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Dating in a Facebook World

Facebook DatingThis week Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was named Person of the Year by TIME magazine. It doesn

t come as a surprise to many after his recent appearance on 60 Minutes as well as the success at the box office for The Social Network.

Whether you like or dislike Zuckerberg as the selection this year is not the issue. If you

re single and dating, you need to give Facebook a shot as you cast a wider romance net. If you’re already logging onto Facebook to post your recent photos and you have an online dating profile, there’s no reason not to combine your efforts.

On the day that TIME crowned Zuckerberg, I was asked by YourTango about how Facebook has changed the way we date. There are obvious pluses and minuses for Facebook daters.

Let?s start with the bad news first.

1. When you rely solely on email, texting, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, often your communication is unilateral. The object of your affection might not be checking their updates, so just like you shouldn’t sit by your phone waiting for his call, don’t stare at your personal computer or PDA waiting for a response. He or she just might be busy.

2. Breaking up has become too easy to do online. If you?re ending your relationship, do so in person, pick up the phone and have a conversation, or set up a SKYPE date to hear their voice. Otherwise you run the risk of being misunderstood if you send a text canceling your plans. Maybe you’re not feeling well. Maybe he thinks it’s over. Think before you press the send button.

3. Changing your Facebook relationship status to “Single” without discussing it with your significant other is a netiquette no-no. Nothing is worse than waking up to see comments on your Facebook wall about his latest rendezvous without you while you?re still looking forward to Saturday?s date with him. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated after all.

4. Falling in love on Facebook won’t work if you don?t take your relationship from online to offline. Don’t fall in love with someone from behind his or her keyboard. Its fun to flirt, use Facebook chat, text, and tweet, but you still need to meet.

Now for the good news.

1. People are indeed falling in love on Facebook. They are reconnecting with people from nursery school and summer camp, as well as forming relationships with people they meet in the real world. If your friends aren’t setting you up anymore, log on to Facebook and start chatting with some old friends.

2. Facebook is responsible for creating a fabulous social calendar. Receiving party invitations on Facebook is a great way to expand your social network. You should attend as many events that interest you that you can while you are single.

3. Facebook is the equivalent to the third largest country in the world, behind China and India. You have a large dating pool to pick from. It should go without saying, but make sure that someone is single before approaching them on Facebook. Don?t come on too strong or you might be looked at as a stalker.

4. Tired of old online dating profiles? On Facebook, singles are more likely to post a recent photo of a family reunion or party photos from the holidays. What you see can really mean what you get, and that’s good news for everyone on the world’s largest social network.

Have you started a romance on Facebook? If so, we’d love to hear your comments.

Julie Spira is a dating and relationship expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

Like her at facebook.com/rulesofnetiquette and facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert

Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira

Breaking Up on Facebook

 

The subject of breaking up on Facebook is a hot topic these days. Earlier this month, David McCandless published his now-famous Facebook Breakup Chart which spread like wildfire on the Web. We now know what we already realized. Holiday heartbreak is heading into its busy season.

A month before the chart appeared online, I discussed my Rules of Netiquette for Facebook relationships and breakups with Michelle Yarn at GalTime.com

With over 1 billion members on Facebook, relationship status changes have become the darling of the Internet. One can’t help but notice the red heart appear and disappear on the profiles of our friends and our new friends, better known as the friends-of-friends.

Read excerpts from It’s Complicated: Breaking Up in a Facebook World

Breakups used to be so simple. You get dumped. You cry about it. You get advice from close friends and family. They tell you how much better off you are without him. You cut all ties from your ex. Then, eventually you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the game.

Yep, those were the good ole days. Those were the days before social networking sites like Facebook splattered your love life across the web like a tabloid. Now, as the Facebook gods have so conveniently pointed out, “It’s Complicated.”

I have a friend (a real life one) who was recently dumped by her boyfriend of three and a half years. When she came to me for advice it started out as your typical breakup pep talk.

While the situation will vary depending on the severity of the split, there are some basic guidelines to help you handle a breakup in the age of Facebook.

According to Julie Spira, social media/relationship expert and author of The Perils of Cyber Dating , one of the most important steps to consider is how to update your status. She says, “I don’t believe singles should constantly change their status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ to ‘it’s complicated’ and back to ‘single’ for everyone to see. Unless both parties agree on changing their status to ‘in a relationship’ and it’s a serious relationship, no one wants to see the drama. However, it’s the most commented on update you will see on Facebook. People are just curious and want to know the juicy details. If you’re hurt, just delete your status completely to avoid the comments.?

And while many couples will decide to remain friends in real life, the same decision in the world of Facebook can be hell. When most couples break up, it’s not usually a happy time. More often that not, one has moved on already. Spira adds, “If you’re still hurting from the split, I suggest un-friending him or her so you don’t have the opportunity to stare at their wall. We can’t help ourselves sometimes due to the curiosity, but it delays the healing process from the one left behind.”

Kelly Spann, a marketing and publicity manager in Virginia, learned this lesson the hard way.

First off, right after we broke up I totally put him on blast in my status. I was angry, but that definitely wasn’t a classy move. Then I didn’t un-friend him and he didn’t un-friend me. Having to see his status updates, pictures and the various other girls writing things on his wall didn’t help me get over the break up at all.

What if you’re the one that did the dumping? Have a heart! You may be ready to move on, but the rules of netiquette say there’s no need to rub your ex’s face in it. If you remain Facebook friends, Spira suggests at least changing your privacy settings to prevent your ex from seeing your activity with your new love interest. Otherwise, your ex may find some pretty creative ways to make your single life miserable.

Facebook user Josh Gilbert says his ex knew exactly how to use the social networking site to get back at him after their nasty breakup.

“I had made plans to attend Lollapalooza with a girlfriend, but then we broke up.” She went anyway, and only posted pictures of two of my favorite bands – saying to no one in particular – Live from Lollapalooza – jealous? I can’t prove this was an intentional dig, but I’m convinced it was.

Even if you delete your ex, there’s still the issue of mutual friends. This one’s hard enough to handle in your day to day life, but Facebook is a whole different beast.

Spira says, “There’s no need to delete the entire world because your relationship has ended, but I do recommend changing your privacy settings in Facebook to “friends only.” You can also select the privacy settings individually for each status update if you prefer, where you have the option to select everyone, friends, or friends of friends.

Once the drama has subsided and you find yourself ready to get back into the dating scene, Spira says to proceed with caution.

“Unless you are actively ready to date again and would like to meet someone on Facebook, take a break from the status relationship change and just don’t post any relationship status at all. If you’re ready to date, go ahead and list yourself as “single” but be prepared to be hit on. It just happens.

Book Review – The Perils of Cyber-Dating

Cupid's Pulse Book Review - The Perils of Cyber-Dating

Read the latest book review from Cupid’s Pulse along with my personal interview about The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

Perils of Cyber-Dating

 

More than 40 million singles are dating online. With around 2,500 online dating sites to choose from, how can you navigate your way safely and find love on the Internet? Julie Spira?s tell-all memoir, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, can help. You’ll follow her on her 15-year journey, which included 250 online dates as she navigates the web in hopes to find an Internet mate to replace someone she thought was the love of her life. Through her romances, heartbreaks, and personal rules of ‘netiquette,’ Spira shares invaluable first-hand knowledge on the best ways to date online.

Cupid’s Take:

Online dating has it’s own set of rules. Remember to be safe and savvy when on the web. Cupid caught up with the Spira via e-mail this week. Here’s what the author had to say:

Cupid: You were one of the first people to delve into the world of online dating. Were you scared? What were other people’s reactions?

Julie Spira: At the time I created my first online dating profile in 1994, I wasn’t scared at all. I fully embraced the Internet both personally and professionally. But, since online dating was not mainstream at that point, I told very few people that I was meeting my dates from online dating sites. I told some close friends who I thought could benefit from online dating and helped them with their online dating profiles and then started coaching singles professionally.

Cupid: What’s different about cyberdating (as compared to traditional dating), and how can people adapt to it?

JS: The main difference between cyberdating and traditional dating is that you are meeting someone that you haven?t met before in real life and you are getting to know them from behind their computer screen. Online dating, Internet dating, and cyberdating are all terms used for those using online dating sites, chat rooms, video dating, and social dating sites. This also includes social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. In order to completely embrace online dating, one needs to be comfortable using their computer. It’s also important to be very organized as you may receive hundreds of emails in the first day or two. In order to be successful, if you create a system that helps keep all of the replies and emails sent, you’ll be able to communicate with your dates with their background information. If you are already using Facebook to communicate with friends, it’s the next logical step.

Cupid: What have you seen change about the online dating world since you started?

JS: When I first started dating online, Match.com hadn’t been launched yet. There were very few sites to pick from. It was a much simpler process without all the Web 2.0 bells and whistles. You weren’t seeing video dating and text messaging wasn’t an option in the U.S.

Cupid: What is your relationship to online dating now?

JS: As an online dating coach, I help singles create their irresistible online dating profiles and work with them to search the best possible matches. I also help them decide which sites to join and teach them how to craft and email introduction and response that will grab the attention of those profiles they select.

Cupid: What are your top 5 netiquette rules for cyberdating?

JS: My Rules of Netiquette from my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, include:

1. The Google Rule.  If you Google your date before you meet them, don’t let them know on the first date. You’d be surprised how some people actually print out the Google results and start questioning their date about specific entries. It’s not appropriate first date material and no one wants to feel like they are on a job interview or under the microscope.
2. The Food and Beverage Rule. If you ask a date out for coffee, be prepared to order a beverage for her and yourself. I have heard stories many times where either someone arrives with their own water, or simply does not order a coffee or tea for their date. You should assume that a coffee date includes a drink, and a dinner date includes some form of food.
3. The Ex Rule.  Don’t talk about your ex-wife or husband, ex girlfriend or boyfriend, or spend time talking about the past. You’d be surprised that some talk about their spousal support, or a relationship that didn’t work out on the first date. Keep it light and leave the baggage at home.
4. The Send Button Rule.  My mother always says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Too often someone gets mad and drafts an email and pushes the send button. When in doubt, send it to yourself. You might feel differently in the morning. Once you push the send button, you can’t take it back.
5. The Break Up Rule.  Never break up with a significant other in an email or a text message. It’s just common courtesy to have a conversation and preferably in person. Do you really want to go down in history as the one who frequently dumps their dates in an email or text?  Sure, celebrities are ending relationships in text messages and on Twitter these days. But is it right?

Most importantly, be authentic. Authenticity is really in style now. With over 400 million members on Facebook, it’s easy for someone to see if your photo on your online dating profile does not match the recent birthday or vacation pictures on Facebook. We know that many singles lie about their age in their online dating profiles to fit into a search, but the truth will come out when you meet in real life. You start out on a bad foot if you are lying about your age, weight, and height. Enjoy the process and look at cyberdating as a way to increase your social and business networks in the event it doesn’t turn into a romantic relationship.

Cupid thanks Spira for her time!? For more information and dating advice, visit her site, CyberDatingExpert.com.

Dating Advice: Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Online Dating

The Top Ten Rules of Netiquette for Online Dating


1. The Google Rule ? Googling your date. We all do it. It’s just too easy to find out the juicy details of the person you have on your date card. If you do decide to do a search, please don?t tell your date he or she has been ?Googled? on your first date. ?Can you believe some actually brag about the fact that they did a background check on you before your first date? If you choose to ?Google? a date, it?s best to keep it to yourself.

2. The Cut-Off Rule ? Authenticity Matters. I urge singles to be honest about their age and weight in their profiles. However, we all know that some people want to fit into a search and age is one of the biggest misrepresentations in a profile. If you feel compelled to stretch it, please don?t subtract more than 5-pounds off your actual weight or 5-years from your age on your online dating profile. I can?t force the universe to tell their correct age online, so If you do choose to subscribe to this cut-off rule, please come clean about your age either on the phone, in your profile, or on your first date– especially if you want to make it to a second date.

3. The Food and Beverage Rule – A man should not suggest sharing an appetizer on a first date, nor should he meet his date for coffee without the intention of ordering a beverage. I once went on a date where the man brought his own bottle of water to the coffee bar. Another date made a point of asking what my favorite cuisine was so he could select the perfect restaurant for dinner. He refused to order food after we sat down at the table. Neither of them made it to a second date.

4. The Valet Parking Rule – It?s just gentlemanly and chivalrous to offer to pay for the woman?s valet parking on a first date, especially if you like her and want to get to the second date. Is it worth standing on ceremony and not paying $5 for parking? It?s typically much less than the cost of the next cosmopolitan. You’ll get extra bonus points if you ask the valet parking attendant to bring her car first. Even if you aren?t interested in a second date, she will remember this kind gesture and
may have a friend to introduce you to. Make a great first impression.

5. The Ex Rule – Never discuss an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, or ex-spouse on a first date. If your date insists on talking about spousal support or how happy they are that their payments are about to end, change the subject, or run. He’s just not over her or him.

6. The Body Parts Rule – Don?t discuss cosmetic surgery, vasectomies, or anything that personal in nature regarding your body parts. Yes, this does come up on first dates, and it should not.

7. The To Go Bag Rule – Don?t EVER, take your food from a first date to go in a doggy bag. And even more importantly, don?t request your date?s food to go in your doggy bag as well. The man who asked for the remains of his pizza crust to go along with the scraps of my salad didn’t make a good impression.

8. The Send Button Rule – When in doubt, don?t push the send button in an angry or emotional email that you?ve written when you are upset at your date. Sleep on it or send it to yourself instead. You can?t take it back. Your date’s revenge could be in forwarding your email all over the Internet. If it gets indexed by Google, you’ll have a hard time finding another date.

9. The Marriage Proposal Rule – Don?t give or accept a marriage proposal online or in a text message. If you think this hasn?t been done this before, give me a call! Falling in love from your keyboard or iPhone isn’t really love. It’s a false fantasy that you are in a relationship.

10. The Break Up Rule ? Never break up with a significant other in an email or a text message. It?s just common courtesy to have a conversation and preferably in person. Do you really want to go down in history as the one who frequently dumps their dates in an email or text? Sure, celebrities are ending relationships in text messages these days. But is it right?

Excerpts from the bestselling book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online by Julie Spira
?2008 Julie Spira ? Cyber Dating Expert, LLC All Rights Reserved
CyberDatingExpert.com

To Dump Or Not To Dump In An Email

With modern technology and our addiction to our Blackberries and iPhones, pushing the send button has become as common as brushing your teeth.

My friends at Your Tango wrote an article today in favor of the easy-way-out called Is It OK To Break Up Via Email? We Say Yes. Here’s my dating advice on the subject.

I’m a firm believer that you should think before sending an email to show your anger towards a loved-one, and more specifically, I don’t believe in dumping your significant other in an email or a text message.

Sure if you have only had a few dates, sending an email to say “I’m not the one for you. Good luck with your search” can be considered polite as compared to the guy who just doesn’t call you back.

In my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating, I describe the Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Online Dating. One of these rules is the “Break-Up Rule.” It’s number ten on my list. It’s relationship 101.

? Never break up with a significant other in an email. It?s just common courtesy to have a conversation and preferably in person.

I was once the recipient of a very well thought out break up email. ?I was advised by the man that I was engaged to marry, that I was no longer a fiance. From where I sat, it was cowardly, cruel, and unilateral. ?I never spoke to him again. It was a relationship that started and ended in cyberspace.

I’m a believer that you treat someone the way that you want to be treated. Do you really want to go down in history as the person who dumped your LTR via email? Remember, emails are easily forwarded.

I’d be interested in all thoughts and comments.

The Valentine’s Day Cut Off Rule

It’s now 5 days before Valentine’s Day. The Super Bowl memories are starting to fade. Have you asked your date to be your Valentine yet? If not, are you aware that there is a “cut-off” rule for when to solidify who you will be spending February 14th with?

If you have watched Curb Your Enthusiasm, you might recall that Larry discussed the cut-off rule in an episode. They determined 9:30-10:00pm for the cut-off time to phone a friend. It became a heated discussion. The same theory applies to Valentine’s Day.

In my online dating book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, one of my rules of netiquette was the cut-off rule. This rule applied to the most common misrepresentation in an online dating profile – the accuracy of your age . Although I believe in authenticity, I had decided that 5-10 years was the maximum amount of years that you could take off your age in your profile. I added that you need to be honest in the body of your email, on the phone, or certainly the latest by the first-date. I don’t promote lying on your profile, I just know that many singles want to fit into a search.

So, getting back to Valentine’s Day. When is it too late to ask the woman you are dating out for Sunday night? ?Here’s my relationship advice. I took a poll during the Super Bowl and most men felt they could wait until the last day, if there was chemistry with someone they had just met. I disagreed. I told them, one week maximum, and that once the Super Bowl was over, it was time to put the date in ink on the calendar and get whatever remaining reservations were available at such a late date.

Think about it. Most restaurants book up a month in advance of Valentine’s Day. There will be slim pickings. You can always bring food home and set the table with fine china and candles, but it won’t be the same. If you are waiting until the last minute, don’t be surprised to find your date has made other plans. A smart, confident woman doesn’t wait around for the phone to ring. She’d rather be alone than be an afterthought. ?If you have made Valentine’s plans and have a change of heart, don’t go down in history as the guy or girl who cancels on her Valentine’s date the week of because something better came along. It will come back to haunt you. If you are gearing up for this romantic day, logging into your online dating profile on a regular basis during the days leading to Valentine’s may get you in the “dog house.” It certainly won’t get you into the bedroom.

With or without a date, my advice is to try and enjoy Valentine’s Day and be open to the possibilities of love. It may arrive on time, or it may be late. If you are really interested in pursuing someone romantically, don’t forget Valentine’s Day. If so, be prepared that your calls won’t be returned.

Julie Spira is known world wide as the Cyber-Dating Expert. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com

Book Review – SHE KNOWS

sheknowslogo

Book Review: The Perils of Cyber-Dating

SHEKNOWS

by Margeaux Baulch Klein

Author Julie Spira encounters every breed of man in her new tell-all memoir, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

Online since 1994, Spira is a self-proclaimed internet dating pioneer, having gone on over 250 blind dates, receiving several marriage proposals and then marrying (and later divorcing) someone she met online. Spira has turned her dating horror stories and romantic journeys, both the good, bad, and, quite literally, ugly into a witty memoir that every woman whose ever dipped her toe into the online dating pool will appreciate.

For starters, Spira compares a woman’s online dating profile to a real estate listing:

“In real estate, the first week that your house in on the market is important because if it’s priced correctly, professionally staged, and marketed well, it generates a lot of leads. Hopefully a qualified buyer will show.”

She also offers a “Top Ten Rules of Cyber Dating Netiquette” in Chapter 9 that is one of the best parts of the book. Here are a few tips she endorses:

ONLINE DATING TIP #1:

Don’t knock-off more than 5-10 pounds off of your weight or 5-10 years off of your age on your dating profile. “It’s always best to be authentic and tell the truth,” she says, “but anything more than that is just too noticeable. You will find yourself meeting someone who won’t be so happy to see you.” In her list of common profile definitions, she also notes that if a man lists his age as 40-something, it means that he’s a 50-something who wants a 30-year-old female.

ONLINE DATING TIP #2:

Don’t Google a potential date before having the opportunity to see if there is a connection.?Partly due to her own embarrassment over a New York Times wedding announcement that she wishes didn’t come up when people searched for her, Spira believes that it’s too easy to misconstrue or jump to an incorrect conclusion about a piece of information without knowing its context.

ONLINE DATING TIP #3:

A man should not suggest sharing an appetizer on the first date, nor should he meet his date for coffee without the intention of ordering a beverage.” Spira hates cheap men.

ONLINE DATING TIP #4:

Don’t discuss ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, or anything to do with body parts, extramarital affairs, and long lost loves on a first date. Spira declares that information should be rationed over the course of getting to know someone.

ONLINE DATING TIP #5:

Don’t cyber-fight. Although it’s tempting to hit ‘send’ and launch an angry missive into cyberspace, Spira recommends sleeping on any upset or hurt feelings. “When in doubt, pick up the phone to get that real connection,” she says.

Even after two failed marriages and four engagements, Spira believes in remaining a “hopeful romantic.” She is still in search of her happily ever after.

For more info on The Perils of Cyber-Dating, visit CyberDatingExpert.com

Click here for full review

The Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Online Daters

After reading the post from Anthony Michael Rojas called “How to Treat a Woman on a Date,”?the outpouring of comments from many who disagreed, which resulted in a follow up article appearing on CNN.com written by The Frisky’s Amelia McDonnell-Parry,?“Chivalry tips cause all kinds of outrage,” I decided it was time to republish my “Top 10 Rules of Netiquette” for Online Daters and see what reaction I would receive.

Call me old-fashioned,?but if a man did all of the 8 things listed in his article, he’d be my hero and would be a suitable date for my daughter, if I had one.

From a woman’s standpoint here my online dating tips and excerpts from my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

1.??? The Google Rule – Don’t tell your date he or she has been “Googled” before a first date. Can you believe some actually brag about the fact that they did a background check on you before your first date? If you choose to “Google” a date, it’s best to keep it to yourself. No one wants to be accused of being a stalker early on.

2.??? The Cut-Off Rule – Authenticity Matters. However, we all know that some people want to fit into a search and age is one of the biggest misrepresentations in a profile. If you feel compelled to stretch it, please don’t subtract more than 5-10 pounds off your actual weight or 5-10 year of of your age on your online dating profile. I can’t force the universe to tell their correct age online, so If you do choose to subscribe to this cut-off rule, please come clean about your age either on the phone or on your first date, especially if you want to make it to a second date.

3.??? The Food and Beverage Rule – A man should not suggest sharing an appetizer on a first date, nor should he meet his date for coffee without the intention of ordering a beverage. I once went on a date where the man brought his own bottle of water to the coffee bar. He never made it to a second date.

4.??? The Valet Parking Rule – It’s just gentlemanly and chivalrous to offer to pay for the woman’s valet parking on a first date, especially if you like her and want to get to the second date. Is it worth standing on ceremony and not paying $5 for parking? It’s typically less than the cost of the next drink and you will get extra bonus points if you ask the valet parking attendant to bring her car first. Even if you aren’t interested in a second date, she will remember this kind gesture and may have a friend to introduce you to. Make a great first impression.

5.??? The Ex Rule – Never discuss an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, or ex-spouse on a first date. If your date insists on talking about spousal support or how happy he is that his payments are about to end, change the subject, or run!

6.??? The Body Parts Rule – Don’t discuss cosmetic surgery, vasectomies, or anything that personal in nature regarding your body parts. Yes, this does come up on first dates, and it should not.

7.??? The To Go Bag Rule – Don’t EVER, take your food from a first date to go in a doggy bag. And even more important, don’t request your date’s food to go in your doggy bag as well.

8.??? The Send Button Rule – When in doubt, don’t push the send button in an angry or emotional email that you’ve written when you are upset at your date. Sleep on it or send it to yourself. You can’t take it back.

9.??? The Marriage Proposal Rule – Don’t give or accept a marriage proposal online or in a text message. If you think this hasn’t been done this before, give me a call!

10. The Break Up Rule – Never break up with a significant other in an email. It’s just common courtesy to have a conversation and preferably in person.

I’m not insisting that men follow all of these ten rules. They are just suggestions that will make a difference to a woman that you are interested in dating again.

Excerpts from the book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online by Julie Spira. Visit her at https://CyberDatingExpert.com.

Book Review – Ask Matt and Tamsen

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Looking for Love Online? The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, is just the book you need to take from the city to the beach this summer!

Julie Spira dishes it all as a hopeful romantic looking for love online. From her fabulous Rules of “Netiquette” that map out what men and women say vs. what they actually mean, to one hilarious story after another, she has mastered it all in a few clicks of her keyboard. This tell-all memoir spans over 250 dates in almost 15 years online. It’s a must read!

~ Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal, America’s Love Experts

Brad Pitt Giving Online Dating Tips?

The subject of authenticity in an online dating profile is a HOT Topic!?

Just this week, I appeared on FOX-News on this subject, where I told singles to be authentic in their online dating profiles. When I returned home from San Diego, I found out that Brad Pitt, who is on the August issue of?WIRED Magazine, gave his two-cents and suggested that singles who are online dating should lie?about how much money they make on their profile.?

In my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating, I list the top ten rules of netiquette for online daters. ?One of these rules is the ?”cut-off” rule. I created the rule when I saw a male profile of a 53 year old who was claiming to be 40. Thirteen years? Men complain about women lying about their age, but I was stunned to see it in the other direction as well.

I decided there should be a cut-off rule, only because we can’t force singles to be honest online. It’s my belief that you should post your accurate age. However, since many will not, I simply suggested that singles should not take off more than 5-10 years off their age or weight in an online dating profile, if they insist on following the trend.

While I don’t promote lying about your age, I can’t stop the fact that it is so common. I add in my book that you should come clean on the first date or on the phone about your real age. I personally believe in telling the truth, but stretching the truth about your age, weight, and financial status online is the norm for many online daters – hence the “cut-off rule” has merit.

According to the Wired Article, Pitt states, “Everyone lies online. In fact, readers expect you to lie. If you don’t, they’ll think you make less than you actually do. So the only way to tell the truth is to lie.” He has a point as singles reaching a pivotal birthday, usually take at least 2-5 years off their age to remain in a search.?

Is it time to come clean and be authentic in your online dating profile? ?I think so, and this week’s radio show will feature a service called?HonestyOnline. This service can help you to determine if your potential date is who he or she says they really are. They recently partnered up with DatingHeadshots.com where your verification badge will also confirm that they were the ones who indeed did take your online dating photo. I personally believe that the trend for authenticity is on the rise with the success of social networking sites. Very slowly, singles are starting to come clean about their real age, and it’s refreshing to see.

Wouldn’t you like to know that your online date has passed a verification test? There are certificates of authenticity for diamonds, real estate, art work, but what is more important than your personal safety online?

I answered the five questions correctly, even though I had to guess where an ex-husband resided. Shortly afterwards I received the verification badge below which can be visible on my Facebook Profile.

As a woman, I can see the value in knowing that a man is who he says he is. If you are interested in trying it out, go to www.HonestyOnline.Com or check out their Facebook application.

Julie Spira is the author of?The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at?www.CyberDatingExpert.com.

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