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August is National Romance Month

National Romance Month

Although love and romance is a 24-hour a day 7-day a week topic, in the hot steamy month of August, romance does gets an extra boost.

To celebrate National Romance month, here are some uber romantic things to do for your date so they’ll be thinking about you all day long, while waiting for date night.

Here are seven ways to ramp up the romance

Cyber Love
As one who spends a lot of time helping singles with their mobile dating and online dating profiles, I can’t help but stress that logging on and swiping right are one of the simplest ways to think about romance and relationships. When you log in daily, take extra time to compliment someone on his or her outfit. Let them know you think they have an incredible smile and always use their first name if you know it. You’ll be surprised how quickly the boomerang effect will take place. You’ll feel like romance is just a click away.

Digital Foreplay

I’m a huge fan of sending romantic text messages leading up to your date. Sending a fun and flirty morning text message letting your date or significant other know that you’re excited about your date with a few xoxo’s will definitely add some romance to your love life.

Read: 20 Flirty Text Messages to Capture His Heart

Leave a Love Note

There’s something old fashioned and sexy about seeing a surprise love note on your pillow or in your bathroom drawer from the object of your affection. The best part, it’s a keepsake and can be looked at during the days and nights in between your next date.

Smile and be Confident

Believe it or not, you actually feel happier and more confident even when you’re smiling while on the telephone. Nobody can imagine romance with a “Debbie” or “Donnie Downer,” so smile at the grocery store, while standing in line at the bank or waiting for your turn at the ATM, or in an exercise class. You’ll come across as happier and don’t be surprised if a few heads turn.

First Date Rules – Be Proactive for Romance

Being passive on a date doesn’t help you in the romance department. Sure you don’t want to be too aggressive, but a survey from dating site Zoosk showed the squeaky wheel gets the romance deal with 34% of singles finding it most romantic when their date plans a surprise activity for their first date, with 27% liking to hold hands on the first date and 25% actually enjoying it when their date leans in for that first memorable kiss.

Schedule Date Nights

If you already have a steady loved one, you know how often relationships can end up in a rut after the first three months. When the honeymoon period starts to wane, if you’re not dating your mate and creating romantic memories, it’s easy for the relationship to fizzle out. Pick the same day each week and take turns selecting your date spot. You don’t have to break the bank, especially during Romance Awareness Month, as there are plenty of free concerts, where you can bring a picnic basket to or take the beach walk that so many swear they can’t wait to do.

Read: 5 Ways to Create a Great Date Night

Take that Beach Walk

Cliche as it may seem, many singles write that they enjoy taking beach walks on a date. Stop dreaming about it and schedule it with your date. Being barefoot on the beach with your toes in the sand is still the ultimate romantic date.

What romantic rituals help you in your relationship?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Mobile and Online Dating Expert. She’s the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and has been creating Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene for over two decades.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice.

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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Laughter Will Fill Your Online Dating Card Faster

Laughter is known as the best medicine, both online and offline.

When it comes to matters of the digital heart, endless dating profiles often include “must have a sense of humor” listed as a requirement for a potential date. Sure you want to fall in love with someone who makes you laugh, right?

Since April is “National Humor Month,” our friends at SKOUT, the global app that helps you meet people and expand your social circle, asked 3,372 of their members their thoughts about profile photos and also did a deep dive into the topics of humor, friendship, and more. The results just might get you to ROTFL as you fill your date card.

It’s time to go beyond a smile or a wink once you see these survey results which proves laughter is the best medicine, both online and offline.

The mobile app found that users who posted a photo of themselves laughing, not just smiling, on their profile have had responses that have skyrocketed above all else. It turns out that photos including laughter were favorited 404% more often and 324% more connections were made as compared to the average SKOUT user who wasn’t laughing.

Here are 6 key findings of the SKOUT Humor Survey

1. We’re Our Own Favorite Comedian

A majority of respondents (75%) think they’re funny. SKOUT also found that people with a witty sense of humor are most likely to think that they’re funny (81%).

2. No One Likes to Laugh Alone

Who doesn’t like making other people laugh? It seems like a majority of SKOUT users agreed and 94% of respondents said they enjoyed making other people laugh.

3. Our Humor Style’s Effect on Friendships

If “bathroom humor” and practical jokes are your style, you’re most likely to have five or more close friends. However, you’re less likely to have five or more close friends if your humor style is more sarcastic or self-deprecating. Be careful of sending those text messages.

4. No Clowning Around

Coulrophobia, a fear of clowns, is a pretty common fear in the U.S., but only 30% of respondents said they were afraid of clowns. The survey found that those who have a sarcastic sense of humor are most likely (37%) to be afraid of clowns. Who knew?

5. Chick Flicks vs. Comedies

When it comes to selecting a movie, the survey found that women were more likely to pass on chick flicks and go for a comedy instead.

Comedy trumped all other movie genres among the women surveyed, with 26% preferring comedy to the 23% that preferred action/adventure, 21% who preferred horror, and 18% who preferred romance movies.

Action and adventure movies were the most common among 43% of men, while comedy came in second as the most popular genre (21%).

6. Laugh It Up With the Locals

The two cities with respondents who were most confident in their sense of humor were New York and San Francisco (83%).

Are you ready to change your zip code for that extra laugh? If so try heading to Houston, Los Angeles, or Atlanta, where almost everyone surveyed said they enjoyed making other people laugh.

It’s both April Fool’s Day and National Humor Month, so start showing off your sense of humor in your profile. Enlist the help of a few friends (or us) to help with your profile or to take photos of you the next time you’re rolling on the floor clutching your stomach in a fit of laughter. The candid aspect of the photo will capture you in the moment and you won’t look posed or fake.

Now go ahead and start laughing.

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

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating and Mobile Dating Expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and has been coaching singles on finding love for over 20 years.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Hello Spring! 10 Quotes to Welcome the Season

Spring is here. The groundhog saw his shadow, the days are getting longer, and love is in the air.

Many singles and couples are enjoying spring break. With the change of seasons, some singles looking for a spring fling and are swiping right in a digital frenzy. Others are glad that a new season means it’s time to think about starting a new relationship.

At Cyber-Dating Expert, we’ve been busy coaching singles and wanted to share a few inspirational quotes to help you say embrace a spring filled with hope, love and joy.

Here are 10 Inspiring Quotes for Spring

A life without love is like a year without spring.

“A life without love is like a year without spring.” – Octavian Paller

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Seneca

In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns into thoughts of love.

“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns into thoughts of love.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

i love spring everywhere, but if i could choose i would always greet it in a garden.

“I love spring everywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” – Ruth Stout

In spring, everyone's in love and flowers pick themselves.

“In spring, everyone’s in love and flowers pick themselves.” – E.E. Cummings

In springtime, love is carried on the breeze. Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.

“In springtime, love is carried on the breeze. Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.” – Emma Racine deFleur

Spring is nature's way of saying, %22Let's party!%22

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” – Robin Williams

Spring is when life's alive in everything.

“Spring is when life’s alive in everything.” – Christina Rossetti

Spring

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” – Leo Tolstoy

Love is always fresh

“The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.” – Rumi

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

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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding 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, newly released with a magical epilogue and a fairy tale ending.

Sign up for the Free Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice delivered to your inbox.

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

10 Ways to Flirt on St. Patrick’s Day

Cyber Dating ExpertYears ago, I would wear a button that said “Kiss Me, I’m Irish,” even though there was not a speck of Irish blood in me.

These days, to get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time to ramp up your digital flirting skills, dress in green, and swipe right to fill your date card, or at least to enjoy the time together with the object of your affection or potential date.

1. Send a flirty text.  Texting the the person you have a crush on to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” will brighten their day. Add a four-leaf clover emoji. Even if they aren’t Irish, chances are they’ll reply to you.

2. Wear green.  Find the tackiest flashing buttons, goofiest, hats, and make sure to wear something green to celebrate. It’s the easiest way to strike up a conversation with someone on St. Patrick’s Day.

3. Change your dating profile.  It’s time to mix it up online. Post a photo wearing something green, ask if someone wants to get lucky in love, post quotes about the luck of the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day on your profiles and on social media. Get bolder and post “Kiss me if you’re Irish.” Start swiping right in the morning on Tinder, Bumble, or other mobile dating apps to find a date by the afternoon.

4. Send a GIF. Open your mobile dating app and send a GIF to your digital crush. These days, apps such as Tinder, Bumble, or even Twitter are using Giphy. Send a fun animated GIF to someone you’ve been chatting with to spice up the convo.

5. Send an animated e-card.  We’re big fans of JibJab!, where you send a customized a video or e-card starring you. It will come complete with background music and is guaranteed to give a smile or two.

6. Smile everywhere you go.  A smile is contagious and everyone wants to be around someone who appears to be happy. Practice the 5-second stare while smiling at someone you would like to meet. It’s the cue for them to come over and wish you a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day.” Who knows where the conversation will lead?

7. Compliment everyone.  You might normally run away from the guy with the tacky green tee shirt, but stop and say hello. Take it one step further and pose in a ‘selfie’ together.  He won’t be able to help himself and will put his arm around you for the photo. If the sparks start to fly, it’s your invitation to continue the conversation. Be even bolder and post it, with permission of course, on Facebook or Instagram.

8. Find a parade.  Go to a St. Patrick’s Day parade in your city. Everyone loves a parade and it will give you an excuse to start a conversation with those you end up bundled up with.

 

8. Go to the dog park.  There’s a reason it’s called puppy love. Put a green bandana on your dog’s collar and take a walk to the local dog park. Your dog will do the flirting for you and it will be a great conversation starter.

10. Make a Shamrock Shake. We have a healthy recipe for a Shamrock Shake that you’ll absolutely love and it can be a fun date idea. If you aren’t into buying the ingredients, and are flying solo, head to Starbucks for a coffee date and order a green tea Frappuccino, or go to a sushi bar and order green tea and green tea ice cream.

 

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

Julie Spira is America’s Top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com.

She’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Facebook, and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt Newsletter.

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Tinder Love Story – Steph and Mark

Tinder Love StoryMeet Steph and Mark who found love on Tinder.

About six month’s after Steph’s divorce was final, she decided to sign up for Match.  She realized that dating via the night scene was not working for her, so after a friend had told her she joined Match, Steph followed suit.

After reading the Cyber-Dating Expert blog, Steph decided it was time to give Tinder a try.

Here’s her Tinder love story, in her words.

I met many wonderful men who were not for me.  I had a few minor heartaches as I learned more about myself and what I thought I needed.  By the time October rolled around, I was feeling less than positive about all dating. I was going through the motions of keeping up my profile, answering emails, etc.  I  pushed back on every inquiry.

Related: These Jobs Get the Most Right Swipes on Tinder

Late October 5, 2015, I swiped right and matched with Mark.  At 10:45 am, October 6th, I made a move to try to weed this one out:

Mark was so nice and returned my Boston attitude with kindness.  So I decided to give this a shot.  We quickly moved to phone texting and talking. Mark asked me to go to dinner.  On Sunday, October 11th, we met in Buckhead. He pulled up on a busy street.  I looked in his car and thought, “oh boy, I am in trouble!”

Mark, newly divorced after 25 years, joined Tinder because of the safety of “virtual” vetting and the seemingly abundant options on that app in this area.  On paper, Mark and I didn’t match.  I thought I needed a city guy with a like attitude who can handle me.  He never considered  a “Yankee” as a partner.

Related: Matt and Alee: They Met on Tinder

On our own, we may have rejected the thought of dating each other.  Through Tinder, we learned more about ourselves and what is truly important in our lives.  We have both come to understand that the similarities we share in humor, faith, family values, mutual support and reciprocity are what drives our desire to meld our worlds, not our ethnicity or where we were born.

I couldn’t be happier to be proven wrong by a dating app. The last five months have been a joy learning to love again.  We both look forward to the days to come, and we are grateful for the “right swipe.”

Congratulations to Steph and Mark who prove you can find love on Tinder by Swiping Right.

Send us your story and we might feature YOU in our Cyber Love Story series.

Do you have an online dating story to share?

Submit Your Online Dating Stories

 

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating and Mobile Dating Expert. She’s been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years. Find out how Irresistible Coaching can help you find your dream date.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

 

National Get Over It Day: Time to Let Go Of Your Ex

LogoWhether you’re stuck on an ex, upset with your significant other, or still hurting from a recent breakup, it’s time to get over it.

March 9 is National Get Over It Day, so it’s the perfect time to let go of any anger, disappointment, hurt, rejection, or stress in your life – all of which can be caused by holding on to the scattered remains of an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

If you’re worried you might be the only one to ever get hung up on an ex, you’re not alone. National Get Over It Day was created by Jeff Goldblatt in 2005 after he was having a lot of trouble getting over his ex-girlfriend.

How can you get over your ex?

At Cyber-Dating Expert, we’re here to help with these 5 tips.

1. Spend Time With Friends

You may think being alone is the best way for you to deal with your feelings, but isolating yourself will only make it worse. Get out of bed, get your hair and nails done, go on a hike, and be with those who love you, regardless of your relationship status.  Acknowledge that you have feelings you need to talk about and ask a friend or your girlfriend network if they can spare some time to hear you out.

Related: 7 Signs the Way You’re Dealing With Your Breakup is Unhealthy

2. Find New Hobbies

Being active so that you’re not alone with your thoughts is important, but finding new hobbies and activities you can enjoy on your own is also a good idea. Instead of focusing on the things you did as a couple, find activities you can do on your own or with a close friend. Check out events on Facebook or MeetUp if you get stuck, but get out of the house to get over it.

Giphy

Giphy

3. Stay Off of Your Ex’s Social Media

Checking up on an ex is the one way to ensure you won’t get over them. There’s nothing wrong with seeing how they’re doing, but checking up on them constantly after a recent breakup has the potential to become obsessive and prevents you from healing. Facebook now allows you to minimize the feed of your former flame, without having to unfriend or block them.

Related: Facebook Eases the Digital Pain When You Break Up

4. If It Still Hurts, Go No Contact

Maybe you and your ex decided to stay friends and it’s too hard on you, or maybe they feel as if they really hurt you and keep checking in to make sure you’re okay out of guilt. This can potentially hinder your healing process, and if it does, let your ex know and ask them to stop communicating with you. Sometimes you have to cut someone out completely and go NC depending on the circumstances. It’s okay to block your ex if they persist on speaking with you, even if you’ve asked them not to do so.  Just tell them you’re doing it to avoid creating any more drama around the breakup.

Giphy

Giphy

5. Don’t Hide Your Pain

A breakup can be one of the toughest emotional hardships we go through. Don’t try to stifle your emotions. It’s perfectly normal to feel hurt and to spend time grieving over your breakup. The sooner you deal with your emotions surrounding the loss, the sooner you can move past it. They say time heals all wounds. While this is cliche, there’s nothing further from the truth. We’ve all been there and it really hurts, but know that it’s temporary. Who knows what the next chapter will unveil? It’s true that when one door closes, another opens.

Related: Dating Expert Guide to Breaking Up

Can’t figure out what you need to get over it? Goldblatt says “just ask your friends what they’re tired of hearing you complain about.” Yes, your friends will tell you the truth. Then, take the time to go online and dip a toe in one at a time. Someone special just might be waiting to meet you. When the time is right, you’ll know.

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

twitter - Julie SpiraPerils of Cyber-Dating Audio Book CoverInstagram 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.

 

Dating Profile Photos to Rock His World

Dating Found - HER

Turn to the left and smile? Sunglasses on, or off? Cleavage or cover up?

What are the best photos for your Irresistible online dating profile to capture his digital eye?

Finding the right photos for your online dating profile can be tough. Ladies, if you’ve ever wondered which photos are the best ones to put on your online dating profile, the guys have spoken up to state their faves.

In a recent online dating experiment by DatingFound, 3,570 single men were asked to rate the attractiveness of women’s Internet dating profiles, by rating their profile photos on a scale of 1 to 10.

Here’s how the photos ranked in popularity.

Showing Skin

Almost half of the men in the survey (41% ) said they liked to see a woman showing some flesh in her online dating profile. Women showing off cleavage by wearing low-cut tops and dresses in their profile pictures scored high for younger women. For those more mature in age, guys preferred to see a more conservative look, keeping a little mystery alive.

Even though pictures showing more skin result in more messages from digital crushes, you don’t want to look as  though that’s the only thing you have to offer. Remember – no bikini shots!

Happy Girls are a Complete Turn On

This survey found that 39% of men like the look of a woman who smiles in her profile pics.

Smiles can turn strangers into soulmates, so make sure you look happy in your profile photos. Happiness creates trust and approach-oriented behaviors in single men and increases your attractiveness.

Remember to flirt! A smiling profile picture is perfect because it appears as if you’re smiling at the viewer and men will respond enthusiastically.

Don’t Just Use Your Head Shots

Professional head shots look great in an online dating profile, but 11% of men like when a woman shows something they love. Appeal to men by putting your personality on display and show your fun side.

Take pictures that show your lifestyle. A shot of you reading a book, playing a guitar, cooking, golfing, yoga, or doing an activity you do regularly appeals to men.

Related: Creating an Irresistible Online Dating Profile Tips

Show Off Your Best (Left) Side

It’s been proven that we show more emotion from the left side of our face, and showing our left side in photos can create deeper resonance in those who view them.

Nine percent of men liked it  when a woman showed her left side in photos. Left-side photos are also more pleasing to the eye as they change up the viewing angle from a straight-on view.

P.S. This goes both ways, as women also liked viewing photos of men with their left side.

Which Photo Should You Show First?

You should have one of each of these photos on your profile to get the most possible messages from your matches.

  1. Start with a photo of you showing off a little skin to capture attention.
  2. Can you say cheese? Post smiling happy photos (both close up and full body).
  3. Fun photos with activities that you’re passionate about.
  4. Left side poses.

Which Photos Should You Never Use?

  1. Avoid sunglasses as it could appear that you’re hiding something. Let him see your sparkling eyes.
  2. Avoid group photos with your friends. Don’t confuse a guy by making him wonder who he will be meeting on the date.
  3. Ditch the selfies. Need we say more? You just don’t look your best and it sends the message that it’s all about you.
  4. Keep your pets out of your primary photo shot. Most of us love puppies and pets, but posting your first photo with your four-legged friend sends the message that your puppy sleeps in bed with you. Where’s the room for your new beau?

Related: Puppy Love: Dating Sites Match Pet Lovers

The full DatingFound infographic can be found here.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for our Weekly Flirt and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

Find out how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.

JUST RELEASED: Our 2nd edition of The Perils of Cyber-Dating is now available on Kindle and as an audio book, narrated by the author.

Listen to our book trailer here.

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.

 

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