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Jan 30th

Online Dating Expert Julie Spira Media Reel

As Featured in/on Over 1500 News Stories

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9 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Alive While Social Distancing

Mar 31st

Photo credit: Pexels

Regardless of your relationship status, just about everyone is in a long-distance relationship while self-isolating due to the novel coronavirus. Technology needs to be your BFF right now. 

Since you can’t see each other IRL for now, there’s no reason to push the pause button if you just started dating someone new, or if you can’t spend time with your partner. 

Keeping the flow going while staying connected digitally is essential. It will help you perfect your flirting skills while keeping the spark alive, and it may help you define the relationship by creating a stronger bond. 

Since you might have already spent time together before being quarantined, jumping on a video date is the perfect way to help your relationship grow in such a critical time.

Instead of talking about the news cycle, try scheduling some fun virtual activities together to create new memories. While it might feel awkward at first, it’s the new normal, and with these nine tips, I know you’ll master this in a digital heartbeat.

1. Go on a Virtual Happy Hour Date

Happy Hour

Photo Credit:  GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels

Who doesn’t want to feel happy right now? The first place to start is with an online happy hour date using video chat. Whether you’re using Facetime, What’sApp, Skype, Zoom, or an in-app feature on a dating app, remember to check your lighting so you can look your best. 

Both of you can show up sipping a quarantini (the popular drink du jour).

While no one looks exactly like their profile photos these days, you’re not expected to show up with over-the-top filters. 

2. Graduate to a Dinner Date

Video date

It’s time to ditch the sweats and show up wearing something hot, or date-night appropriate. You can cook a meal together, or binge-watch the same shows at the same time, taking turns in selecting ones that are captivating and uplifting for both of you.

At the end of your virtual dinner date, make sure you schedule the next one, like you would at the end of a great in-person date.

3. Send a Food Delivery 

Food Delivery

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Since many of your favorite restaurants are still providing food-to-go or delivery options, ordering a meal to be delivered in time for your virtual date will be a fun surprise.

Talk about any food allergies with your date in advance, or find out if they’re gluten-free or vegan before you send over a pizza or a steak.

You’ll get bonus points if you send over a box of chocolates. 

4. Binge-Watch Shows Together While Apart

Netflix Party

Photo Credit: Netflix

Everyone’s been asking friends what they’re watching, and “Netflix and Chill” has been replaced by “Quarantine and Chill.” Think of all the shows and films you were too busy to watch, and make a list with you boo, now that you have some extra time on your hands.

Netflix Party is the new hot date idea. There’s a Google Chrome extension for this feature, where you and your date can watch the same shows simultaneously. With Netflix Party, you can invite other friends, chat during the program or film, and push the pause button when you want to talk about it, or take a break to dine with your date in a video chat. It’s also a great feature for double-dating.

If you’re stumped on what shows to select, Entertainment Weekly published a list, including “Love is Blind” and “Isolation,” which both seem relatable right now.

5. Keep on Texting

flirt

Continuity is key, so sending a text in the morning to each other to check-in and show that you care is a great way to start the day. Texting helps you stay connected when you’re taking a night off from having a video chat.

Create a ritual by sending a fun video or meme to your date to brighten up their day, and make sure to use the wink emoji wherever possible. 

Remember to send a message at night before you go to sleep to leave your partner with thoughts of you in their dreams.

RELATED:  20 FLIRTY TEXTS TO CAPTURE HIS HEART

6. Ask Meaningful Questions

Question and Answers

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Getting to know someone, short of being in a deposition, is the fun part of being in a relationship. If you aren’t sure what to talk about that’s non-coronavirus related, an easy and bonding default is Arthur Aron’s list of 36 questions to help you fall in love.

If you’re not exclusive, head over the OkCupid app, where you can both answer thought-provoking questions to see how your match percentages add up. Since there are over 4,000 questions, ranging from politics to sex, you can spend months answering these questions to get to know your date better. 

Michael Kaye OkCupid’s Global Communications Manager sent me a list of some of the new questions added to their app, including: 

OkCupid Coronavirus

Photo Credit: OkCupid

  • What’s your ideal virtual date?
  • Would you say “I love you” to someone you’ve never met in person?

According to OkCupid, 25% of Millennial and Gen Z respondents have already been on a virtual date during this period of self-isolating, where the app saw an enormous increase (900%) in mentions of Coronavirus and social distancing in February and March. 

The And Card Game

Photo Credit: The Skin Deep

The Skin Deep has a collection of questions and answer cards for every relationship stage. I recently purchased both the Dating Edition and the Couples Edition from [The And], which are both good for dating with 6-feet of separation.

Each box comes with 199 questions about the size of a deck of cards, with enough to cover a month’s worth of dates. Also, they have a Long-Distance relationship version, which describes just about everyone’s relationship status during this quarantine period. 

Some questions include:

Dating: What would your ex say they taught you? and What’s an opinion you have that you rarely share?

Couples: Which one of my friends don’t you trust? and What would you do differently if we weren’t together?

7. Add in Music 

Coachella

If you love music and are disappointed you’ll be missing Coachella, plenty of artists are holding living room concerts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitch with your date.

On YouTube, they’ll be releasing a documentary, Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert on April 10th. Tagged as #Couchella, you can feel like you’re in the desert while watching from your living room at home. 

Paul McCartney released a playlist of his songs, which he said was inspired by home, family, and kindness. You can stream Sir Paul’s playlist on Spotify, or request songs on your Amazon echo that help you feel safe at home.

8. Go Museum Hopping Around the World

Passport

Photo Credit: Element5 Digital from Pexels

If you’ve ever dreamed of going on a romantic trip to Paris, now’s your chance to go to the Louvre or visit Hermitage in Russia without a passport.

From the convenience of your comfy sofa, you can view thousands of museums and art galleries together. If you prefer staying in the country, you and your date can visit the Guggenheim museum in New York or the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. 

9. Become Your Date’s Favorite Digital Pen Pal

Mobile Phone

While I’ve spent decades coaching singles on not becoming a digital penpal by encouraging them to meet offline, now’s the time to stay safe at home. By becoming your date’s steady pen pal, you can talk about the places you’d like to go, and dates you’d like to go on, when the coast is clear, and it’s safe to meet IRL.

Know that you’re in the same boat as everyone else right now, and the need to connect, form, and maintain a meaningful relationship is heightened. There’s no reason to let a hopeful relationship fade, just because you’re stuck indoors. Let technology be your best friend during isolation. 

Until then, I’ll see you in my digital dreams.

Need a little hand-holding? Ask me about the Cyber-Dating Expert Swiping Right Dress Rehearsal, where I’ll be your date before you go on your first virtual date. 

I’m Julie Spira, and I’m an online dating expert who’s been coaching singles on finding love online for over 25 years. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @JulieSpira and sign up for our Free Weekly Flirt

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Dating Safely During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Mar 5th

Corona Virus Dating

At Cyber-Dating Expert, we care about your safety. Safety goes beyond just meeting in a public place and having your own transportation.

Dating online should be an experience for you to grow personally, but also be a platform and environment for singles to feel safe.

With the serious concerns of the Coronavirus pandemic, most conferences and vacations are canceled or moved online, and just about every store is sold-out of hand-sanitizers.

I’ve been asked if meeting new dates should also be on hold.

Should you stop swiping and chatting on dating apps?

Do you really want to go to a public place with a stranger who might be sneezing into their meal? (No)

RELATED: Dating in the Age of the Coronavirus

If you’re swiping on Tinder, chances are you’ll see this pop up notice with safety tips, along with a link to the World Health Organization’s website.

Tinder recommends the following to their subscribers:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Carry hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Maintain social distance in public gatherings

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, awareness is vital, and plans do tend to change. Social distancing is the new sexy, and flirting in video chats are the new normal.

Here’s How to  Keep the Spark Alive

As it relates to matters of the heart, if you’re already coupled up, you might want to stay home and self-isolate with your date and binge watch a few shows. For those who haven’t met yet, I recommend using video chat instead of canceling a date.

RELATED: 7 Tips for Flirting on Dating Apps if You’re Not Meeting in Person

In an article in the March 5th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Rachel Wolfe interviewed me, along with dating apps and some users, about the trend of going on a video date before meeting in person.

A new Google Crome extension called Netflix Party will allow you and your date to simultaneously stream the same shows together, with a chat comment feature and the ability to click the pause button. 

Since I’m a technology enthusiast, I think using Facetime for a date, or in app video or phone features found on Bumble, Grindr, and Match and other dating apps to keep the digital spark alive.

And if you do have the common cold, do yourself and everyone else a favor, and stay home.

Since just about every store is out-of-stock of hand sanitizers, or people are selling bottles of it at outrageous prices, you can create a make-shift one at home using vodka or alcohol.

Remember, we need to make good decisions about everyday life, especially when meeting someone new, and the coronavirus is a reminder to take precautions to protect your health. 

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Cyber-Dating Expert Valentine’s Survival Guide

Feb 10th

Valentine's Survival Guide

It’s Valentine’s week, and if you’re scrambling to make last-minute plans, or you’re feeling the pressure of being single on Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone.

The good news is: Valentine’s is on a Friday night of a long holiday weekend, so you can celebrate the holiday on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and even on Presidents’ Day on Monday, where many can enjoy a day off of work.

Read: 5 Tips to Land a Date by Valentine’s Day

Plus, online dating usage tends to spike on Valentine’s Day, seriously. So don’t go MIA on February 14th if you haven’t snagged a date by the 13th.

According to Coffee Meets Bagel, signups on Valentine’s Day are higher than on Dating Sunday! Last year, CMB saw a 63% spike in new user signups on Valentine’s Day, with the most activity between 2am and 3am!

Plus, a new study from Pew Research reports that 57% of singles say they have had an overall positive experience meeting online using dating sites and apps. It’s time to grab your mobile phone, open a dating app, search, swipe, and remember that a confident person will ask someone out for Valentine’s Day, and accepting a Valentine’s date is a terrific idea.

With four days to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, here are some creative options that won’t break the bank and will keep you from hiding under the covers this week. From finding a last-minute date, to gift-giving, here’s my Valentine’s Survival Guide, as shared on ABC News.

Valentine’s Spending to Top $27 Billion

If you’re wondering what to get someone you’ve just started dating, you don’t need to go over the top. In fact, if you do, you might send someone running for the hills.

While WalletHub reports that 2020 spending for Valentine’s Day will be around 27 billion dollars, with 2.4 billion dollars being spent on candy, only 8% will be spending over $100 on romantic gifts.

The Valentine’s Spending Survey showed that 86% believe love is more important than money. Only 8% of women thought Valentine’s gifts were worth going into credit card debt for, so it’s the thought that counts. I recommend bringing a hand-signed card, some roses or tulips from the grocery store, or a Starbuck’s gift card with hearts, and don’t forget to say, “I love you” to your partner if you’re feeling the love.

Best Valentine’s Gifts for Women

Stumped on what to get her for Valentine’s Day?

Esquire came up with a list including flowers, a tea tasting assortment set for $60, to a Rent the Runway gift card for $50, so she can pick out a gorgeous outfit for date night, to the over-the-top big splurge of the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer for $399, because she secretly wants it, and it’s out of her budget.

Best Valentine’s Gifts for Men

It’s a myth to think that Valentine’s Day is just a day to celebrate women. Sure, men love the Super Bowl more than Valentine’s Day, but bringing a guy a gift shows that both of you know the importance of celebrating romance, regardless of your relationship stage.

New York Magazine suggests buying gifts on Amazon, and if you’ve got a Prime membership, you’ll still have time to order a gift to arrive on time. Some include soap on a rope for $28, to a wireless phone charger stand for $22, or a shiatsu back neck massager for $50.

Gifts for Every Relationship Stage

Whether it’s a first date or you’ve been coupled up for a decade or more, there’s a lot of confusion on what types of gifts to bring a date, if anything.

We tackled the various relationship stages from newly dating to going steady, getting serious to falling totally-in-love in this article.

Celebrate Galentine’s Day on Feb. 13

via GIPHY

Cosmo’s got you covered for Galentine’s Day on Thursday, February 13th, where 75% of single women will be celebrating Galentine’s Day.

Grab a group of your BFF’s, wear a sexy red or pink outfit, and head over to a happy hour to celebrate the gift of female friendships. It’s not only empowering, but your group might capture the eye of a single guy or two, and there’s nothing wrong with accepting a last-minute Valentine’s date.

If you’d rather embrace your single status, buy yourself a red cashmere sweater, or a bouquet of red tulips, because you don’t need to settle for just any date on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Dining Ideas

I’m a sucker for anything that’s heart-shaped, or says LOVE.

Fresh Brothers and Mrs. Fields Cookies – Limited Heart Shaped Gifts

Every year during Valentine’s week, Fresh Brothers Pizza serves a limited-time heart-shaped pizza, which you can pre-order. You can create your own with your favorite toppings, or choose from one of their signature pizzas to wow your sweetie. Plus, get a FREE Valentine’s Day pizza cutter with every Heart-Shaped Pizza order, while supplies last.

I have to confess, I ordered a large heart shaped chocolate chip cookie for my Valentine, so we can nibble on desert together, and they can be customized!

It’s a perfect way to stay in and stream some of the Oscar-nominated or winning films, while you nibble on this romantic delight.

Gift certificates for his-and-her massages are romantic, as well as tickets to a sporting event, concert, or play for you to attend together, so you can plan a future date.

Gen Z is Avoiding Valentine’s Day

A new study from EduBirdie shows 70% of Gen Z aren’t feeling the love this Valentine’s Day. 15% of Gen-Z surveyed shared that they don’t acknowledge the 14th of February as a holiday, with many blaming ghosting for their lack of interest.

In fact, Gen Z singles are avoiding the day entirely, with 75% of single women who will celebrate Galentine’s Day, or even getting together on Valentine’s Day to go to the movies, take a yoga class together, and just celebrate the friends that you love. 

Google Your Relationship Questions

Love is something we all desire, but it can be all-so-confusing. For many years, the top search term on Google was, “What is love?”

Analaysts at CenturyLinkQuote searched Google to view the latest relationship questions, and found that breakup questions and confusion questions of when to respond to texts from someone you’ve got a crush on are dominating the search engine giant. Other search terms include: How to get a date, to Am I in love?

If you live in New York, the most popular term was how to break up, and if you live in Alaska, the most popular searched question was How to Kiss?

This handy map shows the top relationship questions all around the country.

Don’t Let Age Get in the Way of Love

Online dating isn’t just for Gen X, Y, or Z. On Kiplinger, I explained the growing market of singles 50+ who are using dating apps. Age is only a number, and if you’re active and are looking for companionship, then you need to have a digital dating strategy.

Whether you celebrate Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s weekend, or Singles Awareness Day on February 15th, love is all around but starts with loving yourself. Reach out to a friend or family member and send them a Valentine’s Day card just like you did in grade school.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She was an early adopter of the Internet, and has been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years. 

FOLLOW @JulieSpira and  SIGN UP for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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California and Florida Rank as Top States for Dating

Feb 5th

Source: WalletHub

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, WalletHub has released their annual report with a ranking of the best and worst states for dating.

This map shows a view of the entire country, with the states with the darkest shade of blue being the best states overall for dating. If you’re wondering how each state was ranked, WalletHub breaks it down by category.

California ranked as #1 with the most dating opportunities and #1 in the most romance and fun category. Both Florida and California top the overall best list, so perhaps the abundance of sunshine brings the daters out in full force.

Based on dining options, California ranked at #1 with the most restaurants per Capita, followed by New York and Florida. The least desirable states for dining include North Dakota and Alaska.

Since most dates include some type of food or beverage, having a large variety of choice makes these states a winner for date ideas.

With the popularity of movie dates, it’s no wonder that California and New York are in the top 5 with the most movie theaters according to this research. Then again, a ‘Netflix and Chill’ state has no boundaries.

When it comes to online dating, California is still in the top 5 list, with singles looking for love online, but ranks lower than Washington, New Hampshire, Colorado and Utah.

Even though Tinder is based in California, Bumble is based in Texas, and OkCupid’s offices are in New York, somehow those states didn’t make it in the Top 5 list. However, Colorado is still a swipe-happy state, ranking at #2.

For more details on the best and worst states for dating, visit WalletHub, or watch this video below.

Happy Dating, wherever you may swipe or roam.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. As an early adopter of the Internet, Julie’s been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years with her Irresistible Profiles programs.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram.

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Tinder’s New Panic Button Will Help Singles Date Safely

Jan 23rd

Tinder/Noonlight Panic Feature

Dating app Tinder just announced a new safety feature which can be added to users’ profiles to report an unsafe dating experience in real-time.

The Match-owned Tinder app has partnered with Noonlight, where they will implement a separate feed for you to share your location on a timeline while on a date. With this feature, if you are in danger, you can hit the panic button, and confirm that you need help. This will alert local authorities to check up on you.

With dating safety and privacy being of great concern to daters, having this badge on your profile will alert a potential date to let them know you expect a safe dating experience.

Before you head out on your date, you’ll be able to add details of your plans, which will appear in your Tinder timeline. According to Match’s announcement, you’ll be able to represent that you could be in danger secretly by pushing a panic button.

This new feature will launch in January, first on Tinder, and then is expected to be added to other Match-owned sites.

However, If your date doesn’t look like their profile photos, or you don’t have chemistry, politely leave the date early, and thank them for their time. In cases like these, there’s no need to panic.

RELATED: Tinder’s Panic Button is Here to Help You Swipe Safely

Tinder’s Panic Button is Here to Help You Swipe Safely
I’m thrilled to learn of this big step to help singles feel safe on a date. It will be simple to report a severe or dangerous problem should it arise, and you can be assured, help will be on its way.

Julie Spira is an Award-Winning Dating Coach, and America’s Top Online Dating Expert. She’s been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter

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