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Julie Spira on Chicago’s WCKG Radio with Eddie Volkman

Eddie Volkman - WCKGOn Wednesday, June 8th at 6p/CT, I’ll be a guest with Eddie Volkman on WCKG Radio in Chicago.

Eddie and I had such a blast last time I was on the show, that I’ve been invited back for a lively discussion on dating in the digital age.

We’ll be talking about finding summer love, as Match is predicting the hottest day of the month will be June 27th for online dating.

From ghosting, the epidemic disappearing act, to the best tips for your online dating profile, and swiping right on mobile apps, we’ve got you covered with the best dating advice.

Tune in and listen LIVE or visit WCKG.com to listen to the live stream. Call in with your questions about dating, love and romance.

We’ll be live tweeting as well, so follow @EddieVolkman , @JulieSpira, and @WCKGChicago to join the conversation.

 

From Catfishing to Online Dating Tips – Julie Spira Speaks to Charles Tendell

Charles Tendell ShowAs a radio show guest on “Hacked” with Charles Tendell, we spoke about how to create an Irresistible Online Dating Profile as well as signs of a “Catfish.”

Listen here or read full transcript below.

Charles Tendell: We’ve got a pretty good show coming up, we’re going to be talking to online dating expert Julie Spira about how you can do dating online better.

CT: Are you dating online? Are you sure you’re doing it right? Are you having trouble finding Mr. or Mrs. Right online, or are you finding weird people and you’re not really sure if the person behind the keyboard is who they say they are? Coming up here in a few minutes will be Julie Spira from  CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie is an internationally best-selling author and the go-to person for online dating and mobile advice. She’s been seen in things like Glamour, ABC News, CBS, and Fox, and on and on. Even Wired, which is my favorite magazine, which  leads me to our question of the day brought to you by, are you dating online and what are you most afraid of with dating online? Julie, are you on the show?

JS: I am, it’s good to be here.

CT: Thank you! So Julie, how did you end up as the dating expert?

JS: That’s a great question. Really, what happened was I an early adopter of the internet and a technology executive, so I turned out to be a very early adopter of online dating. This means I started way back in the dial-up days, so my entry to online dating actually happened over 20 years ago. And once I mastered the art of how to create an irresistible online dating profile, I started coaching other singles how to maneuver their way from dial-up to digital, and now to the mobile, dating world.

CT: I’m curious – and I know my wife is probably listening to this, so this isn’t for my personal advice – but I’ve got a friend who needs some online dating advice. So how do you go about finding the irresistible profile?

JS: Well, first of all, I don’t know your friend, but everybody’s looking for something different. There are some people that come to me for coaching looking for a serious long term relationship or marriage and children, and there are other people that are getting out there for the very first time and they just want to go on a lot of dates. So there’s not really a one size fits all dating formula or a one size fits all dating site. It really depends on what someone’s, or your friend’s, dating goals are.

CT: And again, it IS one of my friends. My wife is probably listening, so I’m not trying to be an online dater myself. I did have some interesting experiences back in the day when I was dating online. Some of the scarier things that you run into out there. I didn’t have any success, I met my wife at a business luncheon and that was the best way to do that. Back in my day when I was dating, online dating just seemed kinda scary to me.

JS: Well, when I wrote the book, The Perils of Cyber Dating, a lot of people thought it was going to be this scary, scary story. Most of the stories were actually funny, there were some that certainly  were perilous where people did not represent themselves accurately, and we’re not talking about height and weight and age and things that people just tend to lie about online, but we’re talking about careers, martial status, and things of that sort.

CT: As an ethical hacker, I do see a lot of the online personas and people that wanna give the best version of themselves and sometimes it happens to be the version that only exists in their head.

JS: That’s true. And of course, we do hope for truth-in-advertising and it’s my goal to empower singles to be honest and tell the truth, because these days they’re going to check your Facebook page to see if you have friends in common and to see if your photos look recognizable, so that when you go on that date with that person, you’ll be sitting across from somebody that you recognize and there won’t be another frown on your face and a big disappointment.

CT: That’s what everybody’s hoping for. So let’s go back to your background. You started 20 years ago, you’ve got about 20 years in the online dating world. What’s been your craziest experience? What is it that you’ve learned over your years?

JS: Well first of all, I think you’ve really got to have a great sense of humor about it, and you need to go on every date thinking that you could possibly be making a new friend and even a business acquaintance, or if you’re lucky, maybe you could find someone you could fall in love with. So my recommendation is always to cast a very wide net and to laugh off the stories that are ridiculous. I have a story where a gentleman took me out to lunch and told me all about his colonoscopy from that week, including every inch of detail from the preparation and how many times he’d gone to the bathroom. There was nothing sexy or romantic about that lunch and, of course, there was never a second date.

CT: Wow, I’ve heard about people bringing a lot to the table and being honest and honest on the first date, but that sounds like a bad way to have a date.

(break)

CT: We’re talking to Julie Spira from CyberDatingExpert.com. Welcome back, Julie.

JS: Hi Charles.

CT: So we we’re talking about your scary moments and about this guy who was telling you about his colonoscopy at lunch.

JS: It’s something that was worth a laugh, but there were situations where I met a lot of really great people. People that I’m still friends with, people that I actually helped find their spouses, so it isn’t all perilous, but there was a married man who pretended to be single and was proposing marriage all across the country, just because it was good for his ego. And of course there was a wife involved and eventually he would disappear and show up in another city. I’m not saying this is the norm, I’m saying that if it does happen, please don’t let it jade you completely and dissuade you from giving online dating a chance because, at this point, we’ve got 20% of people who are in marriages or committed relationships, according to the most recent PEW internet research study, who have met their significant other or spouses online.

CT: As an ethical hacker, I’ve been in cybersecurity and computers for about 20 years now, and one thing people always ask me is how do you know who’s on the other side of the keyboard and should I be worried that that person is really presenting themselves in the best light?

Related: What’s the Buzz About Catfishing?

JS: Those are good questions and a lot of people are watching the TV show ‘Catfish’ and they’re so afraid they’re going to be ‘catfished’ by somebody. The point to dating online is to get to meet someone to see if you have enough in common to take the relationship from online to on the phone, and if you feel good on the phone, then set a date up on the calendar to meet in person. But if somebody is hesitant to meet you in person and they only want to be a digital pen pal and they keep promising you everything you can imagine, that they’ve never felt this way about anyone before and this is it and they love you, but they won’t meet with you, there’s usually a reason why. Never open your wallet to anyone asking for money, even if they say I love you in a text message, and if somebody’s from out of town, schedule a Skype or a FaceTime date. It’s time to actually go live and have that fun and flirty Skype or FaceTime date to make sure the person you’re talking to is exactly who they say they are.

CT: That’s perfect. Everybody assumes that when they go to their favorite online dating website and put up their profile and talk to these people that they go very quickly from being an electronic pen pal and emailing back and forth to “I’m in love with this person.” To me, that seems pretty risky.

Related: Video – Is  Your Date a Catfish?

JS: It is, but I see it happening a lot. It happens if somebody has just suffered from a heartbreak, break up of a relationship, the death or loss of a spouse, or a divorce, where people become more vulnerable. The need to love and be loved is so huge that if somebody mirrors everything that you say you’re looking for, you feel like “oh my, this person really gets me. They’re exactly what I’m looking for,” when, in fact, they’re just mirroring your profile. So, it’s great to feel flattered, but be very wary if somebody says “I love you” in a text message if they’ve never met you.

CT: That would terrify me, and I know I haven’t been in the online dating scene in a long time. I was – and I don’t even know how to say it, if involved is the right statement or not – involved, as a hacker, in the huge Ashley Madison breach. I don’t even know if you can call that online dating site, per se…

JS: It’s an adulterous website, so it’s a site for cheaters.

CT: Yeah, I don’t really think it falls into the same category, but there not the only ones. PlentyOfFish has been out there and I deal a lot in cyber breaches. I deal a lot in people’s personal data getting exposed and all of that other information, so what do you say to the people who might have been caught in one of those breaches? If their favorite dating site actually got hit and their personal profile or data got leaked onto the internet?

Related: Julie Spira on FOX (Ashley Madison Hack)

JS: Well first of all, as you know since you’re an expert in this, you know better than I do that the ordinary, everyday person can’t access that information. It’s very sophisticated data in the data dump. But the people from Ashley Madison, there were a lot of people whose names and emails were on that list and women went on and were putting their husband’s emails or their neighbors emails, and just because someone’s email is on the list doesn’t mean that they’ve actually used the site and that they’ve actually taken their clothes off. Tony Blair’s email was on the Ashley Madison hack and it’s likely that he was the one who entered it and they weren’t double opted in, which means  that just because they put in the email and maybe they were curious because of the advertisements doesn’t necessarily mean that they were communicating with anyone and actually went out with them and cheated on their spouse.

CT: That makes sense. It’s assumable that not everyone that was in the breach or had that kind of access were actually in that list. Now that makes sense. It would be funny to have people like Barack Obama on Ashley Madison, but it’s a good way of thinking that it might not actually be there. As far as the dating websites, what are some do’s and don’ts for a dating website?

JS: First of all I would say authenticity is everything, so please post recent photos. With my dating coaching clients, we go on photo shoots, and I always feel that women should wear red or maybe something bright pink because guys are scanning through all of these thumbnails and their biggest complaint to me is that everyone’s profile looks the same.  I’m a big fan of wearing red because red is the color of love, it’s the color of passion, it’s also the color of the stop sign and there have been research studies from the University of Rochester that shows men actually respond quickly and more often to women wearing red in their profiles. So ladies, dump and ditch that little black dress.

CT: My wife gets on me because I like to do all of my business logos in red on my business cards and everything else, and she says “You always go for red” and it’s because I respond to red.

Related: When in Doubt, Wear Red

JS: It’s a power color.  And guys, don’t wear a white t-shirt or black t-shirt. Guys look great in blue. I feel like what you’re wearing can really make you stand out whether you’re on a mobile dating app and people are swiping or whether you’re on a dating site. Now, the difference between the sites and the apps, most of the apps use your first name but the sites allow you to come up with a catchy screen name. So if you’re on Match.com or you’re on PlentyOfFish or OKCupid, come up with a fun and flirty screen name that looks unique, that makes you different from everyone else. Julie12345 is sorta boring, so my screen name was “pianobaby” because I play the piano and I have a baby grand. So people ask me questions. Why is your name pianobaby? Do you play in an orchestra? What’s your favorite song? If you happen to love tennis, or hiking, or skiing, make sure you put that somewhere in your profile title because it really allows you to start to engage with someone else.

CT: That’s a good conversation starter there. So you mentioned people use apps to swipe through and the pictures and women wearing the red dress, but I’ve always heard when you see someone who’s got a professional picture on one of these sits, you should be a little worried.

JS: If that’s the only picture, because a dating site is not the same as a LinkedIn profile. It’s a business look and it’s okay to have a business shot in your profile as long as you also have casual shots. You definitely must have a full length body shot whether you’re a man or a woman, and it really has nothing to do with what you weight, it’s more about what are you you’re hiding by not showing a full length body shot. So take an activity shot, as I mentioned before, skiing or something fun, or out in your garden or playing golf. If those are your passions, show your potential date what you’re doing on the weekends and what you could be doing with them, should you decide to go on a date together.

CT: That makes sense, it’s like a big billboard. You brought up LinkedIn, so LinkedIn is out there to get people attracted to your professional characteristics. Should people kinda sorta with a social twist to it, be taking a professional-ish approach to their dating profile?

JS: I think you do need to take a professional approach to it, as far as the approach. You need to be fun and flirty and casual within the body of your content and your photos, but if you don’t take online dating seriously then you might not be able to meet somebody really special who’s out there looking for you. With coaching clients, this is what I say. They say “It’s so much work, Julie. Do I really have to do all that work?” I say if you were out of work and out of a job and you went on three bad interviews and you didn’t get the job and it wasn’t a fit, would you stop looking for a job? No, you would keep looking until you got it right and you found the perfect match, and that’s how I feel about online dating. If you have that irresistible online dating profile, and you’re logging on at morning and you’re logging on at night, respond to people promptly like you would if somebody wanted to set up on a job interview for your dream job.  You need to make the effort and if it feels like a job, the results could be a lot greater than with your job that might last a year or two. You might find someone to spend the rest of your life with.

CT: That’s a different angle. A professional job interview, the worst case that’s going to happen is no, you didn’t get the job. Isn’t it, the worst case scenario, just look at Craigslist and all of these other places where people meet people and they go and put out all this energy and do all of these other wonderful things, meeting people online and this person could potentially be in your life for much longer than one conversation or one date, couldn’t they?

JS: That’s what we hope. I always say to people the squeaky wheel gets the digital love deal. And when you look at some of the mobile apps like Bumble, which is a new mobile app, they require once you’re matched the women to message within 24 hours or that match disappears forever. Now they’ve just added the feature where men don’t have an open-ended time to respond. They’ve got to respond to the woman’s message within 24 hours. What that does is it really forces you to take a look at the profile and see if you think there’s enough in common to start that conversation and meet offline.

CT: That also makes sense. That one sounds pretty cool. We’re about to go break, but the dating app where matches disappear sounds like a way to vet people who are on the up and up, but what about the ones who do respond?

JS: Well the responses really need to come from both parties and one of the complaints I hear is “I swiped right, wrote back, and never heard anything back” and that’s just because online dating and mobile dating are numbers games. There are 40-50 million people dating online, it IS a numbers game and you need to play to win. At the end of the day, don’t get discouraged if one out of ten people respond to you. You would rather have someone that has things in common with you to you can build a relationship with.

(break)

CT: Today we are talking to Julie Spira, the Cyber Dating Expert, and we’re getting into that area where everyone seems a little paranoid but everyone’s got an idea about how they should be doing online dating. Julie, before the break we were talking about different apps and different ways and people filling their profile and they should take a professional kind of approach to their profile. Is there an extent to the level of professional that should be there?

JS: Well it’s interesting because that PEW study I was telling you about says 22% of people actually hire someone to actually write their profiles for them because they don’t know how to describe themselves online. Here are some of my tips for people out there if you’re trying to do this on your own. If you’re working on a traditional online dating profile, keep the word count to about 100 to 125 words, avoid really lengthy profiles because no one’s going to read past the first couple sentences and there should be enough in there to keep them intrigued to read more. I also suggest asking a question in your profile. Talk about what your life would be like together in a positive, upbeat style and then ask a question such as “What about you?” or “Where’s your favorite travel destination?” “What’s on your bucket list?” because if somebody sees a question, they basically think “oh I must answer that question” and they give somebody an icebreaker on how to contact you when they really are at a loss for words.

Related: How Our Irresistible Profiles Help You Find Your Dream Date

CT: I just got a text message from a listener and the question is, should people spread their profiles around, like LinkedIn is just one place, but some people are on LinkedIn and Klout, but should people go on PlentyOfFish and all these other dating sites? Should they be on multiple ones?

JS: The answer is yes. The average person is on 2 to 3, and even 4 dating sites and apps. For traditional dating sites such as Match, PlentyOfFish, or OKCupid, make sure you download the mobile apps so you have the push notifications coming in case you do hear from that person you’re interested in, so you can put a date on the calendar. You never know which site you’re going to meet someone on, and if you see someone and you recognize them from another site, don’t call them out on it and say “hey I’ve seen you on two other sites” well, he knows it, you know it, she knows it. There’s no reason to bring it up. But you don’t know which site you’re actually going to enjoy using because the interfaces are so very different. So join multiple sites and eventually you’ll hone it down to one or two that you are the most comfortable with.

CT: So it’s all about your personal preference and results that you’re getting. I’ve got another question through text message, what is the kind of information that you should be sharing or asking in that first contact email?

JS: In the first email, remember, you’re just striking up a conversation to see if you would even like to get on the phone. If you have great phone chemistry, then schedule a date. So please don’t make it feel like it’s an interrogation, a deposition, or a job interview, because that’s how people feel. The phone will ring or a text will come in, “Where are you from and what do you do? What kind of car do you drive?” We may want to know what car you drive, but we’ll see it eventually when you show up at the restaurant and drive up in your car. So don’t ask questions related to where someone lives and what kind of money they make. We can figure out the lifestyle based upon the hobbies and activities that you do. Keep it light and friendly, and have a list of questions in case you get stumped.

My default place has always been, “who’s the most important relative in your life and why?”  “What’s the favorite travel spot you’ve ever been to and would you go back?” – similar questions like that to just keep it light and easy and breezy because the first date is like a pre-date. At the end of the first date, you have to decide if you want to put a second date on the calendar. And don’t wait, don’t play games – get out the calendar and schedule that second date.

CT: So what about personal information in that first message? Do you want to keep it surface level? I would assume you wouldn’t tell them the story of your life in the first message.

JS: No, nobody wants to hear about the drama. So make sure in the communication you’re not talking about the person who broke your heart or the person who stopped paying spousal support payments and how much it costs you to send your kids to college, because the person’s just going to think that you’re just looking for financial security. And whether you are or you’re not, you don’t want to put that out as your initial contact. I would keep it really light and ask “how was your day?” I would never say “how long have you been on this site?” and stop comparing bad date stories! People do that on first dates and they communicate on how bad the app is and how bad their dating stories are. Nobody wants to hear anything negative. If you have a funny story, you can share it, but the point is to get to know the other person and whether you’d actually like to go on a date with them.

CT: We’re talking to Julie Spira the Cyber Dating Expert. Now Julie, that first email where you say don’t share old stories or history or lead people to believe you’re just kind of looking for a paycheck,  and you don’t want to give out too much information, but as far as private information, address, phone number, things like that, when should someone give that out?

Related: Online Dating Safety Tips from an Expert

JS: Well it certainly shouldn’t be before a first date because you should always meet in a public place and subscribe to the buddy system. Have a friend that knows who you’re going on a date with, what their screen name is, whatever particular website or mobile app you met them on, and if you’ve been texting them you can even let them know their phone number, just for safety purposes. And meet them in a public place because if the date goes south for any reason, you certainly don’t want them showing up at work or your doorstep at home.

CT: Should you protect your personal information? Like, me being who I am and you being who you are, people can google us and find out information about us…

JS: And they do. Here’s the thing – everyone is going to google their date, some people are going to take it a step further and do a background search, but that’s typically after going on a couple of dates, not a first date. But they will check LinkedIn and Facebook to see if you have friends in common and they might ask some mutual friends – “Can you tell me your thoughts on Charles?” or “What do you think about Julie?” That’s just the way people are with dating these days because there’s so much information out there, we can’t help ourselves. My rule of thumb is, you can google and you can look, don’t get obsessed about it, but don’t bring it up on the date and say “Oh I googled you and saw that you were in a hot air balloon one day.” You don’t want someone to know that someone has googled 10 pages of entries about you.

CT: That’s scary. I can imagine sitting across the table from someone…

JS: You would feel like they’re a stalker. We want to feel safe when we’re on a date, and both men and women need to feel safe. People are more ultra-sensitive about the safety issue so it’s really up to the other person to help you feel safe. That means exposing exactly who they are and not prying too much information about your personal data. Nobody needs to know about why your marriage ended. Later on, if your relationship moves forward, of course you’re going to share things that didn’t work in your marriage if you want to have a happier marriage next time around.

CT: That’s all solid advice. I’ve seen horror stories on Craigslist and all these other places, and in my professional opinion, what most people come to me about is the “I met so and so online, we exchanged a bunch of information, and then they turned kind of crazy and they’ve got my Skype name, my email address, my phone number, what do I do?” So you’re saying after the second, maybe the third date is when you’d give them the additional information?

JS: You also want to protect your children if you’re a parent, you don’t want to exploit them in your dating profiles and it’s best to say something like “I’m a proud parent, I have two teenage kids aged 12 and 14” and leave it at that. This way they’ll know that you have a schedule that does include parenting.

CT: I’ve seen things where people have gone out and they’ve gotten a throwaway phone or they’ve gotten a google voice number or some other alternate form of communication they can control and turn off or on with this particular individual so they feel more secure, and to me, that’s always been a good way to go.

(break)

CT: Coming back, we’re talking to Julie Spira, the Cyber Dating Expert, about things you should do online to protect yourself and how to do online dating right.

JS: We want you to do it right, that’s absolutely true.

CT: I’ve gotten messages from all over the place of people asking different questions and it usually comes back to personal information. What is it that I’ve got? How can I protect myself and stay safe and still accomplish my goal of meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right?

JS: Safety is really huge. We talked earlier about meeting in a public place, letting a friend know where you’re going, who you’re going with, don’t accept late night calls or go back to someone’s house. I also recommend you talk through google voice. I always recommend having a google voice phone number just for dating, just for the early days. And your google voice phone number can be forwarded to your cell phone. This way, if somebody does bother you, you can easily block them. You can block people’s phone numbers anyway through your iphone or wireless carrier.

Also, come up with an email address just for dating that’s different from your work address so that no one ever has access to your dating account. You can get free email accounts with gmail, aol, and there are a lot of ways to get free email accounts. If somebody bothers you, or if you feel uncomfortable for any reason when you’re on a date, just walk out. You owe that person nothing. And if somebody is harassing you online, the dating sites take this very, very seriously. Report that profile and let them know that somebody is acting inappropriately, whether they’ve acted inappropriately sexually or asked for money, report those profiles to the dating site. They want to know.

CT: That’s interesting because in my world, people use anonymity  behind a lot of different things. So what they typically do on websites where it allows you to create a username, they create also a fake email, a google voice number, they put all of that stuff together, so even if you report it do these websites have a way to catch these people?

Julie Spira on TV with Online Dating Safety Advice

JS: They will block the profile. And if there’s anything that looks more serious, then obviously that will be bumped up to the proper security people with the dating sites. They have certain software in place that can address certain IP addresses for different countries that might look like it might be a scamming type of email. Again, if you’re on a dating site and somebody asks you to move offline to an email address and not communicate right away on the dating site, that’s a red flag as well. You should always  communicate on the dating website in a protected environment until you feel comfortable going offline and meeting that person.

CT: Wow. You said, before we went to the break, that you should let your friends know where you’re going and that you’re meeting up with this person and give them that profile information. What about if you have a friend at where you’re meeting this person? Should your friend be there? Maybe it’s a Friday night, they’re going out anyway. Should you have a friend there to keep an eye on you?

JS: Well, I believe in honesty. If you are scheduling a friend to be there or you know a friend will be there, I think you need to let your date know “by the way, I have a girlfriend that happened to make plans to be at the same place tonight, she may come over and say hello.” But if somebody feels that they’re being spied on, you’ll make them feel uncomfortable on the first date and you might not make it to the second date.

CT: Yeah, I see how that could be a little creepy and it’s one of those things where you wanna trust someone but you wanna verify, but it’s kinda six in one hand, half dozen in the other. You’ve got this person that you met, if you feel obligated to bring somebody else to meet them, isn’t that a red flag? Just say “yeah I’ve had a bad experience.”

JS: Some people like going on group dates and there are apps specifically for that, for double dating a Grouper. When Hilary Duff went on Tinder, her first Tinder date she brought a handful of her girlfriends. So some people like going on group dates, usually it’s the younger singles that like going on group dates, in their twenties. But say “by the way, I’m a very cautious dater. I can’t want to meet you, but I’d like to bring a couple friends and can we just hang out instead?” Then you run the risk of not really developing a relationship, but just hanging out. One of the questions a lot of people ask me is “Julie, I’m not really sure about my relationship status, am I dating this guy or are we hanging out?” You need to be clear about what your relationship goals are pretty early on. So if you feel comfortable bringing a posse of friends, you should tell the person about it before you show up on the date and see what kind of reaction they will get.

Related: Hilary Duff is Swiping Right on Tinder

CT: What about dating apps like Tinder? What’s your opinion on those?

JS: I think that any kind of dating app that allows you to meet more people more quickly and the opportunity to determine what you’re looking for is a good thing. The problem that we have with Tinder and a lot of the other dating apps is that there are a lot of people who are afraid it’s just a hookup app and that people are looking for casual relationships or casual sex. There will always be people looking for casual relationships or casual sex, and that goes back to the early days of Craigslist. And there will always be people looking for a serious relationship and wanting something more – a committed relationship or marriage. So I think you need to be very specific in your profile – if you’re looking for something casual or a hookup, say so. If you’re looking for something more serious, say “Swipe left if you’re looking to hook up.” But be very specific on what your dating goals are and don’t select someone based upon their photos only. Read those profiles. Because one day I saw someone who really liked someone’s profile by the photos and they swiped right and it turned out he was married, and right in the profile it said “polygamous relationship.” If someone had read that, they would not have swiped right unless that was something they were looking for. So read their bios, and let’s hope for truth in advertising.

CT: It looks like we’ve got a caller on the line – Lucas from North Carolina.

Lucas: Julie, I was wondering, when a woman is browsing through profiles and they all seem the same, are there any key words or phrases that pop out and catch a woman’s attention and say “oh wow this guy is different and unique?”

JS: First of all, you should always use key words of things you like to do and that you’re passionate about. A lot of women like to search for profiles of men who say they’re looking for long term or a committed relationship, or say that they’re financially stable.  Those are key words that women look for, but at the end of the day, she’s going to see your picture first and you need to look very happy and very approachable and put in things that really make you tick so it can really resonate with exactly what she’s looking for.

CT: Thanks for calling in. Julie, you brought up a good point, you do SEO for your websites and you do SEO for everything else, but you wanna actually load key words into your profile?

Related: This Strategy ups Your Tinder Game

JS: Yes, you do. And you don’t want to load them artificially into your profile because grammar and punctuation are really important. Women do not like to look at a little “i” with a dot when it’s supposed to be a capital I. You need to be very clean and clear and have great punctuation, but there are certain key words that will pop out. If a woman loves yoga and he really loves yoga, guys will go for a woman who has it in her catchy screen name or in her bio because they can visualize that she takes very good care of her body. And they like yoga as well, so maybe they could potentially go on a yoga date. If skiing is important to you, I have some clients that will only date other skiers. Put that in your profile because people may be searching for skiers within a certain distance from where they live and if you have that in there, you’re going to show up in a search.

Related: Why Grammar Matters in Dating

CT: We’ve covered what to put in your profile, what not to put in your profile, how to kind of protect your privacy online, use the buddy system – is there any kind of silver bullet? Say you have a bad date, what’s the most effective way, other than reporting this person, to end it? How do you get out of it? How do you tell that person on the other side “yeah this isn’t working out?”

JS: If you’re on a date with somebody and you don’t feel that there’s any chemistry please have good manners. I’ve seen too many people walk out on dates, spill wine in someone’s face that they didn’t look like their photos – they know they don’t look like their photos – cut the date short. Say “I really enjoyed meeting you, but I don’t think we have enough in common to take this any further and to get more serious, and I wish you the best of luck with your search.” Just be kind and pleasant about it because they might have a friend they can introduce you to. Why should you leave on a bad note?

CT: Well Julie, I appreciate it and I loved having you on the show. Any other tips?

JS: My best advice to you is to try online dating and even if you don’t have success right away, keep on dating. The more dates you go on, the better dater you become.

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

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

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Bumble Now Makes Men Reply or Match Disappears

Bumble 24 hour replyTo help prevent ‘ghosting’ dating app Bumble has just evened the playing field for the guys with their new “24 Hour Reply” feature.

The app, where women make the first move, had originally required women to reply to a mutual match within 24 hours or the match would expire. The guys on the other digital hand, could wait to reply to the women as long as they wanted to.

As reported on Mashable, Bumble’s CEO Whitney Wolfe explained that men had “essentially forever” to respond to the women’s initial emails keeping the women waiting, or resulting in guys not replying at all.

Since Bumble’s launch, women have made the first move over 50 million times on the mobile dating app.

Now, Men Must Reply in 24 Hours on Bumble

Now the men will also be on a 24-hour notice as the countdown clock to reply to women will start once they receive an email.

Wolfe told Mashable that with LGBTQ couples, either person can start the communication within 24 hours, but the person who receives the first message must also adhere to the new 24-hour rule as well.

Earlier this year, I was interviewed by ABC News about Bumble and how it was empowering women everywhere and had become a favorite among men, who wire tired of swiping right and getting matches, but few replies from the women.

Watch: Why Women Like Bumble on ABC

The 24- hour timer will make men step up to the plate, or the match will disappear, forever.

I’ve always said, “the squeaky wheel gets the digital love deal.” This puts this strategy to the test.

Bumble 24 hours

Source: Bumble

Bumble still will be empowering women by requiring that they make the first move when matched.

Earlier this year they added a new social networking feature to help you find a same sex friend to hang out with, expanding their service outside of dating.

Related: Bumble Helps You Find Your BFF

Guys, are you ready to step up to the digital plate and start chatting with the women?

Your comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating and Mobile Dating Expert. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been coaching singles on finding love online for two decades. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and has been featured in the news over 1000 times on the subject of dating in a digital world.

Follow @JulieSpira on Instagram and Twitter for dating advice.

Sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

 

 

 

Oh No! She Found Her Boyfriend on Tinder

Ask the Cyberdating Expert Radio ShowHi Julie,

My name is Stephanie and back in December I met this guy on Tinder. We began talking and instantly hit it off. I had been away in another state so we couldn’t meet up right away so we continued to talk and FaceTime for about a month until meeting. I really liked him and was hoping that when we met it would lead to something real.

We met and the first date was pretty fun. It ended with a kiss. We continued to talk and hung out the week after. The 3rd date had come along and the day before we had had been texting and playing a word game. We sent each other words and we had to make up sentences from them. It was fun and flirty. He gave me the word “official” and I assumed and knew exactly what he wanted me to do with that word. I phrased it as a question and said, “will Stephanie and blank ever be official?”

He said that if we weren’t playing a game he would answer it which he did the next day when we met up. He asked if I wanted it to be official and I said yes. So fast forward about 2 and a half months and we are still together. The problem is that now our first issue has just come up. Recently I thought I had been seeing Tinder notifications on his phone. I didn’t confront him at first, which I should’ve done, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions because I wasn’t really sure what I had seen.

Related: Boyfriend is on Tinder – Should We Break Up

Since it was heavy on my mind I decided to make a fake profile myself and search through Tinder. I found his profile and was instantly disappointed. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for one second because I was convinced he forgot to delete it because he had mentioned forgetting to about two months prior.

What made me not give him that benefit was that there were two very recent pictures on his profile. I couldn’t believe he was using it behind my back. I was going to wait to bring it up when I saw him but I got so upset and I had to call him. I asked him and he said he just forgot to delete it. but his responses didn’t seem so honest. I asked him why the two recent pictures were on there he said because it’s connected to Facebook and he had put those photos on Facebook recently.

Since I myself had used Tinder before I remembered that Tinder does not just update your profile like that when you post pictures to Facebook. I couldn’t believe him because his responses were so vague. I asked him to screenshot his matches and he seemed very hesitant and said he had already deleted the app.

Related: How to Delete Your Profile on Tinder

We’ve been arguing non stop and nothing he says I can believe. Even if he wasn’t using it I feel that because he hasn’t reassured me how he feels about our relationship enough to a point that I feel secure, I cannot bring myself to trust him. I told him I don’t feel his feelings are genuine and he proceeded by saying he doesn’t believe mine are either since he was the first on to say “I love you.”

I now feel like he is resenting me for this and is lying about using Tinder. I asked him if he is keeping any other feelings inside and he said no. At this point I don’t know if he is manipulating me so he can distract me from his lies or is truly keeping so much in that he tried to find someone else behind my back.

I just want to know is this relationship worth it? Should I stay and learn how to trust him? Is he playing me because I didn’t confront him in person so he was able to delete everything before I saw? He has told me that my assumptions won’t let me believe him. I said I can’t trust him now. If it’s truly him keeping things in, how do I get him to be honest in the future and let him know that I won’t judge him if he just tells me how he feels?

I really want to be with him but. should I really do all this work to try and figure him out so he can be open, even though he is claiming not to be lying or keeping anything in. I was told to get him comfortable so his guard is down and he will then be honest with me. How do I do this?

The help would surely be appreciated. Thank you so much.

Julie’s reply:

Wow Stephanie!

I’m exhausted reading your email to me and I’m sure you’ve had a lot of sleepless nights. I’m sorry to hear this. I always say, seek and ye shall find.

Let’s start with number 1. You can’t manipulate him.

You can’t make him do anything, period. This isn’t about manipulation, catching him with his guard down to have a convo about his real feelings, or finding the magic wand to make you trust him after busting him with his active Tinder profile.

Number 2.  You saw his Tinder notifications.

It wasn’t just a hunch or the secret profile you created to confirm what you already saw. He has an active profile on Tinder. People join Tinder to date or to look for options.  Sure he could have been digital window shopping, but once you caught him, he had to come up with stories as to why it was there. It was there because he was curious or he isn’t committed to being official with anyone.

I know this hurts and you aren’t the only one this is happening to. I get emails every week from women and men who have found out their boyfriends or girlfriends are on Tinder or dating sites. If he was committed, he wouldn’t have had the app on his phone and been an active user.

Related: Dating Exclusively With an Active Profile Online

Number 3. You created a fake profile to bust him.

You say you can’t trust him, but can he trust you? Trust is huge. It’s everything in a relationship. It takes time to build and a split second to lose. At this point, your short relationship is in jeopardy. Why should he be worried that you’ll be staring at his phone or will continue to create fake profiles to see if he’s there or not. A woman’s intuition is powerful. You knew right away something wasn’t right. Creating the fake profile didn’t make your relationship stronger, it just turned you into a detective because you were hurt.

Number 4. Is this relationship worth this?

This question you ask isn’t easy to answer. I’ve never met your or your boyfriend. In all honesty, the damage is done.  You are saying you don’t believe him. He is creating stories to get out of the mess he’s in and you’re fighting all the time. This relationship had a great beginning, but all good relationships start out with a 3-month perfect phase. It’s what happens between months 3-6 and then 6-9 and then the year mark to determine if you have a relationship that can go the distance.

Related: How to Catch Your Cheating Boyfriend or Girlfriend on Tinder

If he wants to be on Tinder, just let him do so. Then create a REAL profile instead of a fake profile and start dating. You might just find someone you connect with more than this guy who’s been put on the “guilty until proven innocent” list.

Both of you aren’t perfect. So my best advice is to go ahead and date others. If it’s meant to be, you’ll find your way back to each other and push notifications from dating apps won’t ever be an issue again.

I’m sorry you’re hurting, but this is the dating process. You date and time will tell whether you have a relationship worth fighting for.

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

xo

Julie

Do you have a question for online dating expert Julie Spira? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years and helping them on Swiping Right on their mobile phones. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

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

7 Must Do Dating Tips for Spring Fever

Spring Fever

It’s official! Spring starts this weekend and we are sure ready for the new season.

It’s springtime and we all know that spring fever is in the air and many singles are hoping to find love this season, or at least fill their date cards.

Now that you’ve moved the clocks forward to daylight savings time, it’s time to think about sunset dates, changing your wardrobe to lighter colors, and getting out to smell the digital roses.

Here are 6 Must-Do Online Dating Tips for Spring

1. Swipe Right

It’s time to turn up the volume and download a few mobile dating apps and start flirting. By now most of you have either used the hot mobile app Tinder, where you swipe to the right to connect with a potential date, or swipe to the left to send them into Internet heaven. It’s time to join the digital party. We can help you with our Swiping Right service to tweak your Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel or other mobile dating apps.

Don’t forget the mobile versions of the dating sites you already belong to. If you’re a member of eHarmony, JDate, Match, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, Zoosk, or other dating sites, make sure to keep the push notifications on so you can find a date in a digital minute.

2. Log on Twice Daily

Take one hour twice a day and log on to your favorite dating site or scroll through your mobile dating apps. Did you know that just having your profile appearing as online often will raise your visibility in a search to potential dates?  Ready, set, log on.

3. Turn on Chat

Whether you’re on Facebook or are on an Internet dating site or mobile dating app, make sure your settings are configured for you to be able to chat with someone IRL. Download Facebook Messenger on your mobile phone if you haven’t done so and start chatting with someone you might have a digital crush on. Every time you hear that chime on your phone or computer, it just might bring a smile to your face.

4. Cast a Wider Net (and Zip Code)

Not getting much activity in your inbox? Expand your search from 15 miles to 60 or even 200 miles. If you find the one, it’s worth the commute, or even relocating for love. Are you limiting yourself to searching for a narrow age range? Revise your search parameters by a few years. That’s right, 5 years lower and 5 years higher than what you’ve already been looking for might be a good idea. If you’ve upgraded to Tinder Plus, their new feature allows you to add a new location to search in, so if you’re planning on visiting friends or family in New York, you can add that location to start getting matched with singles in another city. By the time you arrive, your date card should be filled.

5. Reorder Your Photos

If you have 3-5 of your favorite photos on your profile and can’t find time to grab a new one from your Facebook page, change the primary photo so your profile looks fresh. When you get the time, add a few more recent shots, wearing something colorful and retire those photos that are 5 years old, or more!

READ: WHEN IN DOUBT, WEAR RED

6. View and Hotlist Profiles

Some people just don’t like writing emails or making the first contact. If you’re a bit shy about initiating contact, view profiles of those you might be interested in and check out your suggested matches.  Chances are they’ll see that you’ve viewed them and will contact you if they’re interested in you. Take it one step further and rate them with 5 stars or put them on your hotlist. Often they’ll be notified, will be flattered, and you just might put a date on your calendar.

 

7. Watch Your Grammar

A study conducted by online dating site and app Zoosk of 9000 online daters found that 72% of users were turned off by blatant spelling errors. Almost 1/4 thought poor grammar was lazy and 93% of singles would be happy to receive a text with proper punctuation. poorly worded messages or messages with typos and grammatical errors. Don’t be that lazy dater who doesn’t appear to be taking  your digital conversation seriously.

Related: National Grammar Day

The good news is Zoosk found that response rates for opening messages sent with an exclamation point are 10% higher than average!

If you still need some help to make your profile stand out from the rest, contact us about our Irresistible Profiles to help you find your dream date.

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

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of online dating and has been helping singles find love on the Internet for 20 years. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, join us for #DateChat on Thursdays at 5p/PT, 8p/ET, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter, and visit our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Fotolia.com

Ladies: Make The First Move Online To Score 2.5x More Dates

via GIPHY

Gone are the rules of women sitting by the phone, waiting for a text, waiting for the phone to ring, and waiting for a guy to ask you out first.

Once Bumble, the app where the women have control on making the first contact, grew rapidly in popularity, women started thinking differently about the archaic waiting game. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we think that’s good news. We aren’t suggesting that women always take the lead, propose marriage, and schedule every date. We know from coaching male clients that they are frustrated with writing emails and not getting much response.

Men find it refreshing when they hear from a woman. It boosts their egos and they know the chances are high that they’ll start communicating. How high?

OkCupid just released a study that show that women who message men first receive a higher response rate and more desirable men. They studied a random sample of 70,000 users and found that women who initiated contact first were 2.5 times more likely to receive a response than men.

Jimena Almendares, chief product officer at OkCupid, told the New York Times, “There are women on the site that are reaching out, and they’re getting all the benefits.”

The study also showed that men tend to message women 17 percentage points more “attractive” than themselves, while women send messages to men 10 percentage points higher.

What does this mean? Ladies, if you’re just scrolling through your inbox instead of reaching out first, it’s more likely that you’ll be looking at men less attractive than you.

When looking at sending the first message, OKC found one habit common of both men and women: both are “reachers.” A reacher is someone who “reaches out” to someone more attractive than they are.

OkCupid Study of Attractiveness

For women, this means that waiting for men to approach you will result in an inbox filled with less attractive men, if any men at all.

However, this can be solved simply by sending a message first. Women who reach out first, regardless of sexual orientation, do get more responses. This could have something to do with men being more likely to respond when a woman messages them first.

OkCupid Study of First Messages

Instead of waiting to be approached, try elevating your digital love game by 12 percent points and send the first message. If you receive a message from a man, you’re most likely messaging with someone who is 5 percentile points less attractive than you, but if you message first, the man is likely to be 7 percentile points more attractive than you.

more attractive

This puts ladies in the digital driver seat. If you send a messages to men you find attractive, you’ll increase your quantity of quality men to talk to. You’re more likely to have something to talk about with someone you message first.

At the end of the digital day, take a chance and message someone first who you find attractive. Not everyone will respond, but you’ll be filling your date card and going on more dates. Isn’t that the goal?

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

Read the full study from OkCupid here.

 

twitter - Julie SpiraThe Perils of Cyber-Dating Instagram 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.

National Grammar Day – Why Grammar Matters in Dating

 

FullSizeRender

We’ve all gotten one of these grammatical travesties from an online crush before, either on a mobile dating app or via text.  It’s one of those dreadful parts of dating, right?

In honor of National Grammar Day, we’re here to help you with your digital love life.

Proper grammar is one of the most important aspects for singles on dating sites. Did you know that nearly half of singles consider poor spelling and grammar to be a huge deal breaker?

Before you add in that extra emoticon, we’re here to help raise awareness on “National Grammar Day” to help you find love online and IRL.

According to a recent study by Zoosk, a majority of singles (72%) are turned off by blatant spelling errors, and nearly 1/4 think poor grammar means you’re chatting with someone who is uneducated or not so smart. As far as punctuation goes, of the 9,441 respondents to the Zoosk survey, 93% of singles would be happy if they received a text message with proper punctuation.

The study also found that response rates for opening messages sent with an exclamation point are 10% higher than average!

Separately, eHarmony teamed up with Grammarly, the world’s leading online proofreader, to conduct a grammar study to analyze poor grammar in dating profiles. After looking at 10,000 profiles from both men and women, Grammarly found that women make almost twice as many grammatical errors per every 100 words than men do, but are less likely to be judged by men for their grammatical errors.

As little as two spelling errors on a profile can reduce a guy’s chance of getting a response by 14%, but women’s spelling and grammar errors didn’t have an impact on their chances at a response at all.

Here are a few tips on how to clean up your online dating profile and communication so that you won’t experience any grammar faux pas that could get in the way of attracting a digital crush.

Related: Rules of Netiquette: Love and Grammar

1. Use Exclamation Points!

As found in the Zoosk study, using an exclamation point can increase your chances of getting a response. Try “Hi Stacy!” instead of “Hi Stacy…” for a more positive reaction.

2. Proper Punctuation

Ending sentences with proper punctuation is actually preferred, even though some may think ending a text message with a period could come off as aggressive.  Another important piece of punctuation to remember is the Oxford comma. Trust us (and Grammarly) that there’s a difference between “I love cooking my family and my dog” and “I love cooking, my family, and my dog.”

3. YOMAFIO (You Only Make a First Impression Once) and LOL

Zoosk’s study found that using the acronym “YOLO,” meaning “you only live once,” decreases response rates by 47% and they recommended that you drop it from your dating vocabulary. However, “LOL” passed the test, as it increased responses by 25%.

Related: National Punctuation Day: Dating and Grammar

4. Your vs. You’re

We all remember the lesson we got from Ross Geller on that one episode of Friends (specifically, The One With The Jellyfish). There’s a very important difference between “your” and “you’re.” The differences between there, their, and they’re, or then and than, as well as to and too are also very important to know.

5. Take Your Time

Smartphones have a full keyboard and unlimited characters, so there’s no reason not to spell out what you want to say. Using shortcuts, like “u” in place of “you,” shows that you don’t care to take the time to write out a full sentence. You don’t want your potential date to feel like you’re too lazy to properly communicate with them. Beware of auto-correct, as it can bite you in the digital tush and make the smartest of singles seem a bit dumber on a good day.

Remember to always put your best digital foot forward and take the time to spell out what you want to say and your spelling and grammar will help you charm your way into your online love’s heart.

Happy National Grammar Day!

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

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years. Julie’s the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and The Rules of Netiquette.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for our Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Surviving Valentine’s With a Long Distance Love

Long Distance LoveGeography used to be a barrier to the success of long distance relationships. These days technology can be our best friend when it comes to matters of the heart. Singles are dating online across town, across the U.S. and even in other countries.

So plug in your iPhones, set up your tablets and computers, and let’s get creative. It’s Valentine’s week and time to plan in advance to keep that spark alive.

If you and your long distance love can’t be in each other’s arms this Valentine’s Day, here’s your check list on what to do to make that day special for both of you.

1. Special Delivery

When in doubt, send flowers. Nothing will put a smile on her face more than receiving flowers, but did you know he might be flattered with a special delivery package as well? Go online and find something unique he’d like, that you know he wouldn’t buy for himself. Our list of 7 tech gifts for Valentine’s has a cross-section of items he might enjoy in a variety of price ranges. Is he a golfer? Send a gift certificate for a round of golf. Does he ski? Order new ski pants or send a lift ticket. He’ll be happy when he opens the door.

2. Schedule a Skype or Facetime Dinner Date

If you can’t be with your one-and-only cheek-to-cheek, dress up for the occasion, whip up a fun meal, and dine together with the help of your webcam. Ladies, make sure to wear red and pucker up with some shiny lip gloss. If you did receive flowers from your BF, place them next to you so he can see what he ordered.  Swap recipes in advance and let one of you be responsible for the appetizers, while another decides on the main course. At the end of the date, remember to have a romantic dessert. One of my favorites is in our Love Potions: Stuffed Strawberries with Dark Chocolate. You’ll both fall asleep with smiles on your faces, guaranteed.

3. Make a CD Mix or playlist

Music and romance are a winning combination. One way to show you care is to take the time from your busy day to create a music list and send it electronically to your date. If he or she still likes CDs, mail a gift-wrapped CD to their home. It’s a great way to show that you love them. Your Valentine will think of you every time they listen to it, so it’s a gift without an expiration date, in between the times you get to see each other IRL.

4. Remember to put a stamp on it

Write a love letter and mail it to them, snail mail. Your Valentine will have a permanent keepsake and there’s something uber romantic about a hand-written card with a stamp on it. Call me old-fashioned, but love letters will never go out of style.

Related: Tips on Writing a Love Letter

5. Say “I Love You”

How do I love thee. Let me count the ways. There’s no limit to the amount of times you should let your S.O. know you love them. Should you text or call? I say do both. Send a text early enough to wake him or her up in the morning. Follow it up with a call or voicemail message wishing them a “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Then it’s off to your Skype date in the evening.

6. Have a Movie Marathon

Watching a rom-com in each other’s arms can give you that warm and fuzzy connected feeling. But what happens when you’re in a LDR? I say keep that movie night on the calendar.  Pick a romantic comedy to watch together, while apart. Head over to Skype or FaceTime, grab some snacks, and enjoy a movie date together. If you’d rather binge watch your favorite TV series, no need to fret. Netflix has released a survey showing your love and affection together, as it relates to the way you binge watch. Need more deets? Check it out.

7. Send a Care Package

Nothing screams TLC in a better way when you’re far away, than sending your Valentine a care package in advance. What should you include? Anything romantic. Candles, lingerie, chocolate, music, a hand-written love note, framed photos of the two of you, or something you know that will make him or her smile. Remember to send it in advance, or go for a 2-day delivery. Valentine’s is on a Sunday this year, so your package will need to be received by Friday.

If all else fails, you can always plan a surprise visit. It doesn’t get much better than that. Our friends at PlentyOfFish shared a video with us, about how they brought together a long-distance relationship couple, Kristen from New Jersey and Johnny from Pennsylvania. POF flew them to Vancouver for a romantic Valentine’s Day, claiming they recognized the remarkable strength and fortitude of couples who navigate the highs and lows of long-distance relationships. As Kristen says, “Love is really is greater than distance.”

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace this Valentine’s Day, or wherever you may roam. xo

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

The Perils of Cyber-DatingLooking for love online?

Check out our completely revised edition of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, released for Valentine’s Day. This 2nd edition is available digitally on Amazon on Kindle and in an audio book on Audible and Amazon and includes a new epilogue with a romantic twist and a fairy tale ending.

 

Valentine’s Gifts for Every Relationship Stage

Is gift giving for Valentine’s always complicated? We know the pressure of Valentine’s is on. You can’t help but notice the red candy boxes everywhere you go.

If you’re wondering what to get the new person you just started dating for Valentine’s Day, or perhaps want to get something for your long-time love, gift selection can be confusing, regardless of your relationship status.

Here’s our Valentine’s gifts cheat sheet for all relationship statuses.

Newly dating – If you’ve only had a few dates and aren’t exclusive yet, bringing her 1 dozen red tulips will brighten her Valentine’s Day. You won’t be splurging for expensive roses or going overboard, but will still have the impact of bringing her flowers. Start her day off by sending her a fun Valentine’s e-card. I’m a big fan of Jib-Jab, where you can customize the card with a photo of yourself or send a video card. Bringing her lingerie sends a message that you’re only looking for sex (who isn’t?), but at this point she should be selecting her her own lingerie. A gift card for a mani/pedi will always be appreciated.

Going Steady – Honeymoon Phase (1-3 months) – If you’ve been dating for a month or two, she’ll be expecting to be your Valentine’s date if geography doesn’t get in the way. At this point, bring her a gift certificate for a massage at her favorite spa, offer to cook her a meal and have in-room-dining and bring flowers.  Other fun items include sending her a box of chocolate covered strawberries, or bringing a bottle of her favorite wine or champagne. This way you can feed each other when it’s time for dessert.

Getting Serious – Imperfect Phase (4-6 months) – By now you’ve become an item. You might have even changed your Facebook relationship status to “In a Relationship” and have a drawer at her place. When you’re headed towards the half-year mark, she’ll want to receive roses from you. There are plenty of great sites online for you to order flowers from, or you can go to your local grocery store to pick up a dozen. When a woman doesn’t get flowers on Valentine’s Day, she starts to wonder if you’re still swooning over her. If you’ve taken a trip away together, bring her a personalized gift such as a silver framed photo of the two of you to memorialize your vacation together.

Totally in Love – Over 6 months  Once you’re headed towards the one-year mark, it’s time to up the ante in the love department. She’s going to want something very personal. If jewelry is in your budget, getting her a sterling silver heart necklace, trinket, or bracelet from Tiffany & Company, may end up on your list. If it’s too pricey, you can order a less expensive one on Amazon to show her that you care. For those of you ready to step it up, but aren’t ready to pop the Q, give her a lovely commitment ring. It will show you have all 10 toes in, without getting engaged or setting a wedding date.

It’s Complicated – The ex and almost ex – If your relationship is winding down or you’ve recently broken up, should you acknowledge someone who you didn’t go the distance with? Studies have shown that 20% of singles actually text an ex on Valentine’s Day. Whatever you do, don’t send mixed messages and send flowers to someone, when you’re in the arms of another. Trust me, it will sting. You can send them a birthday present, congratulate them on their new job, and call them on holidays to say hello. That is acceptable for every holiday, but Valentine’s Day. If you’ve moved on, sending chocolate covered strawberries shouldn’t be on your gift list. The best gift you can give, is the gift of time, so you both can move on.

What will you be giving as a Valentine’s gift this year?

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

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Tinder vs. IRL: A Digital Peek at #OnTinderAtTinder

Tinder #OnTinderAtTinderRecently, media outlet Someecards asked their readers to submit what they look like in pictures on their Tinder profiles compared to what they look like while browsing Tinder. The striking difference between the two is hilarious as, according to Someecards, the tweets sent in “fully support the stereotype that women on dating sites are mostly cat lady shut-ins.”

The hashtag’s full meaning is “How I look on Tinder” vs. “How I Look at Tinder” to expose the truth behind the photos we select for the mobile dating profile, as compared to how perfect we try to look to guarantee a right swipe on dating apps.

#OnTinderAtTinder Tinder Viral Hashtag

#OnTinderAtTinder went viral and the submissions are still pouring in. We all put forth the best, most swipe-able versions of ourselves online, according to Bustle, and I don’t disagree.

Related: Boyfriend is on Tinder. Should I Break Up With Him

While you work hard to present the best possible pictures of yourself on social media, and especially on dating apps, it’s important to remain genuine and real. Since you can select the best 6 photos from Facebook, and now from your camera roll as well, we’ll leave the swiping frenzy up to you.

Posting any photos online, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Tinder, you should take the extra care to look your best. From choosing the right angle and proper lighting to picking the perfect filter (or sometimes multiple filters), you need to constantly make sure you’re putting your best digital foot forward. This new movement of honesty is a gentle reminder to be “just you” on social media, while still poking fun at the striking difference between our online and in-person appearances.

Related: Swipe Regret on Tinder? There’s Help for You

This viral hashtag sheds light on the fact that singles don’t show who they really are online. It also pokes fun at the superficial premise of Tinder.

With over 10 million members, over 9 billion matches and over 16 million swipes per day, now you can see your potential date in real time and decide if the real Tinder pictures are worth swiping right on, or not. Then again, it’s sill the quickest way to fill up your date card for Valentine’s.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and is the CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie and her team create Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more relationship advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt Newsletter.

View our book trailer for The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, NEWLY REVISED with a magical epilogue and Bonus Audio Dating Advice.

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