Julie Spira’s advice for anxious online daters? “I encourage singles to fill their date cards and look at each person as expanding your social network,” she says. (cyberdatingexpert.com photo)
Though many people may pooh-pooh the idea of dating as a full-time job, it’s definitely a full-time job for those who help singles find love. Now that online dating has replaced the meet-cute, love, like any other growing industry, needs its experts.
That’s why I support Julie Spira and this woman’s work.
Spira is an internationally recognized online dating expert, relationship coach and best-selling author. Spira has always been on the leading edge of technology, and as an early adopter of online dating, she has been coaching singles for more than two decades on finding love in the digital age.
Randi Zuckerberg: Has online dating become the new normal for meeting prospective partners?
Julie Spira: Online dating continues to grow in popularity worldwide. These days, both celebrities and the girl next door have an online dating profile. The most recent Pew Research Center Internet survey has shown an enormous amount of growth for both millennials and their grandparents, with dating sites and mobile apps almost tripling in use by young adults in the past three years.
The 55-64 demographic of newly singles have embraced online dating, as well, with their usage doubling in the past two years. So it’s safe to say, you need to have an online dating strategy and profile if you’re single.
RZ: What are people doing wrong that’s most keeping them single?
JS: It’s important to note that not everyone has the same dating goals. Some like the thrill of swiping right and dating multiple people, while others rush into a relationship before they even know the person. In both cases, it could cause people to remain single.
I also think it really gets down to the “shopping cart” mentality that some people fall for, where it’s hard to commit to a date when there could be another fresh face appearing in their inbox.
Sometimes making a list of specifically what someone is looking for in a relationship is helpful. Other times, if the list is too long, singles will have unrealistic expectations of the perfect person.
RZ: What is the No. 1 complaint you hear from your clients?
JS: My online dating coaching clients complain that either everyone’s profile looks the same or that there are too many serial daters out there. It’s my job to remind them that it just takes one and online dating is a numbers game. You can find your 1 in 50 million online if you stay focused on your relationship goals.
I equate finding your dream date in the same way as finding your dream job. If you go on three bad job interviews, you don’t stop the process. You stay diligent to find your perfect job match. The same holds true with dating.
Singles might go through a string of one-and-done dates, but if they get frustrated and give up, the next person just might be the one. So I encourage singles to fill their date cards and look at each person as expanding your social network. You might make a new friend, find a new business contact, or yes, you might get lucky and fall in love, so cast a wide net.
RZ: Is swiping left or right creating a culture of constant rejection? What about one based only on aesthetics? Does sex sell in landing a date?
JS: Swiping left and right is the culture we are living in right now. Rejection is a definite part of dating, whether online or offline. Singles are jumping to a digital conclusion and swiping left before finding out if they have any in-person or physical chemistry.
I go back to the numbers game equation. Both men and women are visual and have a physical type that they are drawn to, and the only way for dating to be successful is to meet IRL and get to know someone offline, if they met online.
Being sexy is very personal, and there’s no one-size-fits-all profile for everyone. It’s critical to have great online dating profile photos to show your life in a variety of scenarios so someone can see how you would fit in their life, and vice versa. So look your best.
Ladies, wear red in your profile photo pictures, because red is the color of love, romance and even a power color in the boardroom. Show some of your favorite activities and a full body shot. I say the sexiest photo is one where someone shows they are confident. Confidence over cleavage!
RZ: As a dating coach, is your own love life constantly under scrutiny?
JS: My love life became scrutinized the day my first book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, was released in 2009. It was a memoir about my online dating journey that began in the mid-1990s.
When I was single, I tended to ration my information flow and not talk about the book on a first date or two. But the questions of “Are you single?” and “Has online dating been successful for you?” always came up in conversations.
Fortunately for me, the former love of my life read my book, thinking he might need some dating advice after he got divorced. After reading about himself and our romantic journey, he contacted me on Facebook, and we reconnected after 16 years apart and picked up where we left off. It’s a heartfelt story with a digital twist.
— Randi Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a best-selling author and the host of a SiriusXM weekly tech business show, Randi Zuckerberg Means Business. Follow her on Twitter: @randizuckerberg or connect with her on Facebook. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.