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,
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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!
Lately, I’ve been questioning whether singles who are members of online dating sites really want to meet someone and create a real relationship that goes from online to offline, or just spend time hanging out in cyberspace. It appears that many daters are suffering from a relationship syndrome called ODF, the acronym for online dating fatigue. It can also be defined as IDF, Internet dating fatigue.
While I might sound like eHarmony’s founder Neil Clark Warren, who wrote an article on Huffington Post, On Second Thought, Don’t Get Married, where I’m telling online daters that they might need to take a break as well, there’s some truth to ODF. In Warren’s article, he questioned whether marriage has become obsolete. The article is still being talked about and was shared by over 4000 people on Facebook and Twitter and “liked” by over 13,000 people. Something to ponder.
As an online dating expert and coach, I’m not suggesting you should abandon online dating completely, but instead consider taking a break and return refreshed, along with a new set of rules and digital tools that might increase your chances of success. Just as athletes get muscle fatigue, daters do get online dating fatigue.
In my coaching practice, I meet singles and divorcee’s who are already fed up with the process. There are several reasons why I believe they’re suffering from ODF, and am here to provide some suggestions and online dating tips that just might wake you up from the exhausting process.
1. You’re tired of logging on and coming up empty handed.
You go to the gym three times a week, meet your friends for drinks twice a week, and spend an hour a day logging on to your online dating account to view photos of eligible singles. You hand pick 10 men or women to write to and take the time to personalize the subject line. The result is, no one ever writes back. You don’t know why they weren’t interested, wondered if they had an inactive profile where they couldn’t read your email, or were testing the waters with a few others and would consider you for the future. You diligently send emails more often-than-not, and still wake up to an empty inbox. It’s discouraging, I know. You feel like it’s a chore.
2. You’re tired of trying to create interesting introduction emails.
You know you’re smart, witty, and have that great sense of humor everyone advertises that they’re looking for. Yet, you find it hard to write an introduction email that will be catchy and stand out. You didn’t grow up wanting to be a copywriter, so your personality doesn’t shine. As a result, you spend less time logging on. Finding a date or a mate goes down a notch or two on the totem pole. You’ve worked hard all day at work. You really don’t want to work that hard when you get home. The end result is, you lose interest. You’re suffering from ODF.
Take for example *Mike (name changed), who has been sending the same 770 word count email about himself for four years to women promising a lifetime of happiness. He wrote a novel with over 50 sentences to introduce himself.
Chances are Mike never reads the profiles of the pretty faces he views. He diligently copies the same email daily and sends it cold to women with a shotgun approach. His subject line is empty and says, (none). Sure online dating is a numbers game, but if you aren’t an educated player, your email may end up deleted by the third sentence. I finally had to tell him, “Copy + paste = erase” and suggested that he leave the novel at home. He didn’t appreciate my constructive criticism and is still single to this day.
3. You’re too picky.
If anyone has ever suggested that you might be too picky, chances are, they’re right. Your list may be so long on your profile, that it discourages would-be suitors to find someone more easy-going. If your search parameters are too narrow, it’s rare that you’ll find a compatible partner, online or offline.
Take *Janie for example. She’s a vivacious woman with a lot to offer a man. She has a successful career, beautiful home, loves to cook, and really wanted to fall in love. She came to me as a last resort, having been single for a decade. I looked at her profile and her search requirements were so limiting. She only wanted to meet a man who lived within a five-mile radius of where she resided. Her age parameters only spanned five years. It was an impossible task with unrealistic expectations. She didn’t realize it, but she was too picky. We broadened her search to 40 miles and expanded her age range to 12-years, 6 older and 6 younger than herself. She’s now dating someone age-appropriate who lives a town away. Are you too picky? If so, it’s time to cast a wider net.
4. You’re unavailable.
You wouldn’t send a resume looking for your dream job without an email and phone contact for the recruiter to call you for the job interview, so you shouldn’t be so difficult to reach to set up a date.
Take *Bill, a handsome and successful man as an example. He always makes a good first impression in his introductory emails. He sends the women his phone number along with a message telling them that he’s only available to speak at 12pm and 9pm. Most people have busy lives, both personally and professionally. So if a woman called Bill outside of those two limited time slots, they’d not only get his voicemail, but he also had “call intercept” on his line requesting that you announce yourself before he’d pick up the call. Pre-screening your date’s inbound phone call is a netiquette no-no. Of course most of the women hung up. Bill’s still single. A little more flexibility and removing call intercept on his phone to make time for love might help with his search. If you want to get on his or her date card, you need to move the process along from the initial email and find the time to put a real date on the calendar.
5. You’ve gone on too many first dates.
You’ve managed to pass the dating filters, sent a few emails and text messages back-and-forth, and the first phone call went well. You dined at a restaurant that you hoped might impress him or her. The process took about two weeks, but it seems you never graduate to a second date. While the reasons may vary, most include:
- He or she didn’t look like their photo
- There was no chemistry
- He or she never called again
- He or she didn’t respond to your text or email message
You thought the first date went well. They laughed at your jokes and said they’d like to see you again. You spent precious resources of time and money on the dating process with no return on your investment.
Yes, dating can be expensive, but you don’t need to dine at the Four Seasons to impress someone. These days, it’s not unhip to use a deal-of-the-day coupon or Groupon for a dating idea, providing you’re not only asking for two-for-one yogurt at $4.99. The result is, you’re wallet is now thin and you still find yourself alone on date night. You get frustrated with the process and end up with ODF.
If any of these five scenarios sound familiar, you’re not alone. Online dating fatigue is very real. Sometimes you need to take a break, other times you need to fine tune your profile or change your parameters and habits. At the end of the digital day, there are over 120 million singles in the world looking for love online. Not everyone suffers from online dating fatigue.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, social media strategist and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Connect with Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
The secret to a successful online dating site is a combination of social dating, mobile dating, matching, and a critical mass of members. Jazzed, created by eHarmony appears to be successful at combining all four.
The social dating site announced their official launch today with over 500,000 members and more than 250,000 mobile downloads of their iOS and Android apps.
In an exclusive video interview for the Online Dating Minute, I spoke with Grant Hosford, Senior Director at Jazzed, who shared a behind the scenes look at the dating site, including what inspired eHarmony to create a social dating site, as well as describing some of their features.
In addition, you can connect with Jazzed_Kate, their official Twitter account with over 16,000 followers who provides dating advice and customer service.
Are you ready to start adding your social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix on your profiles? Are you interested in joining a site to expand your social network and meet more friends? Your comments and thoughts are welcome.
Julie Spira is known worldwide as the leading online dating expert. She provides dating and relationship advice on CyberDatingExpert.com, where singles and couples share their online dating stories. Connect with Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
To friend, or not to friend? This question comes up all too often from singles I’m coaching when they first start dating someone new.
My advice is always a firm no. Not just yet.
Although you may be enthusiastic about your phone conversations, have sent a few text messages back-and-forth, and enjoy spending 1-3 hours every day on Facebook, it might seem like the next logical step to add your new date as a friend on Facebook. I call this trend “premature friending” and it might lead to a startling ending of a relationship that never had the full chance to move forward on a normal digital course.
Setting romantic boundaries on Facebook and other social networks can be quite tricky. However, it really doesn’t have to be so complicated after all.
So without further digital adieu, here are some of the most popular questions I’m asked, with answers to help your love life, both online and in real life.
Should you ignore a Facebook friend request before meeting your date?
If you regularly ignore other requests from strangers or friends-of-friends, then do the same with the man or woman you have not yet met. Think about it. Your new date might be secretly cyber stalking you to check on your where-abouts to see if it adds up to the way you described yourself. Sound creepy? Well, it is. So yes, ignore it. They aren’t a friend yet, nor are they your boyfriend or girlfriend.
You had a great first date. Is it safe to send a friend request?
No, not just yet. Unless you discussed a business deal or partnership and want to ease your way in with a Linkedin request, he or she is quite likely still on the market. They won’t want you gazing at their online activity, nor should you be staring at theirs. Avoid posting comments about your date or post the cute photo that you snapped on your iPhone after your first martini. It’s too soon to go spreading the news on the public Internet.
You had sex. Are you ready to be Facebook friends?
Just because you spent time together between the sheets, doesn’t mean it’s time to change your status to “In a Relationship.” Make sure you have the talk first about your relationship. If you’re both on the same digital page, then go ahead and change the relationship status together. If you aren’t in a committed relationship, you’re likely to have your feelings hurt when you see his arm around another girl or her in an uncompromising photo with another guy. If either one of you is sitting on the digital fence, then stay friends offline before becoming friends online.
The relationship never took off. Can we just be friends?
If you know for certainty that there was no chemistry or a chance for romance, and no one feels jilted, go ahead and become friends if you truly like each other and know it will be platonic. If you find yourself staring at his or her wall wondering what they’re up to, then you’re not being honest with yourself. Politely unfriend them until you know you’re over it.
At the end of the digital day, don’t let your feelings be hurt if the other party ignores your friend request. Everyone has their own prerequisites for friending and unfriending each other on the world’s largest social network.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating and netiquette expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice. Connect with Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira, Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette
I do hope you’ll join me on Thursday, August 4, 2011 as I take over YourTango’s Facebook page. I’ll be answering your questions about dating, love and romance in a Web 2.0 World as well as talking about my most recent article, Is Flirting on Twitter and Facebook Considered Cheating?
You can RSVP here to the invitation on Facebook. The online chat will be taking place from 2pm – 3pm Eastern Time.
Send us your questions in advance and get ready for an hour of FREE dating and relationship advice, as well as learning the dos and don’ts for online dating success. Now’s the time to ask the cyber dating expert anything! See you there!
The question came up in our He said, She Said video on YourTango on whether you should kiss or not on the first date. As Dr. Adam Sheck and I duke it out, I think I kiss isn’t mandatory on a first date to get to a second date. However, if you do engage in an exciting kiss and you feel some chemistry with your date, let them know you enjoyed it and make sure to put a second date on the calendar.
Share your thoughts and comments and like us at facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert for more dating advice.
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.