Dating Dilemma: Is It Ever OK to “Research” or Creeping Your Date Online?

In this day and age it’s hard to keep anything secret. With things like Social Media and Google, the snooping possibilities are endless. New employers are now using search engines to find out more about potential new employees before determining whether or not to hire them. With online dating, I’ve said before there’s a false sense of security, so maybe a little research or creeping is a good idea.

People are typically nosy by nature, and, if the information is there why not access it? Especially if it’s going to help us. We’ve all done it. We’ve all creeped someone’s Facebook profile. We’ve all “Googled” someone, or even Googled ourselves. But, that begs the question, if it’s possible to look someone up, is it ever OK to research your date online? Privacy is important and we’re all entitled to have privacy, but if you post something publicly, shouldn’t you expect that people will find it? Well, I don’t think there’s really a yes or no answer … I think it depends on the situation.

Is It Ever OK to “Research” Your Date Online?

research-date-onlineI haven’t done it often, but I do admit to researching some of my dates online. A while back, I was faced with this particular dating dilemma. I met someone who seemed too perfect. He was just what I was looking for, but something didn’t feel right. You know that nagging feeling that tells you to raise your radar? Ya that one … Well, I kept looking for red flags when chatting with him but couldn’t find any other than that gut instinct of mine. So I thought I would just do a little research. So I did. I Googled him. Go ahead and judge because I’m not sorry I did. What did I find out? Well, I found out he was married with a new baby. Everything else he said was absolutely true, except that he left that little detail out. That’s the thing about manipulative liars, they tell you enough half-truths that you believe them because the stuff they tell you checks out, but they leave some very important details out.

So what happened when I confronted him? Well, he completely denied having a baby or being married. I sent him a screen shot of his Facebook page and asked him if that was his profile, he said yes but that his profile is closed to the public. I responded that sadly (for him) it wasn’t. I asked him who the baby was and he never answered. He kept avoiding the question, even though everyone was congratulating him on the baby and his only sibling kept gushing over her new “niece” in the profile comments. I urged him to come clean but he kept denying it. I couldn’t believe he didn’t man up even after he was caught. Needless to say, I didn’t continue speaking with him.

I will admit I rarely look someone up, the only time I do is when I get a feeling that something is “off”. I usually just go with the flow. The only other time I did was when I dated someone who talked big about his über success. I was curious, so I did Google him and found out that he was wealthy but it was because he had duped a significant number of investors out of millions of dollars in another town and the case was still in the courts. Everything else he told me about himself was true. But, again, they were half-truths. I didn’t confront him about it though, I just stopped seeing him.

Dating Smart

I’m not saying that you should go out and be paranoid, or research all your dates, not at all. Creeping isn’t the answer, leave something to the imagination. Just date smart and use your gut instincts always. You know when something feels off. When it does you should absolutely trust it. Once I learned to trust my intuition, it’s never veered me wrong. So is it ever OK to research your date online? Well, if the information is out there and public then it’s fair game. I think it’s more about the intention behind your “search”. If you’re just doing a little research for non-stalking purposes then I think it’s OK, but it’s never OK to stalk someone online, nor is it OK to snoop for the sake of snooping. Creeping your date online isn’t a best practice because you never have the whole picture. Cyberstalking? No. Creeping? No. Researching? Maybe. I believe we are responsible for protecting ourselves from shady people, because goodness knows there are a lot of them out there, but don’t be obsessive about it. Most people are NOT out to get you, nor are they frauds, but frauds do exist, so dating smart, especially if you’re dating online, will protect you.

READERS: Have you ever researched your date online? Did you find anything interested? Did someone ever research you? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva

18 thoughts on “Dating Dilemma: Is It Ever OK to “Research” or Creeping Your Date Online?

  1. As I get to know a lady online or in person, I look for those “red flags” that pop up in our conversations. And as I get to know them better, I will for sure do my research if I feel the need. Many times I have found out information that was not correctly presented (a lie) on their profile – or as they told me later, when I brought that information up – “Oh, that is just a little white lie” What I don’t do know is tell anyone I’m searching for information about them. The crazy thing I had found out a few years ago, when I told a lady I had Googled her, all she said was …… “Oh, I never do that, I want to be surprised” Me, I do not want to be surprised, or lied to. On those “red flags” as mentioned in the article…… I always remember the character on the TV show “House”, who said “everyone lies” I guess we all want to “fluff” up our lives to attract people, but lies are too much for me to deal with, and a waste my time. You do not have to tell anyone all about yourself in the beginning, but if you do share information, let it be the truth……. That will not come back later and bite you in the butt 🙂

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  2. Always. Call it curiousity. Call it wanting to know more about that person. If the information is out there and my date is posting publically why not look. If you have the information, you don’t have to mention it. This is a great question you’ve raised and I’m sure there will be a lot of views

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  3. Back in my single days, I definitely researched them. A woman can’t be too careful and well, we all know men will lie to get what the want. No shame in googling or binging them imo. You’d be amazed at the things people aren’t willing to tell you. 😉

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  4. Its easy to do and I only will if they had sketchy pictures up on the dating site before meeting. Many are learning how to cover their internet-tracks though – its getting harder, which is a good thing.

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    • Thanks 30’s dater! Yes, in retrospect I had wished I didn’t tell him I saw it because he will just hide going forward. Privacy is a good thing but sometimes it’s good to have access to information.

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  5. If you’re going to date someone, you’re attaching your life to theirs. Because this is the case I say it’s absolutely necessary to research your date online. Everyone’s on their best behavior when you first meet and date for the first few times. Their online behavior is a really great indicator, then of who they really are.

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  6. I think if you don’t want people to find the information, then don’t put it online. With online dating there are too many opportunities for people to scam you and you can never be too careful. I see nothing wrong with doing a little cyber investigating. Now, if you take it further and run a background check on the guy/gal or something like that, then you’re crossing the line. Always trust your gut!

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  7. I say the same thing date smart. Now sometimes what you see online may be old news or it may not even be true. People change and many times there may be something that appears bad but theres a good explanation for it. I say unless it’s just extrememly bad news you’ve found, do’t hold it against them without allowing them a chance to explain. Nice post!

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  8. Such great info! I definitely research a lot of my dates online…mostly because I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. We have google…might as well use it to our advantage!

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  9. Generally, I only do extra research on my dates if they don’t have much information in their profiles and I feel as though more information is needed to make me feel more comfortable about meeting up. Sometimes, the nature of the dating site/app itself leaves you with a less-than-stellar feeling about your date’s authenticity, be it for lack of showing mutual friends, lack of profile text, or lack of account verification mechanisms.

    I actually wrote a post a few years back about how to verify your date’s identity so you can be sure that the person you’re chatting with really is who they say they are. Hopefully this can help: http://dateworking.com/dating-and-networking-tips-finding-people-and-verifying-identities/

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  10. I was married before online research became the norm. Since I’ve started dating again I’ve still not found it necessary since I already knew my significant other before we became a couple. However, I don’t think that it’s a bad thing at all to get all of the info that you can on someone before wasting your time with them. It could save you from heartache or even a stalker! Why not protect yourself if you have access to the resources?

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  11. Been researched after a few dates and was told about a rare find that I wouldn’t want anyone to see. So instead of being upset at the surprise search I was glad that I was told about some potentially harmful information that I was able to quickly cover-up.

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  12. I met a guy miles from home at a concert who happened to live in my hometown. He gave me his business card. I was interested in dating him but before I emailed him, I looked him up on our Wisconsin Circuit Courts website. After all, all I knew about him was that he was good looking, bold (he approached me with a pickup line) and liked the same music as I did. The funny thing is, I found a few small claims cases against him with a woman’s name (same last name) attached as the co-defendant. Silly me, I read it and said “this can’t be him, this guy appears to be married!” even though his last name is very unusual and the city listed was the same city he told me he lived. I went on to date him only to find out, indeed he was married. And I only found that out because the word “wife” accidentally slipped out over drinks.

    I think I will continue to look up dates online, but next time be a little less naive when viewing the results 🙂

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  13. Nice info, what i really like about everything said is the fact that you did not ignore your guts instincts, not letting what enticed your eyes about him derail you from following your guts instincts. So many of us make the mistake of falling in love with our eyes and not with our heart, and this always proves to be detrimental in the long run.

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