To Stalk or Not To Stalk?
With people's private lives on social media, do you look up their life before a date?
|Kirstie Taylor||Nov 13|| 3||1|
Hello my hopeful romantics,
It’s another week. The sun is shining here in LA (though it’s much colder), and the world feels a bit calmer for once.
These past two weeks have been enlightening. I’ve had two conversations with friends about wildly different scenarios when it comes to dating. Specifically, stalking someone’s profile before or after a date.
One friend, who shall remain anonymous out of love and respect, met a guy back around Halloween. They hit it off, had a great night, and he asked for her number before they parted ways.
But then the guy never texted her. Nada. Nothing (douche move, I know).
Understandably, she was bummed out. But as she explained his life history to me— things like when he got out of his last relationship and his ex’s assumed job— I felt a familiar pang.
When you first date someone, you’d normally know very little about them. You’d have to hang out with at least several times to understand who they are. With time and repetition, you’d form a connection (or not).
But with social media, you can literally feel like you’ve known someone since high school with a little scrolling. You can find out if they have sisters, their parents’ names, and what they ate for lunch on July 17th, 2018.
My friend felt a lot more invested in this guy than she should’ve. If she hadn’t looked at every photo on the dude’s profile, his silence most likely would’ve stung a little less. But I can’t fault her. I’ve done the same.
On the flip side, another friend of mine told me how her friend dated a man she met online. They hit it off extremely well; he was sweet and told her he wanted a serious relationship.
But the dude was nowhere to be found on social media. Even if my friend’s friend wanted to stalk, she couldn’t. But she continued dating because things were great.
Then, when the relationship was getting closer to being serious, the guy started to pull away until he completely vanished. My friend decided to run a background check on the guy. Well, it turns out he’s married.
So there you go. One case where stalking wasn’t in someone’s best interest and one case where it was. Now I can’t help but think, is stalking someone you’re dating necessary or a huge no-no?
Let’s dive in…
The desire to understand everything about someone is strong.
I get it. I research menus at a restaurant before I go out to eat. I look up every photo of a hotel before I stay there. Why wouldn’t I do the same with a potential date?
I don’t want anyone to feel bad about stalking. You shouldn’t. The information is out there, and the desire to know more is only natural. But you do have a choice to resist the urge.
Wait until after the first two dates to do any light stalking.
Deep snooping on someone’s IG profile before a first date doesn’t have many benefits, but it has a whole lot of cons. You’ll go into the date with preconceived notions of who they are, and you might even psyche yourself out from a profile that’s essentially their highlight reel.
Waiting until at least the second date is over is the sweet spot. You’ve been able to form first impressions. You’ve gotten to know them a little. But even so, proceed with caution. It’s not going to do you any good if you stalk their profile five years back.
Just check out what their current life is like, make sure they’re not married or something, and move on.
Let the natural folds of a relationship unravel at its own pace.
Social media stalking robs us of one of the best dating experiences: discovering more about a person through their stories. You’ll listen to a person’s trip to Greece with a whole different mindset if you already saw every photo they posted and checked out the profiles of the people they went with.
I know it can be tempting to find out everything and anything about a person, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
But if there are any red flags, communicate your concerns but also stay safe and snoop away.
Again, I don’t fault either of the people in the two stories I told above. I can’t say I’ve been in both their shoes because I’ve never come across a married man pretending to be single. But if I was dating someone and something seemed weird, I’d without a doubt Google everything I could about them.
At the end of the day, your physical and emotional safety matter most. If things feel weird and your gut is telling you something’s up, look more into it. Spare yourself the pain of finding out later down the road.
But hey, my words are not the holy scripture of dating. I’m merely a deep observer and thinker of the world of love. If you feel different about snooping on someone’s social media, let me know!
Until next week my amazing readers.
All the love,
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