To Google or not to Google potential dates?
May 18, 2011 12:33 PM Subscribe
If you Google your dates before meeting through online sites, how do you handle the knowing the answers to the mundane areas of their life before being told?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (69 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I prefer to be selective when it comes to going on dates. I mainly use OKC and find their questions useful. I still like to research potential dates before we go out though. I'm a very adept Google sleuth. Often, I can find little pieces of information that end up linking me to a person's ancillary internet handle and I go from there. I don't go so far as to pay for a background check. I mostly look for big deal-breakers. For instance, I once found out a guy had a foot fetish (no thanks) and another guy was religious (again, no thanks).
Most of the time though, I don't find anything that scares me off, since OKC weeds out a lot of men that would not be a good match for me. I mostly find mundane information - college, workplace, pictures taken on vacations, etc.
I feel slightly awkward learning these little details about a person before he has told me them himself. How do you handle a situation where you know a fair amount of details about someone, but the person doesn't know you know? I feel disingenuous asking what college he went to, when I already know the answer. I recently found a date's personal blog that was not meant to be public any longer, but Google still had it cached. I ended up reading it and now I feel bad. I know I probably shouldn't have read it, but it was interesting and actually made me feel more attracted to him.
How do you handle this type of situation? Should I avoid Googling people before we meet? If so, should I just ask these potential dates point blank whether they are porn fiends or religious fanatics? I would really rather not waste my time or anyone else's when I know there are certain things I cannot tolerate in a friendship, let alone a potential relationship.
(If it matters, I'm a 32-year-old woman living in a major US city.)