You know it’s important to date your mate or significant other after the honeymoon phase is over, but it’s easy to get caught up with work deadlines and juggling your calendar.
As a dating expert, my number one piece of advice is for couples to create the ritual of scheduling a ‘Date Night’ every week. This can actually save your relationship from fading away. Not sure where to start?
Here are 5 Relationship tips to keep your date sizzling both online and offline.
1. Select a day and stick to it. Make sure you know your date night won’t be pre-empted by a baseball game or a standing nail appointment and stick to it. Know that every week on the same evening, you’ll be scheduling a romantic evening for you and your honey. Date night is sacred. Hire a babysitter or dog sitter and take a pass on the happy hour invite. If you’re sweetheart is out of town, schedule a Skype date as we know that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
2. Take turns on scheduling plans. Every week, you and your honey should alternate as to who selects the outing. Get creative. It can be as simple as in-room-dining by candlelight, to finding events to attend such as comedy shows, movies, plays, or free concerts. It doesn’t have to break the bank, so check out Groupon, Living Social or the free outdoor concerts in your area.
3. Pre-date night foreplay. Show some enthusiasm and excitement leading up to your date. Leave a love note on your pillow or send a sexy text messages to each other in anticipation of your special night. Take out the lingerie that has been collecting dust in your bureau and wear it all day long. Let him know in a text message. He’ll be anxious to leave work, perhaps even a little bit earlier than usual.
4. Leave the boardroom behind. If you have had a fight with your boss or are worried about an upcoming presentation, take a break from talking about it on date night. There’s plenty of time to talk about work outside of your special evening. He wants bedroom eyes, not boardroom drama.
5. Memorialize it. Be your own love historian. Bring your iPhone to take cute photos and videos, log onto Instagram and post a lovey-dovey shot of you and your your sweetheart, and upload them to your photo sharing account on Flickr or to Facebook. If you’ve already announced to the world that you’re “In a Relationship,” use Facebook’s timeline to announce your first kiss or vacation together. Upload your favorite shot of the two of you onto your desktop for quick viewing in between date nights and keep it handy on your mobile phone.
The simple ritual of creating a date night can help you become as excited as you did during the first three months of dating, and can last for months, years, or decades to come.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She was a very early adopter of online dating and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. Julie helps shorten the search so you can happily ride into the digital sunset together. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice and follow Julie @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
By now you’ve probably heard that online dating is a numbers game. You need to play to win and should always put your best digital foot forward when you find that special profile that piques your curiosity. What many singles fail to realize is that your number-one pick may be the favorite of others looking for love online.
I sometimes compare Internet dating to an online auction: there might be multiple bidders at any time, and may the best man or woman win. Do I think that online singles are nothing more than objects of affection? Not at all. Online dating is simply the first step in building a relationship between two people that you need to successfully move offline. But remember, there could be heavy competition for dates — and you can’t afford to blow your first impression, either online or off-line.
Here are nine dating rules that will help you put a second date on the calendar.
Flirting with disaster
My dad likes to flirt with waitresses. It’s fine for my parents, as they have been married for over 50 years. Too often, though, I hear about men staring at their cute waitress or having a roving eye while on their first date with someone. So, men: focus on the woman you are meeting. Be captivated by your first-date conversation. Engage with the person sitting across the table from you.
Dressing for the Bedroom
Men are visual creatures and they can imagine undressing women with their eyes the moment they meet. This doesn’t mean that women should wear a sexy low-cut outfit showing off lots of cleavage. Men like to slowly unwrap a package, so to speak. Unless you’re just looking for a hook-up, women should leave the sexy clothes for when they really are ready for a more intimate relationship.
Misusing the Food and Beverage Rule
Dating can be expensive if it includes multiple restaurants or drink tabs every week. If a man asks a woman out for coffee on a first date, he should offer to order her a beverage. If you think this is ridiculous, you’d be surprised. Often, I hear about coffee dates where a gentleman will either bring his own water or just refuse to order a cup of tea for the woman he is meeting. If he is truly interested in getting to a second date, a coffee date means exactly that: it involves a beverage. Offer to order a coffee. A lunch or dinner date means ordering something to eat, but don’t suggest restaurants that are out of your budget. It’s about getting to know someone, not dining at the fanciest restaurant in town with someone you don’t have chemistry with.
Blabbing About the Ex
I’ve seen too many dinner dates that start out great only to end up being over before the main course has arrived. Why? Because too many people bring their exes to the table with them. This includes not only former spouses and lovers, but jobs, too. No one wants to hear about your sad past on a first date. Instead, always try to keep it light and fun. Talk about your favorite film, play, vacation spot, book, or what you enjoy doing on the weekends.
Using Your iPhone as an Accessory
Sure, you like connecting with others online. But when you get to your date, put your smartphone in your pocket or purse and leave it there. It shouldn’t be a visible accessory on your date. Otherwise, it will give the impression that you are waiting for a better invitation to come in. Avoid the urge to check your messages and text a friend while you’re on a date.
Becoming Facebook Friends Too Fast
Sure you’re excited about your first date, but should you send a Facebook friends request after your first phone call? I say no. If your date does so, resist the urge to accept it. You don’t know how the date will go, and more often than not, you don’t get to a second date. There’s no reason to scrutinize his or her photos hugging someone thinking it’s your competition, when in fact it’s their cousin.
Not Doing Your Homework
Just as you should be prepared for a job interview by researching your prospective employer to make a good impression, you should remember important details about the date you’re meeting. If your calendar is filled with dates, it can be confusing. Nothing is more of a turn-off than a man asking a woman why she never got married when she’s actually been married twice before. A man won’t feel good about his date when she asks why he decided to go into real estate when he’s really a doctor. Print out your date’s profile. Make notes on the page outlining the conversations you have together. Mention something that you liked about his or her profile. Don’t act like this person’s just another number in a series and that you’re too busy dating around to remember individual details.
Assuming Your in an Instant Relationship
Dating and courting is a process. Even if you connect on a deeper level and think he or she could be “The One,” don’t start talking about your future together right now. It’s just a first date. Enjoy the fact that it’s going well. Be excited that you both want to put a second date on the calendar, but don’t start filling up someone’s life as the instant girlfriend or boyfriend. You’ll come across as needy and you might get a voicemail message later on canceling date number two. Show your date that you have a full and happy life without them. Having someone special in it will just make it that much better. And remember that courtship should be enjoyable.
Don’t Discard the Dating Duds
Even if there is no chemistry on your date, don’t be rude and walk out. What if your date happens to have a friend he or she’d be happy to introduce to you that would be a better fit? What if your date invites you to a business-networking event? Look at every date as a possibility for expanding your social network or meeting a new friend. If it turns into a romantic relationship, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
Have you made any of these first date mistakes and regretted it?
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and Editor-in-Chief at CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
I met this cute guy online and there was a lot of chemistry. He asked me out at the end of the first date for a second date and I was happy about it. When I got home, there was a Facebook friends request from him. I decided not to accept it as we only had one date and I didn’t think I wanted him seeing the details of my personal life.
Finally, a few days later I decided to accept his request and was stunned at what I saw on his profile. It appeared he liked a Facebook page of a site that looked racy. I’m not into these types of things, so I unfriended him, blocked him on Facebook, and canceled our second date.
Did I overreact or did I save myself from a heartbreak? Please help.
Your date was clearly into you, which is why he wanted to be friends on Facebook as well. You should be flattered. Not accepting a friends request after a first date was wise, as no one had agreed to date exclusively so early on. It’s natural to want to take a digital peek to see what each other is up to on Facebook. However, you shouldn’t jump to conclusion that your guy has a dark side. Contact him and let him know what you saw and ask him if this really describes who he is and what his interests are.
Chances are he might not even have realized what he had clicked “like” to and has no idea that site appears on his personal Facebook page. Keep it light and friendly as you were the one who canceled the second date and blocked him. Let’s see if he deletes that page from his profile or keeps it as a favorite.
You’ll know in time if he’s your type or not.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Do you have a dating dilemma? Are you unsure if your online dating profile shows you in the best digital light? Contact us with your questions and sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter for more advice from online dating expert, Julie Spira
Dating in a Web 2.0 World can be very tricky and emotional at times. The big drama often surrounds one pulling down their online dating profile while the other is still playing the field. I’m not into game playing and believe you should follow your heart.
However, it’s rare for two people who are in a new relationship to be on the same digital page on each and every date. While you’re in the getting-to-know you phase, the best rules are ones which include honesty and avoid entrapment.
So when I was asked by Diane Mapes to contribute to her article on Match.com’s Happen Magazine, in Pulling your profile after finding The One, I was happy to share my thoughts.
Let’s start with the unplugging parties. Should you agree to have a celebration and pull down your profiles together? It’s a growing popular trend, but I think it comes with too much pressure. If the man suggests an unplugging celebration and you feel great about it, go ahead and do so. It’s like having a digital anniversary. While I believe a woman could suggest future outings and dates, I don’t believe she should be the one to schedule a date to unplug. There’s still some old-fashioned chivalry and courtship that takes place, both online and offline.
In matters of digital courting, typically the man takes down his profile first. Perhaps he’ll share that information with his date, but if they’ve just met, it can scare a woman away. She’ll be flattered, but might not be ready to go to the next step of dating exclusively or be ready for any intimate expectations that might be expected with retiring dating profiles. If a woman takes down her profile, guys shouldn’t run away thinking she did it for them. Often a woman will receive too many emails from men she isn’t interested in, or her paid membership may have expired.
Taking down your profile as well as changing your Facebook relationship status can be a big deal and come along with 2-dimensional assumptions that could kill your relationship.
The best times to take down your profile:
1. You’re tired of online dating and are receiving too many emails from incompatible people, or too few emails to make it worth your while.
2. You have a crush on someone and you don’t want him or her to think you’re a serial dater logging in daily to see the next fresh face.
3. One has already taken their profile down and you feel you’d like to reciprocate and see where the relationship will go.
4. You both agree to date exclusively.
5. Before you become physically intimate.
The worst times to take down a profile:
1. After a first date. Sorry, it’s just too soon and will send him or her running with the fear they are in an instant relationship.
2. If you feel pressured to do so by the other party.
3. To make someone else you like feel jealous.
4. To pressure your date to do the same.
5. To hide it temporarily before your date knowing you plan on re-posting it when you get home.
When *Debbie was thinking about going on her first romantic weekend away with *Mike, it made sense for the two of them to take down their profiles. However *Mike gave her the big ultimatum. She wasn’t exactly ready to retire her profile, but he kept her on the phone and walked her through the instructions until he was satisfied that her profile was removed. Debbie found this behavior controlling and their relationship ran its course. She still tells me that she remembers the day that he forced her to take down her profile, or he’d be moving on.
When *Mark told *Jill he had taken his profile down on their 4th date, Jill was flattered, but told him she just wasn’t ready. She hoped that she would catch up, but was open to dating others still. After the 6th date, Jill decided to date Mark exclusively and took down her profile on her own. This relationship started off based upon honesty and without manipulation. Mark was willing to wait for Jill rather than leave her for a more eager face. The two eventually got engaged.
At the end of the digital day, I believe in developing the friendship part of your relationship if you’re looking for long-term love. Remember, you’ve met online and you’re creating your relationship history now offline. Taking down your profile doesn’t mean you’re going ring shopping or heading to the altar. It doesn’t mean you’re jumping into bed either. Often it’s a gesture to show genuine interest. Be flattered when he or she takes down their profile, but don’t go crazy with assumptions and over analyze the situation. You’re just dating and getting to know each other. Enjoy the journey.
Julie Spira is an online dating and cyber-relations expert. She’s the Editor-in-Chief at CyberDatingExpert.com and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt and Like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
We’ve all heard that online dating is a numbers game. 122 million worldwide to be exact according to ComScore’s research.
When we created Jerry’s irresistible profile, [winks, emails, and IMs, oh my!] his response was “OMG, this stuff is like crack!” While we want you to fall in love and give you many tools to do so, we certainly don’t want to create a universe of online dating addicts.
Having too many conversations at once or viewing too many profiles doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful with the process. As a matter of fact, it could actually backfire on you.
The first week your profile is active is always the busiest time. It then settles down to a more manageable pace. Those who winked at you or flirted with you without a profile are probably not paying members or are not serious about the process, so unless you like their profile, you can just ignore them. If you like the profile, don’t wink or flirt back. Be bold and send an email saying hello. You can even thank them for the wink to let them know you’ve noticed.
I recommended to Jerry that he shouldn’t communicate with more than 5 people at a time. Limiting the ongoing communication will give you the opportunity to get to know someone. If the online conversation goes well, then schedule a phone date. If you feel like you’re at the dentist’s office where someone is pulling teeth, don’t schedule a date.
I shared my thoughts in the ask the dating experts column on Sparkology on how to politely say you’re not interested.
More often-than-not, online messages are ignored. Don’t start humming to the Nick Lowe song, “You’ve Got to be Cruel to be Kind” if you decide to respond. Say thank you, but add that you don’t feel you have enough in common to pursue a relationship, or let them know if they’re out of your geographic location or age range.
Wishing you much joy and love in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and cyber-relations expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Like us at Facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert for more dating advice.
Yes ladies. Men do take online dating seriously.
After creating an irresistible profile for a newly widowed male client on Match.com, he decided it was time to put all ten toes and suddenly realized he needed a lesson in online dating etiquette.
He’s a terrific catch, signed up for the Totally in Love plan, and actually wants to meet an age-appropriate woman and wonders, what is the proper online dating etiquette? Within 24 hours he was bombarded with emails, winks, and IMs. He already has a date on the calendar with a highly educated woman who lives close to him. He’s on the right digital path.
I told him to get ready for the ride and showed him how to get organized. I knew he’d get a lot of initial emails and views to his profile. He wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming response from women interested in meeting him. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, he decided to embrace the process. He wanted to know how to put his best foot forward to be successful. His questions were ones that many singles are confused about when they first join an Internet dating site. All are worth sharing.
1. I haven’t responded yet to the 3 or 4 women who’ve “winked” at me. What’s the proper etiquette?
When a woman winks at a man, she’s signally to him that she’s open to communicating. Generally, it’s her way of saying, “check out my profile and if you’re interested, please email me.” What she won’t probably want is to be winked back in return, so if you like what you see, read her profile and find something unique and interesting to write about and put that in the subject line. This way you’ll have a greater chance of receiving an email in return from her.
2. Same thing with the women who’ve e-mailed me. What’s considered good, what’s simply appropriate, and what’s rude?
If you’re interested in someone who has emailed you, read her profile and write back in a timely manner. Remember, you’re not the only guy she’s communicating with and a prompt response will not only be appreciated, but will put your name on her date card. If you’re not interested, you can either ignore the email, or thank her for writing to you. If her profile isn’t inline with what you’re looking for, you can politely point that out and wish her the best. The only way you’d be rude is if you insulted her, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want to do.
3. A couple of women have IM’d me while I was online. Personally I find that really intrusive, even obnoxious. For that reason, I’m highly reluctant to IM anyone else. But I don’t know how the game is played. Again, what’s the proper thing to do? Can I just turn off my IM capability?
Instant messaging isn’t for everyone. While it can be fun, flirty, and instantaneous, some might find it annoying. To remove the IM feature, log onto your account, click on Account in the upper right hand side of the profile and in the dropdown menu click on settings, and then click on Instant messenger. This is where you can both turn off your instant messaging and IM alerts.
4. What’s a polite but clear way to express disinterest (for example, if I decide I’ve got no interest in meeting someone who contacts me first)?
There’s no perfect answer to this question. While you might want to appear like the nice guy and let them know that you don’t think you’re a match, they might be offended and insulted. If you ignore them, then they’ll wonder why they’re being rejected. You can take your time before you quickly push the reply button to the email and do what you feel is right for you, but remain polite. After all, she might have a friend to introduce you to if you’re a genuine guy, so don’t close the door completely.
What happens when your ideal guy and you aren’t ready for a commitment? A confused reader asks for dating and relationship advice with her new male friend.
I need your help and have a dilemma. I recently became friends with a guy and we spend a lot of time together. He texts me every day and due to our busy schedules, makes a point of hanging out with me every weekend. He waits from me after work and is an all-around gentleman.
After a month of spending time with him, I started developing feelings for him and I told him so. I told him that I really care for for him and like him, but that I couldn’t be in a committed relationship since I’m trying to focus on graduating college and establishing a life after school.
When I asked him how he felt about me, he responded that he sees us as friends. It was a mature conversation and I told him I could accept that.
Can you explain what is going on in this crazy man’s head, or maybe I’m crazy?
Dear Only Friends,
You have described the ideal man. The type of man every woman dreams of – one who is consistent in his actions, spends every weekend with you, is a complete gentleman, and made you a priority on Valentine’s Day.
Your guy hasn’t tossed you in bed and discarded you for another. In short, he’s a keeper and is hanging in there based upon your rules. You’ve told Mr. Perfect that you can’t have a committed relationship with him, and he hasn’t disappeared. The one thing you aren’t doing is being consistent with your feelings for him. Think about it. You tell him you have feelings for him and in the same breath, tell him you can’t be in a committed relationship? Some of the best relationships start off as friends, so you have the foundation for a good relationship moving forward.
Be happy for the friendship. He’s just respecting the confusing boundaries you’ve set in the relationship. Give him the opportunity to take the lead and see where it goes.
Keep us posted.
All my best,
Do you have a dating question or dilemma? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Do you love our site? We’ve been named a finalist for Best Dating Blog in the Readers’ Choice Awards and would love your vote to win!
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, bestselling author and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter.
I am stuck. I am 51-year old female who’s only had about 3 dates since my divorce 5 years ago.I am reasonably attractive, personable smart, intelligent and a good listener–but am very shy about putting myself out there again.
However, I lack confidence in my ability to attract a man.
I recently relocated back to my hometown after being gone for 20 years–and well, everyone is married.
I was one of the many displaced in the recession and have been searching for work–with limited success–for a while now and keep thinking I need to get that part of my life settled before I date. Is that true?
Where does the over-50 crowd go to find dates with someone young at heart? I don’t drink so don’t spend much time in bars.
Signed Lonely in MKE
Dear Lonely in MKE,
I know how frustrating this is to have to start life over and start dating after a divorce. You’re back in your old city, but with a whole new group of rules. It’s hard when your friends are all married and think in even numbers.
First, the good news, is there are more avenues to meet quality single men when your friends aren’t fixing you up anymore. Just this week a research study was released showing that online dating is now the second most popular way to meet singles, after personal introductions from friends and friends-of-friends.
Second, since you’re the new kid back in town, and you should be asking everyone to fix you up. Don’t get frustrated when you hear they don’t know anyone. Keep asking. My mother always told me that good men become available, either when their wives or girlfriends don’t appreciate them, or if they lose a spouse to death. These guys don’t stay available for too long. There’s always a window for them and they do want to reconnect and not be alone.
Third, yes, you need to find a job now, but think about casting a wide net while you’re looking for your dream job. While you’re meeting people and talking to potential companies, you might be making a new friend, meeting interesting co-workers, or even find someone to introduce you to a friend of theirs. You need to expand your social and business network outside of just your married friends, and there’s no better way to do than than online.
I speak with men all the time over 50. Boomer dating is growing in popularity. They are just as frustrated as you are. A recent Match study on Singles in America, showed that men have a strong desire for a serious and intimate relationship as they get older. With Valentine’s around the corner, singles really are looking to connect, and for meaningful relationships. So, grab your computer, log onto an online dating site and create your profile. You’ll be listed as “new” and will get more men looking at your profile. Don’t be afraid to initiate contact. Look at who has viewed your profile and reach out and say hello.
Wishing you much love in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Do you have a dating question? Newly single? Send us your online dating questions and find out about our dating coaching programs and Irresistible Online Dating Profiles.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, Sign up for our Weekly Flirt, Like us on Facebook and Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
This scene may sound familiar. You meet a guy and have an instant connection. You start flirting back and forth and the next thing you know, you’re wondering, Are we in a relationship? Are the feelings mutual?
When Deb wrote to me with this familiar scenario after sending multiple flirty text messages to each the new man she had a crush on, she was concerned that things were moving too quickly. Was she becoming too attached?
Deb now wonders if her new guy is a player as he was also flirting with other women. She became anxious about the situation. Now her dream guy is sending her emails and text messages saying that he loves her. Even more confused, she called him out on his flirtatious behavior, of which he replied, “I get it.” Should she move forward with this guy? What should she do?
Well Deb, some people are born flirts. Instant chemistry is rare and when we find it, we automatically fast-forward our feelings and start thinking about our relationship, our future, marriage, children, the works. But slow down Deb. Why is this guy who’s texting you with love notes flirting with others in the same sentence as he uses the “L” word so freely. Just how many other women does he say that to? Is he waiting to hear it back to feed his ego or is he sincere?
A man who is committed to being in a relationship with you isn’t going to screw it up by making you jealous and putting himself in the position of being discarded, with his phone number permanently deleted on your iPhone and in your heart.
What should you do? Play the field. Yes. There’s no ring on your finger, and hopefully you haven’t been intimate yet. Don’t confuse love with lust. While your emotions and hormones are running at high speed, you don’t know his intentions other than he’s that instant chemistry guy, which can be dangerous. I know this first hand, as I wrote about it in my book The Perils of Cyber-Dating, when I too, had that instant chemistry with a guy I met. It turned out that he was a major player, and just like the Fleetwood Mac song, Dreams, I’ll hum the line, “Players on love you when they’re playing.” It’s a game that can leave you feeling empty and alone.
My advice is simply, to take it slow. Date other men. Don’t sleep with this chemistry guy. Have fun flirting here and there, but don’t assume you’re in a relationship. Some relationships that start off hot-and-heavy, end just as quickly.
Hopefully your guy is different. Perhaps he’s just nervous. Texting can’t replace quality time in person. Take a look at my latest YourTango Experts video, where I address the texting issue in a relationship. Time will tell if your guy is for real and time is a precious gift.
Keep me posted.
Wishing you much love and happiness.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Follow her @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Should you accept all facebook friends requests?
In our Ask the expert series on Your Tango, I was asked, “Should I accept a friends request from my husband’s friends?” Just what are the rules of netiquette on Facebook?
Watch our video with my tips on how to handle a delicate digital situation.
If you loved this video, please like us on Facebook too!