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.
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.
If you watched the CNBC online dating documentary, Love at First Byte, hosted by NBC news and Today Show Correspondent Amy Robach, you learned that there are over 1500 sites in the digital dating world. Amy featured niche sites such as Farmers Only and Equestrian Singles, but there are so many more. Some sites are wacky, others are serious.
The Miami Herald reports, “Dating sites become more mainstream, and focus on more niche markets.” From pet lovers and Gothic fanatics to Harley Davidson enthusiasts and those with pre-existing medical conditions, there’s a site for you. Are you ready to jump on board? Here are 14 sites to consider trying this Valentine’s.
1. Stache Passions – Tagline: Oh Yeah, it’s All About the ‘Stache!
There’s a constant debate as to whether women like men with facial hair. To shave, or not to shave? On this free dating site, men post their bearded look and the women who love them will jump on board.
2. We Waited – Do you dream of waiting staying a virgin until your wedding night? If so, We Waited is your site. Created by a couple, who did just that, this is a niche site with rules.
3. Harley Connect –Tagline: Where Single Harley Riders Meet.
Would you like to share your passion with other single bikers? If you’re looking for a guy with a Road King or a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, this site is for you. Get ready to ride into the sunset with your helmets a-tow.
4. Geek 2 Geek – Tagline: The best place on the net to meet Geeks.
While online dating was in its infancy, most of the members were technology geeks. Now that it’s become mainstream, you’ll want to easily connect with another Geek, who won’t have problems remembering the url of GK2GK.
5. Date My Pet – Tagline: Date me. Date my Pet.
I say love me, love my pet. For those with severe allergies, I suggest you go elsewhere. For the guys who insist on having their primary online dating photo with their puppy, here’s a place where you’ll be welcome. Added bonus: Terrific pet advice.
6. Gothic Match – Tagline: #1 Online Dating Community for Gothic Singles and Friends.
Are you ready to share that tatoo or commiserate over its removal? Find like-minded singles you can relate to.
7. Sparkology – Tagline: An invite only luxury site for young professionals.
To join, guys will need to have graduated from one of the Top 50 schools, and women need to just have a college degree and well, have a great photo. The site was launched less than four months ago in New York, but they have plans to expand to other metropolitan cites. Would you change your zip code to meet one of these Ivy League guys?
8. Veggie Date – Tagline:– Winner of the 2010 Veg News Veggie Awards for Best Dating Site.
This site lets you sign up for 2 free weeks, so you can dine without beef together with a vegan of your choice. Was there competition? Yes, you can also check out Vegetarian Connections, the site where Vegetarians connect.
9. Dating 4 Disabled – Tagline: Where friendship and romance are only a click away
Online dating gives hope to singles, but many with medical issues and disabilities do feel hopeless. Created to empower the disabled community, this dating and social networking site allows their members to blog about how they are coping with their medical condition.
10. Fitness Singles –Tagline: Where Relationships Workout. You’re active.
You like to hike and bike and would like to share these activities with your date. This is the world’s largest online dating community for sports and fitness enthusiasts. I sat next to a couple at a Super Bowl party who met on this site and have been happily married for 5 years.
11. Women Behind Bars – Tagline: In Search of a Better Life.
Providing an inmate search and pictures for prison women who are looking for penpals while incarcerated. Should those with a criminal record be able to date? You won’t find them accepted on most mainstream sites, but It must get lonely in prison.
12. Pink Sofa – Tagline: Connecting Lesbians.
You can find a date or a friend on the world’s biggest lesbian meeting place. Liz James created this site 12 years ago as an online community and spoke at last year’s Internet Dating Conference in Beverly Hills.
13. Christian Mingle – Tagline: Find God’s Match for You.
From the people that brought you JDate, the largest Jewish online dating site, Christian Mingle now boasts 5 million users with a winning formula that works.
14. Our Time – Tagline: The Place Where Over 50 Meet.
While the site name might be new, Our Time was rebranded last year from People Media’s Senior People Meet to help singles 50+ find love on the Internet. The CNBC documentary showed that the 55+ singles market has increased by 40% since 2008. Some studies show that the over 60 crowd is the fastest growing demographic. This is great news for those who felt their digital shelf-life might have expired. Hint. Kids, sign your parents up if they’re alone.
Honorable mention: Facebook. Facebook isn’t just the world’s largest social network. Singles are chatting with friends-of-friends and glancing at photos resulting in many a Facebook marriage. With over 800 million members, by default even if even a fraction of Facebook’s singles started dating, it would make them the world’s largest dating site.
Most sites do let you sign up for free. Check out some of our Favorite Dating Sites as well. For a comprehensive look at the online dating industry, CNBC’s Love at First Byte will air again on February 14, 2012 at 8pm/eastern time. Set your DVR if you’ll be on an online date with your Valentine.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and her like her at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert for dating advice.