Our friends at JDate and ChristianMingle just released their second annual State of Dating in America report, where they surveyed over 2,600 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 and 59 to find out how they felt about dating in the digital age.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s not a surprise that the stigma of online dating is continuing to dissipate. The report showed that 85% now believe Internet dating is socially acceptable. The survey looked at the behaviors of the online dating cycle from first contact to moving in together and even marriage.
Let’s start with getting to the first online date. Are all online daters serial daters? While many have said that online dating comes complete with a “shopping cart” mentality, and the large bouquet of singles on dating sites, one would think Internet daters’ date cards would be filled with a different date every day of the week.
According to the survey, while singles are writing to several people at once, in reality, they prefer to date one person at a time. Does this mean online daters are really serial monogamists instead of serial daters?
The question asked in the survey said:
Do you generally contact one person, communicate with them and go on a date OR are you communicating with multiple people during the same time frame?
More than half of the respondents admit they go out with one dater at time, with 63% of women and 53% of men saying they communicate with multiple people, but only go out with one person at a time.
By comparison, only 38% of men and 24% of women contact one person at a time, and the lowest response came from 9% of men and 14% of women who date multiple people at the same time.
Frankly, I’m surprised at these numbers, as it takes time to get to know someone. Going on a few dates with a few people simultaneously should help the process and help you become a better dater, right? Should one put all of their eggs into one digital basket?
Other findings included the Top 3 deal-breakers, with hygiene being at the top of the list for both men (35%) and women (35%). Hint: Take that extra shower and keep a toothbrush and breath mints in your car.
The good news is that the stigma about online dating is continuing to diminish. Two out of three singles in the survey knew people who met as a result of online dating, and an overwhelming 94% of singles believe that online dating expands their dating pool with 86% saying it speeds up their search as compared to being set up by friends.
Think about it. Online dating is available 24 hours a day, so the convenience factor is there. Still, finding love online can be like finding a needle in a digital haystack. You need to become the “1 in 40 million.” At the end of the digital day, it’s a numbers game worth playing.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
You’ve signed up for an online dating site. Your inbox is full of interested singles trying to capture your attention. You put yourself out there and opened up your heart. How can you tell if he’s sincere or if he or she is a cyber player or serial dater?
In a recent article on Sympatico.ca Personals, I shared some of my insights, online dating tips, and red flags with Jenna Stone.
They’re the scourge of the dating scene, the stealth enemy of anyone seeking a long-term, committed relationship – The Players.
There you are, putting yourself out there, hoping to find someone with whom to spend your life, and there he/she is messing it all up. They make the apparent right gestures and tell you what you want to hear, all the while working the same schtick on someone else, or several someone elses.
And they’re not just lurking in the bars and clubs either. They’re online, sneaking around your favourite dating sites. How can you avoid…(insert dramatic B Movie monster music here)…THE CYBER PLAYER?
Julie Spira is a cyber dating expert, and author of the online book The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She offered some insight on how to keep the cyber serial dater at bay.
She says, “There are certainly a lot of them online. They become these little kids in a candy store because they can always find a pretty face. And they get five new e-mails in their inbox every day.” Spira is quick to point out that, while many people DO indeed commit, the web has “really created a feeding ground for people who can’t.”
Spira says there are two categories of online players. The first are people who are also offline players and it’s how they live their lives. “They see online dating as an extra way to feed their egos.” The other type, she says, are those who were shy and unlucky in love, but then tried online dating and “all of the sudden they go from being socially challenged to suddenly having all of these options.”
Sometimes, she adds, they don’t even meet anyone in person. “They just talk and chat. They get sort of addicted to it.”
So, that’s red flag #1. They keep putting off meeting you in real life. Seems obvious right? But a lot of people can’t read the clearest signs and wind up wasting a lot of time.
If someone won’t eventually come play outside, they might not be socially capable. They might even be hiding behind an entirely constructed persona.
Once you do meet them outside, Spira says that, oddly, they tend to come on strong and talk a lot about commitment. “When you go on a date with a cyber player, they will say things that are the complete opposite from what you’d expect. They say things like ‘I was married before and I want to be married again,’ ‘I’m looking for one woman to wake up with every morning.’ They say these types of things a little too much and you might find yourself raising an eyebrow.”
But then, right after they leave you, they’re back cruising the cyber singles scene.
“They go home and send you an e-mail that says ‘I had such an amazing date with you, there was so much chemistry. I can’t wait to see you again,’ and you see that they’ve already logged on at 12:30 in the morning after your date ended at eleven o’clock that night.” (Most dating sites allow you to see when a member is online)
Of course, it’s OK to spend as much time as you please cruising when you’re just dating. It’s when things are supposed to be getting serious that these become red flags.
Spira advises you err on the side of caution, keep your own profile up and continue to date other people. And, if you’re looking for a serious relationship, “Do not sleep with someone who is unwilling to pull down their profile.
“If you’re on a casual dating site and are advertising that you’re accepting that type of relationship, that’s one thing. But if you go on a site dedicated to serious relationships, like e-Harmony or JDate or Match.com, and you state on the profile that you are looking for a long term relationship and marriage, that’s another.”
It’s a common question: When is the appropriate time to take down the profile? There’s no right answer. But you need to be comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable with the other person’s profile remaining up, then it’s not unreasonable to address that.
Spira says, “I’ve seen it too many times where a woman says ‘I’ve been dating this guy for a year and he won’t pull down his profile.’ I say, ‘Well, you never really talked about that before your clothes wound up on the floor.”
The bottom line? Talk about it.
Once offline, if you find yourself falling for a player and want to try to get them to tame their wild ways, Spira suggests a few things that include,
1: Keeping busy. Don’t always be readily available and live a life that’s exciting and fun, and will continue to be so with or without them in it.
2. Setting a time limit. Make it clear you’ll only wait around for so long.
3. Giving instructions on how you want to communicate. If you want daily phone calls and flirty text messages, Spira says don’t be afraid to ask for them.
A lot of people do find themselves trying to catch the player, convinced they can make them change. It’s one option.
Remember, there’s always another option. You could just move on to someone else.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for Dating Advice