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Is Flirting Online Considered Cheating?

Fotolia 36590412 XS 150x150Imagine this scenario. You met him or her online. You fell in love online. You fell madly in love and took your profiles down together to live your offline life.

The end. Or is it?

When a former boyfriend decided to take his profile down so we could date exclusively, he was excited about our future. He was marriage-minded, gave me an office in his home with a beautiful view so I could write, we met each others’ families, and we were both excited about the possibilities of our new relationship going the distance. It was his decision to take his profiles down.  He asked me for my help in removing his online dating profiles from OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and Senior People Meet. It was a ritual and a milestone in our relationship and he was absolutely sure this is what he wanted to do. But there was a piece of him that still felt uneasy about it.

When a man makes a relationship milestone, he wonders if this is the last woman he’ll ever make love to or ever touch. He wonders if other women would still want him if the relationship doesn’t turn out. My guy was going through a major digital withdrawal and his ego was taking over. He started telling me that his inbox was feeling lonely and he wasn’t getting emails from women anymore. After spending six solid months logging onto three dating sites every day, he had mixed feelings about the situation and felt a bit of a loss in not hearing from admiring women.

Before my guy made the big digital commitment, he would log on to view who wrote to him, but would never write back. He was curious. It was an ego decision, but he wanted to make sure that I knew where he stood and that he didn’t want to date others. I smiled and told him to take his time. There was no rush.

Typically when someone has spent a lot of time on online dating sites, it’s hard to make the final break. They know in the back of their minds if it doesn’t work out, they can go back online at any time and go fishing again for a new date or a mate.

I’ve watched both men and women put up secret profiles or reactivate their profiles temporarily after a bump in the road in their relationships. While this is normal, it’s incredibly hurtful. As big as the digital dating landscape is, there are too many friends and family members who will notice the profile, even if it’s up for a few days or so. They will bust you. It will blow up. It might not be recoverable. Is it worth the risk?

In my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, I describe the serial online dater or online dating addict in chapter 12. This man said “I love you,” while on a romantic vacation, while simultaneously logging onto Match.com for hours every night to talk to other women. This, my friends, is emotional cheating.  Even if he never took the relationships offline, this act was so hurtful that it resulted in the ending of the relationship with the woman he really did love.

Often a man or woman might go fishing just before making a major commitment to make sure he or she is not making the wrong decision. More often than not, it’s for the ego. We all want to know that we’re loved. It’s so powerful, isn’t it? But is it worth losing your relationship over? Is it considered cheating?

My online dating advice is: If you’re in a committed relationship, I urge you not to blow it by flirting with a former love interest on Facebook or reactivating your online dating profile while checking out your options. If your significant other finds out you’ve reactivated your profile without discussing it with them, don’t be surprised if they either leave, or start withdrawing from the relationship. You just may lose the person you love so much.

If you’ve agreed to be exclusive or “facebook official,” communicate offline with the person you’re in a relationship with, instead of flirting online and looking for other options. If a relationship runs its course, be a grown up about it. Agree together that it’s time to move on, or talk about what needs of yours need addressing to move together to the next stage. Often the love you have with the person you’ve invested the time with is worth saving and will be worth its weight in gold, compared to the heartbreak you might be creating.

Your comments and thoughts are welcome.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

Photo credit: Lasse Kristensen – Fotolia.com

Facebook Love Story – Patience and Sam

1162844532 f8xst L 300x207Meet Patience and Sam who fell in love on Facebook.

Over 25 years ago, Patience had a serious crush on Sam.

She knew him the class clown and the wildly popular senior who always found new ways to be in the spotlight.

By contrast, Patience was quiet and considered more of a wallflower. She thought that Sam was  “out of her league.” They two never dated and barely acknowledged each other in the halls. During a formal dance, after her date had ditched her, Patience was shocked when Sam asked her to dance and pulled her into a random picture. They still have that picture.

Twenty-six years went by. Sam got married and then divorced. He lived in Israel, where he was teaching college and high school French. Meanwhile in New York,  Patience had gone into publishing and had serial-dated for two decades. She was 41-yeats-old and thought she was completely over the New York dating scene, which she jokingly refers to as “buffet dating.”

In August 2009, in the “Suggested Friends” section on Facebook, Sam noticed “the little redhead” as one of his options and “friended” Patience immediately. For Patience, it was a no-brainer to be in contact with such a popular person from high school. She started flirting on Facebook by “liking” his morose status updates. Finally, Sam picked up the phone and called her. Their first phone conversation lasted for over two hours.

One Facebook friendship and three months of Skype dates later convinced them there was something there.  He asked if he could visit and possibly “marry and father her children.” Patience said all of her girlfriends thought she was crazy, but she knew there was a connection between them.

On December 17, 2009, Sam uprooted himself to go west and saw Patience for the first time in twenty-six years. He ended up staying in New York. On their first visit to his father’s house in Miami, Sam dug out the original picture of them, which he’d kept all these years. They were married on January 16, 2011 and live in New York.

Congratulations to Patience and Sam, our featured couple in Facebook Love Stories.

Do you know someone who fell in love on Facebook?

 

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Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and FacebookLoveStories.com. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert. For Facebook dating advice, follow @FBLoveStories on Twitter and their Facebook Page

Pheromone Parties – Dating in a Scented World

Fotolia 41930508 XS 150x150Pheromone Parties. Could they be a new substitute for frustrated online daters? I was asked by CBS News to comment on the new trend that started in Los Angeles. Before the story went live, I posted the question on our Facebook page, with over an overwhelming response that singles believe the nose doesn’t always know.

Would you go to a pheromone party and how does it work?

Basically singles who participate must sleep in a tee shirt for several days, drop their sweaty tees’ into a jiffy bag, freeze them for three days, and bring them to a cocktail party for their potential date or mate to sniff their way to love. Is this a good way to start a relationship?

Is it chemistry, science, or just a passing fad?

Often singles get frustrated with both the bar scene and online dating in general. Having a “hook” to get singles together to meet in-real-life is a terrific idea. I look at Pheromone parties as a modern day replacement of wine-and-cheese parties. However, I question the desire of the masses to sniff out the armpits of tee-shirts that people have slept in for several days. Perhaps it’s something to try once, but don’t retire your online dating profile while in search of the perfect scent.

We know that certain scents will always be a turn-off for some, such as shirts permeated with the smell of cigarette or cigar smoke, or just plain old gym-sweat. However, some colognes or scents might remind someone of a former sweetheart and can increase your desire to meet that person. At the end of the day, finding someone compatible usually comes down to similar values and interests. If someone’s body-oder is a turn-off, you’ll know pretty quickly.

What did our Facebook friends have to say?

I asked our thousands of friends and followers, both male and female, single and married, to comment on Facebook.

Let’s hear it from the girls

Robin said, “Pheromone’s should be natural between people attracted to each other. Call me square but I wouldn’t be ready for something like that…”

Karyn said, “No. Only in L.A.”

Shelly chimed in with, “Oh my!”

Debbie said, “Not sure, but it is interesting to think about!”

Sara said, “You’d be smothered by Drakkar…..gross.”

Barbara said, “No. I like the smell of soap.”

Cindy said, “”LOL. Are you kidding?”

Rachel said, “Read about that. Creepy and gross.”

Let’s hear it from the boys

Jay said, “Not. I miss the old days of meeting a beautiful woman at a rock concert……..”

Peter said, “Saw a report on CNN on that the other day. No! C’mon people?”

Guy said, “I can see a new section on Jdate.com for this…..”

Ernie said, “LOL…LOL…are you kidding?”

Glenn said, “Hipsters will bite into anything new won’t they?”

David said, “Might work if I was a beagle….”

Mike said, “No! C’mon people?”

The married men chimed in

Gil said, “Well, AFTER we were married, my wife always wanted me to leave a worn shirt with her when I was away on trips. Sleeping with my scent comforted her.”

Ed said, “I’m sure glad that I’m an old married guy! : )

Only Mark seemed to think it was a viable dating option by saying, “Haven’t been having that much luck lately with my dates, so why not?”

Read the full article on CBS – KNXT, Las Vegas Pheromone Parties: A Scientific Way for Singles to Mingle

Would you go to a Pheromone party in your city?

Your comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. Her irresistible profiles help singles on the dating scene shorten their search to ride off into the digital sunset. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.

Photo credit: © Lorelyn Medina – Fotolia.com

Cyber Love Links

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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.

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How to Know if You’re in Flirtationship Mode

59968 158335844195903 100000584642021 404474 1259620 n 1It can happen at any age, but when my friends at HerCampus reached out to me to talk about the flirtation phenomena that was happening on the college campuses everywhere, I wasn’t surprised. Dating and relating in a web 2.0 world is quite simply complicated these days.

We flirt in text messages, on twitter, in emails, and in-real-life.

If you regularly find yourself flirting with a guy friend but for one reason or another, you don’t become an official couple, guess what? Your relationship status can be defined as “In a Flirationship.”

So what is a flirtationship and how do you know if your relationship status is in that in-between phase that won’t move to the next level? A flirtationship is that fun and flirty in-between place of being just friends and without claiming that you’re in a relationship. More often than not, it doesn’t become a romantic relationship. It’s a friendship filled with flirting and sometimes benefits.

When your friends ask you if you and that guy who keeps escorting you to parties are dating, it’s time to take a romantic pause and ask yourself, “How do I feel about my guy pal? Can we become more than just-friends?” If you go to sleep at night with thoughts of him on your mind, it’s time to realize that you’re more than just friends.

For a list of rules on how to behave in a Flirtation relationship, read the full article on Her Campus.

Are you in a Flirtationship? We’d love to hear your story.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. For dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert


Cyber Love Links

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Links to love, when you’re in the mood for love.

We’ve gone green for St. Patrick’s Day and are feeling slightly crazy with March Madness going on. We couldn’t let the week end without thanking those who have featured us, quoted us, and share the articles we loved and tweeted this week.

A huge thank you to Jen Kirsch for featuring our advice on Canadian Living in 6 Online Dating Tips and Jenna Birch who asked for my two cents worth on YourTango in March Madness Time: 5 Reasons to Date a Girl Who Loves Sports. Very thrilled to appear on StyleList with the Rules of Netiquette for Texting and had a blast on Planet Love Match Radio with Jen and Josh.

Our friends at The Frisky posted the Official Frisky Girl Code of Conduct worth sharing. My friend Rita Watson wrote a beautiful post on Psychology Today, 13 Romantic Ideas for Lovers.  Match shared the Cities Luckiest in Love in 2011 and on Woman’s Day, you can read, 10 Things Your Husband’s Friends Won’t Tell You.

Don’t forget, our friends at eHarmony are having their Free Communication Weekend, so you just might have a St. Patrick’s date after all. We’ve officially changed our Facebook page to the new Timeline, so check out our new cover and Like us!

Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter for free dating advice.

 

Match Singles Study Says: Romance is Up; Marriage is Down

95312 sia videocard notscaled 300x168Our friends at Match.com released their second annual Singles in America Study, showing that more men are in favor of committed relationships and public displays of affection than their female counterparts. This is good news as it breaks the stereotype and fear from women who are afraid to bring up the subject of commitment and monogamy while dating.

But how far do both single men and women want to go? The study encompassed over 5000 singles with the help of Dr. Helen Fisher, Chemistry.com’s chief scientific officer and biological anthropologist, and took a deep look into politics, weight, height, and which political party is having more fun in the bedroom. (Hint: It starts with the letter R)

The majority of the singles in the study said they wanted to be in a committed relationship, and believed that infidelity was a deal-breaker. Yes, even the guys are ready to go steady. However marriage wasn’t a priority. USA Today reports that two-thirds of the singles polled either don’t want to get married, or are unsure about it.

At the end of the digital day, changing your status to “In a Relationship” on Facebook is getting closer-and-closer to how we used to define marriage.

Are you looking for a relationship leading to marriage or would you prefer being in a committed relationship or just living together?

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Interested in finding love online? Sign up for Match.com for 20% off your membership or Chemistry.com, where they are offering 14 days free.

Need some help with your online dating profile? Check out our irresistible profiles packages and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert for special offers.

Digital Dating – Tips for Long-Distance Love

computerheart 150x121Thinking about expanding your zip code or dusting off your passport while looking for love online? I can tell you from first-hand experience that you need to cast a wide net and brush up on your technology skills.  Mobile phone use and high speed Internet makes it so much easier than in the pre-Internet days where you spent a fortune in long-distance bills and time buying Hallmark cards. Now, a cute e-card, Skype, twitter, and facebook along with your smartphone should keep you digitally connected and happily-in-love.

In a recent interview in the Times-Union, A Modern Twist on Long-Distance Love, I talked about the use of Skype and texting to keep you connected to your loved ones.

Julie Spira, author of “The Perils of Cyber Dating,” says many people look at technology to enhance relationships. Whether you use Skype, iChat or text, technology makes it virtually impossible to be disconnected from the world.

Spira said people must still invest in the relationship, and that relationships held together over distance are big commitments.

Spira advises women to even put on that cute dress and lipstick, the same as they would do face to face.

But Spira cautions that relationships starting out as long distance have a longer honeymoon stage. “Sometimes long-distance relationships give the false illusion you are in a long-distance relationship, but it is a vacation relationship,” Spira said. “Time is so concentrated you only know vacation mode; it is a romantic fantasy.”

Spira said in vacation relationships, you often only see each other for a short period of time, so you usually stay at nice hotels, eat at expensive restaurants and leave the real world behind.

“You don’t talk about issues real couples face, like talking about paying bills and mold in the house,” Spira said. “Vacation couples often have trouble making the transition into real relationships when they move to the same city or household.”

If you feel you’re in a vacation relationship, Spira said to incorporate regular life into the relationship, find boundaries and how to manage them.

“Try and focus on reality and not just romance.”

Are you involved in a long-distance relationship? Are you using video chat on facebook or skype as part of your digital dating regime? Your comments are always welcome and if you get a moment, follow me for dating advice on Twitter @JulieSpira, on facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and on Google+.

 

Americans are More Excited than Brits about the Royal Wedding

CDEcrown4 150x150Admit it. You have Royal wedding fever, or perhaps a little regal envy about this week’s marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton. After all, we haven’t had a Royal wedding in decades, let alone in this century.

In preparation for Friday’s celebration, I’ve added a tiara for the occasion and will be celebrating on Thursday evening at the BritWeek Gala, which includes a performance by Grammy-winning performer Seal. After dinner, I’ll come home and will join the millions of wedding enthusiasts on Twitter and Facebook for the very early morning broadcast (3am pacific time/6am eastern time).  I’m just too excited to TIVO the festivities. At home, I’ll be nibbling on scones, sipping tea and sharing my thoughts with the Twitterverse @JulieSpira, so I hope you’ll join in on the conversation.

Am I excited? Of course I am. As a hopeful romantic I believe that watching a real-life fairy-tale-come-true takes us away from our day-to-day activities and brings love and joy into our lives.

Meanwhile, our friends at social dating community Zoosk took the time to survey 1000 singles to see how they felt about the Royal wedding. Their findings showed that more American singles (40%) will watch the ceremony on TV than their British counterparts (31%).

So where does that leave the remaining 60%?

According to Zoosk, a whopping 39% of their singles said they’d rather have root canal than watch the Royal wedding. Sitting in a dentist chair? That’s a strong feeling against the Royal wedding frenzy.

Does watching the Royal wedding make you wonder if you will be the next bride? More than half of the female Zooskers surveyed said yes, where less the majority of the men said it had no effect on their future marriage plans.

To wear, or not to wear a wedding ring.  75% of the women wish Prince William will wear a wedding ring. Even half of the men agreed on this point. Of the 1000 people surveyed, 66% wouldn’t want Prince Charles and Camilla as their in-laws.

Will you be watching the marriage ceremony on April 29th or sleeping in wishing it would finally be over? If you’ll be staying awake, perhaps you can multi-task and log onto your favorite online dating site to make the most of your time.

Do You Think a Woman Should Propose Marriage? [VIDEO]

Feeling like your long-term relationship is ready for the next step? Watch this video with Julie Spira and Charles J. Orlando with their thoughts on who should propose marriage, the woman or the man.

We know that men don’t like ultimatums, but how do they feel about the marriage proposal? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and comments.

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