Julie Spira – Dale Koppel Interview – Insights In Online Dating

“Insights in Online Dating
Jasbina Ahluwalia interviews Julie Spira and Dr. Dale Koppel

A few topics Julie Spira and Dale Koppel address in this interview are:

  1. (2:16)     Prepare for Online Dating: Personal Tips
  2. (5:41)     Evolution of Online Dating
  3. (7:18)     Online Dating Sites: Who’s The Best?
  4. (11:50)   Perfect Partner Has Same Values
  5. (15:07)   Online Dating Profile: Describe Yourself
  6. (18:26)   Writing Online Dating Profiles: Expert Tips
  7. (23:12)   Who Should Initiate Conversation Online?
  8. (26:41)   Protect Privacy in Online Dating
  9. (33:49)  Choosing Online Dating Profile Picture
  10. (39:24)  Online Date Fails!
  11. (49:00) Courting Women: How to Do It Online


Julie Spira is the author of two books, the bestselling online dating book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and the social media manners book, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners.

Dr. Dale Koppel, author of The Intelligent Woman’s Guide To Online Dating: And She Lived Happily Ever.


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Jasbina Ahluwalia 

(1:04):  Hello everyone and welcome to Intersections Match’s Talk Radio, a monthly holistic lifestyle show focused on the continual evolution into the best versions of our authentic selves.

We and our special guests discuss relationships, social dynamics and health and wellness, each of which contributes to meaningful and fulfilling lives.

This is Jasbina, your host. I’m a former practicing lawyer and the Founder of Intersections Match, the only elite national personalized matchmaking company focused on singles of South Asian descent nationwide in the US.

I’m very excited to welcome two online dating experts to our show tonight, Dr. Dale Koppel, a PhD who holds degrees in psychology, education and journalism, has authored The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Online Dating.

Julie Spira, an entrepreneur and radio show host, has authored, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Comedienne Joan Rivers has said of Julie’s book, “Hilariously funny. Singles of all ages need to read this book.” Welcome, ladies. Thank you for being here.


Dr. Dale Koppel

(2:14): Thank you.


Julie Spira

(2:14): It’s great to be here. Thank you for having us.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

Prepare for Online Dating: Personal Tips

(2:16): As a professional matchmaker and dating coach who assists clients with both their offline and online dating, I’m fascinated by insights and perspectives regarding relationships and dating.

I’ve enjoyed reading both of your books and would love to explore some of the insights you share. Dr. Koppel, let’s start here. I found a quote in your book particularly compelling and would like to share it with our listeners, and then have you expand.

You wrote, “It’s not just about choosing the site, then writing your profile.

It’s about taking a good, hard look at yourself and deciding whether there are any major decisions you have to make about yourself.

I’m talking about your personality, your appearance, your outlook, your goals. You’re the one who has to decide whether there are things you truly don’t like about yourself.

I’m talking about plastic surgery, dental work, an exercise regimen, weight loss, weight gain, therapy, life coaching, antidepressants, electrolysis, quitting smoking, but only if you and only you think it’s necessary.

If you think it’s necessary, get it done before you join an online dating service. There’s nothing wrong with saying, this is my one-year plan.

At the end of the year, when I’ve accomplished my personal goals, that’s when I’ll be ready to join an online dating site.” Tell us about that.


Dr. Dale Koppel

(3:32): I feel like there are so many people out there, women especially, who find reasons why they are not meeting Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now.

They attribute qualities about themselves that may or may not be true.

If someone, for example, says, “I really need to lose weight,” then that’s their decision. Why wait to do it if you are making such a big decision about your future?

Elaborating on Prepare for Online Dating: Personal Tips.


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Jasbina Ahluwalia

Evolution of Online Dating

(5:41): Thank you for sharing that.

Julie, you wrote in your book, “My position as a cyber-dating expert encompassed over 250 dates in my 30s, 40s and 50s.” Tell us about any differences you found dating online in your 30s versus your 40s.


Julie Spira

(5:58): I think the biggest difference that I can share with you is that, when I first joined an online dating site in 1994, there weren’t a lot of people online. There weren’t even a lot of people with email addresses at that time.

Elaborating on Evolution of Online Dating.



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

Online Dating Sites: Who’s The Best?

(7:18): That’s amazing.

Julie, the people that we at Intersections Match work with tend to be successful, educated, family-oriented and fit men and women. Are there any particular online sites that you tend to recommend for 30 or 40-somethings who meet this demographic?


Julie Spira

(7:38): One of the most popular sites that is geared towards marriage-minded singles is eHarmony. They do a fabulous job.

Elaborating on Online Dating Sites: Who’s The Best?.



Jasbina Ahluwalia

Perfect Partner Has Same Values

(11:50): Dr. Koppel, you found your Mr. Right online, as you had mentioned.

You say in your book, “My list proved to be a work in progress. The more men I met, the more deal-breakers I added to it. Still, in the end, I realized that my list had functioned only as a framework, a crutch that I could and did rely on all along the way. Ultimately, the list proved meaningless. When I met my Mr. Right, deal-breakers that I had sworn by for three years flew out the proverbial window.” Tell us about that.


Dr. Dale Koppel

(12:22): In my case, I had been pretty direct.

I wanted to meet somebody who had the same political point of view.

I didn’t want to meet a man who had a kid who sometimes or always lived at home.

Elaborating on Perfect Partner Has Same Values.


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Jasbina Ahluwalia

(14:22): Compatibility of values is front and center in terms of the way that we go about things.

Julie, the cyber-dating expert, what do you feel about lists of must-haves and deal-breakers?


Julie Spira

(14:33): I think they’re important.

I tell people to cast a wide net. That’s important in meeting people.

Not every man that you meet is going to be the one.

  • He might be the one who has a friend.
  • He might be the one who has a business opportunity for you.
  • He might be the one who invites you to a party and then you might meet someone.

When it really comes down to finding your mate, the more specific you are, the better off you are. Then you’re tossing away the ones that you’re not going to be compatible with.

I think it’s a very important point.



Jasbina Ahluwalia

Online Dating Profile: Describe Yourself

(15:07): Dr. Koppel, in terms of writing an online profile, you say, “Don’t say it when you can show it.” Can you give us some examples?


Dr. Dale Koppel

(15:16): Yes, I can. I like to use the example where everyone says they have a sense of humor.

I remember all of the times I went out with a man who said he had a sense of humor. Of course, I said that I had a sense of humor. Then I would say something funny and he wouldn’t laugh.

I thought to myself, “Everybody has a sense of humor. Everybody is going to say it in their profile. Not everybody has the same sense of humor.”

Elaborating on Online Dating Profile: Describe Yourself.



Jasbina Ahluwalia

Writing Online Dating Profiles: Expert Tips

(18:26): Julie, tell me about what you’ve found in your experience.

I know that your experience is personal as well as expert.

What do you think about describing what you’re looking for in a partner and in your life as opposed to describing who you think you are in your profile? Is that something you’ve run across?


Julie Spira

(18:46): I look at online dating profiles because I write them and I work with singles on creating their irresistible profiles.

I look at it as your business resume for your personal life.

Elaborating on Writing Online Dating Profiles: Expert Tips.



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

Who Should Initiate Conversation Online?

(23:12): Dr. Koppel, you wrote, “I knew instinctively that I couldn’t sit back and wait for men to contact me. My instincts were correct. Most men, especially those of a certain age, don’t need to contact women. They can just sit back and wait for the women to contact them. As a rule, I found that the men who did contact me were not men I wanted to meet.”

Can you tell us about that?


Dr. Dale Koppel

(23:38): Men, especially when they’re first online, get a tremendous number of responses from women.

Elaborating on Who Should Initiate Conversation Online?



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

Protect Privacy in Online Dating

(26:41): Julie, you wrote, “I’m a believer that sometimes we’re on a need-to-know basis. I wonder why sometimes people reveal information that’s rather personal in nature.”

You later wrote, “I always explain to my dates that I ration my information flow.” Tell us about that.


Julie Spira

(27:00): Yes. I ration my information flow. That’s something that I’ve done from the beginning.

We are in such a public world now with the internet. There are very few secrets if people are going to Google you.

Elaborating on Protect Privacy in Online Dating.



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

Choosing Online Dating Profile Picture

(33:49): Listen to your intuition and your gut on that one. Safety is very important.

You’ve mentioned before the biggest and most typical online dating mistakes that you see people make, both men and women. I know you mentioned negativity before.

Is there anything that you keep coming across both professionally and personally in terms of mistakes that people can avoid and mitigate?


Julie Spira

(34:22): I think that women shouldn’t chase men over and over again.

If you meet a man, you initiate contact with him, you have a date with him and it goes well, let him contact you. Don’t email him or text message him and say, “I had a good time. When are we getting together again?” You will appear as very needy.

The man has so many other choices that he’s going to ignore the needy one.


Dr. Dale Koppel

(34:47): We didn’t talk about this.

A number of times, I met men who did not look at all like their photographs. To me, that is so horrible.

Elaborating on Choosing Online Dating Profile Picture.



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

Online Date Fails!

(39:24): Speaking of the strangest, I’d love for each of you to share your funniest, strangest or favorite online dating story.

I know that you have quite a few from reading your books. They’re very entertaining books. Throw out one or two of your favorites. Julie, do you want to start?


Julie Spira

(39:42): One of the strangest dates I had very early on was a man who went berserk in the restaurant because I looked like his dead wife. It was a very sad story.

Elaborating on Online Date Fails!



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

(43:09): Dale, you mentioned the gentleman who claimed to be 5’10” and was closer to 5’4”. I’m curious. Both of you have had personal as well as professional experience with online dating.

In terms of misrepresentation, what percentage of gentleman you were in contact with would you say misrepresented something like that?


Julie Spira

(43:44): They say statistically that one-third of the men who say they’re single are really married.

There are sites for them, such as Ashley Madison, where they can go with permission and find other married people to date or fool around with.

Age and weight is a big deal for women. You will see people take 5, 10 or 15 years and pounds off.

For men, it’s the height. If they’re short, they will add two inches to their height. If their pictures are old, chances are they have more hair in the picture than they do in real life.

Quite often, a man will lie about his financial status to feel that he can afford to buy any woman in town.



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

(44:37): Dale, you mentioned a coffee date versus a dinner date. I’d love for both of you to weigh in with your opinion as to the best first date when one is meeting someone they met online.

What are some ideas that you have for the best first meeting?


Dr. Dale Koppel

(45:05): I think going for coffee or a drink is the best way to go about it. You don’t have the time commitment.

You might meet somebody and you know right away that they’re not right for you.

I’ve heard of stories, especially when a man sees a woman who does not look at all like her photograph, they will often turn around and bolt. They won’t even be polite and spend an hour over a cup of coffee.

I would typically spend about an hour with somebody.

The idea of having dinner with somebody and spending up to two hours because the service is slow is just deadly.

I found that I wanted to make it brief.

I liked to go someplace where I could put money in a meter so that I could say, “My hour is up.” Then, if I was having a good time and I wanted to spend more time, I would say, “I’ll just run out and put some more money in the meter.”

Of course, the guy could say, “No, that’s okay. We can go. Don’t bother putting money in the meter.” Then you know that this is it for that guy.

That was my favorite thing to do to keep a time constraint.

To me, that’s just a meeting. That’s an interview. Then you can plan for something bigger for the real first date.


Jasbina Ahluwalia 

(46:51): That’s interesting. What about you, Julie?


Julie Spira

(46:54): Everybody is really busy. We have to make sure that we’re making the best use of our free time, whatever little free time we have.

I tend to prequalify people on the phone. I tell all of my clients to do the same.

By the time they get to the first date, we’ve at least had a really good phone call where there has been some phone chemistry, camaraderie and a feeling of comfort.

When I meet this person in real life, chances are that it will at least be a pleasant lunch.

I try to avoid dinner dates and coffee dates.

The reason that I avoid coffee dates is that, for me, they have never really worked out. I like to spend more than 20 minutes with someone getting to know them. Again, this is only after I’ve spent time on the phone.

If a man writes to you in a cold call email and says, “Let’s have dinner,” and you haven’t spoken on the phone or had an email exchange, it’s just not the way to approach a woman.

I would ignore that one. It’s courting with a modern day twist with a computer or PDA.



Jasbina Ahluwalia

(48:09): Speaking of courting, I’m sure the men of our listeners would appreciate any insights along those lines.

Do you have any advice for them in terms of courting and approaching women online?

Do either of you have anything to share with our male listeners along those lines?


Julie Spira

(48:31): I think it’s really important for the men to write an email that doesn’t say “Hi” or “Hello” in the subject matter or leave it with no subject.

One of my names was “paperback writer” because of the Rota book. One of the guys who wrote to me wrote in his subject, “Penny Lane.”

I thought that was so adorable and charming. He knew I wrote about a Beatles song. He wrote his favorite Beatles song, Penny Lane. Obviously, I was going to open his email.



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

Courting Women: How to Do It Online

 (49:00): That’s clever.


Dr. Dale Koppel

(49:03): I was especially appalled by men who would send what were entirely formulated emails. They were very long.

I knew they just hit the button and sent it to everybody. It had nothing to let me to know that they had even read my profile.

I think it’s a very bad first contact with a woman.

I think a man should send a short email but something that really identifies the reason why he wrote to you and what it was about your profile that interested him.

Elaborating on Courting Women: How to Do It Online.



Jasbina Ahluwalia 

(52:55): That’s wonderful. The time has gone by quite fast. I’d like to thank both Dale and Julie for joining us today. Dale’s book is The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Online Dating. Julie’s is The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

They are both great books. In case you joined us late or would like to share the show with people in your life, I’d like to remind you that today’s show will be archived and available as a podcast on Intersections Match’s website, which is www.IntersectionsMatch.com.

I can be reached at jasbina@intersectionsmatch.com. I appreciate you hanging out with us. Do email me with topics you’d like discussed in future shows. Make sure to join us for next month’s show on Sunday, March 21st at 7:00 PM Eastern. Our topic in March will be Relationships from a Man’s Perspective. We’ll be talking to Elliott Katz, author of the book entitled Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants. Take care, everyone.


What do you think?

What are some of your Insights In Online Dating? Share your thoughts in the comments below.