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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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3 Tips for a Great Dating Profile for Singles Over 50 – Today Show

Photo Credit: Today Show

The number of singles dating over 50 is growing at a rapid rate, with new members joining online dating apps in record numbers. An OurTime Singles Over 50 Survey showed that 72% of singles over 50 say they’re open to finding love in the future., but almost half of all singles 50+ went on a date in the past five years.

On the Today Show, I shared how singles can create an Irresistible Profile, by posting my worst dating profile and comparing it with my best dating profile with Maria Shriver.

Watch the video below for highlights

The three tips we shared include:

Tip 1: A Photo is Worth 1000 words.

BAD PROFILE: As you can see in my ineffective profile below, I’ve included photos with a group of people, which is confusing to a potential date, and a selfie wearing dark glasses, which shows there could be something I”m hiding, instead of looking into the eyes of the man of my dreams.

Ditch the Bikini Photos if You’re Looking for a Serious Relationship

There is so much wrong with wearing a bathing suit in your dating profile. A selfie wearing a bikini top is a mistake, as it’s just viewed as a bra or lingerie with different material.

Plus, are there bedroom eyes behind those shades? It sends a message that a hookup is a possibility, which is not the intention.

Post Photos of Activities You Love

GOOD PROFILE: If you post photos of the activities you like doing, and caption them, it gives a formal hint to your date of possible places to take you. In this case, music is a big part of my life, and I caption it by asking someone to request a song.

For the dates who fear meeting a golf widow, posting a golf photo shows I’d like to go to the driving range with a date, or perhaps take a lesson when my date is playing a round of golf

Tip #2: Focus on the Positive

As shared on the Today Show, I compared a bad profile filled with so much negativity and an exhausting wish list. It would send someone running for the hills. How many men are really 6’+ tall? Perhaps 10-15%.

Instead, I shared one that’s realistic and easy for someone to feel like they can step up to the plate, by opening a door and having an intellectual conversation.

Tip #3 Keep Your Wish List Short and Sweet

Maria decided to keep her list simple, and desired someone who’s kind, fun, smart, funny, and smart, and we uploaded a photo of her showing her award-winning smile.

Click here to watch the full segment

It’s peak season for online dating, so if you need your hand held, contact us to find out how Irresistible coaching will help you find 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 been called “The Pioneer of Online Dating” by Cosmo. Julie coaches singles from Millennials to Baby Boomers on finding love in the digital age.

Follow @JulieSpira on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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How Singles Can Stand Out During Peak Dating Season

Dating Advice Peak season

Hang on to your digital hats and make your mobile phone your new BFF, as the momentum from Dating Sunday, the busiest day of the year, will now continue through the peak season, now through Valentine’s Day.


What happens on During Peak Season?

Peak season is one of the busiest times of the entire year for new signups and activity on dating apps, Know that you won’t be swiping alone and that your next match could be a click or swipe away.

Between breakups from last year, New Year’s resolutions including finding love, and the ticking countdown clock to Valentine’s Day, there’s a huge flurry of activity going on, and it’s time to join the digital party.

Here are four tips to help you fill up your date cards online right now, so you can meet someone to connect with offline in 2019.

RELATED: USA Today: ‘Dating Sunday’: The busiest day of the year for online dating is Jan. 6

1. Post New and More Photos.

When you post at least six photos, you’ll have a greater chance of someone reaching out or responding to you.

Most dating apps allow you to post six to 10 photos, and I encourage you to use all of the digital real estate available to shine and look your best.

The options usually allow you to snap a photo on your mobile phone’s camera, use existing photos from your camera roll, or often you can link to your Facebook or Instagram photos, to grab some of your favorite pictures.

Apps including Bumble and OurTime let you upload six photos, Match and OkCupid apps allow up to ten photos, and Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel lets you post up to nine photos.

Which Photos Should You Post?

Dating Peak season Photos

Did you get a new puppy? Post a few shots and let your potential date know the name of your four-legged friend in the caption. Women love photos of men with their puppies, but men shy away from women with cat photos.

If you’ve just returned from a great vacation, post some scenic shots and make sure to add the captions.

Try to keep the photos about you, and leave the party shots behind. Posting too many group photos can become confusing to those gazing at you, and I recommend that you toss out the photo wearing sunglasses and the selfie shots.

When you’re dating online, your profile needs to be about “you,” so your potential date she can start imagining becoming an “us” with you in mind.

The good news is you’ll start receiving notifications and comments about your photos, so you can see which ones are the most popular when it’s time to swap or rotate pictures. It’s also the perfect opportunity to write back to those who have complimented you.

2. Give your bio a digital facelift.

Many singles write a profile, toss up a few photos, and wait for all of the messages and push notifications to roll in.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Find Love Online and IRL in 2019

Being passive isn’t going to work, and neither does playing the waiting game. I’m here to tell you there’s no magic formula to attract “Mr. or Ms. Perfect instantly,” but this advice is as close as you’ll get. You MUST rewrite last year’s profile, which is now stale, and continue to update it from time-to-time, just like you do on social media.

To keep it simple, try rearranging your sentences to help boost your visibility, or tease your potential date with details of your upcoming vacation. I tell my clients they should always revise their profile with their latest travel photos. Even if your dream is to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, snap a pic at a local hiking trail in your neighborhood and remember to caption it.

3. Use your mobile app and turn on push notifications.

Make sure you have the push notifications set to the “on” position on your dating app, so you can know instantly when someone is interested in you, or replies to your message.

Everyone is using their mobile apps to check texts, get calls, and scroll through their Instagram feed, so finding love on your phone is the most effective way to fill your date cards.

4. Start Scheduling Dates.

Dating Peak Season Tips

There’s been a lot of chatting back-and-forth, and not enough meeting in person. If someone interesting writes to you, don’t wait to write back. I say strike when the digital iron is hot and get a conversation going and put a date on the calendar.

If you don’t, someone else will, so start searching, swiping, get the convos going. It’s time to fill your date cards and schedule dates on your calendar with someone who’s been waiting to meet someone just like you.

If you need help to jump start your dating life, contact us to find out how our Irresistible Profiles can help you find your dream date.

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

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

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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

Photo Credits: Fotolia

Dating Sunday Survival Guide

Dating Sunday is around the corner, and on the evening of Sunday, January 6th, most dating apps will see the busiest activity of the entire year.

Dating Sunday, also dubbed the “Super Bowl of Dating,” is an official holiday in the love business. It’s the time for new beginnings and your next relationship could just be a click or swipe away this Sunday night.

Why is Dating Sunday becoming a trending news story?

With the beginning of every New Year, the subject of love is high on the dating totem pole for most singles. This usually happens because finding love is on New Year’s resolutions lists, holiday breakups peaked up until December 24th, and singles would like to find someone special with Valentine’s Day around the corner.

RELATED: Julie Spira Talks to ABC News About Dating Sunday

Dating Sunday – Julie Spira – ABC News from Julie Spira on Vimeo.

Since there’s a huge uptick in dating app usage across the board starting the first week of January, the dating industry now has an official annual holiday, Dating Sunday.

How Big is Dating Sunday?

Dating apps such as Match, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, Tinder, and Bumble see their activity soar from 50-75%, so it’s a great time to join the digital party.

Match expects over 1.5 million messages to be sent at 9:05pm/EST, and Coffee Meets Bagel predicts the chattiest times between midnight and 1am local time.

How Can You Shine on Dating Sunday?

RELATED: 5 Ways to Find Love in 2019: How to Find Love Online and IRL

Know that some people are joining dating apps for the very first time, and others are rejoining after a taking a break, or a break up.

Remember having a naked profile will result in less views, messages, and dates, so it’s digital real estate that needs your attention.

Just like reading a blog, you don’t want to have a profile that was written last year, or even several years ago. If you’ve taken up a new hobby, include it on your profile. If you have tickets to a concert or sporting event, list it, and you might find a date to join you.

What will make Dating Sunday and beyond work for you is to post new photos from the places that made you the happiest and where you felt your best.

Caption them if possible with the dates and locations they were taken, or describe them in your profile to help create an ice-breaker for someone who’s intrigued by your profile

Add emoji’s to help you stand out in a flirty and fun way, and we sure about your intent on what you’re looking for.

Be Authentic About Your Dating Goals

With over half of the single population using dating apps, not everyone is looking for the same type of relationship. Some people are looking for a serious relationship, while others are looking for friendship or someone to go to a movie with.

Representing your best authentic self, will help lessen the overwhelming feeling you might get when you log on and have so many options.

The only way Dating Sunday will help you fill your date card, is to communicate and respond on Sunday night, because the squeaky wheel gets the digital love deal.

You’ll want to be chatting with people you can click with, and make sure to swap digits so you can schedule dates for the following week.

Be Responsive

A relationship is about becoming a couple, and while you might be flattered to receive a lot of messages or views, if you don’t respond right away, someone else will. We’ve seen so many singles excited about a potential date, but when they played the waiting game to not seem too eager, they’ve lost out, as that person decided to focus on one person who was more available.

Being proactive and responsive shows you’re confident about yourself, which is a turn-on to both men and women. Playing games was last decade. It’s time to meet IRL, and let Dating jump start the process and pave the way for love in 2019.

We’re here to help you make your dating profile Irresistible for Dating Sunday, and throughout cuffing season and during peak dating season.

Wishing you much love and joy on Dating Sunday, and wherever you may swipe or roam.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She was an early adopter of the Internet and for almost 25 years, she’s been helping singles find love online and on mobile apps.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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

Love at the Polls – Close to 90% of Singles Won’t Date Someone Who Didn’t Vote

Midterm Elections Dating

Do you remember when the “off-limits” subjects on a date were politics and religion?

The world is all eyes on the 2018 Midterm Elections, and not voting just isn’t sexy this time around.

Political conversations have permeated the Internet, social media, and most certainly have been tagging along on dates since Donald Trump ran for and won the Electoral College.

In the dating world, it continues to heat up, with dating app Bumble expanding users profiles to include stating your political party by selecting if you’re apolitical, moderate, liberal, or conservative, and separately, you can now indicate if you’re a voter, or if you’re not voting this time around.

On OkCupid, they continue to expand their political questions. The dating site and app found leading into the midterms, that over half (58%) of Millennial women “believe a partner who exercises their right to vote is more attractive than exercising.”

While researching and writing my book, Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, I found that the majority of singles, especially women, agreed that dating someone who didn’t vote was a turn-off, and clearly a dating deal-breaker. Several women actually came forward to say they turned down a date when they found out their date didn’t vote for President.

On Facebook on the eve of the Midterm Elections, I decided to get a temperature reading and posted questions of:

 

“Is Dating someone who doesn’t vote a turnoff?”

Not Dating Voting Deal Breaker

“Would you date someone who doesn’t vote?”

The responses and comments were heated, with the majority, 87%, saying they won’t date someone who didn’t vote, as compared to 13% who said they would. Some actually engaged in same-sex flame wars with those with different political views.

One friend tagged me on Facebook with someone else’s comment of, “Don’t bang people who don’t vote.”

Yes, politics is entering the bedroom.

Here’s a curated list of some of the responses and sentiments people are posting about voting in the age of Trump.

Feel free to comment, and please, show up to the polls and vote.

Midterm Poll

“As long as they didn’t vote for Trump.”

“I’d vote to DUMP them. If you don’t vote, you don’t really care about the direction of our country. I couldn’t fall for someone who really didn’t care about that.”

“[Voting] says a lot about a person and if they don’t care/participate in our democracy. Life’s too short to waste an hour. Ask ahead.”

“It’s important to be a participant in society! No excuse not to vote! Shows laziness, self-centered character traits; maybe someone who is greedy.”

“It says a lot about a person if they don’t care/participate in our democracy. Life’s too short to waste an hour. Ask ahead.”

RELATED: Love VS. Trump: Is Politics Polarizing Relationships?

“If you don’t participate, you forfeit the right to criticize.”

“Apathy is not sexy.”

“Complete turn-off and I wouldn’t date someone who didn’t vote.”

“I’d give them a pass if they were a convicted felon and could not vote. But then again, dating a convicted felon might not be such a good idea either.”

“No…that means they don’t care about their country.”

“I’d get SERIOUS with someone intelligent, responsible, and driven enough to be an informed voter.”

“I did and it was not good. Our basic values were so clearly illustrated by our differences in political beliefs to begin with.”

“No way! If they’re that disconnected about elections, I’d also be concerned about what else is being glossed over.”

“Election Day has always been my Super Bowl! Tough to nerd out with someone who’s not engaged with the process.”

“YES— I would not date someone who doesn’t vote and it’s okay to agree to disagree, but it has to be based on logical facts, not emotional fiction.”

RELATED: Can People With Different Political Views Make a Relationship Work?

“Absolutely a no go! Voting is a moral responsibility.”

“I wouldn’t let someone’s voting habits or political beliefs get in the way of love.”

“If you don’t care enough to vote this point, you should leave the country.”

“If you don’t vote, I will not date you. I don’t care who you vote for, but please vote.”

“If he doesn’t vote, he’d better have a big bank account and a bad cough.”

“It would irk me, but not make me reject him. Now I would reject someone who votes Republican.”

“Turn off for sure.”

RELATED: Millennials Working for the Trump Administration Are Undateable

“Politics is not a factor in a personal relationship.”

“Might depend more on how they vote, not just if they vote.”

“Someone who votes for Trump or Republicans in these midterms is a turn-off.”

“Here’s my position on non-voters. Shut the F up about government! When you vote, you may participate in the conversation. Take being a citizen seriously by voting.”

“No vote stub. No tongue.”

“If someone doesn’t vote or doesn’t find voting important, it is literally one of the biggest turn-offs.”

“Would you rather have a great voting life or a great sex life? Hint, only one of these will most likely lead to a divorce.”

“To each his own, although I would try to convince him that it matters. Not a deal-breaker to me.”

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating, and as the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert, has been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years. Julie’s the author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram.

Julie Spira on Finding Love Online for the Jewish New Year

Jewish Dating

Photo credit: Fotolia

In my world, every day is like Valentine’s Day.

Summer love isn’t on it’s way out. The last day of summer is on September 22nd.

For Jewish singles, we’re As we head into the Jewish holidays of Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year on September 9th, leading into and Yom Kippur on September 19th, it coincidentally occurs around the same time as ‘Cuffing Season,’ where couples tend to find a partner to make a commitment to in the fall.

RELATED: YOUR GUIDE TO CUFFING SEASON – GET READY TO COUPLE UP

Singles really want to connect and the Jewish New Year is really the start of the overall holiday season.

In conversation with the Jewish Journal, I spoke with writer Debra Eckerling on how Jewish singles can find love online, which was featured in the print edition of the newspaper, in the “Just Asking” column on page 62.

The online version can be found online here.

“We love our work, but we should also have love in our lives,” Spira told the Journal, “and love our partner, if we have time to find one.”

For Jewish singles looking for love, I recommend joining a site or mobile dating app such as JDate, JSwipe, or JCrush, and making sure your profiles on Match, eHarmony, Coffee Meets Bagel, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, or Zoosk, and indicate that you’re Jewish, if faith is important to you.

“When it comes to matters of the heart, you need to leave the boardroom out of the bedroom. Being only in work mode leaves no room for someone to feel romantic. Women need to be able to shift, talk about different things over dinner. If you only talk about your career, you will be in the friend zone forever.”

Sometimes a summer romance will lead to marriage, as evidenced in a recent survey from Plenty of Fish, and we’ve got a few weeks left of summer.

Know that many summer romances don’t last, and when a door closes, another opens, especially with the thoughts of a sweet, New Year.  If that’s the case, here’s  how to end it gracefully.

RELATED: WHAT HAPPENS TO RELATIONSHIPS WHEN SUMMER ENDS

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

FOLLOW Online Dating Expert Julie Spira on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @JulieSpira.

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

Did you know that we now offer dating coaching by the minute? Download the app here  for iOs mobile phones and tablets, and let’s chat now.

Book Julie Spira

SURVEY: Online Daters Are OK Dating Non-Drinkers; Most Prefer Drinking on a 1st Date

 

Coffee Date

Photo credit: Fotolia

Do you have to drink while on a date?

While singles aspire to have a unique and memorable first date (after all, he or she could be ‘the one’), more often than not, someone you will meet on an online dating site or mobile dating app will ask you to get together for the default date of “drinks” or “coffee.”

While meeting someone at a happy hour, could advance to dinner, what do you do if you don’t drink alcohol? Should you fake it, or order a “mocktail?”

In polling over 8,000 online daters and analyzing over 100,000 messages, dating app Zoosk asked these questions and more for this Drinking Study.

Zoosk Drinking Study

Some of their findings show that singles are drinking big time on dates, with the majority, 72% consuming alcohol.

Since 1/3 of singles are non-drinkers, and it can help relax you if you’re nervous about a date, how does dating sans alcohol affect their dating lives?

No one should feel pressured at all on a first, date, but the Zoosk Drinking Study found that 10% of singles actually pretended to sip an alcoholic drink while on a date.

RELATED: 10 Fun Summer 1st-Date Ideas That Are More Fun Than Just Grabbing a Drink

How do singles really feel about drinking on a date?

  • A majority of singles (92%) order their first drink before their date arrives.
  • A majority of singles (73%) believe meeting for drinks makes a good first date.
  • Over half of singles (55%) think two (2) drinks should be the maximum on a date.
  • Mentioning “sparkling wine” in your online dating profile or message increases  your response rate by 29%.

All of this pressure to drink to feel more relaxed on date isn’t that necessary.

Zoosk Drinking Study

The study found that almost a third of non-drinkers find it more difficult to date when they didn’t drink, but it’s not all doom-and-gloom.

A majority of drinking singles (86%) say they’d date a non-drinker, and non-drinkers (81%) are open to dating those who drink alcohol.

RELATED: Summer Dating Profile Tips You Can Make Instantly

What’s the solution?

If you feel the pressure to order a beverage, and you’re not interested in getting a buzz, try ordering kombucha, ginger ale, tonic and water, cranberry and soda, iced-tea, or an espresso.

Or, in the alternative, suggest a fun outing or daytime date that doesn’t include alcohol.

We’ve got plenty to choose from here.

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’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert, and has been coaching singles on finding love online for over two decades with her Irresistible Profiles programs.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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

Can Trump and Non-Trump Supporters Still be Friends?

 

Can Trump and Non-Trump Supporters Still be Friends?

Photo credit: Fotolia

A new politics study from Pew Research Center confirms the pain that many of you have been feeling both online and offline; friendships and romance are feeling stressed when the subject of Donald Trump comes up, and inevitably it will.

The Pew poll of over 2,500 adults conducted from June 27 – July 9, 2017, and released on July 20, 2018, shows that a majority (52%) of American’s are paying attention to politics since Donald Trump was elected president, with almost 60% of women driving the political conversations.

Almost half of the Democrats in the study admit that supporting Donald Trump is putting a strain on relationships, and members of both parties believe that someone supporting the other party didn’t share the same values and goals as they did. Most of us know someone who has lost a friend or romantic partner due to differing politics, right?

Pew Politics Study
 

I believe this strong divisiveness is a reality that isn’t going to go away soon.

While researching my upcoming book, Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, I have seen similar findings, with women being less willing to date across party lines than men. I’ve also witnessed the testing of friendships, and people who quickly unfriended and blocked people they used to be close with on social media.

As someone who’s in the business of forging love relationships, I believe in taking an inclusive approach, and for people to be open-minded about listening to another point of view, but I’m even more aware that the struggle is real, and the stress that Pew has confirmed is as intense as the reality show that our country is living in.

RELATED: Love and Loss in the Age of Trump

I’ve gone on record as saying politics ranks higher on the dating totem pole than dating a smoker who could quit.  In addition, we’ve added the subject “politics” to all of our dating coaching consultations, and have found the majority of liberals said they wouldn’t date a Trump supporter, with the majority of conservatives said they’d prefer not to talk about politics.

Pew Politics Study
When dating site OkCupid asked the simple question of “Trump?” in their online questionnaire, the majority of their members who answered said, “Hell no,” and since 90% of their members support the ACLU, singles are proudly including the #RighttoLove badge in their profiles as part of the partnership with the ACLU.

If you’re single and living in D.C., there will be slim pickings when it comes to dating. Politico reports that if you work for the Trump administration, it’s hard to find a date,  but this isn’t happening just in D.C. I see it everywhere.

These days, on Facebook, even a political cartoon can result in a visceral reaction from your friends.

When I posted the meme of Bob and Sally on Facebook, I was trying to get a temperature reading from my friends. The meme went viral, and the comments poured in, with the majority saying “No, we can’t be friends with a Trump supporter.” Many took it a step further and said, “We can’t even be friends with someone who is friends with a Trump supporter.”

Bob and Sally - Politics
I was told I wasn’t taking a strong enough position against my Trump-supporting social media friends, even though the majority of my friends did lean to the left.

I have strong views and opinions where it comes to our current administration but have an even stronger desire to make sure love prevails past Trump’s current or potential future term.

RELATED: SURVEY: Singles Would Rather Have Bad Sex Than Date a Trump Supporter

If Politics is Important to You, Wear it Proudly

Yes, Donald Trump has polarized our country, our families, and our friends. Wearing a political baseball cap including “#NOTMYPRESIDENT” or on the opposite side, a “MAGA” hat, are now both front and center on dating profiles.

OkCupid profiles are proudly filled with the #RighttoLove badge, and singles now instruct potential partners to “swipe left if you voted right.”

This presidency has brought the conversation about values and attitudes to the table, and I believe that’s a good thing. Finding someone like-minded about the issues that are the most important to you will help you find a partner to join you on this turbulent journey in Trump’s America.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and is the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s the author of the upcoming book, Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships and has been coaching singles for almost 25 years on finding love online.

Contact Julie

FOLLOW @JulieSpira

5 Fun Facts About World Chocolate Day and Love

Chocolate Strawberries

I have to confess. I embrace a healthy diet, eat a banana every morning for the potassium, an avocado a day for the good fat, eat wild salmon for the omega fats, and nibble on raw almonds as a snack.

I haven’t eaten red meat in decades, but when it comes to chocolate, all bets are off.

I try to justify my desire for chocolate by eating only dark chocolate, and chocolate covered pomegranates, thinking it’s healthier. In reality, they’re filled with sugar and caffeine, and I’ve always wondered, is chocolate truly an aphrodisiac, or is it a myth?

In honor of World Chocolate Day, held annually on July 5th, Elite Singles came up with some fun facts about this sugar-filled day, as it relates to romance, which might surprise you.

Fun Fact 1. The scent of chocolate can make you more likely to buy a romance novel

Since many of you have bookshelves filled with romance novels or self-help relationship books, it’s not a random decision that bookstores with cafes have chocolate strategically placed near the romance sections.

According to Elite Singles,

“In 2013, Belgian researchers conducted an experiment where they pumped chocolate smells around a local bookstore and then analyzed shopper’s behavior. When the store smelled of chocolate, sales of romance novels and cookbooks rose 40% higher than when the store didn’t have the scent.”

Fun Fact 2. Chocolate can get you more worked up than passionate kissing

In 2007, researchers found that eating chocolate makes your heart beat faster than the already fast heartbeat you experience while kissing. The research took it further and found if you let the chocolate melt in their mouth, it’s more of an intense and longer lasting feeling than just when kissing.

No wonder, ordering a flour-less chocolate cake or a chocolate-covered strawberry seems romantic at the end of a date.

via GIPHY

Fun Fact 3. You won’t feel the aphrodisiac effects unless you eat 25lbs of chocolate at once

Famous philanderer Giacomo Casanova, the kind of guy you don’t want to date, loved sipping hot chocolate, even more than champagne. Could a chocolate martini be a better drink to order than a glass of prosecco?

Casanova called chocolate the “elixir of love” and used it to woo women. But the reality is, you’d have to eat an enormous amount of sugar-filled chocolate for it to be noticeable, and we know that’s not healthy.

Fun Fact 4. Chocolate can make singles fantasize about love

A study in 2014 on the effects of snack foods and romantic thoughts of singles found that those who eat Oreos were more likely to think about a dreamy potential romantic scenario, as compared to those who ate salty chips.

Fun Fact 5. Chocolate and water taste better when you’re falling in love

According to Elite Singles,

“A set of 2013 studies compared the tastes of a neutral group with groups of participants induced to feel love, jealousy, and happiness. Each group was asked to rank the sweetness of certain foods, like chocolate and even water. The neutral, jealous, and happy groups ranked the foods similarly – but the love group’s rankings were consistently higher on the sweet scale.

So if you’re wondering if chocolate is an aphrodisiac and will help your dating or love life, my best advice is to nibble it in moderation and take steps to manifest the perfect relationship for you.

If you need help to fill your date card, or are looking for a loving relationship, contact Online Dating Expert Julie Spira at info@cyberdatingexpert.com

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

International Kissing Day – Are You Ready for that First Kiss?

national kissing day

You don’t need to be watching a romantic-comedy to know that a first kiss can be the beginning of a beautiful romance, or not.

On Friday, July 6th, it will be International Kissing Day, so if you didn’t kiss that hottie during the fireworks display on Fourth of July, here are some tips from our friends at Coffee Meets Bagel to get it right.

This week will be one of the busiest times of the summer, with Coffee Meets Bagel telling me they saw a 33% jump in sign-ups on July 3rd and 21% on July 4th last year.

Match has declared Sunday, July 8th as the busiest day of the summer for activity on their online dating site.

RELATED: Summer Profile Dating Tips You Can Make Instantly

From French kissing, to how many dates should you go on before that first passionate kiss, here are some kissing turn-ons and turn-offs.

Coffee Meets Bagel Kissing Survey

  • 42% of women and 40% of men say the best time to lean in for the kiss is near the end of the date.
  • 49% of women want the kiss to be light and gentle with lips closed, followed closely with 47% pf want a deep kiss with no tongue.
  • 47% of men find bad breath a turn-off and 31% of women gave a thumbs down to too much tongue or saliva
  • 64% of women and 58% of men agreed that the magic length of the first kiss should be 2-5 seconds. Anything longer would be a turn-off and anything shorter doesn’t measure up.

RELATED: The Benefits of Dating While on Vacation

If you’re nervous about leaning in for the first kiss, don’t be. The Coffee Meets Bagel survey found that only 2% of both men and women found just a peck with lips barely touching a turn-on.

One tip that I always recommend at the end of a date, is to ask the person permission for a kiss. Just simply saying, “May I kiss you goodnight?” will show you respect your date and you’ll get the cue if it’s safe to lean in for that smooch. 

So grab your lip gloss, bring some breath mints, and get ready for a week of kissing.

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

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

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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