Should You Google Your Date?



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It’s a common scenario in today’s dating scene.
Boy meets girl.
Girl is smitten.
They set up a date for the upcoming week.
Girl feels bored and Googles boy’s name the day before the date.
Girl finds incriminating photos of boy online.
Girl is shocked, disappointed, and cancels first date with boy.

Google has caused the premature endings of many modern-day relationships. But is Googling your dates’ names really necessary? Or is it another example of technology gone wrong?

In the past, we would have had to hire a private detective to dig around and find the information that is readily available online today. Some even argue that Googling your dates’ names spoils the spontaneity of dating since you already know all of their personal details before you even shake hands.

For example, if you Google someone’s name before your first date together and find out that he spent 4 years training dogs in Alaska, you might blow your cover by accidentally asking him about his experience training dogs before he even says a word about it to you. And admitting that you were Googling your date beforehand will make you look like a stalker, no matter how casually you try to put it.

But according to a recent survey, the practice of Googling one’s dates is the norm, and around 43% admit to doing it. Although most people won’t find any juicy information about their dates on Google, there are occasions when a quick Google search will save your butt.

In 2004, a New York woman Googled her date’s name and found out that the FBI had issued a warrant for his arrest because he stole $100,000. The man had been on the run for the past year, so needless to say, the woman didn’t show up for their first date. She did make sure to have the Feds go in her place, though.

On other occasions, a Google search may uncover a creepy side of your date that you never would have known about otherwise. For example, by Googling the moniker your date uses in his email address or dating profile, you may discover that he’s a member of several bestiality forums, or that he has an adult diaper fetish. Or perhaps you’ll find out that a guy you met on a singles site is actually not single at all, after stumbling upon pictures of him with is wife and three children on his Facebook page.

How to Google Your Date the Right Way

The general consensus is that if you know your date’s name, there’s no harm in Googling it. Some argue that it’s an invasion of privacy, but if someone puts the information about himself online in the first place, anybody has the right to see it. It’s important to know who you’re dating for your own safety’s sake!

Don’t just leave it at Googling your date’s first and last name, however, especially if your date has a common name, like John Smith. There will be so many John Smith profiles to sift through in the search results, that you probably won’t find anything specific to the John Smith you’re going to the movies with next Friday.

But if you know John’s email address, Google that to see what comes up. Many people use the same moniker for all of their website profiles and online communications, so Googling an email address or username could give you a realistic glimpse into what kind of person you’re dealing with, for better or worse.

The bottom line is that if you are an online dater, Googling your dates’ names is one of the many ways in which you can protect yourself and be safe, not sorry. If there are any red flags that you should know about before meeting someone in person, a quick Google search will reveal them right away, so you don’t waste your time with someone who’s not a good fit. And besides, it’s not like you’re breaking into secret file cabinets or snooping through someone’s personal diary… all of the stuff that’s available on Google is public information.

Happy Googling!