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
The big question today is, would you go on a first date on Valentine’s Day? We said yes. According to Facebook, 70% of their relationship status changes are announced on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps there’s something to it!
Speaking of Facebook, this week we launched a new site called Facebook Love Stories. We hope you check it out and let us know if you met your sweetheart on Facebook.
Our friends at eHarmony are having a F.R.E.E. Communication weekend from February 14th to 18th. Details here:
Happy Valentine’s Day. Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and digital matchmaker. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the Weekly Flirt and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
If you’re already friends on Facebook, the world’s largest social network is making it easy for you to send someone a Valentine’s gift this year, without having to leave the house or your computer behind. So don’t fret that Valentine’s is around the corner and you’re empty-handed.
All you need to do is visit the profile home page of the object of your affection or a friend you’d like to spoil this Valentine’s Day and click on the pink gift box with the pretty red ribbon. Select a gift within your budget and then choose an eCard to go along with the gift. You’ll have the option to share that you sent a gift to your friend, long-distance love, or someone you might have a digital crush on.
Facebook will notify the recipient that they’ve received a gift from you. They can then provide their address anonymously and be surprised when it arrives.
Even if their gift arrives after Valentine’s Day, they’ll know that you made the effort to select it in time. If they don’t accept the gift within 2 weeks, it will be automatically canceled and your credit card will be refunded.
Not sure which gifts to select?
Here are five gift ideas to send to the object of your affection, or your BFF.
iTunes Gift Card.
Who doesn’t love music? Let him or her pick their favorite love songs this Valentine’s Day. $10-$50.
Starbucks Gift Card.
If you went on a first date for coffee, and you know he or she is a caffeine junkie, you can memorialize the day with a gift card to Starbuck’s $5-25.
The L-O-V-E Strawberry Gram.
These six juicy, premium strawberries are hand-dipped in delicious dark Belgian chocolate and decorated with white chocolate lettering to spell L-O-V-E or drizzled with colorful confection. Presented in an elegant gift box, they’re the perfect Valentine’s treat for someone who’s been waiting to hear those special three words. $15.
Sending a gift to your single friend? Check out the Anti-Valentine’s Candy, which celebrates his or her single-hood. You can let your friend know it’s time to “Stop Kissing Frogs” or encourage them with “Plenty of Fish in the Sea” candies. $5.
Pick Up Lines Coaster Set.
Looking for a last minute date? Try these cute pick-up lines coasters or send a set to your single friends to help them if they’re feeling shy. From “Do you believe in love at first sight…Or should I walk by again?” to “Do you have a sunburn…Or are you always this hot?” they’re worth a chuckle or two. $15.
What do you want as a gift this Valentine’s Day?
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Fore online dating advice, visit CyberDatingExpert.com, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
This sumptuous Stuffed Strawberries With Mascarpone Cheese and Dark Chocolate recipe is a perfect for couples who prefer dining out but like their “dessert” at home.
The strawberries are fantasy food for lovers: finger-amiable, juicy and sweet.
Combined with the mascarpone cheese and the the dark chocolate, it’s a delicious treat to share with your sweetheart, both decadent and healthy.
12 large strawberries
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon super-fine granulated sugar
2 drops vanilla extract
2 tablespoons grated dark chocolate (save a little for sprinkles)
1. Rinse and dry strawberries. With a paring knife, remove the hull and inner meat of the berry, forming a cavity in the berry. Also slit the sides of the strawberry in quarters just a little to allow for stuffing.
2. Mix stuffing ingredients until incorporated. With a small teaspoon, stuff the cheese filling into the cavity of the berry. Sprinkle additional grated chocolate on top. Serve cold.
Love Potions was contributed by The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations For Lovers and can be found on page 66 of the book.
In a recent interview with CNN’s Karin Caifa, we talked about digital etiquette for Valentine’s Day.
With courtship getting digital, here are some dos and don’ts on posting your date or romantic rendezvous on social media.
Some of the tips include:
- Do put that smart phone down. It sends a bad message to your date that maybe there’s someone more important than the person sitting across the table from you.
- Don’t post all of those early date details on Twitter or Facebook.
- Do share very little about what’s going on with your your new beau in the early stages of the relationship.
- Don’t lose friends and followers by over sharing your relationship details
- Do keep in mind who might be on your sweetheart’s list of Facebook friends. Coworkers, a boss, family members, even parents. Those wall posts that you think are sweet could be embarrassing to your Valentine.
- Don’t post your play-by-play every hour about your romantic rendezvous including arriving at the hotel, seeing the flowers in the room, going to dinner, or sipping champagne.
Remember, in a new relationship, he may still be dating others, you may be dating others, and you’re not ready to become “Facebook Exclusive,” until you’ve had the talk.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and netiquette expert. She’s the author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners and The Perils of Cyber-Dating.
For more digital dating advice, visit CyberDatingExpert.com, where you can sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter, Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette and Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
If the thought of chocolate candies and roses sounds so hum drum to you, we’ve come up with 10 fun and flirty Valentine’s Day things to do with your significant other or date, that will make it an evening to remember.
1. Take a Dance Class – Dancing to Tango music can be very romantic. Dress up for the occasion and find a class near you. If Tango isn’t your style, try salsa or hip-hop as an alternative. It will get your body moving and can get you in the mood for a romantic and memorable evening.
2. Book His-and-Her Massages – Having warm oil rubbed on your body is surely a treat. If your relationship hasn’t moved in that direction yet, book Swedish massages for the two of you in separate rooms, so you both can enjoy the experience and compare notes afterwards.
3. Create a Digital Scavenger Hunt – We know you’re attached to your mobile phones and tablets, so create a little mystery with your very own personalized scavenger hunt. Not sure where to start? Begin the day with a text message saying “Happy Valentine’s Day” along with the first clue. When she arrives at the destination, send her a second clue requesting a Skype or FaceTime chat where you can wish each other a happy Valentine’s Day, video style. Third, send another text message on where you’d like her to go next. Have her pampered with a manicure or pedicure to get ready for your big date night. Fourth, at the end of the day, post an e-card greeting on her Facebook page for her and her friends to “like.” Finally, send her a digital invitation with the exact location for your Valentine’s date. Remember to take photos along the way and share them on your Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram accounts.
4. Skate Away – Whether it’s ice-skating or roller-skating, take your valentine to the closest rink in town. You’ll find yourselves reminiscing about your childhood while you get a little physical activity. Remember to catch her if she falls.
5. Enjoy In-Room Dining – If you’ve waited until the last minute and realize that his or her favorite restaurant is already booked, pretend you’re on vacation and opt for an in-room dining alternative. Let her know that you’ll be bringing the appetizers and main course. Allow her to contribute the dessert to the menu. Create great ambiance with candles, music, and perhaps a bouquet of red tulips if roses aren’t in your budget.
6. Make it About Music – Find out if your date’s favorite band will be playing in town and surprise him or her with tickets to the show. At the end of the show, give your date a music CD so you can memorialize Valentine’s long after the date is over.
7. Go to a Wine Tasting – Many local wine bars allow you to stop by and taste several options before deciding on your favorite selection. Take your date to a location where you both can get a wine card for samples and compare notes. At the end of the night, buy him or her his favorite bottle for a future date on the calendar.
8.Take a Cooking Class – Men actually do enjoy being in the kitchen. Take him to a cooking class, where the two of you can whip up a spicy meal. Find a place to go for dessert together, with your menus in hand.
9. Go to a Fortune Teller – Does he love me, does he not? Go to a fortune teller with your Valentine and see what the future will hold. Don’t worry, you don’t need to kiss-and-tell.
10. Go to an Amusement Park - Riding the Ferris wheel can be very romantic, especially when it stops and you’re feeling like you’re on top of the world. Remember to kiss your Valentine when you’re staring at the stars together.
How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Photo credit: © Arcady – Fotolia.com
We know that you’re excited about your upcoming date or new relationship, but are you both on the same digital page?
Here are some Dos and Don’ts on how to handle social media and love on February 14th.
DO: send a fun and flirty “Happy Valentine’s Day” text to the person you’ll be spending the holiday with. It will generate excitement leading up to your date.
DON’T: Keep your phone on the table during the date or check text messages. It sends a message that someone else is more important than you are.
DO: Send a text message inviting them for a SKYPE date if you can’t be together or if they live out of town.
DON’T: Post photos of the two of you as a couple on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram unless both of you decide together that you don’t mind your extended network to view your whereabouts.
DO: Post a photo of the cute red or pink dress you might be wearing on your date.
DON’T: Tag your new boyfriend on Facebook. Chances are he hasn’t told his buddies and work pals about his Valentine’s plans.
DO: Post a photo if you’ve received flowers, a fun gift, or of the dessert at dinner. Everyone loves to view the photos and will cheer you on with “likes.”
DON’T: Post your Happy Valentine’s message on your date’s wall. Saying you can’t wait until the evening together should remain private. Remember, a simple post may be innocent. However your friends might wonder what kind of wild night the two of you will be having. Or worse yet, his ex-girlfriend might start posting inappropriate comments to ruin your evening.
DO: Send a digital gift, such as his or her favorite band on iTunes, an e-card, or a redeemable gift card to a store or restaurant.
DON’T: Send a musical montage of “I Love You” songs if you haven’t said those three little words yet.
DO: Ask for permission before you post anything online. Remember you’re creating a permanent digital footprint and your status and photos can be shared, even by people you don’t know.
DON’T: Overshare. Remember, many of your friends are single and may not be enjoying the day.
DO: Make an exciting announcement. If you become engaged on Valentine’s Day, your friends will want to know.
DON’T: Change your Facebook relationship status to “In a Relationship” until both of you have had the talk and agree to be on the same digital page.
Do you have any social media rules for Valentine’s Day?
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and The Rules of Netiquette. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
The last week in January was filled with tweets and articles on love in anticipation for the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.
Here are some of our top picks this week.
We were busy watching and tweeting from the Katie Show on the segment on ‘Catfishing.’ Her tips in How to Protect Yourself From Online Dating Scams taught us about a site, SpyDialer.com. Yes, you can type in your date’s cell phone number and it will anonymously play back his or her outgoing message. Smart or creepy? We’d like your opinion.
On Dr. Phil, he interviewed the man behind the Manti Te’o scam, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo admitted being secretly in love with the Notre Dame football player. USA Today covered the story as it unfolded.
On a lighter side, our friends at Zoosk released their 3rd Annual Football Survey in time for the Super Bowl. Want to know which coaching brother ranked highest in the romance department by Zooskers?
We loved the article on GalTime, 7 Signs He’s the Right Guy to Be Your Valentine’s Date. If you’re on the fence, it’s a must-read. On Mashable, we got a chuckle out of Ask Siri to Buy Your Next Movie Tickets. It’s a great idea for date night.
POF just announced their 6 Finalists for their $100,000 wedding contest. You can vote for your favorite couple now through February 7th.
In the gratitude department, where do we begin?
Our article 5 Valentine’s Date Ideas to Enjoy Together is on the home page of eHarmony Advice. We also shared our tips on 5 Ways to Find a Date for Valentine’s Day on DatingAdvice.com. On Huffington Post, my article The Perils and Joys of Online Dating, gives a healthy balance to help you find love online safely.
Speaking of safety, it’s a priority here at Cyber-Dating Expert Headquarters, so I was thrilled to be invited to be the online dating expert on the Dr. Drew Show on HLN/CNN. Here’s a peek at part of the segment. Share it with your loved ones and trust your intuition. Thanks for Kim Calvert at Singular City for featuring this as their video pick of the week.
A huge thank you to DatingAdvice.com for putting me at the top of the list in their Top 10 Online Dating Experts, released this week. What an honor and joy to share the list with friends and other love experts who try to make a difference in the digital world.
Finally, thanks to the Boston Globe for quoting me in their article, Stories of love, deception have long been entwined.
We’re busy as digital bees gearing up for Valentine’s Day with a few surprise and exciting announcements to come.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
~Julie and the Cyber-Dating Expert Team
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
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Finding love online happens for many millions of singles.
Being a safe online dater is something everyone needs to know.
On a recent episode of Dr. Drew on HLN, I gave my tips on how to become a cyber-sleuth so you can date safely on the Internet.
1. Remember to meet in a public place.
2. Tell your friends the screen name of your date and what site you’ve met them on.
3. Call or text your friend to let them know you’re fine during your date.
4. Make Google your friend and type in your date’s email address, phone number
5. Check Facebook to see if your date’s photos match their online dating profile photos. See if you have friends in common.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing more powerful than trusting your intuition. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason, leave. If your date continues to bother you after you’ve decided not to see them again, report them to the online dating site.
Know that millions of singles are falling in love every day from online dating sites.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. More more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt, and join us on Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
In the continuing coverage of Manti Te’o and other daters who’ve been duped by online dating romance hoaxes, Katie Couric featured an entire episode of online dating safety with tips on what you need to know, while looking for love online.
On the Katie Show, we learned that online dating sites get more than 500 million clicks per month. Katie added that and 81% of people lie on their profiles.
To add a little entertainment to the serious topic of Internet dating safety, Katie polled her studio audience with three relevant dating deal-breaker questions that most female online daters could relate to.
Dating Deal-Breaker 1
Katie: “He’s talk dark and handsome. In real life he’s short and stout. Is that a deal breaker or not?”
Audience: 69% said Yes. 31% said No.
Dating Deal-Breaker 2
Katie: “His profile says his picture was from last week. Reality: It was from 1972. Is that a deal breaker or not?”
Audience: 71% said Yes. 29% said No.
Dating Deal-Breaker 3
Katie: “His profile says, ‘Filthy Rich.” Reality, he’s Dead Broke.”
Audience: 58% said Yes. 32% said No.
For more online dating safety tips from the Katie show, visit KatieCouric.com.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter and join the conversation at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.