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 informationwithout 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.
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