Words can’t describe how super-thrilled I am to be a part of this wonderful community.
Being in the business of love and helping singles find love on the Internet since 1994 is something I’m so proud of. Every day I hold the digital hands of singles and help them ease into taking their relationships from online to offline. I give them the strength and confidence to start over when their relationships run their course and I feature their success stories in our Cyber Love Story of the Week.
Many thanks to the Editors at DatingAdvice.com for acknowledging my passion in this industry that I love so very much and for selecting me as their featured Online Dating Expert. I invite you to sign up for our Free Weekly Flirt newsletter for more online dating advice and to stay in touch.
I thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter
Meet Rasheda and Brandon, who found love on the free online dating site OKCupid.
Rasheda was ready to give up on Internet dating, but decided to return to OkCupid, where she met Brandon in August of 2012.
After their first date, Rasheda thought Brandon was a really “nice” guy.
Brandon managed to catch her attention by sending her a bouquet of flowers to her office on the Monday following their first date. Continuing to be the good guy, he would send Rasheeda e-cards and suggest interesting dates.
However, after a month, Rasheda decided that Brandon belonged in the “friend zone” (ouch). They stopped dating during the month of October, while she decided whether to date him or another guy.
Fortunately, she came to her senses before losing him completely. The two reconnected in November and went on a romantic date to the Opera. Afterwards, they went dancing, where she realized that she was falling for him.
Brandon invited Rasheda over for Thanksgiving dinner and they’ve been together ever since. The two are planning a romantic trip to the Bahamas this spring.
Congratulations to Rasheda and Brandon who prove that nice guys don’t always finish last and that patience is a virtue.
Do you have an online dating story to share?
Share your Cyber Love Story with us!
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter and connect at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and on Twitter @JulieSpira.
According to a survey by Lab 42, 1/3 of people are breaking up via text, email, and on Facebook.
I strongly believe that if you’re in an intimate relationship or if you’ve committed to dating someone exclusively, calling it quits should happen in person.
Here are six common and inappropriate ways couples are breaking up in a digital world.
The Direct and Unilateral Breakup
1. Text Message. Seeing a text message saying, “It’s not you, it’s me” is inconsiderate. It also shows signs of disrespect and cowardly behavior. If you can type on the phone, you should be able to pick up the phone and dial it as well.
2. Email. The “Dear John” letter of years ago has been replaced with an email saying it’s over. Do you really want to go down in history as the person who sent a digital “Dear John” letter? Type your letter and send it to yourself. Read it the next morning before calling it quits. You might feel different about it the next day and can possibly save your relationship. Remember. An email can be and will be forwarded, shared, or possibly end up in a blog post or magazine.
3. The fax. Although fax machines are as obsolete as a rotary-dial phone, there still are cases where couples are filing for divorce via fax, with one party being in control and the recipient being shattered by the news.
The Passive-Aggressive Breakup
4. Reactivating an Online Dating Profile. If your significant other disappears for a few days and doesn’t return your calls, it might be time to see if they’ve reactivated their online dating profile. Even if it’s active for an hour or a day, it’s likely that this will get noticed by one of your friends. Is it worth losing a relationship over? I say no.
5. Facebook. Relationships are starting and ending on Facebook. I enjoy sharing the success stories on FacebookLoveStories.com, but cringe when I see someone changing their status relationship to “Single” without discussing it with their partner. Worse yet, a friend my see your sweetheart in the arms of another in a photo proudly displayed on his or her Facebook page.
6. The Disappearing Act. Magicians should be left for the magic show, not for your relationship. If your needs aren’t being met or if you’ve found someone else, don’t leave someone hanging and just stop calling. It’s not over until both people realize where they stand.Don’t disappear on someone you once loved when you’ve unilaterally decided it was time to move on.
At the end of the digital day, you should treat people the way that you want to be treated. Don’t go down in history as being a digital dumper. 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.
Have you ever ended a relationship digitally? Did someone ever dump you in an email or text? Would you pull a disappearing act to avoid a confrontation?
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and bestselling author. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Photo credit: Pavel Ignatov – Fotolia.com
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
As the week comes to an end, it’s time to share this week’s Cyber Love Links–Links to Love, When You’re in the Mood for Love. From online dating advice to meeting IRL, we’ve got you covered.
First, our thanks to Carly Cylinder who included us in her story on Huffington Post, So You’re on the Wedding D List: Now What?
Our friends at Her Campus quoted us in, On-Again, Off-Again Relationships: Can They Work? Cyber-Dating Expert friend Jenna Birch quoted us in her Answers from a Hot Girl Column to the guy who was frustrated with being the good guy. Check out Why Don’t My Compliments Work on Women? Yes guys, if they’re cheesy, the girls run the other way. Fashionista included our tips in Single All the Way? Expert Fashion Tips for Online Dating. This will help you both with your profile and on that very important first date. We were over-the-moon honored to be included in the Top 100 Blogs by Relationship Experts, so a huge thank you
On Twitter, we shared and loved Online Dating: Google’s Most Searched Singles Sites Of 2012 on Huffington Post Women. Our friends at YourTango posted, 5 Ways Google Affects Our Relationships, Fit Sugar came up with 9 ways to de-stress this holiday season, including nibbling on dark chocolate and lighting candles. On Woman’s Day, we shared, 10 Ways to Navigating the Holidays Alone. Our new friends at Like Bright came up with their 10 Best Dating Sites list, filled with niche sites to check out for a chuckle and a date.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, bestselling author and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
With many new singles and especially boomers joining online dating sites for the first time, the process can be overwhelming at times. Add to it the thousands of newer, niche online dating sites that have popped up including dating men with a mustache to finding singles who ride subways, it’s time to put a few new rules on the table.
In a recent issue of Bottom Line Personal magazine, I wrote an in-depth article on how to avoid the most common mistakes that Internet daters in their 40s to 60s make; resulting in either a bad experience with online dating or getting stuck in the serial dating syndrome.
Here are ten tips to consider while looking for love online.
1. Leave the novel behind. Too often I see profiles that resemble a novel rather than a brief peek at your personality. The word count is so high that it’s a huge turn-off to daters. When in doubt, keep your profile short and don’t focus on your entire life story.
2. Don’t expect instant chemistry. When I work with both single men and women, it’s hard to get them to look past the photos. Sure we all have a “type.” Some prefer blondes, others brunettes. But if you don’t have instant email chemistry, don’t toss your online date away. Many men just aren’t computer savvy and don’t “give good emails.” Hop on a phone call to see if there’s phone chemistry. If so, put a date on the calendar. It’s time to meet in-real-life.
3. Be careful of the instant relationship. The need to love and be loved is so powerful, that often singles project to the future too fast. As soon as you think he or she may be the one, it may already be over. Avoid rushing to become relationship exclusive after one or two dates. The best things in life are worth waiting for and the courting phase is one you’ll want to remember, not rush into.
4. Talk about your life together. Rather than describing your perfect personality, let potential dates get a glimpse into what their life would be like if they were your partner. Describe interesting things that you can do together and your date will be able to imagine themselves in your life, as well as in your arms.
5. Don’t be a downer. Don’t be too judgmental or you will appear like a Debbie or Donny Downer. Leave the negative adjectives out of your profile and focus on more positive statements.
6. Don’t post too many family photos. Having strong family values is looked upon as a positive trait. Even if your kids are on your Facebook profile, your children or grandchildren shouldn’t be exploited on your dating profile. Do mention however, how important they are to you.
7. Leave the cleavage behind. We know that men undress you with their eyes, but do you need to show sexy shots to get their attention? I say no. Showing too much cleavage will make him assume you’ve got bedroom eyes and might not be worth more than a hook-up.
8. Keep your personal information private. We know it’s rare to get to a second or third date. With that in mind, don’t give out your home phone number or work email address. The last thing you’ll want is a jilted digital date showing up on your doorstep; or worse, a cyber-stalker. I recommend visiting Google and creating a Gmail account for dating along free Google voice account. You’ll get a unique phone number, which you can change. If you need to block someone who is harassing you, it’s easier than changing your mobile phone number.
9. Leave the ex behind. Often singles get nervous on a first date. Unlike a job interview, they haven’t practiced their list of questions to master the date. As a result, falling back on asking questions about his or her previous relationships or marriages will take you down a path you’ll wish you hadn’t brought up. If you’re asked about your ex, just tell your date that you’d prefer not discussing it on a first date and change the subject.
10. Attend offline events to meet the online crush. Online daters are going back to the basics and going offline to group dating events. You’ll know that everyone there is looking for a relationship, so approaching someone should be easier. Online dating sites such as Match.com and MeetMoi have fun events. Visit meetup.com and find events for like-minded singles and go out into the real world.
At the end of the digital day, millions of singles are flocking to Internet dating sites. You may be looking for the needle in the haystack, but you’ve got a big digital playground to play in.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and relationship coach. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking or Love Online. Julie 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 like her at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Recently on MensFitness.com, I was asked to chime in on some of the huge mistakes both men and women were making in their online dating profiles. As an online dating expert and one who has studied the industry since its infancy, the list could have easily jumped to 50 items. Meredith Bodgas selected her top 10 favorites for the story, 10 Little Ways to Kill Your Online Dating Game. We were glad to contribute to the story.
1. DON’T include a laundry list of turnoffs in your profile.
No one wants to date a guy who’s too judgmental. Instead, mention the traits you do want in a girlfriend. You’ll seem way less negative.
2. DON’T Say you want a “drama-free” woman.
It’s a cliché that will not only turn a woman off, but it sends the message that you’ve got excess baggage regarding your ex. Most women will realize you have unresolved issues from past relationships and probably take a pass. Instead, stick to naming the positive qualities you seek in a mate or a date.
3. DON’T Mention sex in your profile.
Include that, and the ladies may think that you’re looking for a hook up. Worried you’ll wind up with a prude? Don’t. Women know that intimacy’s part of the package if the relationship moves forward.
4. DON’T Start IMing right away.
Many women don’t like receiving IMs from men whose profiles they haven’t read yet. So start the dialogue with an e-mail to give her a chance to check out your details. And hold off on IMing until you’ve exchanged a few e-mails. It’s a digital courtship and you need to know the rules to play the game and win.
5. DON’T Tell a woman she’s hot.
Focusing on the physical makes a woman feel you’re not interested in getting to know the real her. Mention something else you admired about her profile if you want your email to be taken seriously.
6. DON’T Wait too long to ask her out.
I believe you should take your relationship from online to offline after a few e-mails, otherwise, you’ll end up with a digital pen-pal, which isn’t quite the point of online dating. If there’s chemistry after one phone chat, set a date to meet in person.
Do you have an online dating story to share? Share your Success Stories to be featured in our Cyber Love Story of the Week and let us know about your bad dates in our Peril of the Week.
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. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Gail had been a member of JDate for only a couple of days when she received a very funny email. It was so funny that her daughter actually scolded her and said, “Mom, what is so funny? I’m trying to sleep here.”
The email came from Mark, who had been single for 16 years after his divorce, and had his share of dates. Gail looked at Mark’s profile and realized that he was completely different from anyone she had dated or had been married to. Gail was used to being with lawyers and Mark was a writer and humorist, who had also performed stand-up comedy.
Gail liked Mark’s smile, so she responded to his email and they eventually talked on the phone. Mark wanted to meet Gail right away to see if there was any chemistry in person. The two met at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA for a three-hour dinner date and walked along the promenade watching the street performers.
“His profile picture was no lie,” said Gail. “He looked about 15 years younger than his stated age. He had boyish good looks and a smile that warmed his soft brown eyes, a backpack thrown over his shoulder, he was neatly dressed and from what I could discern, lean and very nicely built. I was toast.”
The two were attracted to each other right away and quickly learned that their birthdays were only two days apart.
In less than a week Gail and Mark went on their second date, which lasted the entire day. “I picked Gail up at her house and we went to the Skirball Center, took in the exhibits, had lunch there, and then went to a screening of the movie “Rock of Ages where we held hands,” said Mark. The date continued with fine dining at Luna Park restaurant. The two took down their dating profiles within the first month of dating. “We’ve been together over three months and I’m increasingly more nuts about her,” Mark added.
Gail keeps asking Mark, “How is it, exactly, that you have managed to stay single for 16 years???” I guess it will be one of (my) life’s great mysteries and, also, my great fortune.”
Congratulations to Gail and Mark, our Cyber Love Story couple who proves that patience is a virtue and the best things in life are worth waiting for.
Mark’s dating column can be found at JDate.
Do you have an online dating success story to share?
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and bestselling author. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
First dates can often be compared to first job interviews. With online dating, there are several dating phases you must successfully go through—The irresistible profile, the email introduction, and the pre-date phone call. If all goes well, after the phone date, you’ll agree to meet in person for a first date.
The process is similar while looking for your dream job. You’ve hopefully perfected your resume, sent a captivating cover letter via email, went through the pre-interview via phone, with the result of scheduling an in-person interview with the hiring manager. It sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? But if this is what it takes to find the love of your life, isn’t it worth paying attention to all of the phases of digital courting?
Meet Donny, our latest Peril of the Week story. He described himself as a happy person in his profile, indicated that he was looking for a serious relationship, and listed interesting places he had traveled to, including China, New Zealand, Japan, and Australia. His profile successfully made it past the first phase of online dating.
Donny then engaged in an online email communication chain, including sending nine pleasant emails to the woman he wanted to meet. After five months, they finally graduated to a phone call. He was a patient man. However, the phone call didn’t go so well. Donny’s phone chemistry didn’t match the profile and upbeat personality reflected in the emails. Donny actually seemed confused and bothered by the initial call. He complained about the cost of replacing the heater in his swimming pool. He didn’t remember who the woman was when she called, although he had sent her an email with his number a few hours prior to the phone call. Was he ill prepared due to a case of being a serial dater, or did she just catch him at a bad moment?
To be gracious, she accepted a date to meet Donny for lunch. Unfortunately, Donny didn’t look anything like his profile. He had lied about his age by several years and posted old photos, which is not uncommon. He was no longer working and had been retired for quite some time. The life he described was the old Donny, not the one who arrived at the table.
Donny spent the course of their lunch complaining about money, while speaking with food in his mouth. She wondered, didn’t his mother teach him about table manners? He once again complained that it would cost $1200 to fix the heater in his pool, so his pool’s water was always cold. Then he complained about five of his businesses which had failed miserably and how much money he had lost in each of those five instances. Then he complained about how one business he’d lost had been sold for $21 million to the investor who came in after him. Donny’s date didn’t expect to be having a conversation about accounting during their first date.
Donny’s conversation changed from financial woes to conversations about his ex-wife. He mentioned details about her and her family problems seven times to his date. The conversation then moved to health problems. Donny’s date was empathetic when Donny talked about his mother’s Alzheimer’s condition, but the attention to details of everything she forgot ran it’s course quite quickly after ten minutes. Finally Donny pulled out a plastic bag and dumped a pile of vitamins on the table at the restaurant. One-by-one, he took his vitamins after dessert.
At the end of the lunch, she was emotionally drained and exhausted. She left the date and wondered why didn’t Donny put his best foot forward? Why couldn’t he talk about more positive things such as what he loved about the interesting countries he had visited? Why did every topic end with a sad story, financial loss, or medical problem?
We know that life gets in the way and our journeys are filled with bumps in the road, but if you told your prospective job employer all the reasons why you’d been fired from previous jobs, should they want to hire you? Should you remember to have proper table etiquette on a date and not continue to talk with food falling out of your mouth? Shouldn’t you excuse yourself to go to the Men’s room to take your vitamins privately or wait until the date was over?
As a dating expert and coach, I tell singles to ask themselves the following question before they go on a date. Would you actually date yourself? Think about keeping the conversation light and upbeat. Write up a list of positive things that you’d like to share with your date and read them before you arrive. Remember to leave the baggage and the vitamins behind.
No one wants to date a Debbie or Donny Downer. Let us know if you have a dating disaster story to share for the Peril of the Week.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice and share your online dating stories. Follow Julie on twitter @JulieSpira and like her at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
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