digital day, online dating is a numbers game. You need to play to win.

Julie Spira is a top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and is the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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