When you meet someone online, it’s natural to want to find out more about your potential match before you agree to a date. After all, there’s nothing worse than realising you’ve made a mistake halfway through the starter in a restaurant, or during the first round at a bar.
Social media plays a pivotal role in modern dating; Facebook ‘stalking’ has become widely accepted when sussing out a new match, to see how they present themselves beyond their carefully constructed online dating profile. But is checking out their Facebook a good idea, or a recipe for disaster?
The Genuine Article
First and foremost, you want to be sure that the person you’re talking to online is who they make out to be. Whilst reputable online dating sites should be secure, you want to be sure that you’re agreeing to meet a normal, likeminded single, right? To this end, searching for your potential date on Facebook is pretty common practice. However, always arrange to meet in a neutral and relatively busy location for your first date!
Sussing Our Their Personality
Whilst you’re on their Facebook profile, it would be hard to resist a quick peak at their photos, and scanning through recent statuses if their privacy settings allow. In our quest to impress when online dating, it’s easy to create an exaggerated version of yourself. That isn’t unreasonable, but it can lead to disappointment (or pleasant surprises!) when you meet in person.
A glance at their profile before a date can ensure that you’re not shocked if they don’t quite match what you had in your head. Do they talk the same way on Facebook as they do in your conversations? What do their photos suggest about their personality and interests? This can help you prepare for the date and calm your nerves – just remember not to mention anything you spied on the date, or you may look a little creepy!
Drawing the Line
However, it’s easy to take Facebook stalking too far in the run-up to a date. Flicking back to their photos from 2007 will not only give you a LOT more information than you need, it could also negatively influence your perception. Do you dress the same, think the same and have the same hobbies as you did nearly a decade ago? We thought not.
On another note, avoid the temptation to add them as a friend or engage with their Facebook posts before you meet. This could easily kill the romance and send your date running a mile! Keep your ‘stalking’ sweet and discreet if you’re going to do it at all.
Follow these tips to use Facebook in the right way when sussing out a potential match. Respect their privacy and protect your dignity, and remember that people can change a lot over the space of a few years! By using social media as a tool to quickly check out your date, you can avoid disaster and ensure that you’re making the right decision.