Internet dating, social dating, Facebook dating, meeting offline or at work, what’s a single dater to do?
A question I get asked often about online dating versus meeting someone offline is, which method is better for me to find the perfect date or mate?
While experts might not agree on this topic, even offline Matchmakers are incorporating digital dating into their business. I believe the answer is clear. There is no one-size fits all formula and everyone’s relationship goals may differ. From hook-ups to marriage proposals, there’s a site and way for everyone.
In my dating coaching practice, I work with singles who are truly looking for a meaningful relationship and send those looking to hookup to a variety of mobile dating apps. Whether it leads you to marriage or not, finding love online needs to be part of your dating regime, just like finding a job online from a message board or Linkedin will help you find your dream job. Being able to grow and maintain your relationship offline is critical as you go through the different phases of a relationship.
As one who believes in casting a wide net, I tell singles that you really need to do both. It’s not one way or the other. In reality, online dating, if done correctly, is just a method or service that will get you out there in the real world to meet someone offline IRL (In-Real-Life).
However, some really think the process of finding someone to love is an either-or proposition. I beg to differ. If you’re truly not comfortable with the computer and don’t think your iPhone or Android is truly a SmartPhone, you’re leaving opportunities behind that could change your relationship status to “In a Relationship,” “Engaged” or “Married” while your friends cheer you on.
Here are some pros and cons on finding love both online and offline.
Pro: Over 40 million singles in the U.S have tried online dating.
Con: It’s a crowded digital marketplace and can be an exhausting experience.
Pro: One out of five relationships start online. Whether it’s on Social media, Facebook, Twitter, a mobile app, or traditional online dating site, there are a lot of success stories.
Con: People lie about their age, weight, height, income, and marital status. Singles get frustrated after a few bad dates.
Pro: You can meet people outside of your geographic area and social circle with similar interests. You’ll meet more people, so you can learn what you’re truly looking for in a date, mate, or relationship.
Con: It can become addicting to some, who never meet offline or are looking for the next pretty face. Beware of the Digital Pen-Pal Syndrome.
Pro: It’s efficient and available 24-hours a day.
Con: It’s like a full-time job for many and you must be organized.
Pro: You may have friends in common which will make you more comfortable.
Con: You’re not really sure of their relationship status.
Pro: You can determine if there’s chemistry in person.
Con: You’re limited to your existing social circles or regular activities and will meet less people.
Pro: It’s pre-dating, without the pressure of wondering if you’re date is who they say they are.
Con: People decide too quickly that they aren’t interested or have no chemistry.
Pro: You can develop new friendships with people with similar interests, even if it doesn’t turn into a romantic relationship.
Con: You’re limiting yourself to a certain geographic area.
At the end of the digital day, if you’re serious about meeting someone special, you must include a combination of both online and offline dating in your routine. Remember the goal of online dating is to take your relationship offline. Riding into the digital sunset together is now a way of everyday life.
If you need a little hand holding, contact us about our Irresistible Profiles and dating coaching to help you find your dream date.
Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert who was a very early adopter of the Internet. She created her first dating profile almost 20 years ago and has been helping singles on the dating scene. Julie’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 sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt.
Let’s start with what is a ‘Selfie?’ It’s one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter when someone snaps their own photo with their mobile phone. Usually it’s goofy, a bathroom shot in the mirror, or in the case of Rhianna, a bikini shot or two.
I love technology and there’s no doubt that the iPhone has made cyberdating a whole lot easier and so much more fun.
As the cameras continue to improve on the Samsung Galaxy, iPhones, and other mobile devices, while Instagram remains the favorite social networking photo site du jour, the prevalence of ‘Selfies’ photos are appearing more often on Internet dating profiles.
So who’s posting ‘Selfies’ and are they narcissistic, funny, expected, or a turn-off? Just because celebrities are jumping on the ‘Selfie’ bandwagon, should you?
In a recent Glamour magazine article, a list of 11 turn-offs to men who viewed women’s online dating profiles listed ‘Selfies” twice.
Men felt that posting over ¾ of your profile photos as ‘Selfies’ was a turn-off.
“Just makes me wonder how long you spent in your room taking shots that didn’t make the cut,” one guy claimed.
In addition, the bathroom ‘Selfie’ is an online dating no-no.
“Unless it’s done ironically, in which case, are you free on Thursday?” was another response.
Taking it a step further, research from the University of Birmingham in the UK found that too many ‘Selfies’ posted on Facebook could actually damage your relationship.
David Houghton, the lead researcher said, “‘Selfies,’ or self-portraits, seem to be some of the most irksome images.”
In a recent interview with the New York Daily News, I provided several tips for those who have no self-control when posting ‘Selfies.’ Including:
Ladies: No Bikini Photos. Just because Rhianna does it, doesn’t mean your potential online date will appreciate yours. A bikini shot is just lingerie with different material. A man will undress you with his eyes. There’s no need to say take me to the bedroom with your bikini ‘Selfie.’\
Guys: Ditch the Mirror Photos. Posting a photo of yourself without wearing a shirt in the bathroom mirror has become as cliché as the woman who says she wants to go on beach walks in her Internet dating profile.
While authenticity is appreciated in posting recent photos, we know that the selfies shots aren’t usually your best. I say save them for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Put your best digital foot forward and post the best photos you can of yourself. Add the dates they were taken, so your online date will know how recent they are.
Are you posting ‘Selfies’ on your dating profile? What has the response been?
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter to join in the conversation.
Photo credit: © berc – Fotolia.com
Whether you’ve gone through a recent breakup or you’ve gotten divorced after 20 years of marriage, even if the wounds are still raw, know that your decision to create an online dating profile is a step in the right direction.
Here are 6 simple tips to get you started.
1. Have a Profile Party. It’s time to take the plunge and join an online dating site. This is a digital statement telling the world that you’re not going to sit home and feel sorry for yourself. I recommend that you grab a girlfriend or two and let them participate in a Profile Party. After all, your BFF’s will want to hear the juicy details of your dates and they truly want to see you move forward with your life. Find a few outfits with bright colors such as red or bright pink and let your friends snap the photos for you. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can sign up for our Pimp Your Profile Seminar on May 22nd , where I’ll be working with singles how to ramp up their profile in person! If you’re anxious to get started now, here are some of our favorite dating sites. Some offer special discounts to Cyber-Dating Expert readers.
2. It’s a Bio, not a novel. Not sure what to write about yourself? When creating your Internet dating bio and on your first dates, less is more. Don’t focus on what went wrong in your relationship. Talking about your ex is an instant buzz-kill. You’ll come across as someone who just hasn’t gotten over him or her yet.
3. Talk about the kids. If you’re a parent, do mention how important your children are and list their ages in your profile, but don’t post photos of them. A man would like to know that you have time for him in your life, while you juggle work, parenting, and a new relationship. A woman will project to the future to decide whether she wants to be a part of an extended family. Hiding the kids isn’t going to attract your dream date. An understanding partner will appreciate your devotion to your family.
4. Ask and answer questions. Keep your introduction emails short and simple and mention something in his profile that caught your eye. I recommend only a few sentences. It’s also good to ask a question, which will provoke an answer. Mention one of your favorite rock bands and ask if they’ve ever seen them perform live. List some of your dream vacation spots and ask if they’ve ever traveled there. Your goal is to create a conversation based upon your passions.
5. Head over to Facebook and change your relationship status to “Single.” Yes, it may come to a shock to some of your friends, but others might be ready to introduce you to one of their friends. Some of the couples on Facebook Love Stories actually fell in love on Facebook, reconnected with crushes from high school and college, and tied the knot after seeing that someone they knew was suddenly single again.
6. Give good phone. As a parent, your time is very precious. Do make sure you have a phone date before you set up time to meet in person. If you don’t feel any chemistry on the phone, don’t waste your time on setting up a date that probably won’t go well. Avoid becoming a digital pen pal with your new online crush and take your relationship from online to offline within the first few weeks.
Getting divorced is traumatic for everyone. This isn’t the time to compare war-room stories with potential dates. With these online dating tools at your digital finger tips, you’ll be able to start the next chapter of your life sooner, rather than later. Remember, the person that you’ll be meeting may have also gone through a divorce or loss of a loved one. He or she might be just as nervous as you are about starting over again.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert who’s been helping singles find love online since 1994. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for our free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Photo credit: © ijdema – Fotolia.com
She initially joined both Match.com and JDate. “They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince and I did just that,” said Andrea. Having one bad date after another, she kept going offline only to go back online again.
When she met Dan, she thought he was very different than any of her other dates. They chatted online only a few very brief times and sent a few texts to put a date on the calendar.
On the way to their first date, Andrea decided to call Dan. She told him that this was the only time she had never talked on the phone prior to meeting a date. He said it was his first time as well. When they met, she realized they had so much in common. They talked for hours and didn’t even realize anyone else was in the restaurant. After many rounds of our “all you can eat” soup and salad, they said their goodbyes and Dan walked Andrea to her car. Andrea tells said, “He gave me a huge kiss and I was kind of surprised by it, but pleasantly!”
Then their Cyber Love Story got tricky.
Three weeks went by before their scheduled second date, so Andrea didn’t think that Dan was very interested in her. She then canceled their date and starting dating someone else.
When that relationship ran its course, she rejoined Match for a second time. Dan noticed Andrea’s reactivated profile and “winked” at her. Andrea responded and wondered if he had recognized her, which he did. They made plans to get together almost immediately and finally went on their second date.
The two have been inseparable ever since and Andrea knows for sure, that Dan is the love of her life. Andrea and Dan plan on moving in together and look forward to celebrating their one-year anniversary together in September.
Congratulations to Andrea and Dan who gave online dating a chance.
Do you have an online dating story to share?
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 the Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
In the April issue of Glamour magazine, I’m quoted along with Chemistry.com’s Dr. Helen Fisher in an article, Stop Googling Your Dates!
Becoming a Cyber-sleuth in your pre-dating phase I believe is detrimental to getting to know someone.
The digital pre-date can last for several hours in front of your computer. From Facebook to Linkedin, Google, and Twitter, you may find yourself excited at one article where your date won a prestigious award, and then in the next moment, cringing when you see his party photos.
“….pre-dating makes you feel like you already “know”each other by the first date. You get this false, euphoric sense of security that you’re in a relationship. Pre-dating accelerates your entire courtship. Just remember, that you really don’t know him; you just think you do…”
As technology continues to develop, a Google search may become as passé as the fax machine. With Google Image Search, one can now find your photo on the Internet or on an online dating site, upload it to Google Image Search and possibly find out your date’s first and last name. Once that piece of the puzzle is solved, the digital door is wide-open.
Take for example a phone call that I recently received from a man whom I did not know. I shared this story on Huffington Post in an article, Google Image Search – Can it Replace Online Dating Sites?
In this scenario, a man I never met uploaded one of my photos he found online. It led him to my media page, YouTube channel, book page, and provided him with details of where I lived and the restaurants I was a regular patron of. Was this creepy? You better believe it. Whether he meant it when he said he wanted to sweep me off my feet or not, I decided against meeting him. Did I miss out on meeting the one? Perhaps next time, he’ll think twice about Googling and telling.
Do you Google your dates before you meet them? Have you checked Facebook to see if you have friends in common or what pages they’ve “liked?” Would you use Google Image Search to widen the opportunities to meet other singles?
At the end of the digital day, you can run, but you can’t hide.
Your comments are welcome.
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 dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Dear Cyber-Dating Expert,
My new profile is starting to get more attention and I’m excited about it, but I’m confused about phone etiquette.
What should I do when a guy I meet online asks me for my phone number?
I’m a bit squeamish about giving my number out to someone I haven’t met. One guy, who seems nice, has asked for it so we can talk this weekend.
Another guy just gave me his number. Do I have to reciprocate and give him mine as well, or should I just let him know that I’ll call.
As a woman, I can understand why you’d like to keep your phone number private from someone you haven’t met.
There’s no reason to give out your phone number so quickly. I always recommend signing up for a free Google Voice phone number for dating. It’s simple to do. Just go to Google.com/voice. You will be assigned a phone number that isn’t associated to your name in any phone directory. You can have the calls forwarded to your cell phone.
This way if anyone who bothers you keeps calling, you can block their number or have the option to change it to another Google Voice number for dating.
Having a Google Voice number protects your identity and should solve the problem.
Phone number exchanges are really very personal. Some women prefer to give out their number so the men can call them. Others like to take control and do the dialing.
My suggestion is to ask the man for his number and what times are convenient for him to talk. If he doesn’t answer when you call, leave a message and say you’ll call back later.
As far as reciprocating, you don’t have to give out your phone number when a man provides his. See how the conversation goes and if you’re comfortable, then yes, give him your CELL number. He doesn’t have to know it’s really a Google voice number. It’s your secret for now.
If someone asks for your number, let them know you’d be happy to call him and ask for his number.
If all goes well on your date, you’ll be happy to exchange numbers with the man who you’d like to add to your date calendar.
Do you have a question for Julie Spira?
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
It was a joy and honor to be a guest with Marc Cohen and Marsha Collier on Computer & Technology Radio Show to talk about the latest trends in online dating.
From niche sites such as Farmer’s Only and Stache Passions to household names of eHarmony, OkCupid, and Match.com, find out which singles are really logging into Internet dating sites. We also talked about the huge trend of mobile dating, which is becoming more-and-more popular every day.
If you’re looking for a date for the holidays, find out the best ways to create an irresistible profile worth catching his or her eye.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace this holiday, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, bestselling author, and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the host of Online Dating BootCamp. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
It’s with great enthusiasm to announce that Online Dating BootCamp will go on the road to Las Vegas in January of 2012.
Online Dating BootCamp matches four single daters with up to eight online dating and mobile dating apps.
Online Dating Expert Julie Spira will coach each single dater, helping them to create an irresistible online dating profile. The singles will be hosted by the Internet Dating Conference, where they will be participating in a mobile dating focus group at Harrah’s Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.
To apply to be a contestant, visit CyberDatingExpert.com/contact and let us know why you’d like to find love online.
To register for the iDate Dating Industry Super Conference on January 16-19, 2013, click here for $50 off.
Just one grammatically incorrect sentence in an online dating profile can turn off a potential date from responding to your email or contacting you. Has your Internet dating profile been proof-read and passed the spell-check and grammar check?
On National Punctuation Day, we challenge everyone to review their dating profiles and double check their emails before pushing the send button. We know that auto-correct software sometimes has a digital mind of it’s own. This can result in blowing your chances with that cute hunk that you think might be “the one.”
Simple things such as making sure that words such as “I” are capitalized and that you avoid using acronyms and emoticons are critical if you want to be at the top of his or her list.
Remember to proof read your emails before pressing the send button and take an extra moment today to review your profiles.
If you’re looking for a profile that’s irresistible, contact us for more information on Irresistible Profiles to help you attract your dream date.
Julie Spira and the Cyber-Dating Expert Team.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating and relationship expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
Our friends at We Love Dates have contributed a guest blog on a serial dating condition which many are sadly suffering from called, “Online Dating Addiction.”
Most people sign up for an online dating site with clear intentions – they want to meet someone wonderful and get offline as fast as possible. Many go into it as a quick fix, and they wouldn’t fathom someone would choose to stay online rather than go live happily ever after in the real world; but it happens all too often.
With Internet dating, your choices and options are endless. Some men and women think they can do just a little bit better with the next click. If a woman is looking for a 6-foot tall man with a great career who likes sushi, chances are her search results may reveal fifteen or more men who might meet her criteria in their neighborhood. Why settle for one of the bunch when you can try them all out, so to speak?
Digital dating is a double-edged sword. Having a multitude of options and choices at your fingertips is one of the very best things about online dating and why so many are huge advocates of finding love on the Internet. However, it can become a slippery slope and form a condition called, online dating addiction. The trouble starts when someone becomes obsessed with checking their online dating in-box and craves virtual attention to the point of letting it control them. It’s one thing to be excited to log on; it’s quite another to put your job or relationships with friends and family in jeopardy because you obsessively log on every fifteen minutes.
Another common issue associated with online dating addiction is a user’s inability to commit to someone in the “real world” because they don’t want to lose the chance of finding someone “better” online. Addicted to the thrill of the hunt and driven by a personal challenge, they become terrified they are going to miss out on someone a few clicks away, and subsequently their real world relationship begins to suffer. So that 6 foot tall sushi lover, for example; well-what if there is another guy who is 6’2 who makes just a bit more money? The options are endless…sometimes, unfortunately.
All of these options can make it nearly impossible to focus on the person who is right in front of you because your mind is always playing a game of “Who else can I get?” There is a difference between defining what you want in a date or partner and being completely unrealistic that you’re going to find someone who is the absolutely most perfect person for you, especially when your definition of perfect keeps changing. As a result, some singles spend their lives looking for someone who probably doesn’t exist.
If you find yourself displaying any warning signs of online dating addiction, it might be time to take a break and cut the virtual cord temporarily. In a world filled with so many options, sometimes it’s best to step back and reflect on what is truly important to you. Remember that people are more than just their shiny, perfectly composed profiles and that when it comes to true love, your options shouldn’t be endless. Online dating should be the means to an end, not the main attraction.
Liz is the social media manager for We Love Dates, a worldwide online dating site. She’s battled online dating addiction and won. For more dating advice and tips, visit the popular We Love Dates blog.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert, bestselling author, and CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. 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.
Photo credit: Stuart Miles – Fotolia.com