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Ghosting: The Cultural Phenomenon in Dating

Ghosted

Whether you’re swiping left and right on a mobile app or meeting IRL through friends or co-workers, when it’s time to call it quits, couples are changing their relationship statuses by disappearing entirely.

Being ghosted is the coward’s way of breaking up.

Singles are finding ghosting the easy way out. Technology that connects us to find love can disconnect us in a digital split second. One day you’re talking about the future lying naked in bed with your boyfriend or girlfriend and the next day you’re blocked on social media and texts come to a complete halt. Confused by this disappearing act, you find your texts are getting ignored, your phone is blocked from receiving your calls and it appears like they’ve moved to another country or into the arms of another without the decency of a proper ending.

As technology affects all aspects of relationships, I have found myself becoming a ghosting or ghosted expert with the barrage of emails from heartbroken singles wondering what they did wrong to push someone away without the formality of a breakup conversation to get the closure they so desperately need.

According to online dating site PlentyofFish’s survey, 80% of millennials admitting to have been ghosted, or being the ghoster. The trend is rising daily among all demographics. Here are reasons why singles are ghosting big time and what to do instead.

1. You’re a Coward. Gone are the days of “post-it” breakups and even email breakups. You know it’s uncool to play Casper when it’s not Halloween, but you don’t have the guts to tell him or her it’s over. Pull up your big boy or big girl pants and do the deed in person if geography allows. You might get a slap on the face or a confrontation you’d prefer not to have, but have the convo. It might be possible to salvage your relationship through healthy communication, or end on mutual terms.

2. You’ve Met Someone Else. If you’re relationship has been on a downhill slide, you’re probably open to meeting someone else. Often there’s double-dipping involved and there could be an overlap that your new squeeze and old squeeze don’t know about. Tired of living a double-life and rather than coming clean (which means yes, did you sleep with someone else?), you ease into a new relationship and ease out of the one you were in by going MIA. If you think your relationship is over, don’t stay in it for the sex. Make a clean break in person, via phone, anything except disappearing into the arms of another, as your soon-to-be ex will see new photos on Instagram and Facebook and you can expect some nasty texts to appear on your smart phone from someone scorned and publicly humiliated.

3. You’re not Feeling It Anymore. You’ve gone through the motions, have met each others’ friends, talked about being exclusive, and then commit to being monogamous. Maybe he or she was a great kisser and your texts bordered on sexting, but once you slept together, it was plain bad. There’s more to the relationship than sex only, but if you can’t imagine seeing them again after oh so boring sex, you ghost. Not nice. People get nervous the first time they have get naked together. The pressure is on big time. Don’t make it about being incompatible in bed. That’s the worst kind of pain after your partner bears their heart, soul, and body.

Read: Ghosted for the First Time

4. You want to Play the Field. Beginnings are exciting. The first text, the first kiss, the first weekend away, yes, butterflies still exist and everyone is on good behavior. You’re having so much fun with your steady squeeze until you realize that you’re attached, when you really prefer to be single. You decide that the grass is greener when you’re attached and want to fly solo. When you’re solo, you think the grass is greener and want to be in a relationship. Meanwhile, your significant other didn’t do anything wrong. You truly like them, but the shiny new feeling wore off and there’s another cute smile flirting with you right now. What do you do? You get out of the digital handcuffs, disappear and don’t explain that you aren’t interested in spending the holidays with his or her family.

What to do if your significant other ghosts you

1. Don’t Send Repeated Texts that Get Ignored. One-way texts are humiliating and the are self-inflicted digital pain. Staring at your phone waiting for his or her reply can become obsessive. Turn your phone off and go to a movie with a friend, take a walk, do anything but press the send button on another text. If the person you were involved with doesn’t have the balls to end a relationship with a conversation, don’t stalk them online or offline to get closure. It will push them away and it will confirm their thoughts that you’re  a crazy ex.  Go no contact ASAP and text a friend or me instead of your lost lover.

Read: Is Your New Boyfriend Ghosting?

2. Give the Ghoster Space. Sometimes a person just needs a break. When someone tells you they want a break, the initial reaction is that it’s a breakup. After all “break” is the first part of the word, right? Give your Ghoster a few days to sort out their feelings, have some space to think about life without you and they may return. They don’t even think they’ve ghosted you, but you’re hurting big time. The best think you can do for yourself is stay busy with your friends while your ghosting lover is thinking it over.

3. Let him/her Go. People who ghost know it’s not the right thing to do, but everyone else is doing it and it’s become so easy, so why not follow a trend? If someone you were involved with finds you to be that disposable, give them a one-way ticket out of your life.

Ghosters have a habit of not ending it formally, because if their other options don’t work out, they want to have the opportunity to return. It’s not a love hiatus when it’s not mutual and it’s fine to call a ghoster out on their behavior. If he/she ghosts you once, you’ll get ghosted again. Don’t become that person in rotation.

4. Don’t Take it Out on The Next Person. Just because you’ve been ghosted, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable and you should ghost the next person you meet. Treat others the way you want to be treated and let’s stop all of this ghosting once and for all.

Have you been ghosted before? How did it make you feel?

Your comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and is the CEO and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. Julie was an early adopter of the Internet and has been coaching singles on finding love online and on their mobile phones for over two decades. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

What Happens to Relationships When Summer Ends

text end of summer on beach

Summer Love Affairs

From teenage crushes to boomers with empty nests, something odd happens around Labor Day weekend for many relationships. When you hit the 3-month mark, the honeymoon phase, it’s common to see a shift. It may be a tell tale sign that your relationship can’t go the distance, or you just might be getting tested for the next phase.

For those flying solo, the end of summer can be a reflective time thinking about your relationship status as you head into the holiday season, kicking off with Labor Day.

When summer is over, wardrobes change in closets, the temperature starts to dip, and inevitably a summer romance, one that went from Memorial Day to Labor Day, often runs its course. It’s often a time where relationships fall by the wayside. Before you call it quits, read this entire post to determine if your relationship is worth saving. If you’re already single, then I have good news for you. You’ll be in good company with many others who are looking for someone just like you and this weekend will be hopping digitally, big time.

Also, with students leaving for college, some students will find themselves in a long-distance relationship, which has its own set of challenges.

Single parents with children going back to school, will find their calendars split between parent-teacher meetings and filling up their date cards. It’s a new season, so get ready for the ride.

If you’re logging on to dating sites more often this weekend, you’re not alone. Sunday will be a peak day of the holiday weekend for new sign ups and log ins for singles who’d like to change their status to “In a Relationship” before the year is over.

Does a Change of Season Mean Your Relationship Has to End?

With the change of seasons, how do you know if you can handle a long distance relationship this fall? If your significant other is still in town, how do you know if your passionate summer love was just a fling or the real thing?

If you notice your relationship is tapering off as we lead into Labor Day, should you part ways as friends now that summer is over and wish each other well, or sign up for another season of love? These I can guarantee you are questions that you will be asking yourself. I suggest you take the time to really think about the next relationship stage.

Related: How to Handle the Dreaded Pull Back

The Four Seasons of a Long Term Relationship

I’ve always said that long-term relationships should go through multiple seasons to determine if you’re compatible with your significant other or not. Yes, winter, spring, summer and fall. All of them, each with their unique beauty and differences can help you pass the test of time.

First Three Months

As cliché as it sounds, we know there is some validity to the three-month honeymoon phase. At first, you’ll find everything about the other person to be exciting. It’s like having a first crush all over again. From giggles and hiccups to their exercise regime, you just suck it all in like a sponge that won’t dry out in those early days, especially in a summer romance. All those cute text messages are becoming part of your daily regime. It gives you a high just to hear the customized sound of your partner’s text tone.

When these relationships peak in the summer, it’s often hard to tell whether it’s lust or love with all of the outdoor heat, but oddly, as the summer ends, it’s not unusual to start receiving less text messages from your beau, or to want to spend more time with your friends instead. The days in between getting together seem to be getting longer while the days start to become shorter. The routine of your love life just isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

Months 3-6

During months 3-6, the “imperfect stage,” don’t be surprised if your single friends see your steady sweetie’s profile reactivated online. He or she may just be fishing to see who else might send a text or email, even if they aren’t setting up any dates. Then a Facebook check in mysteriously appears when someone is supposed to be home sick and boom, they’re busted and you’re in tears. During this phase, you should be enjoying time with each others’ friends and family to see how everyone fits in, or not.

If you can relate to these feelings or sequence of events, the problem may not be with the calendar, but more often-than-not be related to serious commitment issues that one of you may be struggling with.

The next think you know, someone isn’t sure if they’re feeling it anymore. Rather than be honest about the relationship, they’re cultivating conversations on Facebook with high school or college pals to create distance, and the trust dissipates. It’s the beginning of the end and it hurts big time.

Weather changes, months change, routines change and even those relationships with the best of intentions run their course. At the end of the summer, it’s like the end of the calendar year. People reevaluate their relationship statuses and decide whether to renew for another three months.

Related: What to Do When He Pulls Back

By months 6-9 and 9-12, you’re probably in a committed relationship. You’ve defined the relationship and might even talk about moving in together or the future.  This doesn’t mean you won’t feel a shift at the end of the summer. It might be just a bump on the road, but it’s a time to review your relationship status and see if you’re on the same page.

What to Do if Your Summer Romance is Fading

If you feel a distance growing between the two of you, this is what you need to do.

Have the conversation first with your partner sooner, rather than later.

Don’t toss away the relationship so quickly. Acknowledge all of the amazing things you’ve done together as a couple and honor the memories you’ve shared. Ask the other person if there’s anything they can do to keep the relationship alive. Space apart isn’t the end of the world, or even the end of your relationship. Often someone needs some time to miss the other and pulls back to regain their sense of self and individuality.  Remember, bumps on the road are an opportunity for personal growth within a relationship, and are not necessarily the beginning of the end.

Say goodbye gracefully.

If at the end of your conversation, you feel you aren’t compatible or if someone has already strayed, wish each other well before you start logging on or swiping right on your mobile apps looking for a replacement.

If it’s really over, it’s important to mourn the loss of your relationship, because your friendship, bond and the daily connectivity will abruptly end. Trying to get together immediately as friends during this emotional time is not a good idea. It will backfire. There’s no such thing as a mutual breakup where everyone is happy. One person might think it will lessen their guilt. I’m here to tell you that it won’t. You fell in love with someone for a reason, not a season.

Related: Time to Let Go of Your Ex

Take a breather and make time for you!

If you find that your summer love has ended, don’t reactivate your online dating profile or mobile dating apps for at least a week. Sure it’s great for your ego to get people lining up to meet you for dates, but it isn’t fair for someone new not to get the best version of you. Dating while you’re still pining away for your ex can increase your sadness. You’re a walking-wounded person and it’s healthy to take a break.

Can you Really be Friends with Your Ex?

Some people stay friends with their ex’s and have no problem with it, but I can tell you it doesn’t happen seamlessly and instantly. My ex-boyfriend is one of my best friends, but it took time to get to that point and we had a serious talk about boundaries. Also the guy I originally wrote this article about three years ago just sent a text over Labor Day weekend, after disappearing many years ago.

After enough time has gone by and you both have moved on with other relationships, it’s possible to be friends with your summer romance in another season, but in my experience, you truly need at least three to six months to segue a romantic relationship into a real friendship (without benefits or jealousy).

But then again, do you really want to be friends with someone who broke your heart?

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

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.

They’re Engaged! – Steven and Melissa

They're Engaged - Cyber Dating ExpertMeet Steven and Melissa who met offline, but quickly fell in love and started seeing each other almost every day. After a month and a half of dating, Melissa ended their relationship, thinking he might not be the right person to be a father figure for her three children. Steven was heartbroken.

To make matters worse, Melissa ghosted Steven and stopped returning his calls and texts, unfriended him on Facebook and went her own way.

Steven was convinced that she was ‘the one’ and reached out to us while looking for a dating coach and expert to help get his girlfriend back. While no one can wave a magic wand and make someone return to their ex, we knew we could take a stab at it and came up with a strategy in our Irresistible Dating Coaching program for Steven to give it one last try.

Flash forward three months and the couple got back together and Steven proposed marriage to Melissa. Melissa said YES!

We are so thrilled to have helped this couple reunite after the ghosting episode and they are excited about their future together.

In Steven’s words, “Everything is wonderful and I want to thank you for everything. We’re madly in love and I couldn’t be happier.”

Congratulations to Steven and Melissa on your engagement. We wish you much love and joy in this new chapter of your life.

For dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Find out how our Irresistible Profiles and Irresistible Coaching programs will help you find your dream date.

 

Why WhatsApp is Making Singles Anxious

Mashable Logo

Recently we wrote about non-traditional dating apps that were used to find a date.

When Rachel Thompson from Mashable asked me to weigh in on the anxiety singles were having staring at their SO’s ‘last seen’ timestamp on WhatsApp, the popular messaging app purchased by Facebook for $19 million, I wasn’t surprised.

In her article, The One WhatsApp Feature Can Make or Break Relationships, Thompson took a deep dive into the activity and hearts of singles wondering if their boo was cheating on them, or to check on someone who might have ghosted them. Ouch, it’s a digital pain that stabs at our hearts.

Some singles were staying up until after 3am to see if the person they’ve been dating was awake texting someone. What they knew for sure, is they weren’t the recipient of sweet nothings late at night, or possibly at all that night.

Thompson even spoke to an attorney who was president of the Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers who said, “WhatsApp messages sent by cheating spouses play an integral role in 40% of Italian divorce cases citing adultery.”

I told Mashable, “the incessant checking of the ‘last seen’ timestamp should sound alarm bells in your relationship, regardless of what you find.”

“If you don’t have trust in your relationship both online and offline, then then it’s not a healthy relationship and you should think about calling it quits instead of staring at his or her ‘last seen’ timestamp.”

Related: Online Dating Anxiety Disorder: Is it Worse During the Holidays?

via Giphy

via Giphy

Where staring at the timestamp becomes a problem, is when someone stalks an ex, is unsure of their relationship status, and these days, more frequently if they’ve suddenly been ghosted and don’t know why.

This feature, where you can check up on someone to know there digital whereabouts, helps people stay connected, but It can become very obsessive and isn’t limited to just WhatsApp. Some are checking the last online status on online dating sites such as OkCupid or to see if they have a green button on Facebook chat.

Related: Rules of Netiquette: To Snoop, or Not to Snoop

This need to cyber stalk gets worse when the person you’ve been checking up on decides change their privacy status to hide their last seen feature, or even takes it a step further and blocks you. Ouch, again.

Still, the need to peek can become addictive and it can negatively affect a relationship when one jumps to a digital conclusion about the relationship status solely bases on online activity. It appears WhatsApp is now responsible for many breakups.

Are you gazing a little too often at the timestamp feature on WhatsApp?

Your comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet and mobile dating apps. Julie has been coaching singles for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles programs.

For more dating advice, sign up for the FREE Weekly Flirt newsletter and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

National Get Over It Day: Time to Let Go Of Your Ex

LogoWhether you’re stuck on an ex, upset with your significant other, or still hurting from a recent breakup, it’s time to get over it.

March 9 is National Get Over It Day, so it’s the perfect time to let go of any anger, disappointment, hurt, rejection, or stress in your life – all of which can be caused by holding on to the scattered remains of an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

If you’re worried you might be the only one to ever get hung up on an ex, you’re not alone. National Get Over It Day was created by Jeff Goldblatt in 2005 after he was having a lot of trouble getting over his ex-girlfriend.

How can you get over your ex?

At Cyber-Dating Expert, we’re here to help with these 5 tips.

1. Spend Time With Friends

You may think being alone is the best way for you to deal with your feelings, but isolating yourself will only make it worse. Get out of bed, get your hair and nails done, go on a hike, and be with those who love you, regardless of your relationship status.  Acknowledge that you have feelings you need to talk about and ask a friend or your girlfriend network if they can spare some time to hear you out.

Related: 7 Signs the Way You’re Dealing With Your Breakup is Unhealthy

2. Find New Hobbies

Being active so that you’re not alone with your thoughts is important, but finding new hobbies and activities you can enjoy on your own is also a good idea. Instead of focusing on the things you did as a couple, find activities you can do on your own or with a close friend. Check out events on Facebook or MeetUp if you get stuck, but get out of the house to get over it.

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3. Stay Off of Your Ex’s Social Media

Checking up on an ex is the one way to ensure you won’t get over them. There’s nothing wrong with seeing how they’re doing, but checking up on them constantly after a recent breakup has the potential to become obsessive and prevents you from healing. Facebook now allows you to minimize the feed of your former flame, without having to unfriend or block them.

Related: Facebook Eases the Digital Pain When You Break Up

4. If It Still Hurts, Go No Contact

Maybe you and your ex decided to stay friends and it’s too hard on you, or maybe they feel as if they really hurt you and keep checking in to make sure you’re okay out of guilt. This can potentially hinder your healing process, and if it does, let your ex know and ask them to stop communicating with you. Sometimes you have to cut someone out completely and go NC depending on the circumstances. It’s okay to block your ex if they persist on speaking with you, even if you’ve asked them not to do so.  Just tell them you’re doing it to avoid creating any more drama around the breakup.

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Giphy

5. Don’t Hide Your Pain

A breakup can be one of the toughest emotional hardships we go through. Don’t try to stifle your emotions. It’s perfectly normal to feel hurt and to spend time grieving over your breakup. The sooner you deal with your emotions surrounding the loss, the sooner you can move past it. They say time heals all wounds. While this is cliche, there’s nothing further from the truth. We’ve all been there and it really hurts, but know that it’s temporary. Who knows what the next chapter will unveil? It’s true that when one door closes, another opens.

Related: Dating Expert Guide to Breaking Up

Can’t figure out what you need to get over it? Goldblatt says “just ask your friends what they’re tired of hearing you complain about.” Yes, your friends will tell you the truth. Then, take the time to go online and dip a toe in one at a time. Someone special just might be waiting to meet you. When the time is right, you’ll know.

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

twitter - Julie SpiraPerils of Cyber-Dating Audio Book CoverInstagram Julie Spira

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert, Mobile Dating Expert, and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating, and  was an early adopter of Internet dating, coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years. Find out how Irresistible Profiles will help you fill your date card to find your dream date.

Sign up for the free Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice delivered to your inbox, along with the 7 Secrets to Finding Love Online.

 

Dating Expert Guide to Breaking Up

The Digital Breakup

It’s no secret that January has been known to be breakup month. It’s a New Year and a time for couples to decide whether to move forward or not before Valentine’s. As a dating expert, I’ve worked with couples who said, “Let’s get through the holidays and see how we feel.” Others feel that Valentine’s is around the corner, so they hang in there to see how it goes. Many couples couldn’t decide whether to call it quits in the love department. Many didn’t survive the holidays and it really hurt.

With the new year, singles and couples tend to evaluate the health of their relationships and if they want to sign up for another year, or longer. Some relationships which were in limbo, ended during what seemed to have been the worst time of the year. But lets, face it. Is there ever a good time to break up?

When you see your friends change their Facebook statuses to “In a Relationship” or “Engaged,” you’ll either suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or FOGO (Fear of Getting Out).

Now that I’ve filled you with acronyms that might hit a digital nerve, a New York Times article by Aimee Lee Ball lists a variety of breaking up mobile apps that will help you dump your not-so-significant other.

As painful a breaking up can be this time of year, know that it’s also time for new beginnings. This is peak season for online dating and many terrific new singles will be joining Internet dating sites in big numbers.

READ: THE BUSIEST DAY FOR ONLINE DATING IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 3rd

The Dating Expert Guide to Breaking Up With Grace

Before you push the send button or ignore his or her texts, read these tips on how to end the relationship without a digital twist.

1. Be sure it’s what you want to do. Once you start the ball rolling with “I’m not feeling it any more” conversations, it’s hard to take it back. I recommend making a list of what you like and don’t like about your current steady sweetheart and see which column is longer. Seeing your deal-breakers in black and white takes the emotions out of a premature breakup.

2. Talk it over with one friend. Find your closest confidant (just one) and discuss your feelings with him or her before you do the deed. Show your friend your list and ask them if they think you’re overreacting to his nail biting habit or her obsessiveness with texting during a date. Some things are deal-breakers. Others can be saved with a healthy conversation.

3. Ask permission to talk about your relationship. While you may be angsting that your relationship is on its way out, your significant other might things are going well. You know how to schedule a date. Now it’s time to schedule a conversation when both of you are present and prepared to talk. Blurting out that you’re not happy the day before his or her big presentation at work would be a huge mistake. Don’t let your emotions get ahead of you.

4. Ask your partner to make a list. Let your significant other know what’s on your list and start off by telling him or her what you like most about them and your relationship. Compliment them on the way they’re a great parent, or admire how loyal and devoted they are to their careers. Let them know the things that have upset you about the relationship and then STOP and LISTEN.

5. Don’t go “ghosting.” While it’s common and the easy way out to ghost or disappear by sending texts less frequently to eventually going MIA, it’s not the right way to end a relationship. If you were comfortable enough to sleep with him or her, you should find it in your heart to be comfortable enough to have the convo. Don’t pull a disappearing act.

6. If it’s over, it’s over. Lots of couples say they need a break, but let’s face it, a break is often just a breakup waiting to happen. Going from being someone’s steady squeeze to suddenly being one of three on their weekly date card won’t make both people happy. Insecurity will emerge and both of you will wonder what the other is doing when they’re not with you. While it’s true that giving your partner space is healthy in a relationship, instead of smothering him or her, if the space is permission to paint the town red and post it on social media in the arms of another, it’s going to go down badly.

7. Unplug from each others’ social media accounts. In my blog on The Huffington Post, “It’s Not Complicated: How to Handle a Breakup on Facebook,” I wrote about the new Facebook tools, which allows you to see less of your former flame, by preventing his or her status updates and posts to appear in your feed and helps you easily untag yourself from photos of the two of you together. I suggest you read it and make the decision mutually as to whether you will unfriend each other on social media. Staring at his Instagram feeds and monitoring her check-ins will make you sick, online and IRL.

If you’ve invested time in a relationship with someone, remember to treat them the way that you’d want to be treated. Have the conversation in person and not via text. I know it’s the easy way out, but some day you just might become friends with your ex, or even end up across the desk from them in a job interview or sales pitch. Always take the high road, even if you’re feeling low.

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

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice and if you need some extra hand-holding, learn how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. Julie’s a  frequent guest in the media on the topics of online dating and mobile dating apps and will help you find your dream date with her Irresistible Profiles programs.

Boyfriend is on Tinder. Should I Break Up

Boyfriend on TinderEvery week I seem to get asked a similar question from a woman whose boyfriend is still on Tinder wondering if they should break up.

Here’s Nina’s story.

Hi Julie,

I have been dating a guy for 3 months now and just this morning we had a conversation where I asked him if this is what he really wanted (committing to being in a relationship with me), and he said, “Yes, this is what I want. I love spending time with you, I love how you make me feel (…)”.

I created a fake tinder profile a couple of weeks ago and swiped right on him. To my dismay, I just checked it and he had matched with “me” (picture and name of a different person, hence the fake profile) 9 hours ago (this morning right before our conversation.

My question now is what to do. I don’t feel I can trust him now as he had before said he was not talking to or seeing any other women. I feel a little betrayed. Should I confront him about this and tell him how I found out, or let it slide, or break up? Honestly don’t know what to do.

Nina

Should She Break Up With Him?

Dear Nina,

I’m sorry you’re going through this relationship anxiety with your boyfriend. This is the top question I get from female readers. (See the other links in this article from other women). They find out their boyfriend is on Tinder and want to dump him or don’t know what to do. I appreciate your honesty on how the past month has developed with your boyfriend. Let’s talk about a few things. I’m here to help you, but this is going to be tough love my friend, so get ready.

  1. You’ve been in a relationship for three months.

Three months is still new for a relationship. It’s the honeymoon stage, where everything is fresh and exciting. It’s the perfect stage, as you haven’t moved into a routine. Many relationships breakup at the three-month point, as some people only like the beginning stages of a relationship and don’t want to get serious. From where he sat, he probably enjoyed dating you and hadn’t moved to a more serious stage yet. He wanted to look at options.

  1. You asked your boyfriend if he wanted to be in a committed relationship.

You were happy enough with him to want your relationship to be exclusive. You asked. He answered. He might have told you what you wanted to hear, but he didn’t come out and ask you first to be in a committed relationship, although he said he wasn’t seeing anyone else.

Chances are he wanted to see where the relationship was going to go and got caught up in the Tinder swiping game. It happens a lot. If you’re sleeping together, he also might not want to give that up. He’s a guy. It’s how men are wired. You also don’t know if this morning when he said he loved how he felt with you, that he had swiped for the last time and was ready to delete his Tinder account, right?

RELATED: HELP! I FOUND MY BOYFRIEND ON TINDER

  1. You created a fake Tinder profile after 2 months.

In all honesty, this is where the problem started. There’s a saying, “Seek and ye shall find.” Why did you create a fake Tinder profile to try to catch him? Probably because you weren’t sure he wanted to be exclusive with you.

Let’s talk about trust. It works both ways. You felt insecure about your relationship status early on and didn’t trust him. You wanted to catch him and behind HIS back, logged on as a fake person to see if he’d take the bait. It worked, he’s busted and now you’re unhappy. No guy wants to feel like his girlfriend is checking up on him, even if it’s innocent.

I’m not sure if you met on Tinder and if you took your profile down and he didn’t, but at two months, he probably wasn’t ready to be exclusive, or he would have said so. When a man wants a woman to be his, he does what it takes to make her is girlfriend. That includes taking down all dating profiles in good faith to see where the relationship will go.

The moment you think someone’s cheating or looking elsewhere is the moment you realize something isn’t right. Rather than seeing where your relationship would go over time, you tried to catch him, and you did.

  1. Tinder is a dating site with many users who aren’t single

Here’s a shocking fact. A GlobalWebIndex survey found that that 42 percent of Tinder’s members are already in relationships. Think about it. Almost half of the users are playing around on Tinder. Some are swiping only. Others are chatting only. Many are meeting and hooking up. Your boyfriend may be one of those 42%.

It would be one thing if someone in a relationship was on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram all of the time. They’re social networking sites. Many people are finding love on social media, but Tinder is a dating (and even known as a hookup) app. If you’re in a relationship and someone is active on a dating app, guess what? It’s wrong. I don’t care about the percentages, it’s wrong, period. Having an active profile on Tinder when you’re in a relationship tells the world that you’re single and looking. From your boyfriend’s perspective, he thought he was single and was keeping his options open. He also swiped on your fake profile before you had the conversation.

I understand that some guys and women too, like the validation they get when someone swipes right on their profiles. It’s a digital ego stroke. I also know that Tinder is like a game and people like to see who is out there and swipe right and never speak.

The problem Nina is something’s off in your relationship. You weren’t on the same page at the same time. If you trusted him, you wouldn’t have created a fake profile after two months. You know that a relationship is based on mutual trust. Without it, it cannot survive in the long haul.

RELATED: HELP! MY BOYFRIEND WON’T TAKE HIS TINDER PROFILE DOWN

  1. To Break Up, or Not to Break Up

I can’t tell you to break up with someone if you think he’s your soulmate. Something is missing in your relationship if he feels the need to communicate with women on a dating app. Something is also wrong in your relationship if you feel you need to check up on him. Something is wrong if he’s not happy with himself and needs the validation. The bottom line is, something is wrong.

He says he’s happy and loves spending time with you, which is probably true. But he’s also happy swiping right on Tinder.

I know if it were me, I wouldn’t put up with it. It’s a deal-breaker. I’d want to be in a relationship built on mutual trust. I can’t say if it’s a deal breaker for you, but as soon as you tell him you’ve busted him with a fake Tinder profile, or make up a white lie and say that someone found him on Tinder, I guarantee he will break up with you. You’re asking me if you should break up with him. I think you know the answer. The trust isn’t there.

So you can continue to be quiet and log onto your fake profile to see the exact moment he last logged on and make yourself sick in the process, or try to find someone who will think you’re amazing enough to ditch the dating apps to be in your arms. The choice is yours. I can only hope that you take your fake profile down and never create another one to try to snoop on a guy you really like.

I’m sorry you’re going through this now, but being on a dating site when you’re in a relationship is disrespectful. So is trying to catch him with a fake profile.

My best advice to you is as follows: The next time to have trust in a new relationship. Let it unfold naturally. Men don’t like being with an insecure needy person. If you felt the need to snoop, it was doomed.

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

RELATED: DATING IN A TINDER WORLD

Do you have a dating question for Julie? Send your questions here:

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating and Mobile Dating Expert. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. For more dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Cosmopolitan – Deadly Breakup Obsessions – Julie Spira

Cosmopolitan

We’re jumping for joy at Cyber-Dating Expert Headquarters to be featured on Cosmopolitan this week. We know breakups really suck. We know we can’t help but obsess about our ex, especially if they’ve already moved on with someone new.

Still, in order for us to move on to find a healthier relationship, we’ve got to stop thinking about him or her, knock them off the pedestal, because there is a reason you broke up, right?  It’s time to fall in love with your self, mourn the loss and we’re here to help you.

Many thanks to Frank Kobola from Cosmo who reached out to include is in his article, 7 Signs the Way You’re Dealing with Your Breakup is Unhealthy.

If you’re taking your breakup too hard, read these tips so you can speed up your recovery.

From reaching out to your girlfriend network to support you without draining them, to stalking his or her Facebook and Instagram accounts, Frank’s article gives you all the ammunition you need to wash your ex out of your life.

Full article on Cosmopolitan.com

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

 

Breaking Up: 12 Signs You May Be Getting Dumped

Is flirting online considered cheatingMost of us go into relationships with the best of intentions. We put our best feet forward in the first few weeks or month with the anticipation that the relationship will continue to grow and go the distance.

We introduce our partner to our friends and family hoping to get the vote of approval. Often we share our dreams for the future, plan holidays and vacations together, and learn the fine art of compromising in a relationship, because we know it’s worth it.

Sometimes outside influences can attack our relationship resulting in the inevitable bumps on the road. It’s at these times that we look at our partner and either deal favorably with conflict resolution, or sadly our ego sometimes gets in the way and we end up heading for a fall.

From financial issues to family stress, the romantic gestures from an outsider at work to juggling the schedules of children, or even job pressures can affect the best of relationships.

Here are a few tips to know if you’re relationship is on its way out, or if it’s just a pull back or bump on the road that hopefully will become a distant memory.

  1. They stop sending regular text messages. If your significant other used to start his or her day with a good morning text and good night text, but those have disappeared, chances are the relationship could be fizzling out.
  2. Phone calls are reduced. If your significant other usually calls you routinely on his or her lunch break, while driving home from work, or before bedtime when you’re not together, and the calls have been reduced to once a day or a few times a week, your sweetheart may be disengaging from the relationship.
  3. Pet names disappear. He or she goes from affectionately saying, “It’s me” to leaving messages with their first or full name, assume the familiarity and romance are on their way out. Affectionate pet names are part of a relationship. It’s what makes you unique as a couple and puts a smile on your face.
  4. Plans are made without you in mind. If your normal routine is to see each other a few times a week and on weekends and suddenly your significant other would rather go out for drinks with friends and go home alone instead of into your arms, assume they are creating more distance and are open to the possibilities of meeting someone else.
  5. Future talks are put on hold. If you had been discussing living together or even planning a vacation six months out and now you’re not sure when you’ll be getting together in the next few days, your relationship suddenly might become a short-term affair, and not with someone who wants to go the distance anymore.
  6. Sex dissipates. Having a healthy sex life creates bonding in a relationship. If your boo is having doubts about the relationship, often sex is the first thing to go. When your sex life goes from “hot” to “not,” there’s a possibility your partner is detaching from the relationship.
  7. PDA disappears. If you’re the kind of affectionate couple who holds hands in public and loves cuddling at night and suddenly you find yourself sleeping on your side of the bed, there could be trouble in paradise. If the welcome home kisses are no longer part of your regime, it’s a sign that your relationship might be falling out of the love zone.
  8. Grooming habits change. From getting a Brazilian bikini wax to sporting a new hairstyle, joining a gym, or starting a new diet, when your significant other starts to change their looks and takes more time to focus on their appearance, they might have someone in mind other than you.
  9. They become attached to their phone. If suddenly your sweetheart is staring at his or her text messages, keeping their phone uber-handy, and staring at Facebook instead of focusing on you, you’ve just become lower on the totem pole than his or her smart phone. If they go into another room to secretly respond to a text or a phone call or turn their phone upside down so you won’t see who’s texting or calling, there’s probably trouble in paradise.
  10. Titles disappear. While titles are usually more important to a woman than to a man, if you’ve been introduced as the girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner and suddenly you’re being introduced as, “This is Janie,” there could be trouble on the horizon or you might be moving into the friend zone.  Read: Why Won’t He Call Me His Girlfriend
  11. Reactivates their online dating profile. If you’ve met online, but unplugged your profiles to be exclusive, don’t be surprised when one of you starts fishing to look for Plan B. Typically before a breakup, someone may like to view their options before making a clean break. Read: Gone Fishing, or is it Over?
  12. You’re thinking of breaking up. If the thought of breaking up is on your mind (if you’re reading this, that’s probably the case), you’ve put together your pros and cons list about your relationship or are think you might need some space, chances are your sweetie may be thinking the same as well.

What should you do if you can relate to most of these items on this list? Before you toss your relationship away, understand that feelings can fluctuate, but if the flow has been disrupted by most of these relationship issues on this list, you might be headed for splitsville.

Read: What to Do When He Pulls Back

Before you pull out the tissue box and think it’s over, take the time to talk to your partner about how important they are in your life. Acknowledge there’s been a shift in the relationship and ask them if there are any outside stressors that could be affecting the two of you. One of you might still be brewing about something that happened over a month ago and perhaps an apology needs to be made if your partner is feeling resentful about something or misunderstood.

Acknowledge how affectionate you used to be and let your partner know that you miss those warm and fuzzy happy times and would love to get back on track. Take the time to listen to your partner’s concerns. If you truly think this is a relationship worth fighting for, let your partner know that you don’t want to make an impulsive and abrupt decision that you might regret. Ask how you can help bring back the romance in your life.

If your partner just isn’t feeling it for you anymore, don’t fight it. Thank them for the memories and start the healing process. I know it hurts to have another failed relationship, but I also know that there is someone special out there waiting for you. You just haven’t met him or her yet.

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 dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Holiday Dating Online: Does It Make You Anxious?

ODADIt happens to the best of us. You go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas to see friends and family, only to be questioned about your relationship status. From “Are you seeing anyone special?” to “How’s your love life?” These are common questions that cause many singles to pull the covers over their heads. Others are being smart about it. They’re logging on for love to find someone to keep them warm during the holidays, or perhaps even attend a holiday party with.

Still, I know how tough it is at the holidays being single. I’ve been there. I’ve watched the posts from others on Facebook who are shared their coupledom with everyone, from kissing under the mistletoe to the eight gifts on Hanukkah, which just magnifies how tough it is being single at the holidays.

Here’s a survival guide to help you through the holidays, online and IRL.

Anxiety over your relationship status during the holidays is common. Add a digital element to it of being connected via email, Facebook, or Twitter and it’s magnified big time. Online Dating Anxiety Disorder (ODAD) is overwhelming. While it isn’t a clinical condition, most singles are now members of more than one dating site. Those who suffer from ODAD know that horrible feeling they get when they push the send button too fast to reply to his or her email and then wait by their computer or mobile phone for the reply to come in. When you have ODAD, you’re a member of so many sites, you can’t remember where you met the date you’re about to have dinner with. Text messages become a part of your dating regime and if the time in between the texts is over four hours, you start to feel anxious and catastrophize.

It can be confusing to hear someone say, “It’s Doug from PlentyOfFish, um, no I mean Match; actually, it was eHarmony right?” This is not how you viewed your first conversation with your soul mate would be, right?

When you suffer from online dating anxiety disorder, you typically log on after a great date to see who else has written to you instead of going to sleep with a smile on your face from a fabulous date. It’s a condition that many suffer from and don’t know how to get out of the downward spiral, other than to unplug and deactivate for a day or two.

If you’ve recently ended a relationship with someone you’ve met online, it’s more likely than not that you’ll be taking a peek at his or her profile to see their online activity. It’s natural to be curious, but it’s a habit that I urge you to break.

It’s also breakup season

Since the famous Facebook breakup chart was released a few years ago, the trend of breaking up during holiday season became a known fact. Digital snooping is also on the rise, especially during the holidays. It brings out the worst in us. At Plenty of Fish, they surveyed over 9000 of their users between the ages of 20 -40 to find out what their holiday dating habits were. POF found that 82% of the women were actually checking the Facebook statuses of guys they were dating to see what they were doing when they weren’t around. Their survey also found that 26% of singles slept with an ex over the holidays, because they just didn’t want to be alone and single.

A few years ago, I wrote a post called, Recycling an Ex at the Holidays about my own personal experience of being invited to my former Match.com boyfriend’s holiday party after having had no contact for six months. While I did attend his company party with him, I made sure there were ground rules put in place; specifically, that we weren’t getting back together and were going as friends.

While recycling an ex over the holidays is common, the feelings after the holiday parties have worn off will leave you in a worse place emotionally than if you put your energies into spending time with friends or trying to cultivate a new relationship.

It’s Peak Season for Online Daters

The good news is that more singles are signing up for dating sites between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Match reports they see a jump of about 25-30% in new members signing up between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and at Cyber-Dating Expert, it’s the busiest holiday season ever with new singles joining online dating sites and brand new dating profiles being created.

It’s peak season in the Internet dating business, which typically coincides with holiday breakup season. It’s the perfect time to start filling your date card, but how do you coordinate holiday dating without feeling overwhelmed and a bit anxious? My biggest recommendation is to look at online dating and flirting on Facebook as ways to expand your social circle. Think of it as meeting new friends at the holidays and enjoying the company of someone you like, not necessarily someone you’re about to fall in love with.

Online Love is a year-round event

People meet online and fall in love all year long. I know a couple that met online on Christmas Eve on Facebook who are now engaged. I know of another couple that met online on eHarmony on Valentine’s Day who are now happily married. Just yesterday I learned of a couple fell in love at first sight that met on Match. She hadn’t had a serious relationship in over 10 years and now they’re smitten. Yes online dating is a numbers game. You’ll be juggling dates, canceling dates, rescheduling dates, it’s exhausting, but it can be so very rewarding as it has been for millions of others.

Stop Stalking Your Ex

I’m here to tell you that being single on the holidays is fine. We get over it. Stalking an ex online or on Facebook isn’t fine. You’ll feel anxious if you see him or her logging on looking for your replacement. You’ll feel anxious if you don’t see him or her logging on assuming you’ve been replaced. Your heart will fall to the floor when they delete their profile, assuming they’ve ridden off into the sunset with someone else. You’ll be burning up the phone lines if you see a Facebook relationship status change or a photo posted with someone else.

You really don’t know what’s going on in your ex’s mind and it doesn’t matter. All you can control is how you feel about it and what you?d like to do to add more positive people in your life. He or she is an ex for a reason, so please knock them off their pedestal.

Fall in love with you

At the holidays, please take a deep breath; log on to fill your date card if and when it feels good to you, not because you’re feeling lonely. If you need to take a break from dating, that’s fine. There are no rules, other than to fall in love with yourself first. It’s the best place to be to start any new relationship.

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

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

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