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6 Online Dating Mistakes You Must Avoid

Online Dating MistakesRecently on, I was asked to chime in on some of the huge mistakes both men and women were making in their online dating profiles. As an online dating expert and one who has studied the industry since its infancy, the list could have easily jumped to 50 items. Meredith Bodgas selected her top 10 favorites for the story, 10 Little Ways to Kill Your Online Dating Game. We were glad to contribute to the story.

1. DON’T include a laundry list of turnoffs in your profile.
No one wants to date a guy who?s too judgmental.? Instead, mention the traits you do want in a girlfriend. You?ll seem way less negative.

2. DON’T Say you want a ?drama-free? woman.
It’s a clich? that will not only turn a woman off, but it sends the message that you?ve got excess baggage regarding your ex. Most women will realize you have unresolved issues from past relationships and probably take a pass. Instead, stick to naming the positive qualities you seek in a mate or a date.

3.? DON’T Mention sex in your profile.
Include that, and the ladies may think that you’re looking for a hook up. Worried you?ll wind up with a prude? Don?t. Women know that intimacy?s part of the package if the relationship moves forward.

4.?DON’T Start IMing right away.
Many women don?t like receiving IMs from men whose profiles they haven?t read yet. So start the dialogue with an e-mail to give her a chance to check out your details. And hold off on IMing until you?ve exchanged a few e-mails. It’s a digital courtship and you need to know the rules to play the game and win.

5.?DON’T Tell a woman she?s hot.
Focusing on the physical makes a woman feel you?re not interested in getting to know the real her. Mention something else you admired about her profile if you want your email to be taken seriously.

6. DON’T Wait too long to ask her out.
I believe you should take your relationship from online to offline after a few e-mails,? otherwise, you?ll end up with a digital pen-pal, which isn?t quite the point of online dating. If there?s chemistry after one phone chat, set a date to meet in person.

Full Story on Men’s Fitness

Do you have an online dating story to share? Share your Success Stories to be featured in our Cyber Love Story of the Week and let us know about your bad dates in our Peril of the Week.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at


Cyber Love Story of the Week – Gail and Mark

Cyber Love Story of the Week - Gail and MarkGail had been a member of JDate for only a couple of days when she received a very funny email. It was so funny that her daughter actually scolded her and said, ?Mom, what is so funny? I?m trying to sleep here.?

The email came from Mark, who had been single for 16 years after his divorce, and had his share of dates. Gail looked at Mark?s profile and realized that he was completely different from anyone she had dated or had been married to. Gail was used to being with lawyers and Mark was a writer and humorist, who had also performed stand-up comedy.

Gail liked Mark?s smile, so she responded to his email and they eventually talked on the phone. Mark wanted to meet Gail right away to see if there was any chemistry in person. The two met at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA for a three-hour dinner date and walked along the promenade watching the street performers.

?His profile picture was no lie,? said Gail. ?He looked about 15 years younger than his stated age. He had boyish good looks and a smile that warmed his soft brown eyes, a backpack thrown over his shoulder, he was neatly dressed and from what I could discern, lean and very nicely built. I was toast.?

The two were attracted to each other right away and quickly learned that their birthdays were only two days apart.

In less than a week Gail and Mark went on their second date, which lasted the entire day. ?I picked Gail up at her house and we went to the Skirball Center, took in the exhibits, had lunch there, and then went to a screening of the movie ?Rock of Ages where we held hands,? said Mark. The date continued with fine dining at Luna Park restaurant. The two took down their dating profiles within the first month of dating. ?We?ve been together over three months and I?m increasingly more nuts about her,? Mark added.

Gail keeps asking Mark, “How is it, exactly, that you have managed to stay single for 16 years???” I guess it will be one of (my) life’s great mysteries and, also, my great fortune.?

Congratulations to Gail and Mark, our Cyber Love Story couple who proves that patience is a virtue and the best things in life are worth waiting for.

Mark’s dating column can be found at JDate.

Do you have an online dating success story to share?

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and bestselling author. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at

Peril of the Week – The Donny Downer

Peril of the WeekFirst dates can often be compared to first job interviews. With online dating, there are several dating phases you must successfully go through: The irresistible profile, the email introduction, and the pre-date phone call. If all goes well, after the phone date, you’ll agree to meet in person for a first date.

The process is similar while looking for your dream job. You’ve hopefully perfected your resume, sent a captivating cover letter via email, went through the pre-interview via phone, with the result of scheduling an in-person interview with the hiring manager. It sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? But if this is what it takes to find the love of your life, isn?t it worth paying attention to all of the phases of digital courting?

Meet Donny, our latest Peril of the Week story. He described himself as a happy person in his profile, indicated that he was looking for a serious relationship, and listed interesting places he had traveled to, including China, New Zealand, Japan, and Australia. His profile successfully made it past the first phase of online dating.

Donny then engaged in an online email communication chain, including sending nine pleasant emails to the woman he wanted to meet. After five months, they finally graduated to a phone call. He was a patient man. However, the phone call didn’t go so well. Donny’s phone chemistry didn’t match the profile and upbeat personality reflected in the emails. Donny actually seemed confused and bothered by the initial call. He complained about the cost of replacing the heater in his swimming pool. He didn’t remember who the woman was when she called, although he had sent her an email with his number a few hours prior to the phone call. Was he ill prepared due to a case of being a serial dater, or did she just catch him at a bad moment?

To be gracious, she accepted a date to meet Donny for lunch. Unfortunately, Donny didn’t look anything like his profile. He had lied about his age by several years and posted old photos, which is not uncommon. He was no longer working and had been retired for quite some time. The life he described was the old Donny, not the one who arrived at the table.

Donny spent the course of their lunch complaining about money, while speaking with food in his mouth. She wondered, didn’t his mother teach him about table manners? He once again complained that it would cost $1200 to fix the heater in his pool, so his pool’s water was always cold. Then he complained about five of his businesses which had failed miserably and how much money he had lost in each of those five instances. Then he complained about how one business he’d lost had been sold for $21 million to the investor who came in after him. Donny’s date didn’t expect to be having a conversation about accounting during their first date.

Donny’s conversation changed from financial woes to conversations about his ex-wife. He mentioned details about her and her family problems seven times to his date. The conversation then moved to health problems. Donny’s date was empathetic when Donny talked about his mother’s Alzheimers condition, but the attention to details of everything she forgot ran its course quite quickly after ten minutes. Finally Donny pulled out a plastic bag and dumped a pile of vitamins on the table at the restaurant. One-by-one, he took his vitamins after dessert.

At the end of the lunch, she was emotionally drained and exhausted. She left the date and wondered why didn’t Donny put his best foot forward? Why couldn’t he talk about more positive things such as what he loved about the interesting countries he had visited? Why did every topic end with a sad story, financial loss, or medical problem?

We know that life gets in the way and our journeys are filled with bumps in the road, but if you told your prospective job employer all the reasons why you’d been fired from previous jobs, should they want to hire you? Should you remember to have proper table etiquette on a date and not continue to talk with food falling out of your mouth? Shouldn’t you excuse yourself to go to the Men’s room to take your vitamins privately or wait until the date was over?

As a dating expert and coach, I tell singles to ask themselves the following question before they go on a date. Would you actually date yourself? Think about keeping the conversation light and upbeat. Write up a list of positive things that you’d like to share with your date and read them before you arrive. Remember to leave the baggage and the vitamins behind.

No one wants to date a Debbie or Donny Downer. Let us know if you have a dating disaster story to share for the Peril of the Week.

Submit Your Online Dating Stories

Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit for dating advice and share your online dating stories. Follow Julie on twitter @JulieSpira and like her at

Don’t become the next Peril of the Week. Contact us about our Irresistible Coaching programs.

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ABC’s 20/20 is interested in seeing your Bad Date Stories!

Bad Date

We’ve all had bad dates that border on humorous and ridiculous. Many of you have shared your dating stories in our Peril of the Week. Now’s your chance to be on National TV on the ABC Newsmagazine 20/20. They’re working with our good friends at to find videos of dates gone wrong, the wilder the better!

So the next time you see a dating disaster start to happen and your date heads south, instead of just thinking what you will post in The Peril of the Week on or share on, think of taking out your iPhone or digital camera and start recording.? Make sure it?s obvious why this is an example of a ?Bad Date?…you can narrate if you want….you can ask questions ….you can even shoot yourself too, not just the other person if you like….whatever will make it clear what?s wrong.

It may take some creativity on your part to pull it off; it probably won’t work if you say ?this date is so awful I need video to prove to my friends what happened!?. So by all means have fun…make it playful! But however you can do it, the video should show people what you went through. If I only had my video camera when my date told me the details of his colonoscopy or when another date demanded my pizza crust “to go” on a first date, I’d be submitting my stories as well.

If necessary for television broadcast identities can be kept confidential, but 20/20 wants to see whatever you can shoot. If you?ve ever recorded something in the past, that?s worth sending too. There?s no guarantee that what you submit will be used, but the producers will contact anyone whose story they like.

Please don?t stage anything though, it has to be real. Send your video clips, bad date stories and contact information to and get ready to set your DVR.

Dating in an OkCupid World – 5 Dos and Don’ts

Dating in an OkCupid WorldI’m often asked what’s the best dating site by singles that I meet and coach. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer there are a few favorite Internet dating sites that I’ve been recommending. OkCupid is clearly one of my Top 5 favorites. Their mobile app, Ok Locals was included in the recent Mobile Dating BootCamp and was favorably received by the single contestants.

So when Britney Fitzgerald from Huffington Post Tech asked me for my opinion on OkCupid Dating No-No’s, I was happy to chime in. I shared not only my professional advice, but also those from the recent?Mobile Dating BootCamp focus group which was held last month in Beverly Hills.

A main feature of OkCupid is answering their intriguing and often thought provoking questions. While you’re not judged and you’ll never fail the quiz, the site does give you percentiles for a Match, Friend, and Enemy. Having a match that shows you’re over 80% compatible usually raises some digital eyebrows in a good way and is a terrific ice-breaker to contact someone you might have a ?crush on.

So without further digital adieu, here are five of the 11 Dos and Don’ts for finding love on OkCupid.

Full article on Huffington Post

Article Excerpts

1. Don’t Answer all of the Questions

Some questions are best left unanswered. Be careful with those that seem too political or intimate in nature because this data is all over the Internet: You need to think every time you push the send button. ?For public answers, you should only pick the questions you would tell your mother [the answer to].

2. Don’t Exaggerate

There is a huge difference between fibbing about your height vs. your martial status. Single is single, and divorced is divorced. There is no status for Single–Divorce Pending.

3. Don’t Use Old Profile Pictures

If you’re thinking of putting up a profile pic from 2004 — reconsider. They are going to look you up on Google; they are going to look you up on Facebook. ?You’re thanked a lot for being recognizable and having truth in the advertising. So skip out on that glamour shot from the ’90s. And men — most of us agree that the muscle shot in front of the bathroom mirror is an automatic “skip.”

4. Don’t Be a Rude Rejector

Just like in real life, there are right and wrong ways to reject someone in the virtual world. I don’t believe in burning digital bridges. Why should you have to email someone and say, “Hey you’re not my type.”?Dont say you’re not my type — you haven’t met yet! But if you really aren’t attracted, ?just move on. Don’t message them back, or simply thank?them for the communication and wish them luck in their search.

5. Don’t Check Your Profile Obsessively

OkCupid’s popular free edition of its dating service comes with a few catches, one of which includes people knowing when you check into the site. While possible soulmates won’t know how long you’ve been online, they can view the time you last logged on. It can be very obsessive and dangerous to your emotional health. For example, what if you go on a great date only to realize that 30 minutes after you parted ways, your date accessed the site two more times that night? ?Take a deep breath and don’t jump to a digital conclusion.

Many thanks to Huffington Post for being included in this terrific article. Click here to read all 11 tips and feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. Julie was an early adopter of online dating and posted her first profile in 1994. Today, Julie creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

For more dating advice sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at

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Dating Advice: To Take Down, or Not to Take Down Your Profile

Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show

Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

Dating in a Web 2.0 World can be very tricky and emotional at times. The big drama often surrounds one pulling down their online dating profile while the other is still playing the field. I’m not into game playing and believe you should follow your heart.

However, it’s rare for two people who are in a new relationship to be on the same digital page on each and every date. While you’re in the getting-to-know you phase, the best rules are ones which include honesty and avoid entrapment.

So when I was asked by Diane Mapes to contribute to her article on’s Happen Magazine, in Pulling your profile after finding The One, I was happy to share my thoughts.

Let’s start with the unplugging parties. Should you agree to have a celebration and pull down your profiles together? It’s a growing popular trend, but I think it comes with too much pressure. If the man suggests an unplugging celebration and you feel great about it, go ahead and do so. It’s like having a digital anniversary. While I believe a woman could suggest future outings and dates, I don’t believe she should be the one to schedule a date to unplug. There’s still some old-fashioned chivalry and courtship that takes place, both online and offline.

In matters of digital courting, typically the man takes down his profile first.? Perhaps he’ll share that information with his date, but if they’ve just met, it can scare a woman away. She’ll be flattered, but might not be ready to go to the next step of dating exclusively or be ready for any intimate expectations that might be expected with retiring dating profiles. If a woman takes down her profile, guys shouldn’t run away thinking she did it for them. Often a woman will receive too many emails from men she isn’t interested in, or her paid membership may have expired.

Taking down your profile as well as changing your Facebook relationship status can be a big deal and come along with 2-dimensional assumptions that could kill your relationship.

The best times to take down your profile:

1. You’re tired of online dating and are receiving too many emails from incompatible people, or too few emails to make it worth your while.

2. You have a crush on someone and you don’t want him or her to think you’re a serial dater logging in daily to see the next fresh face.

3. One has already taken their profile down and you feel you’d like to reciprocate and see where the relationship will go.

4. You both agree to date exclusively.

5. Before you become physically intimate.

The worst times to take down a profile:

1. After a first date. Sorry, it’s just too soon and will send him or her running with the fear they are in an instant relationship.

2. If you feel pressured to do so by the other party.

3. To make someone else you like feel jealous.

4. To pressure your date to do the same.

5. To hide it temporarily before your date knowing you plan on re-posting it when you get home.

When *Debbie was thinking about going on her first romantic weekend away with *Mike,? it made sense for the two of them to take down their profiles. However *Mike gave her the big ultimatum. She wasn’t exactly ready to retire her profile, but he kept her on the phone and walked her through the instructions until he was satisfied that her profile was removed. Debbie found this behavior controlling and their relationship ran its course. She still tells me that she remembers the day that he forced her to take down her profile, or he’d be moving on.

When *Mark told *Jill he had taken his profile down on their 4th date, Jill was flattered, but told him she just wasn’t ready. She hoped that she would catch up, but was open to dating others still.? After the 6th date, Jill decided to date Mark exclusively and took down her profile on her own. This relationship started off based upon honesty and without manipulation. Mark was willing to wait for Jill rather than leave her for a more eager face. The two eventually got engaged.

At the end of the digital day, I believe in developing the friendship part of your relationship if you’re looking for long-term love. Remember, you’ve met online and you’re creating your relationship history now offline. Taking down your profile doesn’t mean you’re going ring shopping or heading to the altar. It doesn’t mean you’re jumping into bed either. Often it’s a gesture to show genuine interest. Be flattered when he or she takes down their profile, but don’t go crazy with assumptions and over analyze the situation. You’re just dating and getting to know each other. Enjoy the journey.

Julie Spira is an online dating and cyber-relations expert. She’s the Editor-in-Chief at and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt and Like us at

Cyber Love Links

Cyber Love Links

It’s a beautiful spring weekend and time to share some of our favorite stories about dating, love and romance from around the web and on Twitter with you.

First of all, we’d like to thank Ithaca College for the terrific article in their IC View magazine that is sent out to all alumni. The story, Finding Love Online featured my dating advice and tips for singles on the dating scene. Many thanks to our friends at Sparkology for including us in their Dating Experts column in, “How to Politely Say You’re Not Interested.”

My two cents worth:

More often-than-not, online messages are ignored. Don?t start humming to the Nick Lowe song, ?You?ve Got to be Cruel to be Kind? if you decide to respond. Say thank you, but add that you don?t feel you have enough in common to pursue a relationship, or let them know if they?re out of your geographic location or age range.

Of course the hot romantic news of the week was the Friday the 13th announcement of Brad and Angelina’s engagement. There’s no shortage of stories about the ring, but our favorites include CBS News who reports that Brad worked on the engagement ring for a year and Vanity Fair?who announced that the famous ring now has an agent.

USA Today interviewed Steve Harvey, author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, which we had featured in our Reading Room. In this article, the cast dished dating advice, both from the film and how they handle love in the real world. Cosmo posted 10 Fun First Date Ideas He’ll Love. Our favorite was sneaking into a matinee. Our friend Natasha Burton posted on Huffington Post Weddings: Should You Follow Your Nose — Not Your Heart–To Find Love. Would you go to a Pheromone Party to find love at first sniff? See what Natasha has to say on the subject.

YourTango reported on Chris Noth’s (aka Mr. Big) Hawaiian wedding bells to his long-time girlfriend Tara Wilson. Yes, there can be happy ending for a 10-year relationship. Sometimes patience is a virtue.

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

The Cyber-Dating Expert Team

Online Dating Advice on Planet Love Match

It was an honor to be a guest on Planet Love Match Radio with hosts Jen Tapiero and Josh Nasar. Some dating advice included what to put in your online dating profile as well as topics to avoid. Learn what makes a profile irresistible with dating tips for singles looking for love online. Also in this episode, Quentin Aaron, from The Blind Side joined the show and talked about his views on dating.

For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at

Julie Spira is a cyber-relations and online dating expert. She’s the Editor-in-Chief at and writes irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene.

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