Geography 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.
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
Looking 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.
Looking for Love Online?
A new Pew Research Center study was released in time for Valentine’s with good news for daters both young and old. Your chances of finding a date or a soul mate have increased dramatically just in the past two years.
A new Pew Research Center study among 2,001 adults from June 10-July 12, 2015, has found that online dating has nearly tripled for singles 18-24 and more than doubled for singles 55-64.
Largest Users of Online and Mobile Dating are Young Americans 18-24
According to the survey, young Americans 18-24 now make up the largest percentage of users to online dating sites and mobile dating apps, with most of them using mobile dating apps that weren’t around when the survey was taken two years ago.
Attitudes Towards Online Dating Continue to be Favorable
The good news is that 80% of those who have used online dating sites agree that online dating is a good way to meet people. Say goodbye to the stigma and hello to finding love online. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we’ve been coaching singles from college-age to baby boomers for years now, so we are pleased to see the research back up our own work.
Some of the reasons for the growth in acceptance to online dating is that it allows singles to find a better match by meeting a lot of people, and it has become an efficient way of meeting someone new.
We know that Tinder has led the way for mobile dating app use for singles 18-24, who are constantly attached to their smartphones. We know they often swipe right, without paying attention to the photos on the screen. Yet, if you ask any single person now, they’ll be comfortable in letting you know that they are using a mobile dating app.
The Whole Family is Dating Online Now, Well, Almost
What’s interesting to note is that their single or divorced parents are looking for love online now in record numbers as well. With many baby boomers becoming single by divorce or the death of a spouse, they are finding online dating a source of hope in getting back out there in the dating world, a world where mobile apps didn’t exist while they were raising their kids.
So if you’re at the dining room table and you’ll probably notice that both mom and her kids are swiping left and right to fill their date cards.
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice
Sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt
We’re growing rapidly at Cyber-Dating Expert Headquarters.
Meet Erin Paradiso, our new Editorial Assistant who has joined our team.
Erin will be working on our Weekly Flirt newsletter and you’ll be seeing some fun posts about online dating and mobile dating from her at CyberDatingExpert.com.
Here are some fun facts about Erin:
- Loves carbs, all of them
- Loves cats, but she’s allergic
- She’s single and is dating on Tinder
- Doesn’t like hiking or going the gym
- Loves music, especially Fall Out Boy
Erin has a bachelors degree in entertainment business from the Los Angeles Film School and she’s excited to be spreading the love with us.
You can reach Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story ideas.
New Year’s dating resolutions. Do you need them? Sunday, January 3rd was the busiest day of the year for online dating.
With the first full week of January filled with new hopeful singles joining online dating sites, it’s time to change the way you’ve been looking for love online.
With am estimated 25-50% of new members joining the weekend after New Year’s, it’s time to think about a realistic resolutions list when it comes to matters of the heart and digital dating.
From joining the gym to the latest diet craze, we come up with lists that are so unrealistic that even Wonder Woman couldn’t achieve half of the items on the checklist.
Match.com reports that during the first week of 2015, they’ll expect to have over 2 million singles logging on over 30 million times! Are you ready to take the digital plunge?
PlentyofFish expects signups to jump over 24% on Sunday, January 3rd with approximately 81,000 new people joining their site.
With numbers like these, when it comes to matters of the heart, singles need to become reflective and take a good look at their dating patterns to join the digital party.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in the New Year
- Did you date the same type of people over-and-over again?
- Are you swiping left or right without looking at his or her profiles on mobile dating apps?
- Did your relationships sizzle at the three-six month mark when the honeymoon phase was over?
- Is your list of the traits of your perfect mate too big, too narrow, or just unrealistic?
Here are 10 suggestions and a list of resolutions to start fresh in the New Year.
Take a moment to jot down a list of those you dated in 2014.
Seeing the exact number of dates you went on will help you rethink your strategy. If you went on one date a month, you’ll need to increase the number of emails and swipes to send and respond to online.
Write down a list of the personality types to see where your patterns are.
We all have a type, but if you’re dating the same type of person over-and-over again and it always fizzles out, try expanding your search. Think about someone more adventurous, creative, or outside of your geographic area.
Beware if they seem too good to be true.
Chemistry is great, but how many times have you had instant chemistry, thought he or she was ‘the one,’ only to have it end as fast as it started? It’s like being side-swiped in a car accident. Beware of the instant anything and give someone another chance and put a second date on the calendar.
Don’t get hung up on physical qualities only.
If you’re wondering why men often lie about their height, it’s because you posted on your profile that you’re looking for someone 6’0 tall. Understand that in the United, about 14.5 percent of all men are six feet or over. That leaves about 85% of the male population at under 6′. Ladies, give a guy a break and become more realistic.
Guys, are you wondering why women lie about their age? They believe you have a perceived notion of the way a woman will look at a certain age. These days, so many singles work out to stay in shape, but law of gravity can get the best of people physically. Be more open minded to someone with the kind heart, even if the scale is tipping a bit.
Date people you could be friends with first.
I have a rule when I work with my dating coaching clients. If the potential date is someone you could be friends with, the please schedule a date on the calendar. Having the foundation of a relationship based on friendship is key to everlasting love.
Find someone you’d be proud to introduce to your friends and family.
Have you ever dated someone that most of your friends said, ‘buyer beware?’ Finding someone who blends in with your friends and who actually wants to meet them is important for the health of your relationship. Romantic nights together alone are important, but if he or she never wants to socialize with your friends, it’s probably not a good match.
Decide what similar interests are important – religion and values.
If you’re looking to start a family, find someone else who has the same goal. If you’re a single parent and want to blend your families together, date someone who also has children and is open to having a bigger family. If religion is important to you, join a niche site such as ChristianMingle, JDate, or JSwipe. Make sure your search parameters on larger mainstream sites state your religious preferences to find someone who shares the same faith as you. Find out the relationship history with his or her parents and family and see if they are in sync.
Don’t play too hard to get and wait to long to respond to his or her email/text.
I always say, “The squeaky wheel gets the digital love deal.” When you play hard to get, the other person may lose interest or find someone else more who’s enthusiastic about getting to know you.
Watch how your dates treat the servers at restaurants.
Kindness is important in a relationship, but what happens when you’re out in public? If he or she treats the servers rudely, it’s a red flag. In this case, I say run, don’t walk.
Listen more than talk.
It’s normal to get nervous on a date or excited and want to tell your date all about your life story. I say, stop and take a big deep breath. Listen to your date and let them tell you what they’re looking for or what passions they have. No one wants to be on a date when it’s all about the other person. When you’re listening, chances are your date will tell you exactly what you need to hear, to determine if it could be a match or not.
Answering these questions will help guide you better to determine who you should be adding to your date card.
With online dating in peak season now through Valentine’s Day, finding a date shouldn’t be a difficult task.
Remember your time is precious and more isn’t always better. It’s not the race to the finish line that matters. Every relationship serves a purpose and helps you get closer to knowing truly what you want. While falling in ‘like’ or ‘lust’ at first sight is common, it takes multiples seasons to determine if you’re truly in love with someone; a person who will be with you when there’s the inevitable bump on the road.
If you meet someone that you truly connect with, I encourage you to open your heart, swipe right, be open to the possibilities, and give someone a second chance in case they were nervous on a first date. Love yourself first so you are able to love others.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam in 2016.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and was an early adopter of the Internet. She’s been helping singles find love online for 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles. For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
A popular topic unfortunately is the trend of ghosting. If you haven’t heard of the term, it’s when someone you’re dating, even someone who calls you their boyfriend or girlfriend just disappears, even when things appear to be going great between the two of you.
In today’s Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert column, a woman writes:
We have been dating for a month, meeting almost everyday and calling it a real relationship. He even told his family and friends that he is dating me. We had a small argument over a stupid thing then he start ghosting me. I called him twice and sent text messages a few times. After our argument he posted our picture to Instagram. Two days later, he removed it.
I am confused. I removed him from Facebook and Instagram but he he hasn’t removed me from his Instagram.
My reply to this unfortunate dating dilemma:
Dear Ghost Victim,
You’re not alone. Dating someone for only one month is just that; dating. When people are dating, they are often dating others and leaving their options open to possibly date multiple people until they decide to be exclusive.
Urban Dictionary’s top definition of dating is:
Dating: “Of a couple, to be in the early stages of a relationship where they go out on dates to find out what each other is like, as a prelude to actually being a fully fledged couple.”
Being on each other’s Facebook and Instagram accounts when you’re dating is common these days. It doesn’t mean you’re exclusive and it doesn’t mean it will last forever. What I don’t know in your case is what your argument was about, but if it turned him off, chances are he pulled back. He might be dating others, he might just need his space. But if he isn’t feeling good about the two of you, it’s understandable that he’d take photos of you down from Instagram, so other women won’t think he’s taken.
You’ve already reached out a few times. He hasn’t. My best advice to you is to fill your date card, right now. It’s good that you unfriended him on Facebook, but please DON’T stalk his instagram account. I always say, “Seek and ye shall find.” If you keep looking, you’ll probably see a photo of him and another woman, or him having fun somewhere without you.
One month is too soon for a couple to know if they’ll ride into the sunset together. Ghosting after one month is common, because the level of commitment isn’t there. It’s lazy and cowardly, but it’s the easy way out.
Go out and have fun with your friends. Accept dates. Stop looking on his social media to see what he’s up to. You can wonder why, but put it behind you. He’s just another guy who ghosted because he got spooked or isn’t feeling it anymore.
If he comes back, you might already be in the arms of a great guy who won’t bolt when there’s a bump in the road.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo
Do you need dating advice or have a question for Julie Spira? Submit your dating questions here.
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.
With the story that’s hitting the news worldwide and households in fear, we tackled the subject of the Ashley Madison hack on channel 11, My FOX LA, Studio 11 LA.
In a television interview with hosts Lauren Sivan and Bob DeCastro, the question came up, do you reveal that your email was one of 25+ million revealed on Ashley Madison or do you keep it to yourself?
In a story where the World Wide Web has become the Wild, Wild, West, the issues of privacy and infidelity are now at hand for millions of members of their site. Do you kiss-and-tell or do you call a divorce attorney?
Millions of women around the world will be heartbroken. Most of the site’s members reside in the United States, with Los Angeles and New York being the top cities for members.
Trust takes time to build and a split second to lose. How do you rebuild the trust? Can you?
A site called Trustify has a page where you can search for someone’s email to see if they’ve signed up, but this doesn’t guarantee they actually paid or met someone. The ratio of men to women is about 5:1.
I’m not a fan, nor an endorser of Ashley Madison or sites like these and believe in investing your time and energy into your relationship.
Would you tell your significant other you’ve joined Ashley Madison?
Watch as we discuss this difficult subject on FOX Los Angeles.
For dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been helping singles find love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles dating coaching programs. Visit CyberDatingExpert.com.
In this episode of Words,Wine and Women, Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker Julie Spira teaches Tara the attorney and Beth the single mom digital dating tips on what to post in their profiles when starting Internet dating and using mobile dating apps for the first time.
Watch this episode if you think the following:
1. If you’re looking for a commitment and only dog-lovers apply.
2. You think there are only creeps online.
3. You want to feel safe with Internet dating.
4. You’re not sure which sites to try.
5. You aren’t sure what types of photos to post.
6. You need help in creating a buddy system.
7. You need tips on what to talk about on a date.
Find out the difference between all of the many dating sites now.
Are you ready to have an Irresistible Online Dating Profile to attract your dream date?
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and has appeared in over 600 news stories with her online dating advice. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
How do you create an irresistible online dating profile and protect yourself from being a victim of a ‘Catfish?’
We tackled these questions and more in a radio interview on “The Night Side” on AM1010 in Toronto with Barb DiGiulio.
From word-count to safety; photos to emails; long-distance relationships and more, listen in to find out how you can be more successful with Internet dating.
Follow @JulieSpira for online dating advice.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and has helped singles find love online for over 20 years. For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and visit CyberDatingExpert.com.
Our friends at Match teamed up with Wella for a #LoveisintheHair survey to of online daters on Match to find out what the guys and gals had to say about women and their hair color and styles.
Check out this fun Infographic and maybe try a new hairstyle for your next date to mix it up.
Some of the key findings are:
- Blondes have more long-term relationships.
- Brunettes have more first dates.
- Almost half of the women think that sleek and straight hair makes them feel more confident.
- Almost half of the single men found women with curly hair to be more irresistible
- 1/4 of single men find women with straight-sleek hair to be more wife-worthy
- 1/4 of single men find women with hair in braids to be more sporty
Does this mean you need to run to the hair salon and change your color and style? I say no. The number one attraction to a man will always be confidence, so ladies…smile be confident, be happy both on the Internet and offline and he’ll be enjoying his date with you.
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for online dating advice.
The beauty of online dating is that it’s available 24-hours a day and you can meet anyone from a neighbor with a mobile dating app to someone from another continent.
The fine folks at Zillow took a poll of the best cities to find love in 2015 by looking at locations with more than 250,000 residents.
This infographic below lists the best cities of eligible single men and women who could afford a night on the town based on:
- The percentage of singles.
- The percentage of singles who moved to town in the past year.
- The median disposable income among single residents (median income minus median rent).
- The number of restaurants, movie theaters and other date spots per capita.
Based on that data, the 10 best cities for love are:
- Washington, DC
- St. Louis
- San Francisco
If your city isn’t on the list, perhaps it’s time to cast a wider net and expand your search by changing your zipcode.
If you’re in Washington, you’re in luck as that city ranks at the top of the list to find singles looking for love.
If you’re living in Los Angeles, why not seek out someone special in the Bay area? According to this list, San Francisco ranks at number 9 and is the only city on the west coast that made the list. If you can’t fathom even dating someone on another freeway, no need to fret.
Even though LA missed the top 10, the data shows it’s 58% single with 2.7% of that single population recently moving to town. We measured the number of date spots per capita and LA has 33 date spots per every 10,000 people, which is pretty high comparatively. Date spots include: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, live music hangouts, theaters and parks. The final metric was disposable income, LA has a median disposable income of $7,570 – lower than all of the top-ranked cities.
Would you date someone in another city or state? Would you move for love?
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and host of #DateChat on Twitter on Thursdays at 5p/PT, 8p/ET. Julie and her team create Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert, and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.