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Peril of the Week – The Bad Date

What makes a date a bad date?

If you ask my friend and neighbor, ?Jennifer Kelton, she’ll point you to her terrific site?Bad Online Dates. On her site, you can post those dates you had hoped would go well, that ended in the category of a dating disaster. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we feature the Peril of the Week. This time, I thought I’d add in a personal story of my own, along with some dating advice to prevent you from ending up with a date gone bad.

Peril of the Week - Bad DateForgive my bad manners, but during my last bad online date, I sent a text message to Jen saying, ?Help! I?m on a bad date, but don?t tell anyone.? I received an immediate supportive response from Jen, which said, ?I just laughed so hard out loud right now! Are you ok? Other than the fact that you?re on a ?bad date.???She offered to help me with the ?family emergency? call and she let me know that she was there for me.??There?s nothing more powerful than your girlfriend network while you are going on a blind date.

Jen coined the phrase bad dates. She produces and directs Bad Date TV. I have a history of writing about my dates, both the good and the bad.
So what exactly defines a bad date and how do you prevent one from happening?

Let?s look at some ways to prevent yourself from a dating disaster so you don’t end up as the Peril of the Week.

1. Trust Your Intuition.?Don?t accept a date when the phone conversation doesn?t feel right. If you don?t have any phone chemistry at all or find yourself in an argument with your date before you even meet them, don?t schedule a date. You don?t need a free meal. If you put a date on the calendar, don?t feel badly about canceling. Why waste each other?s time?

My first conversation with my date was awful. We had two weeks of fantastic instant messaging chemistry.??On the phone, he kept interrupting me, arguing with me, and kept telling me how to run my business life, disagreeing with everything I was doing. He was right. I was wrong about everything, so it appeared. I couldn?t get off the phone fast enough. I should have canceled our upcoming date, but felt I was a woman of my word and should follow through. I needed to give him the benefit of the doubt. A woman?s intuition is very powerful. You should trust it. I ended up going for sushi with a man who attacked every statement I made. From arguing with me because I didn’t like to eat eel, to ridiculing me because I ordered hot sake. He insisted that cold sake was better. When I said I liked living near the beach, he complained about the fog layer. It went downhill fast. I wondered, ? Why did I subject myself to this??

2.?Take your date from online to offline as soon as possible. In my case, I had great ?instant message? chemistry with the date in question.??Since I had communicated with him mostly online, ?I broke several of my own rules of netiquette for online daters. I had a good excuse. I had laryngitis.

My date made several attempts to call and get together. I was unable to, but as he was supportive of my voiceless condition, including suggesting a Dr. who could help me, I began to feel more comfortable with this man whom I never met.

If you spend too much time online sending instant messages, ?text messages, and emails to someone, you can end up with a false illusion that you are in a relationship. You start to get attached. You are not in a relationship. You are talking to a computer with a photo, that?s all.

3. Never ever text message others while on a date (unless you want your date to end.) I always say, keep the BlackBerry and iPhone off the table. It?s not an accessory. It?s rude and sends a message that you are more interested in someone else other than your date. In this case, I didn?t care that I sent Jen a text. She needed to know. I knew I?d get sympathy from a friend who understood. I believe you should always check in with a friend when you are meeting a date for the first time. I call it the buddy system. If I was really that into him, I wouldn?t notice my cell phone, even if it rang.

4. Always meet your date in a public place and don?t drive together. When my date suggested picking me up at my home and driving for 45 minutes together on what he called a ?real date,? I knew enough to say no. I sent him a text that said I always meet someone on a first date and take my own car. If I had been stuck in a car with a controlling argumentative guy, it could have been a problem. I might have ended up on a street corner alone, looking for a cab back home. Better safe, than sorry.

5. Do your homework and study for the quiz. Online dating is a numbers game. However, the more organized you are, the more successful your date will be. In this case, my date thought I had never been married, forgot that I was from the east coast, didn?t remember what I did for a living, and didn?t really seem to care.??If you are on a date, make it personal and keep it light. Take the time to remember something your date wrote in their profile. Think of it like preparing for a job interview for your dream job. Would know the name of the parent company you are interviewing with? Would you know the name of the CEO or city of their headquarters? Did you find out how man years they were in business? Recognize their logo?

Add it all up, and it was a recipe for disaster, before I even arrived at the sushi bar to meet a 50-year old man who was wearing a dangling earring. ?It was destined to be a bad date.

So before you go on your next date, make sure you are looking forward to it, be on good behavior, do your homework, ask questions about the other person, take time to listen, and perhaps you?ll make a new friend, even if you don?t end up meeting ?the one.?

Julie Spira is a dating advice columnist and online dating expert. She is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at

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Peril of the Week – No Spring Fling, Just a VISA Please

Peril of the WeekA new online dater shared one of her recent stories about a hot date in the big city. She and her handsome date decide to meet at an ultra-hip sushi restaurant in the heart of Chelsea.

When her date walked into the trendy hotspot, she noticed something a little odd about him. He simply appeared too pretty, too well groomed, and too well dressed. Unlike her past boyfriends, who were handsome and defined the term “metro-sexual”, there was nothing about this date that didn?t appear manly.

Within the first twenty minutes of their date, as they exchanged small-talk, he set down his lychee martini and bluntly said, “Look, I’m actually gay and I’m searching for an American girl to marry. I?ll get my green card, you?ll get whatever you want.”

Looking back she wished there had been a video camera to capture the look on her face. She was confused, disheartened, and dying to laugh all at once. After telling him that she was definitely not interested in a marriage for convenience, he remained a gentleman and they returned to small talk for the rest of dinner, mostly about fashion. It wasn’t a complete dating disaster, but it was a night to remember.

She decided the lychee martini that he ordered that was a red flag, warning her that this handsome date was really not her type.

For consideration in the Peril of the Week, send your online dating stories to

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Peril of the Week – The Girl with an Extra Accessory

A gentleman recently wrote into the site to tell his story about a woman that he had met online who he really liked.

We all know that first impressions matter. ?One will notice your table manners, if you are sending text messages during dinner, or have your iPhone or BlackBerry on the table, it’s typically a turn off and could result in a bad date. All of these issues will make the difference on whether you will make it to the second date or not.

This gentleman had great phone chemistry with his date. He was looking forward to an evening of wining and dining. She apparently was on a strict diet of protein and salad. Although he preferred a more balanced meal, he accepted this….until, she took out a scale that had a rectangular plastic container that she put her salad in to weigh. He understood that she might have been on a diet, but thought she could have estimated its weight vs. actually weighing it in public. That was the end of a romance that could have been. He knew he should have been more sensitive, but wondered, couldn’t she just estimate how much to eat? He thought someone should give her some dating advice and leave the scale behind on her next cyberdate.

If you have an online dating story to share, we’d like to hear from you.

For consideration in the Peril of the Week, submit your stories to

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Peril of the Week – No Kiss, No Tip

Peril of the Week

I recently received an email from a woman who described in great detail a dramatic first date.

She and her date connected well online and decided to go to a local wine bar to meet for the first time.

Immediately, she felt there was a nice connection between them. As the glasses of wine turned into dinner, the evening got better. They shared delicious carcuterie plates and good conversation. When they started holding hands during dinner, she felt a second date was imminent. There was that chemistry and magic one dreams of having when they meet someone for the first time. At one point he leaned over to kiss her, but she demurred politely since it was the first date. He didn?t seem to mind her reaction.

At the end of evening, as he escorted her to her car, he bluntly accused her of being a woman looking for a free meal. He didn’t?believe she really wanted to be on a date with him.

He told her that he was ?appalled? that she didn?t offer to help pay the tip. To add insult to injury, he then said ?wow? in annoyed astonishment, turned his back, and walked away.

She was left standing in the darkness shocked, jaws wide open, and speechless.

She wondered, did this all happen because she didn?t kiss him and didn?t offer to help pay for dinner? He didn’t ask for her to contribute. If he was offended or if his expectations weren?t fulfilled in anyway, he could of at least expressed them in a polite and constructive manner. She will never know. She called to apologize for any miscommunication, but in the end she realized it just a bad date and not a match.

For consideration in the Peril of the Week, send us your online dating stories.

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The Peril of the Week – No Easy Rider

Peril of the Week

Imagine that you’re a busy executive looking for love online and you finally connect with a sexy lady whom you share many things in common such as riding motorcycles. This new date was indeed a true biker enthusiast, since right at the beginning she kept on repeating, “You know, there is nothing like a Harley.?

This was great for the guy who was the proud owner of a nice Harley Davidson VRod, one of the most classic and muscular models on the road. The Harley guy and his date were an item for two months. Things were going well–after all–she wanted a “sensitive, intelligent man but with a bit of bad boy…” and his Harley really turned her on.

One day the Harley owner decided to trade in his reliable, bike for a brand new Honda Goldwing, a high performing touring motorcycle. He didn?t ask for her permission or opinion. He pulled up proudly at his date’s doorstep to take her to a party. “When I arrived she looked at me like I had two heads” said the executive.

At the party the couple met a few other motorcycle enthusiasts and when the conversation turned to bikes, his date kept repeating, “There’s nothing like a Harley. There?s nothing like a Harley.” The executive got the message that his lady didn’t like the new Honda because the next day she was uncommunicative and stayed in bed all morning, despite his attempts to talk to her. Later when the new Honda Goldwing owner emailed her suggesting that maybe she needed a Harley guy, she eagerly agreed. The gentleman-biker was immediately dumped because he traded his Harley for a Honda!

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Peril of the Week – Hero in the Dog House

Peril of the Week - Hero in the Dog HouseA man enjoys being the hero in his woman’s life. When he lends a hand to help her and she shows her appreciation he feels good.

And so the story goes about a woman who was dating a man she met online. ?Every day he did something to impress her. When she was a damsel in distress, he was at her side offering his expert advice. In time, he became her hero and he was a happy man. He proudly nicknamed himself, HRH – Her Royal Hero.

Both appeared to be happy until that pivotal point in the relationship. The date when they finally wound up in the bedroom for the first time. All of their pent up tension that led to their first night of passion. He said it was good for him. She thought it was good for her. One would think flowers would arrive the next morning or at least a phone call. However, the morning after that momentous evening, he was no where to be found. No email, no voice mail, no sweet nothings. He simply disappeared.

She secretly wondered, did she rush in to it? Was he really a typical guy who vanishes after he scores? She got mad. While he still had a smile on his face from the evening before, she had no idea. He broke a cardinal rule and didn’t call her the next day.

Rather than crying over spilled milk, she renamed her guy from HRH to HDH–Hero in the Dog House. Did she hear from her guy? Eventually, yes, but only after she let him have it. Apparently, he was just busy and forgot to call. ?The moral of the story, if it’s more than a booty call and you really are interested in having a relationship with a woman you have slept with, ?make sure you contact them the next day with some sweet nothings. An email or text won’t suffice. It’s dating advice – 101. You’ve become intimate. Make sure she hears the sound of your voice, even if it’s only a voicemail.

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Peril of the Week – The Valentine’s Break Up

Peril of the Week - The Valentine's Break UpThere’s no good time to break up with the woman or man in your life. However, there are some SACRED days that one should respect when it comes to matters of the heart. These days include Christmas, New Year’s, Birthdays, and of course, Valentine’s Day.

We all remember that Jessica Simpson got dumped by football star, Tony Romo the day before her birthday bash. Romo didn’t want to be the “Ken” in her “Ken and Barbie” theme party.

Flash forward to Valentine’s week. A handsome gentleman was courting a woman that he met in an online dating site. He said he wanted to pursue a romantic relationship with her. He was smitten. ?He called her daily, told her she was beautiful, and made plans for future dates. Everything seemed to be going well and she expected an invitation for Valentine’s Day as he said he wasn’t dating anyone else. It appeared he was doing everything right.

Suddenly, one week before Valentine’s Day, he cancelled their plans for the weekend, without an excuse. He rescheduled for the following week–the week where you should already know if you are on the calendar for February 14th.

Then came the arrival of the e-mail breakup just a few days before Valentine’s Day. ?The one where he said, “Let’s be friends.”

The email message said, “As for us; I think we are in the friend zone as I am obviously not the man for you.? I?ll spare you all the boilerplate of what a wonderful person you are (although it?s true) but the simple reality is that I am not the man who will be able to provide you with happiness, joy and contentment for the balance of your long and very meaningful life.? What you are looking for I cannot provide and I?m sorry I?m unable to do so as I?m very attracted to you.”

Was it a polite pre-Valentine’s breakup? Sure. He could have just disappeared. The bottom line appeared, that he didn’t want her to be his Valentine. Happiness, joy and contentment forever? It was too soon to know that. Was it the pressure of the date? “It’s not you, it’s me” is old line.?She surmised that he found another Valentine and he just wasn’t that into her after all.

If you have an online dating disaster story to share, we’d like to hear from you. Send your submissions to Cyber Dating Expert

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Peril of the Week – Pizza Crust to Go

Peril of the Week: Pizza Crust to GoOne day I went on a date with a handsome attorney who took me to lunch at a local pizza parlor. While ordering the gourmet pizza of his choice, he requested that his pie be cooked very well-done. He explained that he didn’t like a soggy crust.

When his dish arrived, he ate a small piece. He frowned and announced that he didn’t like his pizza. He claimed it wasn’t cooked enough for his taste. The date called the waiter over to complain. The waiter assured him that he gave the correct instructions to the chef, but would be happy to have another pizza made.

When the second pizza arrived, the gentleman was pleased. He was no longer being subjected to eating a soggy pizza. He was now a happy diner. However,the waiter and the chef were not smiling.

As a courtesy, the waiter offered to take the price of the pizza off of the bill. This was above and beyond what was necessary. After all, the date did enjoy his meal. Why should it be free? ?At the end of lunch, the date requested a “to go” box to take the few remaining pieces of his pizza crust home in a doggy bag. He also requested to take the remains of my salad as well. He didn’t seem embarrassed at all to have asked.

Women just don’t find the practical side appealing on a first date.

Excerpt from the Internet dating book, ?The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online by Julie Spira.

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Peril of the Week – My Love is Blue

Peril of the Week

Peril of the Week

A gentleman was a member of several online dating sites. He met a woman online who lived 30 miles away. He was attracted to her photo, and decided to ask her out for dinner.

While perusing the menu, he suggested that they order pizza.

She replied by saying she doesn’t eat pizza. He then suggested a nice chicken dish. She told him she didn’t eat chicken. Apparently she only ate red meat, cheese, chocolate, bacon, and red wine. He was surprised at her reply and asked, ?”Do you eat fish?” “No,” she replied. He asked, “Do you eat lettuce?” Once again, she said no. “No broccoli?” “Never,” she replied.

Meanwhile her pager kept going off during their date, and he secretly wondered if she was selling drugs on the side. He also noticed that her skin had a strange blue tint to it.

It wasn’t a complete dating disaster, but apparently there was very little she could or would order on the menu. Finally, the blue woman said, she needed to leave. She had an medical emergency. When he asked what happened, she said that she worked in a psychiatric ward and helped children with eating disorders.

Perhaps next time, she should order broccoli. After all, green is in.

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Peril of the Week – Reading, Writing, Rudeness


Peril of the Week

My mother always taught me to be polite, even if I was on a date that I knew wouldn’t go anywhere. “You just never know what friends your date might introduce you to,” she would say. Even in a recent Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show, Shira Kallus, Relationship Advisor at told listeners to be nice and well-behaved on a date. She made a point of advising singles to think out of the box as your date might introduce you to your soulmate.

So, when later that day I saw an email from a man who viewed my online dating profile, who had no photo displayed on his profile, it was a bit suspect.

The subject of his introductory email simply said, “Nothing.” “Nothing?” I thought there could have been a better introduction.

When I read the body of his email, I was stunned. This total stranger, without a photo, decided to insult a woman who enjoys reading Vanity Fair. Perhaps he was having a bad day. He stated, “Your intelligence can be determined by what you read, and it certainly can be stimulated by penetrating reading.”

He added, “Vanity Fair is definitely not an example of profound literature, but it’s the only reading that apparently you’ve done recently and that you’re proud to share with others. I can’t imagine that your book has any depth if what you’ve been feeding your brain is essentially tabloid trivia.”

Tabloid trivia? Was his opinion the only accurate one? Did he know for sure that my favorite magazine was the only one that I had read recently? Have I been intellectually stimulated over the years by my favorite magazine? Absolutely. Was he not aware that I read the Wall Street Journal on occasion? Did he not know that I have an extra high IQ? Did he actually expect a response after insulting me? ?I’d love to take a peek at his Outbox as clearly his date card was not filling up. No photo, no manners. Next….

Julie Spira is a dating coach and author of the online dating book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at

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