Of more than 19,000 couples who married between 2005 and 2012, 35 percent originally met online, according to a study conducted by the market research firm IBISWorld (and funded by eHarmony). The research found that couples who met online were less likely to divorce and experienced higher levels of marital satisfaction.
With those types of statistics and the overall grim nature of dating, why not take a chance to meet the love of your life on the Internet? We know first-time online daters may be skeptical. Keep a positive attitude and be prepared to face any of these online dating risks:
Exaggerated Online Identities
For some people, online dating websites are spaces to set the past right again and erase relationship mistakes. It’s a space where people want to appear as perfect as possible, from a Photoshopped portrait to a falsely crafted profile. Unfortunately, the disparity between an online dater’s perfect self and the real self is often so gaping that in-person dates can be disastrous, as you can read from some of our Peril of the Week stories or in my bestselling book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Whether or not someone will live up to who they seem to be online is a gamble. Prepare yourself to take that chance and never let disappointment shatter your spirit.
“Catfishing” is the act of creating a completely fictitious online persona (often via Facebook) to mislead or defraud others, according to LifeLock. It’s easy to get tricked into believing catfish are real, as they go to great lengths to develop fake profiles, including those with more than 300 friends and photographs to make it look real. Facebook photographs can easily be stolen from accounts of real people and falsely used on a catfish’s faux Facebook profile. To combat this:
- Do a Google search on Facebook photos, which could easily be stolen from others’ profiles
- Do the same with a few distinctive phrases in the person’s profile bio. Perpetrators often have duplicate or near-duplicate profiles on multiple sites, each with a different picture or location
- Fraud and identity theft aren’t the norm, but they happen. Limit how much personal information you share until you know you can trust your potential date.
With so many dating sites and pages upon pages of singles’ profiles, it’s easy to maintain high standards and keep a mentality that, “someone better may be out there.” You should never have to settle for someone with whom you don’t have a connection, but focusing on trivial aspects of a person’s profile or appearance will only hinder your quest to find the one. Know your deal breakers while keeping an open mind.
Also, understand that many online daters become addicted to the process and accustomed to easily disposing of people they’ve met. Make it a point not to take rejections personally. You can’t let your self-worth and confidence break down because of strangers over the Internet.
A Proper Profile
Have a friend or family member whom you can trust to look over your profile or allow us to create your Irresistible Profile to help you attract your dream date and to ensure that it accurately represents who you are. Honesty is the best policy, especially in regards to photos. Oprah.com’s “Tips for Successful Online Dating” recommends that online daters keep pictures “recent and real.” Posted pictures should be taken within the last six months and include both a headshot and full-body shot. Also, avoid pictures with props and try not to post pictures taken with other people.
At Cyber-Dating Expert, we believe in authenticity from the onset and wish you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and was an early adopter of online dating. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating and coaches singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Read our latest issue of the Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt.
Today is Sir Elton John’s birthday, so we’re featuring one of his best love songs ever and his very first hit, Your Song.
Enjoy this live performance and list some of your favorite love songs in the comments.
Do you have a favorite love song?
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I met this guy online before the holidays and he seemed interested in me.
The conversation pleasant enough, but I’m a little creeped out about his recent message.
In this most recent one, he asked me, Have you been single long? What kind of men are you typically interested in?” He also never put up a photo of himself.
I’ve been single for longer than I really want to mention and I don’t really have a type, but I don’t want anyone super unattractive or unhealthy.
What do you think I should do?
It’s great that you’re communicating with someone online.
When a guy posts a profile without a photo, he doesn’t really have all ten toes in.
While you’re concerned about how to respond to him, you actually don’t need to respond to him at all.
The questions he’s asked of you are generic questions. Sometimes guys just don’t know what to ask and are trying their best to open a digital dialog.
You don’t have to say how long you’ve been single to someone you’ve never met. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 3 months or 3 years. He’s single, you’re single and you’re both on a dating site.
If you feel uncomfortable, just don’t reply. If you’re still interested in getting to know him, ask him if he can post his photos so you can see who you are chatting with.
If he isn’t willing to do so, he just isn’t date ready. There are plenty of guys who are genuine and will post recent photos. Take your time and put your energies into a relationship that has the potential of turning into a pleasant date.
Keep us posted.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
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 dating profiles for singles on the dating scene. Julie’s dating advice has appeared on eHarmony, JDate, Match.com, Zoosk, and on her columns on DatingAdvice.com, Examiner, and Huffington Post. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt, and like her at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Happy Friday. It’s time for our weekend wrap up of Cyber Love Links.
We’re always so grateful to thank those who have featured us or mentioned our dating advice, but also love sharing some of our favorite tweets and stories on the web for your reading pleasure.
A huge thank you to Men’s Fitness, where we were quoted in two stories this week, 10 Little Ways to Kill Your Online Dating Game from Meredith Bogas and Answers from a Hot Girl: Do Women Really Want Chivalry? from our friend Jenna Birch. We say yes! Chivalry is still alive and well, so men we love it when you stand out from the most and do open the door for us. Thank you to Best Dating Sites for listing @JulieSpira as one of the Top Experts on Dating and Relationship Advice on Twitter.
Worried about online dating safety? So are we. Thank you to NBC News in Raleigh who did an in-depth story and including our safety tips called An Online Dating Horror Story. We’re not here to scare you, but are committed to helping you spot the red flags to enjoy your online dating journey. Gratitude to Prevention magazine for being featured in Text Mistakes You’re Making. How to Improve Your Text Life With These 6 Tips.
On Twitter, our friends at Mashable just posted Four Steps for Using Your Mobile Device to Jumpstart Your Love Life. So grab your lipstick and change your location-based-options and let us know how you like it. We also retweeted Ask Men’s video on Long Distance Relationships. Yes, they can be tough, but you can keep the spark alive through texting, tweeting, and Skyping so absence will make the heart grown fonder instead of making it go wander.
Our friend Natasha Burton wrote a terrific post on iVillage, Dating Online? Watch Out For These Red Flags to Avoid Distasters. On eHarmony Advice, we enjoyed, In Online Dating: Who Should Make the First Move? Ladies, men do love a little nudge here and there.
Finally, one of our favorite article was featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Dating Game’s Rebooting Call, featuring new fun niche dating sites.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
~Julie and the Cyber-Dating Expert Team
Julie Spira is a leading 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, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, like Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert, and sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter.
The Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt is now available for your reading pleasure. >>
Just in time for the spring holiday weekend, grab your jelly beans and bikinis and enjoy this issue of the Cyber Dating Expert Weekly Flirt newsletter.
The Cyber Dating Expert Weekly Flirt is now available for your reading pleasure.