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Match Says Goodbye to Screen Names. How to Change Your User Name

Match user namesIn a time where online dating continues to grow in popularity, the need for authenticity and honesty is something that daters continue to dream of.

To help you with your search, will be saying goodbye to your old screen name and you can now officially use your first name on your profile. As we can see from mobile dating apps such as Tinder and other sites, singels actually like to see your real name on a profile.

In thinking back to my first user names, I wanted to have a bit of anonymity and used “Pianobaby” as I played a baby grand piano and “HarleyQT” as I loved riding on the back of bikes. I felt they were a good representation of my personality with the hopes of finding someone else who was passionate about music and motorcycles.

Starting today, you can change your screen name to your first name. According to the Match blog, If you’re first name is Sarah, Michelle or Lisa, chances are you’ll get more emails from men. For the guys, if your first name is Mike, Steve, or Dan, you’ll have a greater chance of receiving an email from the ladies.

How to Change Your User Name on Match

If you’re ready to retire your screen name now, log on to your Match account and go to Account Settings to change your Match username to your actual name. You can also also change it using the Match app on your iPhone.

To celebrate this right of passage, Match would like to hear your horrible usernames– because let’s face it, everyone has had one. Tweet @Match using #RIPMatchUsername and they’ll pick their favorites to win a free 6-month membership.

Are you ready to change your screen name?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been helping singles find love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles coaching programs. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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Dating Exclusively With an Active Profile Online?

Ask the Cyber-Dating ExpertIn this week’s “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert,” a reader who’s in a 6-month relationship is frustrated that her steady boyfriend still wants to keep an active online dating profile up. Should she tell him to take it down? Is she really in an exclusive relationship? Does this relationship have a chance?

Here’s her question.

Dear Julie,

I’ve been seeing this person for around 6-months now. When we first started interacting I was informed he was on a dating website.

In my mind, it sounds like a hook-up or one-night stand type of site. I was fine with that because we had just met and I admired his honesty. Well now, we’ve been discussing being together long-term and moving the relationship forward from just seeing each other to more of a commitment, which is good.

The only issue is he still feels the need to stay online! His excuse is, “I’m an attention seeker and maybe I have a problem. And if ‘you’ want me to stop I will.”

Julie, I haven’t been in a serious relationship in over three years and that’s by my choice. I haven’t stumbled upon anyone I could genuinely be happy with. This one though is different. I was thinking I truly made him happy and he did the same for me. Apparently, I don’t think that’s the case. And what I’m not going to do is tell him I want him to be off the site and then months or weeks later find that he’s hiding his profile. I believe happiness should flow. Am I overreacting? What should I do?

6-Months and waiting.

Dear 6-months,

I’m sorry you’re going through this kind of pain and I can assure you, that you’re not alone with your concerns.

I can guarantee you that if you feel this way after six months of being in a “committed” relationship, that you will feel even worse after the next six months on your one-year anniversary together. Can you imagine yourself loving your guy, talking about the future, moving in together, and then while he’s sleeping checking to see if he has a hidden dating profile on the site? Do you really want to enlist the help of your friends to spy on him? Do you really want to be with an insecure man who has the need to be loved by other women when he’s falling asleep in your arms every night? This, my friend is heavy drama and isn’t love.

READ: To Take Down, or Not Take Down Your Profile

When a man truly loves a woman and wants to call her his own, he plans a future, will let her know he’s exclusive, will take his online dating profile down,  and permanently retire his Tinder app in a digital second.  He won’t let another man will steal his girl away from him.

READ: How to Delete Your Tinder Account

I have a problem with ultimatums in relationships, but I do believe that honesty and communication are everything. Kudos to your guy in being honest and admitting he has a profile up.  Chances are his need for attention goes deeper than his love for you and probably goes back years-and-years before he ever met you. If you love him, ask him to go to counseling for this and offer to go with him as a couple. This way you both are investing in your future.

I’m not one to toss a 6-month relationship away, but no person should be made to feel like they are an option when they are talking about the future with someone they love. Let him know he makes you happy and that having an active dating profile up makes you uncomfortable. Ask him how he’d feel if you had a profile up as well and LISTEN more than talk.

READ: Help! My Boyfriend Won’t Take Down His Tinder Profile Down

If he agrees to take the profile down and work out these issues together, you could have a chance of happiness. If you believe he’s fooling around on the side and actually have proof, send him packing, put your own profile up and block him so you can move on.

You’ll know pretty quickly if you’re the one, or just the one for now.

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

Do you have a dating dilemma? Send your questions to “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert” here.

READ: Does it Matter if We’re Facebook Official?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating, having  created her first profile over 20 years ago. Today, Julie and her team create Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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8 Reasons She Didn’t Reply to Your Text

Ask the Cyberdating Expert Radio ShowHi Cyber-Dating Expert,

Recently I met this girl and she gave me her number.

We started texting and calling each other. Then I called her one day and we talked for about 30 minutes, so I thought everything was great.

One day later I sent her a text and she didn’t write back (one day has passed since I texted her).

My question is should I text her back again or should I just forget her?

Read: Does Texting Make Your Dating Life Crazy

Dear Texting Guy,

To text, or not to text. That is always a big question we get from our readers who anxiously wait by their phone counting the digital minutes and seconds waiting for the chime sound of a text reply.

Take a deep breath. It’s only been one day since you sent a text that didn’t result in a reply from your new digital crush. While texting etiquette, or our Rules of Netiquettestate that you should reply within 24-hours to a text and most daters think any text that isn’t responded to in four hours means someone isn’t interested, often there are other circumstances which prevent a text reply right away.

Read: 5 Texting Tips to Help Improve Your Relationship

You see, lots of things can happen when you send a text. Here are a few reasons why she might not have written back.

1. Her battery ran out.

2. Her phone was turned off.

3. She was on an airplane or in a bad cell reception area.

4. She was at a movie or out with friends and decided she’d get back to you later and just forgot.

5. She’s playing hard to get.

6. She’s not interested in you romantically.

7. She’s got a boyfriend.

Of all of these scenarios, you can look at the first few and realize she was just busy and try texting her again. If she’s involved with someone, you’ll probably find out soon enough.

The point is, we can value ourselves based on a text message that wasn’t returned. What you can do is send a short, flirty, and fun text a day or two later saying, “Hey.. How’s your day going?” This low pressure text message which asks a question might result in her getting back to you and your banter can continue.

Video: Is Texting Preventing You From a Real Life Relationship

What I don’t want to see you do is text her 4, 5, 6, 7 times in one day, because as a guy, it’s your job to make her feel safe to be around you. If you continue to text her without a reply over-and-over again, she might block you or think you’re overanxious, or worse yet, may even think you’re a stalker.

Don’t be that guy, because every woman wants to be with a confident guy. We don’t like game playing when it comes to text messages, and genuinely love to hear from you, so stay on the digital radar. You can take it one step further and actually call her if you have something fun to invite her to.

Read: He Texts Me Daily. Are We in a Relationship?

Do you have questions about your digital love life or need dating advice? Send your questions to

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twiter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Is Your New Boyfriend Ghosting?

GhostingMany of you have been through this frustrating scenario.

You meet a guy and the chemistry is off the charts. You exchange numbers and start texting regularly. You get in a groove, start dating IRL or just have a regular daily text exchanges and POOF after a few weeks or a month, he disappears without warning.

Ghosting, the cowardly phenomenon where a woman or a man go from really into you to disappearing completely without an explanation is something I’m getting more and more emails about every day.

Harriet writes:

I have been on ten or more dates with this guy. We both agreed to see how things go. We both admitted we are into each other and we are not dating other people, however- we are not exclusive.


He had suddenly pulled away without warning after consistently talking for 6 weeks or so.

I am in agony right now as everything was going so well. I know men lie, but why did he tell me he saw a future with me when he didn’t mean it!?

READ:  What to Do When He Pulls Back

My Dear Harriet:

In the world of dating, it takes time to get to know someone.

Six weeks can be a typical time for someone to decide to move a relationship forward to become exclusive.

I’m so sorry that you’re in pain, but did he really lie? He was feeling good about the relationship in the early honeymoon days so he projected to the future because if felt good.

You both decided to give it a shot and for some reason he wasn’t sure. You say you weren’t exclusive, which allows both of you to keep your options open. Now I haven’t spoken to your guy so I don’t know if he pulled away because he was getting too close or pulled away because he met someone else.  He may have unilaterally decided that the two of you didn’t have  enough in common to take it to the next level. He may have been hung up on an ex, not ready, or gone back with her. You didn’t say if you slept with him or not. There are to many unknowns here.

My best advice is to move forward with your life and start dating again. You might be surprised to find someone you even like more than the guy who did the pull-back.

However, you should know that sometimes guys need their space. They go into their caves to think and need time to decide if they miss you or not. It’s true that men miss you when you’re apart. The worst thing you can do if this is the case, is to chase after him wanting an answer, closure, or call him a liar. He was feeling it then. He isn’t feeling it now or may be confused.

Just live your life and be open to meeting someone else and realize that this is the typical course of dating. If he comes back, it means he took the time to think about a deeper relationship with you. If he didn’t, it was a six-week casual relationship. Think about it. You might have been the one after six weeks that had a change of heart about him!

Sure it stinks when someone disappears and you’re a victim of ghosting. It’s wrong, but very common these days. People don’t like to have a confrontation so they ghost. Keep me posted and do something special for yourself. Exercise or go to a movie with a friend.

By the time he comes back, if he comes back, you might no longer be interested in him.


Robin writes:

Dear Julie,


I’ve been seeing this guy for three weeks now who I met online and we’ve gone out about 5 times. He seemed to be really interested in getting to know me and he sent me texts every day. Suddenly out of nowhere the texts came to a screeching halt. Not one phone call, no explanation. I guess I’ve been ghosted, but why?

My Dear Robin:

Three weeks is nothing in the dating world. If you met him online, chances are he’s still dating online and you both have active Internet dating or mobile dating profiles. He was probably playing the field, while you put all of your eggs in one basket.

If he’s going to ghost you (and boy do I hate when that happens), I’d rather it be sooner than later before your heart was completely invested. Chances are he met someone else or even already had a girlfriend when he first started contacting you and was testing the water. We unfortunately live in a world with too many options these days. One uncertainty leads to logging on to a Tinder profile.

Sure an explanation would have been good, but in today’s digital world, texting plays a huge part in the courting  process. Since he didn’t send you a text to say, “Sorry, I don’t think we’re a fit,” he just may plan on reaching out again in a few weeks after he sees what else is out there. Hopefully by then, you’ll have met someone and won’t have any interest in the disappearing ghosting guy.

Keep me posted.


Have you ever been ghosted?

Send your dating questions and share your stories at

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Need help with your Tinder profile? Find out how our Swiping Right program will help you find your dream date.



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How to Delete Your Tinder Account

TinderIn this week’s Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert column, a reader has a huge dilemma.  Her partner thinks she’s looking for other options on Tinder, when she knows she hasn’t been using the mobile app.  Did she get busted or did technology get the worst of the situation?

Read on….

Dear Julie,

We moved into a house together and we met via Tinder.

He received a message from his friend saying he saw my Tinder account saying that I was active three days ago. It was a shock to my partner and myself as the day I was ‘supposedly’ on Tinder was the day I spent four hours driving around and moving into the new house and the rest of the day I had a dead mobile phone due to using all the battery on the GPS.

Is there any type of way that my Tinder profile could say I was active when I wasn’t using it as it is quite hard to prove that I was not on it?

The Tinder app was uninstalled on my phone months ago and I have not downloaded it recently, so I am wondering if there is any way that something could have happened to make it ‘active’ when I had not used it? My partner and I had had a few fights last week but as I explained to him when we have arguments I straight away confront him and try to sort it out on the spot so we sort it out and don’t have to be angry or upset. He believes me because he knows that is what I do and that I’m not the type of person to go and download a dating app due to a few small fights. So I am in need of some help with explaining how my profile was active when I wasn’t using it. I know I didn’t go on it and he also believes me but we do both think it suspicious that my tinder account says it was active 3 days ago.

Hi Jasmine,

I’m sorry for your Tinder dilemma, but am glad to hear you met someone special on their mobile app.

Having a partner think you’re looking for options when you’re moving forward in your relationship can make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Often mobile apps run in the background on different mobile phones.

As I don’t work for Tinder, I don’t know exactly what happened in your case.

If you removed the app from your phone, it’s still considered an active app and you will appear in searches as a potential match.

The only way for you not to to appear in a search, is if you completely deactivate your Tinder profile. Removing it from your phone just isn’t enough.

Remember, if you permanently delete your account, all of your matches and communications will disappear. In this case, it’s probably a good thing.

I think both of you should go through this exercise together in an effort to move forward in good faith.

1. Download the Tinder app again on your phone.

2. Open the app and click on the gear in the upper left hand corner.

3. Click on “App settings.”

4. Scroll down and click “Delete Account.”

5.  You’ll see a message that will say “Account successfully deleted.”

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

Do you have a question for Cyber-Dating Expert Julie Spira? Send your questions to

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and helps singles by creating their Irresistible Profiles. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for online dating and mobile dating advice and join in the conversation for #DateChat on Thursdays at 5p/PT, 8p/ET.

Need help with Tinder? Check out our Swiping Right service to maximize your Tinder profile and experience.

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Her Guy Pulled Away. What Should She Do?

Ask the Cyberdating Expert Radio ShowDear Julie,

I’ve been seeing this guy for 3 months and everything seemed to be going great. He’s very affectionate and talked about his feelings openly with me. On the other hand, I always have a hard time expressing my feelings. On New Year’s Eve, he was telling me how he felt about me and asked me about how I felt as well, but I couldn’t give him a definite answer.

He introduced me to his friends and some family, however since New Year’s he became very distant. He was always the one calling me and has pretty much stopped. I’ve tried to initiate talking to him since then, but he started acting cold.

Now a friend of mine found him on Tinder and I’m devastated. Do you think he’s a player? What do I do? He hasn’t tried to contact me since either. Please help.


Hi April,

Thanks for your sending in your question.

The three month mark is a pivotal point for many relationships. Often it’s the time when a couple who has been dating decides to take the relationship to the next level, to see each other exclusively, and even start referring to each other as “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.”

The fact that he spent New Year’s Eve with you tells me that you are important to him. If he expressed his feelings favorably and didn’t get any positive feedback from you, chances are his ego was hurt and he might assume you aren’t on the same page and don’t feel the same for him. If this is the case, I wouldn’t call him a player. I think he gave the relationship a shot for three months and didn’t believe you felt the same way about him. It could have shattered his self esteem and ego and he might want to find an emotionally available man.

When a man opens up to a woman about his feelings, he’s opening up his heart and puts himself in a vulnerable position. If he even says he thinks he’s falling in love with her and asks her how she feels about it, he’s hoping to hear that she feels the same way.

Depending on how often you were seeing each other, three months is a significant amount of time for a couple to decide if they want to be exclusive and take the relationship to the next level, often typically for another three months to see how things will be at the six month mark.

If he’s acting distant, know that his feelings were probably hurt. Think about it this way. If you told him that you loved him and he couldn’t say it back, how would you feel? Chances are you might start pulling back or even look at other guys who you think are emotionally available and are ready for a relationship. This is probably how he is feeling.

If he stopped calling you completely, he might think it’s over between the two of you, or he might just want some time and space to see how he feels. I wouldn’t chase him as it would push him away more.

A lot of guys are on Tinder, but that doesn’t mean he’s dating anyone else. He may just be viewing profiles to compare the other women to what he had with you, while he’s sorting it out.

Unless you’re prepared to give him the answer that he wants, which is that you feel the same way about him, calling him really won’t be beneficial. Think hard about why you want to be with him. If you think it was a really special relationship and have strong feelings about him, you need to let him know. If you’re feeling rejected that you aren’t hearing from him, but don’t know how you feel about him, then let him go and find someone who wants to have a relationship.

Know that everyone goes at a different pace. In the future if a guy asks you how you feel about him and the relationship, always be honest. If you think you’re feelings could be growing, let him know that you hope to catch up to him and are enjoying getting to know him. This will keep him interested in you.

It appears to me that he got rejected by you and now you’re feeling rejected by his distance. Write down all of the things you liked about this guy and write down the things you didn’t like about him. Review your list and if you think this is someone you really want in your life, give it a little time and then text him and ask him if he’d like to meet you for coffee or write him a letter and let him know that it’s just harder for you to express your feelings than it is for him, but that you’d like to give it another shot.

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


Do you have a dating question for Julie Spira? Send your questions to

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Ready to jump in to online dating? Find out how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.

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Top 15 Questions for the Online Dating Expert at Match Stir

Cyber Dating ExpertIt was a busy night at the first mixer of the year in Los Angeles with for their new members to mingle, get photos, and ask me any burning dating questions they had to make the most of their membership during the busiest month of the year, January.

Held at The Phoenix in Beverly Hills, over 100 singles lined up to get their profile photos taken and to find out how they can be more successful with online dating.

Here were some of the top questions single men and women were asking. We’ll be answering them one at a time in upcoming articles on

  1. Should women be initiating contact with men?
  2. How should I begin with online dating now that I’m widowed?
  3. How many pictures should I be posting on my profile photo?
  4. How long should my emails be? Should I reveal all about myself?
  5. I come across as very direct in my profile. Is that scaring men off?
  6. I don’t like texting and won’t text during the day. The guy I’m dating is annoyed that I won’t respond. What should I do?
  7. I haven’t had a date in 3 months on Match. Am I playing too hard to get?
  8. My screen name is my first and last name. Is that ok?
  9. I had an email exchange with a guy four times in one day. I’m not writing back to him, even though it’s my turn. If I do, will I appear needy?
  10. I’m new to online dating and already had two bad dates. Should I give up?
  11. What should I write to a woman to get more responses?
  12. How much should a man reveal about his occupation?
  13. Which photos should I include in my Tinder profile?
  14. Why aren’t women writing back to me?
  15. How long should I wait to ask for a commitment?

To start with, let’s answer the first question that multiple women had asked. Some of them were traditional with old-fashioned values and didn’t believe a woman should initiate contact with men. While these women were attractive, they weren’t filling their date cards and were not utilizing all the simple features to maximize their time on Match.

You need to be engaged in the process and an active participant

Here’s the thing. The more engaged you are in the process, the more successful you will be in meeting quality people and turn your dating life into a rewarding relationship. I say, don’t wait. Initiate!

My first recommendation is to log on daily and review your daily matches that the site selected for you. Don’t just click yes on the green icon, but take that extra step and send an email, as Match reports he’ll be 15 times more likely to respond to an email. You can view his photos and profile before drafting your email. This way you can make it more personalized. Remember to keep your emails short, no more than five sentences, and ask a question. Refer to something he said in his profile and click on send.

Match email

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of writing to your daily matches, take it a step further and look to see who has viewed you and then do your own search. Stick to the formula of five sentences in an email, make it personalized, refer to something he said in his profile in the search column, and start sending emails every day.

Remember, men get frustrated when they send out lots of emails and don’t receive many replies. Your email will stick out and he’ll be flattered to see it in his inbox.

At the end of the digital day, the more engaged you are in the process, the better your experience will be and you’ll be able to take your online relationship offline.

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

Do you have a question for Julie Spira? Send your questions to

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Dating Advice – How Do You Know if He Likes You?

Ask the Cyberdating Expert Radio ShowDear Julie,

I have a question about whether this guy I’m interested in actually likes me.

First, let me set the scene for you.

I met a guy who I instantly felt a connection for. Initially there were some flirty texts going back and forth and I found myself getting drawn in very quickly. I was actually concerned that I was getting too attached.

I also noticed that he would be quite flirty with others and this made me anxious. I know flirting is a common thing, but does this make him a player? He also sent me email messages telling me that he loves me, but I think I may have misunderstood his intention.

So, I called him on the flirting thing and he responded with, “I get it.” I’m not sure what that means. I’m also not sure how to proceed with this man.

Do you have any thoughts?

~Frustrated texter.

Dear Frustrated texter,

Texting plays a huge part in the digital dating game.

Many guys flirt with text messages for en ego boost or just to have fun. Since you don’t fit into the girlfriend status of this flirtatious guy, it’s most likely that you’re one of many girls that he likes. If you were dating exclusively and he was calling you his girlfriend, than sending flirty texts to other women would be a form of emotional cheating in my opinion.

But let’s get back to your question of does he like you? It would appear that he likes you and he likes others. Since I don’t know if he’s taken you out on an official date, it’s hard to figure out if you’re in digital dating rotation or you’re still in the friend zone. In the pre-texting days, guys would often see a pretty girl and smile at her and say hello. Remember guys are visual and this is actually a normal form of behavior for a man.

Unless your guy is sleeping with you and others that he’s texting, I doubt he’s a player, but one who likes to have his ego stroked.

Before you put all of your eggs into one digital basket with this guy, just stay friends with him. When a guy says he loves someone, often it means he loves hanging out with someone or even would love to sleep with them. If he says I’m in love with you and you’ve been dating exclusively than that’s another story, and one to take seriously.  From what you’ve written, it doesn’t even sound like you’re dating. So before you say “I love you” back and shed your clothing, just look at him as a flirty friend, date others, and see if he’s interested in dating you. If you get to the point of becoming a couple, just let him know that flirting with others via text when you’re exclusive is something you’re uncomfortable with. If he continues to do so, then maybe it’s time to find another guy to have a crush on who will make you his one-and-only.

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

Do you have a dating and relationship question for Julie Spira. Send your questions to

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, at and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.


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What Gift Should I Get My New Girlfriend for Her Birthday

gift giving for new relationshipsGift giving when you’re in a new relationship can easily move your status to “It’s Complicated” if you aren’t sure what to do.

Overwhelm her with 5-dozen roses on a third date will send her running for the hills. Giving her a card and a box of pharmacy candies may put you in the dog house. What should one do?

A recent gentleman wrote to me needing help on selecting a birthday gift for his new girlfriend of two months.

He met her on OKCupid and she actually sent me him an email first, which was rare for her and somewhat out of character because she admits to being shy.  The funny thing is, if he came across her profile he would have considered her “out of his league” and probably wouldn’t have contacted her .

Read on.

Hi Julie,

I’m 2 months into a relationship with a great woman (seeing each other now 1-2 times a week). My birthday was last week and I mentioned that I don’t usually make a big deal about it. I was sick, but she brought me soup and two cupcakes because “she wasn’t sure what my favorite flavor was”, I loved the sentiment.

My question is; Her birthday is next week and I’ve found a reasonably priced necklace ($80.00) very similar to one on her pinterest board and from a store she’s mentioned regularly. I’d love to get her the necklace along with the obligatory nice dinner, but I’m worried about making her feel awkward about the expense. Any thoughts?

The New Guy

Hi New Guy!

Thanks for your email and congratulations on your new relationship.

Birthdays can be stressful and confusing early on in a relationship.  If someone shows up with a card and candy, it might not be viewed as very romantic or thoughtful. If someone goes over-the-top and buys something extravagant, it can cause an unneeded pressure on the woman.

I think your suggestion of dinner and a necklace that looks like one you’ve viewed on her Pinterest board shows her that you are paying attention to things she likes (not many guys take the time to look at their date’s Pinterest boards) and adds a personal touch, since it shows that you listen to her when she mentions stores she likes. Because the gift is under $100 and within your budget, it isn’t over-the-top and I’m sure she would appreciate it, along with a romantic dinner to celebrate her special day.

I don’t think she’d feel awkward at all, but she’ll realize that you’re someone worth having in her life because you made the gift about her and not about yourself.

On a personal note, when I was at the 2-month mark with my boyfriend, he had the same dilemma. He didn’t know what to get me as a gift, but knew he wanted to do something special for me. Excited about our new relationship,  he selected a necklace with a mutual friend whom I had mentioned I really liked. The best part is that he picked it out on his own and loved it too!

It was a silver key on a chain, which is a popular look now. He selected a very simple one, not one filled with diamonds and I still cherish it today as something personal and intimate.

I think you’re right on track and your new girlfriend will be happy with the way you celebrate her birthday together. I know you think you’re a lucky guy to have found her, but she’s a lucky girl as well.

Keep me posted.

Wishing you much love and joy,


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Online Dating: Should I Ask a Woman Her True Age

Online Dating and AgeDear Julie,

I have an online dating question and would love your opinion on this recent emailed dating exchange of mine, on OK Cupid…

Me: How old are you really? :) (Does anyone here tell the truth about his/her age? I mean, besides me.)

Her: How old am I really? I won’t read into this, I’ll just go with it: I’m really not whatever it was I said I was, ha! My photos are recent; age is not something by which I live my life; and I often get mistaken for my daughters’ sister when we’re out together. I don’t look 26 but I don’t look or live like I’m the 50-something I copped to in my profile.

(How’s that for evading the answer? :) Her profile says she’s 51, but she obviously is not comfortable revealing her exact age to me. Should I drop it or press it? Is it too sensitive a topic to expect the truth, even if I myself am truthful? I’ve met women before who’ve revealed they’re as much as 15 years older than the ages they’ve indicated on their dating profiles. And I’m not comfortable or sufficiently evolved enough to date someone who’s 66, even if she is mistaken for her daughter. Thoughts?)

Here’s my take on his dating dilemma.

Women are often very sensitive and about their age and will lie about their age to fit into a search on their Internet dating profiles. Call it a double-standard, but they expect the man to be honest about his age.

Most women won’t even engage in conversation when questioned and will evade the subject. They’ll get offended if you ask what her age is, so I’d say it’s an off-limits subject early on.

When a man used to ask me about my age, I would smile and be coy and say, “It’s not polite to ask a lady her age.”  This practice goes back to early etiquette days,  long before online dating became part of everyday life for singles. Even my grandmother wouldn’t reveal her true age when asked.

Know that physical attraction and chemistry are important. Either a guy will be attracted to someone’s actual photos or to the woman when he meets her in person, or he won’t. I say you should never judge someone by their age and respect her desire to be private about her age until she is comfortable in sharing it. Many women past the age of 40 believe they need to lie about their age to attract a man. They realize that men are interested in dating younger, at least while searching online.

I think your potential date was being polite and sweet by saying, “I’ll just go with it.” If her photos are recent it should be enough. She obviously wants to continue to communicate with you and tried to set a boundary where it comes to age.

Think about how disappointed you would be if you were really attracted to someone, thought you both had a lot in common, had a friendly banter via email, and a phone call or two. It looked promising until…. you asked her if her age was accurate. She gets upset, cancels the date and you never meet.

Often if you meet someone out at a party or gathering and strike up a conversation, you won’t ask her what her age is, because it doesn’t matter. I’m not promoting lying whatsoever, as I encourage everyone to be honest about their age. If they fudge, I recommend they post something in their profile or at least tell someone on the first date the truth.

My best advice is to drop the age question. You don’t know that she’s 66 and you don’t know that she’s 55.  You just know that you might be interested in her and are curious about her real age. If you meet and connect, eventually she’ll tell you the truth about her age. If you’re smitten with her, you won’t mind if it’s 5 years more than you had originally thought. Give her a chance and if you think she’s pretty, let her know. Women love to be flattered and don’t like to feel like their being interviewed or in a deposition.


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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and like at on Facebook.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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