It was an honor to be called on by my friends at GalTime to chime in on the dos and don’ts for “Dating in a Facebook World.”
One of the questions I hear most often from singles is, “Should I send a Facebook friends request before our first date?” Sure, I know you’re excited about meeting him, but stop daydreaming about changing your relationship status. You might have taken a digital peek to see how many friends you have in common on Facebook, but once someone accepts or rejects your request, it goes on the same place on the totem pole as having the “talk” to be friends, or “more than friends” with someone. It just becomes uncomfortable and it’s hard to get back on the same digital page.
Suddenly your new beau might be worried that you’ll be spying on his wall. Or even worse, he may project that you’ll turn into a cyber stalker and question him about his female cousin’s arm around him from 6 months ago. The thought of his first date with you suddenly becomes uncomfortable, and he may just cancel with an excuse that it’s his turn to watch the kids, or there’s a work project he has to tend to.
If this sounds familiar, I urge you to take a big digital breath and log off of your Facebook account until your first or even second date is over. Facebook dating can be complicated. Balancing the traditional courtship with information-at-your-fingertips can be tricky. My advice to you, keep the information from that Google search results to yourself and just be the authentic you. You’ll have plenty of time to post things on your Timeline if the relationship goes in the right direction.
Here’s an excerpt on what I shared on GalTime:
No “Friending” on the First Date
It may be terribly tempting to friend request the guy you met at the bar last night—especially if his Facebook page is locked up tight. After all, how else can you spy on those old photos of him and his ex that he hasn’t gotten around to taking down yet?
But Spira says: think before you friend. Chances are, you’re not on the same digital page yet. And a virtual friendship could ruin your chances of a real life relationship. “It’s just too soon and you aren’t in a relationship, nor are you even really dating just yet,” she says. “One of you may be dating several people at a time, while the other may be single-focused. If you become Facebook friends prematurely, your relationship may end quickly as well.”
Or it may never get off the ground at all.
“I’ve known women who have cancelled dates after receiving a Facebook friends request,” she says.
Kiss and Don’t Tell
Want to know every last nauseating detail of your second cousin’s first date? How about your boss’s cutesy pet name for his third wife? Not so much, right? Well, most likely your friends aren’t interested in the nitty gritty of your love life either! So keep it offline.
“Saying I love you on Valentine’s Day is appropriate on your sweetheart’s wall if you’re friends on Facebook,” says Spira. “Saying I love you every day and talking about details of your first kiss on Facebook breaks the rules of netiquette. Your friends and you beau don’t always want you to “Kiss and Tell.’”
That goes for your relationship status as well.
“While your Facebook friends will be happy for your new found love, they really don’t want to watch your status change from ‘Single’ to ‘In a Relationship’ to ‘It’s Complicated’ and back to ‘Single’ again,” says Spira.
What Happens on Facebook…
The date was fun, you had a few drinks, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. But before you post that funny status update or compromising photo—think twice. Remember what goes online stays there… forever.
“You can’t take it back,” Spira says. “Often these updates are indexed by the search engine. Even if you remove a photo or update from your Timeline on Facebook, it may have already been shared by friends and friends-of-friends.”
Click here for the full article on GalTime with my 12 Dos and Don’ts of Dating in a Facebook World.
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, join our Weekly Flirt newsletter and visit us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
This week Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine. It doesn’t come as a surprise to many after his recent appearance on 60 Minutes as well as the success at the box office for The Social Network.
Whether you like or dislike Zuckerberg as the selection this year is not the issue. If you’re single and dating, you need to give Facebook a shot as you cast a wider romance net. If you’re already logging onto Facebook to post your recent photos and you have an online dating profile, there’s no reason not to combine your efforts.
On the day that TIME crowned Zuckerberg, I was asked by YourTango about how Facebook has changed the way we date. There are obvious pluses and minuses for Facebook daters.
Let’s start with the bad news first.
1. When you rely solely on email, texting, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, often your communication is unilateral. The object of your affection might not be checking their updates, so just like you shouldn’t sit by your phone waiting for his call, don’t stare at your personal computer or PDA waiting for a response. He or she just might be busy.
2. Breaking up has become too easy to do online. If you’re ending your relationship, do so in person, pick up the phone and have a conversation, or set up a SKYPE date to hear their voice. Otherwise you run the risk of being misunderstood if you send a text canceling your plans. Maybe you’re not feeling well. Maybe he thinks it’s over. Think before you press the send button.
3. Changing your Facebook relationship status to “Single” without discussing it with your significant other is a netiquette no-no. Nothing is worse than waking up to see comments on your Facebook wall about his latest rendezvous without you while you’re still looking forward to Saturday’s date with him. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated after all.
4. Falling in love on Facebook won’t work if you don’t take your relationship from online to offline. Don’t fall in love with someone from behind his or her keyboard. Its fun to flirt, use Facebook chat, text, and tweet, but you still need to meet.
Now for the good news.
1. People are indeed falling in love on Facebook. They are reconnecting with people from nursery school and summer camp, as well as forming relationships with people they meet in the real world. If your friends aren’t setting you up anymore, log on to Facebook and start chatting with some old friends.
2. Facebook is responsible for creating a fabulous social calendar. Receiving party invitations on Facebook is a great way to expand your social network. You should attend as many events that interest you that you can while you are single.
3. Facebook is the equivalent to the third largest country in the world, behind China and India. You have a large dating pool to pick from. It should go without saying, but make sure that someone is single before approaching them on Facebook. Don’t come on too strong or you might be looked at as a stalker.
4. Tired of old online dating profiles? On Facebook, singles are more likely to post a recent photo of a family reunion or party photos from the holidays. What you see can really mean what you get, and that’s good news for everyone on the world’s largest social network.
Have you started a romance on Facebook? If so, we’d love to hear your comments.
Julie Spira is a dating and relationship expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.
Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira