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Voting is Sexy. OkCupid Says “I Voted” is the New “I Love You.”

OkCupid Voting Report

With the combustive election cycle heading into high gear, you have to be living under a rock to avoid the topic of politics.

In fact, not having an opinion can hurt your chances of finding a date or a romantic partner, according to a new report from OkCupid.

The site reports that politics continues to be the top deal-breaker in dating, with 76% of singles saying how their date leans is vital to them.

According to the OkCupid Voter 2020 report, 500,000 people responded they could not date someone who didn’t vote, with 85% of registered voters more likely to receive a message from a potential date, and 63% of registered voters more likely to get matched.

OkCupid Registered Voters

“Now more than ever, daters want to connect with people who share their values,” says Ariel Charytan, OkCupid’s CEO. “We have always empowered people to match on what matters to them, and our millions of daters across the United States overwhelmingly prioritize civic engagement when it comes to finding someone they are compatible with.”

RELATED: Love at the Polls: Close to 90% Won’t Date Someone Who Didn’t Vote

To help single daters during this gut-wrenching and unprecedented time, OkCupid has created a new voter badge that will automatically be added to members’ profiles if they answer the question, “Are you registered to vote in the 2020 election?”

OkCupid voter badge

This voter badge shows you care about this divisive country we’re living in. By including this badge, along with a previously released badge for Black Lives Matter displayed on your profile, is, in my opinion, a magnet for love.

Singles who say they aren’t registered to vote will soon be redirected to a page on OkCupid in partnership with “When We All Vote,” to register to vote in real-time. The WWAV initiative was launched by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Janelle Monae, among others, to help singles register to vote in the 2020 election.

Love is at stake, and now is the time to show your values to connect with someone during this critical and historic election.

If the pandemic and civil unrest haven’t widely opened your eyes, perhaps OkCupid’s state-by-state interactive map will show how singles feel about serious issues of families separated at the border, prison reform, climate change, and stricter gun control. At least they’ll give you topics of conversation to discuss when you match with your date.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you swipe and roam leading to election day.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s the author and creator of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, and has been helping singles navigate love for over 25 years.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Instagram and Twitter.

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Dating During the Pandemic – Julie Spira on NBC Today in LA

 

On NBC Today in LA, I was a guest with Daniella Guzman and Jonathan Gonzalez to talk about quarantine love and Dating in the Age of COVID-19: How to Find Love in a Pandemic.

I explained why dating is a hot topic in a pandemic, and where singles originally pushed the pause button; Not anymore.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview.

Daniella: The pandemic has put a hold on a lot of things, including dating, in person. Singles are heading to dating apps and websites to meet new people.

Jonathan: Dating is hard enough as it is. Have you seen more people turning to dating apps during this time?

Julie: I have. As a matter of fact, the numbers have really skyrocketed! I have an ongoing poll on my site, DatingintheAgeofCOVID19.com, with the question, how has COVID-19 changed your dating life?

The majority, 83% said they were looking for a meaningful relationship more than ever, with less than 3% looking to hook up.

Daniella: So how does this work? You start with a Zoom meeting, and what’s your suggestion on how this works to date during the pandemic?

Julie: We do go in stages, and I’m a big fan of virtual dating. I created something called the Dress Rehearsal, where I actually go on “mock date” with people to get them ready for their date.

I check their lighting and what they’re wearing. As you can see I’m wearing red, and red pops on a video video date. 

We start slowly, with the first date being just a virtual drink. So I suggest bringing something bubbly, and putting on something that you’d wear if you were going to meet for happy hour, and do come with a happy face.

Daniella How can people stay safe if they do choose to finally make that next step and meet in person?

Julie: Right now, I’m not recommending meeting in person. I believe you’re better off safe at home, having virtual dates and doing fun thing for each other; sending deliveries.

I know some people send Venmo payments so they can pick up the tab from for their date’s dinner from their favorite restaurant.

Do things that are actually fun. Take a painting class together.

Start thinking about things you might want to do when the coast is clear to meet up in person.

Daniella:  It can get really lonely. This is a really good way, if not anything, to make a new friend as well. But, there are risks involved, always.

How can users make sure the person they’re talking to is the same person as their profile pictures. Does it make it more difficult when you don’t see that person?

Julie: This, Daniella, is the reason I believe in virtual dates. Whether you’re using Skype or Zoom or FaceTime, here’s an opportunity to make sure that someone’s not a “catfish.’ If their profile photos look a certain way, and then you get on a date or hop on a call, and they’re not recognizable, well, they’re probably hiding a lot more than just old photos.

Jonathan: Thank you Julie Spira for joining us today. You can find Julie on Instagram @JulieSpira and on her website at CyberDatingExpert.com.

When Should I Talk About My Ex, or Should I?

 
Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert - Ex
 
The question of reaching out to an ex during the pandemic is a popular one at Cyber-Dating Expert, but what do you do if you’ve met someone new, and you keep bringing your ex to the table? 
 
There’s always been an unspoken rule in dating that talking about your ex is an off-limits subject on a first date, or especially during the early days of dating.
 
It’s a huge turn-off to your new partner because it sends the message that you’re possibly not over your ex, or you’re playing the comparison game. No one wants to walk on eggshells with you, so refrain from talking about the ex, so you and your new partner can start with a clean slate, and you don’t end up in a complicated love triangle.
 
It’s not necessary to talk about an ex, but somehow these default questions frequently come up of, “So how long have you been single,” or “How long was your last relationship?” Just because someone asks, it doesn’t mean they genuinely want to know the answer. It falls into the category of asking how many people have you slept with. You know your answer will be judged as having too many, or not enough. I believe the same holds true with constant banter about someone from your past.
 
 
Still, you might run into your ex if you have mutual friends or might even be good friends with a previous partner.
 
If that’s the case, you should let your date know that you’re proud that you’ve been able to keep a healthy friendship with your ex, but there’s no chance of reconciliation. 
 
This conversation should only come up if you know you’re in a promising relationship, where you’ve agreed to be exclusive, and if you travel traveling in the same circles as your ex.
 
If you’re going to attend a birthday party, holiday gathering, or will be on the same virtual happy hour together, it’s best to let your partner know your ex will be at the same event. 
 
You should always avoid bashing your ex, or complaining about your sexual life because your partner will assume you could say the same about them. 
 
The conversation about the ex will come up at some point, and I firmly believe the best approach is to say they’re an ex for a reason, or the relationship ran its course, but you’re still cordial.
 
When you talk about an ex with someone new, it comes across as baggage that you’re still carrying. I believe in taking the high road, not pointing out all of the flaws in your past relationships, and instead praise the things you like about your new relationship. Let your new boo know how grateful you are that you’ve met theme, and are happy they’re at your side. 
 
If you’re directly asked about your past history or an ex early on in your relationship, I believe you should change the subject, or say something flirty such as, “An ex? I thought you were my first.”
 
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s been coaching singles on finding love online for over 25 years. Find out how the Dress Rehearsal service will help you get ready for your virtual dates, and FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Ask the Virtual Dating Expert – Should I Reach Out to my Ex During Corona?

During this period of self-isolation, quarantining, and when life seems so uncertain, it’s not unusual to reach out to old friends, family members, and of course, the ex who’s still on your mind.

Whether you’re sending a text to rekindle the spark, or just because you really care about their being, now’s the perfect time to reach out and say hello.

Chris, a reader sent in this question to Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert on this subject.

Dear Julie,

I hope you’re staying safe and healthy during this crazy time.

I’m reaching out because I could really use some advice. I would like to reach out to my ex, but I’m not sure what is the best approach.

We stopped speaking eight years ago, and I tried calling her 3 years ago, but received no response (please note, I sent her a follow-up text). I’m assuming this was her way of saying no.

If given the opportunity, I would try to take the approach of showcasing to her the new person I am but haven’t had the chance.

When we stopped speaking, we were 20 and didn’t end on the best of terms, but I feel like now that we’re two older adults, eight years later, maybe things could be different. Please note, she lives in New York, and I’ve been living in L.A. for the past six years.

Would reaching out to her again after my previous attempt even be worth it?

Thank you Julie. Any and all guidance would be appreciated.

Chris

RELATED: 8 Reasons Why She Didn’t Reply to Your Text

Dear Chris,

Thanks for reaching out. You’re not alone.

It’s been a busy time with people connecting on dating apps to meet someone new, and a lot of singles are reaching out to an ex to check in and make sure they’re safe during COVID-19.

If you try to reach out, it can’t jump in to sell the “new you” to her, and should only do so to show your concern for her health and well-being.

If you take the “look at the new me,” approach, she may feel like you’re pressuring her into an instant relationship and have ulterior motives, and it will backfire for sure, and most likely result in you getting ghosted again.

Plus, we don’t know if she’s in a relationship, or the thought about entering a long-distance relationship is something of no interest to her, especially with someone where there was a bad breakup.

For now, you’ve still got her on a pedestal, reliving past memories and hoping for a new future, which isn’t realistic.

WATCH: What to Do if He Only Wants to Text Me

Keep in mind, you don’t even know what she’s like in today’s time, eight years later. Perhaps her personality has changed, and you won’t like the “new her,” and if you met today, it wouldn’t be a fit.

Still, try to stay in the friend zone, because that’s all anyone’s ex can be right now, it’s the perfect time to reach out to her in a text to say: 

“Hi (insert name), I hope you’re safe and well during this crazy time.” Then add your first name.

Don’t ask her to answer a bunch of questions, don’t ask her about her relationship status and if she’s seeing anyone, or would consider getting back together.

Living in the past can haunt you, as you try to navigate love moving forward, which is an ideal time, as 75% of singles on the Love Poll in Dating in the Age of COVID-19 say they’re looking for a meaningful and long-term relationship.

If there’s any time to reach out, it would be now, but don’t start jumping into lengthy text exchanges, and don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back.

Reaching out once the crisis is over would be less genuine, so now’s the time to show you care, with no expectations. Consider your ex, an old friend, and everyone changes in the course of close to a decade.

Start looking for someone online who’s terrific and wants to meet someone just like you. If you’ve truly evolved in the past eight years, someone will benefit from your self-growth.

Keep me posted!

Julie

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s been coaching singles on finding love online for over 25 years, and as a virtual dating expert, helps singles master video dating with her Dress Rehearsal service.

California and Florida Rank as Top States for Dating

Source: WalletHub

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, WalletHub has released their annual report with a ranking of the best and worst states for dating.

This map shows a view of the entire country, with the states with the darkest shade of blue being the best states overall for dating. If you’re wondering how each state was ranked, WalletHub breaks it down by category.

California ranked as #1 with the most dating opportunities and #1 in the most romance and fun category. Both Florida and California top the overall best list, so perhaps the abundance of sunshine brings the daters out in full force.

Based on dining options, California ranked at #1 with the most restaurants per Capita, followed by New York and Florida. The least desirable states for dining include North Dakota and Alaska.

Since most dates include some type of food or beverage, having a large variety of choice makes these states a winner for date ideas.

With the popularity of movie dates, it’s no wonder that California and New York are in the top 5 with the most movie theaters according to this research. Then again, a ‘Netflix and Chill’ state has no boundaries.

When it comes to online dating, California is still in the top 5 list, with singles looking for love online, but ranks lower than Washington, New Hampshire, Colorado and Utah.

Even though Tinder is based in California, Bumble is based in Texas, and OkCupid’s offices are in New York, somehow those states didn’t make it in the Top 5 list. However, Colorado is still a swipe-happy state, ranking at #2.

For more details on the best and worst states for dating, visit WalletHub, or watch this video below.

Happy Dating, wherever you may swipe or roam.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. As an early adopter of the Internet, Julie’s been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years with her Irresistible Profiles programs.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram.

SIGN UP for the FREE Weekly Flirt for dating advice delivered to your inbox.

Is Brad Pitt on Tinder? He’d Like to Add his SAG Award to His Profile (If He Has One)

Brad Pitt Sag Awards
Getty Images

At the 2020 SAG Awards, Brad Pitt walked away with the win for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The single Hollywood heartthrob began his speech by holding his statue up and saying, “I gotta add this to my Tinder profile.” While he said it jokingly and in jest, the crowd roared with laughter, because Tinder is a household name, and celebrities are using dating apps.

Watch Brad Pitt’s SAG Awards Speech

So does Brad Pitt have a Tinder profile? I don’t know anyone who has yet had the opportunity to swipe right on Pitt on a dating app, but if so, he’s in good company.

Recently, Sharon Stone was spotted on Bumble, and it wasn’t fake news. Too many Bumbling users assumed the profile wasn’t really hers, and successfully got the app to take the profile down in error.

Stone went to Twitter to ask Bumble to reactivate her profile, so she can start swiping right for love.

Other celebrities on dating sites and apps have included, Sinead O’Connor, Demi Lovato, Zac Efron, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Lindsay Lohan, Khloe Kardashian, and Hilary Duff. 

If you do spot Pitt’s profile on Tinder, swipe right, and let me know, as it would be a thrill to critique his dating profile for him, and he’s already proved he’s got a sense of humor.

Julie Spira is an award-winning dating coach and America’s Top Online Dating Expert. She’s been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years with her Irresistible Profiles programs.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

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3 Ways to Know if You’re on a Date, or In the Friend Zone

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

These days, meeting someone online for drinks doesn’t always equate to going on a romantic date. Add in to the equation that many singles tend to go out in groups, so defining dating has become complicated.

Unless you’ve met someone on a dating app, and you’ve stated that you’re looking for a long-term relationship, meeting someone you like or have a crush on for drinks could mean a several things.

From getting together to hang out casually to, expanding your social network or even to talking shop if you met this person in the course of business, unless they lean in for a kiss, you might be in the friend zone, for now.

With all of these possibilities, it might be baffling to know in advance if you’ll be on the same romantic page as the person you’re meeting for happy hour during the week.

Ramp Up Your Flirting Skills 

To know for sure if you’re on a date, notice if there are visible signs of flirting. This could be in the form of sending regular text messages, possibly with a flirt emoticon, letting you know they’re single, and watching their body language to see if they smile when they see you.

Since first dates need to be in a low-pressure environment, I always advise going on a date to expand your social network and also to see if there’s any chemistry. There’s nothing worse than meeting someone you’ve got a crush on, only to find out they have a live-in partner they never mentioned before.

If you’re female, and you’re hoping your upcoming get together will be a romantic evening, make sure you dress up for the occasion. That means to change your outfit from work-mode to something a little flirtier such as a little black dress with a jacket and boots, add a little lipstick, and you’re ready to go.

Be Interested in Your Date

Remember to listen more than talk to find out more about the person you’re meeting for drinks.

Watch for their body language when you arrive. Are you greeted with a hug and a smile, or a handshake with your chair pulled out for you.

Try to limit your alcoholic intake to one drink, and at the end of the date, see if they’d like to get together again. If the person you’re meeting picks up the tab, that’s code for being on an official date, and a great sign if you feel the same.

If they suggest splitting the bill, know that you’re in the friend zone, and be okay with it. You never know if this person has a friend they could introduce you to, so be an exciting date, regardless of the label.

Follow Up When You’re Still Aglow

If you had a great time on your date, send a text the same evening to thank your date for getting together, and to let them know you had a great time and look forward to seeing them again.

Don’t play the waiting game, because the squeaky wheel gets the digital love deal.

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

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. As an early adopter of the Internet, Julie’s been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years. 

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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Good Day LA – Julie Spira on Online Dating Safety

As part of online safety week, Online Dating Expert Julie Spira sat down with Vanessa Borge on Good Day LA to teach singles how to date safely online.

With over 50 million singles using mobile dating apps and looking for love online, a question that is always asked is, “How safe is online dating?”

When the FBI reports 18,000 plus cases of problems, should you be concerned?

As a guest on Good Day LA, I explained that every issue and report is a concern, and all of us in the dating industry take dating safety seriously.

RELATED: How to Spot a Fake Dating Profile

In fact, a new research study from Stanford and the University of New Mexico showed that almost 40% of couples met online, which is double the amount of couples who met through friends at 20%, and significantly higher than couples who met in a bar, at 6%.

So what are the best safety tips?

Don’t leave the dating app quickly to communicate, as it’s safer and easier to track conversations.

Use my Digital Thumbs Up or Down Rule – Check your date’s social media profiles to see if you have friends in common.

You’re only as good as your worst photo. Red flags include a profile without a photo, or one where the photos look too good to be true, like a model or someone standing in front of a fancy car.

Don’t give personal information about where you work and live in case the date goes south.

Report any suspicious profiles to the dating apps.

Open your heart, but don’t open your wallet.

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

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating, and has been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years.

For more information on Julie’s Irresistible Profiles, click here.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Social Media

Study: Twice As Many Couples Now Meet Online than through Friends and Family

How did you meet - Online Dating

Guess what?

Research shows the majority of singles aren’t relying on friends and family to fix them up anymore.

Online Dating is the Most Popular Way to Meet

A new study shows a rapid increase of couples meeting online, to the tune of double the amount than meeting through friends.

Researchers, Michael Rosenfeld and Sonia Hausen from Stanford University and Reuben J. Thomas, of the University of New Mexico, have published their findings in a research note called, Disintermediating your friends

What they found is that for the very first time in the United States, is that online dating is the most popular way for heterosexual couples to meet.

The intersection of the two occurred in 2009. In the latest study released on July 15, 2019, it showed that close to 40% of singles met online in 2017, as compared to 20% who met through friends. Additionally, 11% of the couples surveyed met through co-workers, with 7% through family members.

On BBC Radio 5 Live, I spoke with presenter Sarah Brett, about this research study and the upward trend of digital dating

The simple question of, ‘How did you meet?’ was asked of 3,510 couples, with close to 40% saying they met online.

The reason for this considerable spike is everyone is attached to their mobile phones, and dating apps are so easy to use these days. Using dating apps cuts out the extra time of having a middle person like mom, dad, or your BFF wait for a reply from a friend-of-a-friend to introduce you to.

It puts fate into your own hands as you swipe left and right in search of finding your perfect match.

To those naysayers who still believe dating is the same as in 1995, where only 5% of couples met online, it’s time to grab your mobile phone and create the most irresistible profile you can. I have a feeling I can help you in your quest.

Your next relationship is just a swipe away.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. As an early adopter of the Internet, she’s been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira for Dating Advice

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Should I ask a Guy His Last Name Before a Date?

Dating Advice - What's Your Name

Part of dating includes being organized, and if you’re using dating apps and find there are several men named Steve, should you ask them their last names?

One of my dating coaching clients posed this question, as she was preparing for her second date with someone she met online.  The truth is, she really wanted to check him out, and by asking for his last name, she thought she could get some information about him to help her feel safe.

How should she ask him, and should she even ask at all?

My response was simply not to ask for his last name.

Here’s why.

When someone asks for your last name on the phone, it’s basic code for letting you know they’ll be doing a google search, or maybe even digging deeper into a background search. 

I asked her how she’d feel if her date did the same, checked out where she lived, if she owned or rented, or any other personal or financial information. She replied that she wouldn’t have liked that either.

What I suggested, was to tell her date that she’d meet him at the theatre, to thank him for offering to pick her up, and to let him know that she’d like to take him up on his chivalrous offer to pick her up on a future date.

This way, she’s playing it cautious, acknowledging that he’s a gentleman, and letting the conversation flow during their date, where possibly more will naturally be revealed.

If she’s still stuck on getting the last name, I suggested she share hers with him casually, knowing that he’d probably reply with his.

Remember, it’s a date, not a deposition.

No one wants to feel interrogated about their net worth, but everyone wants to feel comfortable and safe.

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

Julie Spira is an award-winning dating coach, and America’s Top Online Dating Expert. She was an early adopter of Internet dating, and has been coaching singles on finding love online for over two decades.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram

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