Up Close and Personal with Cyber-Dating Expert, Julie Spira!
Back in the early 90s, no one had any idea what this thing called “The Internet” would eventually become and how it would change our lives forever. Paid services like Prodigy and AOL, were the first steps at getting the masses online. No longer limited to face to face meetings, people could now easily send messages and interact with each other across the world in seconds. Some reading this may even remember not only being charged for how LONG they were online but being charged for each E-mail they sent!
However, with this new medium came another new phenomenon. Because you were no longer required to physically meet people in person you could also make up any type of personality and any characteristics you thought might attract the opposite sex – 5’5″ ft became 5’9″, Blockbuster Employee became Investment Banker, 135lbs became 110lbs, and brunettes became blondes.
Today, the online dating community has grown and matured. People of all ages are now using these online dating services to meet and eventually get married with huge success.
Cyber-Dating Expert and author of the Best-Selling Book “The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online”, Julie Spira has arrived to provide assistance in this sometimes chaotic, yet exciting, online dating world. Ms. Spira is the author of a popular website – www.cyber-datingexpert.com – and has appeared on and been quoted in ABC News, BBC, CBS News, CNET, FOX News, Cosmo Radio, E!, WomansDay.com, and more. The full list can be seen on her media page at http://cyberdatingexpert.com/in-the-news. In addition, Julie is the host of “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show” and is a dating coach, where she creates irresistible online dating profiles for her clients. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @JulieSpira and join her Facebook Fan Site, Cyber Dating Expert.
As with all of my interviews, I asked the fans of The Unbreakable Man Laws Facebook Fan site and compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.
If you’re in New York during the week of the Sex and the City 2 launch, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Julie in person. She will be appearing in the “Meet the Author” series at the New York Public Library at their New Amsterdam Branch on May 25, 2010 at 1:00pm. The branch is located at 9 Murray Street. On May 26, 2010, Julie will be signing copies of her book, “The Perils of Cyber-Dating” at Book Expo America at the Jacob Javits Convention Center at 9:30am, table 21.
Without further ado, I present Julie Spira!
Ethan Bishop: What are the most common pre-conceptions that people have on using Online Dating Sites such as eHarmony and Match.com?
Julie Spira: It’s not unusual for someone who has never tried online dating to think it isn’t for him or her. Frankly, some people still think it’s for the socially challenged or for serial daters. Fortunately, most of the stigma associated with online dating from years ago has disappeared. Singles see the success couples on eHarmony commercials or hear about someone who has gone to a wedding where the couple met on Match. Deep down, they hope it can happen to them as well.
Ethan Bishop: Are there strategies for weeding out people who are just looking to hook up or are not looking for anything serious? What sorts of advice do you recommend individuals JUST starting out? Which sites in particular do you recommend?
Julie Spira: There are some online dating sites that focus on casual dating or hook ups. These include Adult Friend Finder, Mate One, and Online Booty Call, to name a few. I seriously recommend singles who are interested in a casual relationship sign up for one of these sites. If you are truly looking for a serious relationship, I recommend that your online dating profile reflect this. If you are interested in marriage, check that box on your profile. Don’t worry about scaring away a potential date. If they aren’t interested in a serious relationship, you are doing yourself a favor.
Some red flags for serial daters include:
Marital Status – Separated
Only Contacting you via Instant Messages
No profile photo
Canceling and rescheduling dates
All calls go to voicemail
Let’s look at each of these situations individually.
Marital Status – Separated. If a man or woman says they are separated, they may not have filed for divorce yet or may truly still be married and living with their spouse. Either way, more often than not, this person is not available for a serious relationship. They may need to go through the healing process and you might end up as their “transition person.” If they have filed for divorce, going through the legal proceedings with someone you are dating can be difficult on a new relationship.
Instant Messaging Only. Communicating via text message and instant messages can be fun and flirty. However, I hear too many complaints from singles that they can’t move their relationship from online to offline. If you can’t get past the IM after a reasonable amount of time, it may just be entertainment for someone on the other side of the keyboard. In this case, I suggest you move on.
No Profile Photo. Looks matter. Those who don’t post an online dating profile photo may be hiding something. When creating your online dating profile, your photo is the enticing introduction that starts the communication. Think of it like the lead story on the front page of the newspaper. It has a catchy headline and a captivating photo to engage you as the reader. The same holds true for an online dating profile of someone who really wants to meet someone.
Canceling Dates. When someone is juggling multiple partners, they tend to double-book. Sure you are a member of a dating site and may date several people at a time until you find the right one. If you fall victim to being rescheduled more than once, chances are you have found a serial dater. Move on.
All Calls Go to Voicemail. If you meet someone online and you can never get them on the phone, chances are they might already be in a relationship and might be looking for plan B. I suggest you ask them when it would be convenient to speak. If they never pick up the phone, they might not be available for a relationship as well.
Ethan Bishop: How can one establish trust online? Do you hear many horror stories of people who have gone out with their matches only to find that the person has completely made up this persona?
Julie Spira: I believe you need to trust your intuition when meeting someone online. Do they call when they say they will? Do their online dating profiles say when they were taken? Do their social networking photos look like their online dating profiles? These are a few questions you need to ask yourself when communicating with someone you met online. Sure, there are many horror stories, including teenagers posing as adults and men posing as women and vice-versa. We know that lying about your age on your profile is common. We have to hope there is truth-in-advertising. Singles are now pleasantly surprised when their online dating photos of their date do match up in real life.
Ethan Bishop: Does having more choices and reaching a wider pool of potential mates HELP or HINDER those experimenting with Online Dating? Since you never know if you will be matched with Romeo next week, does this endless stream of matches create opportunity or paralysis from having too many choices?
Julie Spira: Having more choices is a good thing. The popularity of online dating continues to grow. A recent Match.com study found that one in five new relationships and one in six new marriages are as a result of people who met through an online dating site.
The more members an online dating site has, the chances are there will be more success stories. There will always be some singles who act like kids in a candy store. They will think the next date might be slightly better than the one they just experienced. If you are lucky to find someone you connect with, I say give it a chance. You may end up being the next online dating success story.
Ethan Bishop: What do you think of the UK site BeautifulPeople.com and the scandal that happened to them recently? Should sites REALLY be allowed to dismiss users for gaining weight?
Julie Spira: Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I looked at the Beautiful People situation, where they booted singles off the site who had gained weight over the holidays, as a public relations gimmick. Insulting people and removing them is wrong, period. Several online dating sites, including Spark.com and eLove.com offered free memberships to those ousted from Beautiful People. Kudos to them for jumping in.
Ethan Bishop: How do you see online dating as changing in the next few years/decades? Will more people use them as our lives become busier.
Julie Spira: I believe that online dating will continue to grow. It’s efficient, available 24 hours a day, and as more people become divorced, it’s an excellent way to get back into the dating pool. You will see mobile dating as a huge growth market, where singles will meet with the convenience of mobile apps. As Facebook now has over 500 million members, many of them will try online dating for their first time when they are logged onto their computer.