5 Ways To Find True Love In The Digital Age, According To A Love Expert

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new love rules online dating book by Joanna Coles

Joanna Coles has published a new rule book to help singles find love IRL.

Finding a date online shouldn't be difficult in today’s device-attached world.

With the enormous and colorful bouquet of singles using dating apps and those hanging their hats on dating sites, finding love is as easy as a piece of digital cake, right?

Not always.

Trying to communicate, form deep connections, and fall in love through the convenience of your mobile phone day in and day out may leave you with the feeling that your relationship status might never change from the one you fear the most: "It’s complicated."

We're living in a swiping-frenzy world and as a result, we’re viewing and chatting, but not meeting and falling in love.

To help with the cause, Joanna Coles, former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and current chief content officer of Hearst magazines, decided it was time to write some refreshing new rules to help singles find true love in real life.

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In Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World, Coles provides a menu-style list of 15 new flavorful rules and advises singles to use their love calories wisely.

Written as a diet book for love, Coles compares food and dating as similar because we have huge appetites for both. "We can’t live without them," says Coles. "When they are delicious, nothing tastes better. When they are junky and toxic, they put us down."

Coles describes dating apps as "a wonderful arrow in your quiver", but believes the offline connection is crucial for success.

In her roles at Cosmo and Marie Claire, Coles heard numerous stories of singles using dating apps, where they’d swipe endlessly to make a connection, but often get caught up in months of lengthy text conversations. “By the time a couple met in person, it was often a huge disappointment,” she explains.

"We bring so much expectation to these phone dates and real-life dates and so much hope that they will be 'the one,' says Coles.

She adds, “The search for ‘the one’ is so exhausting."

I concur with Coles’ belief in the value of the phone date and here’s why.

"People think they can fast-forward or microwave the first stages of the relationship," says Coles. "You get a false sense of intimacy that’s one-dimensional."

Coles believes when you move to a phone date, it takes it to two-dimensions to form a real relationship.

In conversation with Coles, she shared her 5 favorite rules from her new book:

Rule #1: Don't sleep with your ex.

Stop with the comfort foods. It’s okay to be a little hungry.

"Sleeping with an ex is like eating a doughnut at 4 pm," says Coles. "It’s easy to reach out into your past to get something sweet and familiar."

But the aftermath of sex with the ex always seems to pop up.

"One hour later, you’re filled with remorse and are still hungry for the real nutrition," she adds.

The bottom line: You don't have to sleep with your ex.

Rule #2: Hookups are like French fries.

Coles says there’s no such thing as a casual hookup.

"Once you have sex with people, feelings start getting involved," she says. She calls it fast-forwarded intimacy.

Coles describes hookups and French fries as both as delicious at the moment but adds that you’ll wake up full of dater’s remorse.

"You need to be thoughtful where you put the calories," she explains.

The bottom line: It’s OK to have a hook-up every once in a while if you can handle it.

Rule #3: Porn is like chewing gum — all artificial flavor.

"Porn sex is not real sex," explains Coles. "It’s done from the viewfinder of the camera, and not from the point of what feels good."

To keep with the comparison of food and love, she explains, "Eating ‘Chicken McNuggets’ because you’re hungry is not the same as eating organic chicken."

The bottom line: Porn is not a role model for intimacy.

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Rule #4: Look for relationship role models.

Coles compares dating to being in a job interview, where a future employer will ask, "Who's your role model?"

"You know who your relationship role model is, but you’d never ask your date who their role model is," she says.

To find your relationship role model, Coles suggests you jot down a list of couples you admire and who you see supporting each other. They could be your parents or a mentor. Share your relationship role model with your date. Then, ask them who their role model is and listen to their answer.

Then, look for someone with similar qualities as your role model.

The bottom line: It’s a unique question to ask to determine your date’s values.

Rule #5:  Life is a feast. Take your place at the table.

Cole leaves us with a gentle message, "Embrace imperfection and find a mate who loves you for yours."

The bottom line: Finding love is like fine dining, where you go through all of the courses on the menu. Not everyone is perfect, but someone will be perfect for you.

The big takeaway in the world of digital dating is that a healthy diet includes picking up the phone to hear the sound of someone's voice.

"When you connect with someone online, call them up," says Coles. "Do not waste weeks and months where you are not meeting in real life.”

Just make sure to keep your phone's ringer in the on position.

RELATED: How To Find Love By Ignoring The 5 Most Common Online Dating Myths

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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert and the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice delivered to your inbox.

This article was originally published at Cyber-Dating Expert. Reprinted with permission from the author.