Is It Wrong To Google Your Date?

Online dating is often fraught with concerns, such as; “Does he really look that gorgeous in real life?” and; “Is he who he says he is?”  Based on these issues, you may be tempted to conduct a search online before you go on a first date with him. With so much information about people being readily available on the internet, this is an easy task. But is it wrong?


Investigating Your Date On the Internet


On the one hand, you might think it’s a tad stalkerish to conduct internet searches for someone you haven’t even met. But in order to understand if you’re doing something wicked, you need to decipher your intention. It is intention that counts here. If you are looking up a guy because you want to know what he’s all about so you can pretend to be interested in what he likes in order to forge a synthetic connection, then maybe your time is better spent dealing with your low self-esteem issues. Over the top searches are also not what we’re talking about here, so drop the call to your private investigator. The whole point of conducting an internet search on what is, for the most part, a blind date is to prevent you wasting your time on someone who is a fraud. And if you’re still doubtful, consider this: a recent study conducted by dating website found that one in 10 profiles is fake!

So, some things to do online include checking out:  

1. Facebook. Everyone’s on this social networking site so it’s not a big deal to check someone’s profile. Go on and view his photos and interests (presuming he doesn’t have a private profile) – you might notice something that stands out like an infected pimple, such as photos that prove he’s been sharing really outdated images with you during IM chats or interests that put you off him. He might be rude, crude, sexist, already have a girlfriend or wife, arrogant or anything else distasteful.

Online Dating: How to Discover More about Your Date

2. Twitter. This site is easier than Facebook because you can see people’s streams of messages to each other without having to follow them (unless their Twitter profiles are only available for view by followers). Have a quick scroll to suss out how the guy speaks to others. You might be shocked at bad language or impressed by his spelling (or maybe that’s just me). But the interesting thing about Twitter is that some people put their guard down when using this site because they seem to be more likely to chat to strangers, whereas Facebook is usually the site that puts you in touch with people you know, meaning guards are up and authentic selves are often more reeled in.

3. Google Image Search. If you have an image your online date has sent you, why not upload it to Google’s nifty image search? This will retrieve other pictures that are similar to this one. So if the guy you’re speaking to is called Roger and he has used the image he gave you on other websites, these results will show up. This can tell you if Roger is really Roger. There are online daters who upload fake images, so Google image search can be a huge help. I remember once really enjoying chatting to a guy online but something felt wrong about his profile image. I just had a gut feeling it wasn’t him. After a Google image search, I discovered he had uploaded a model’s image as his own. Not cool. Now imagine if I had agreed to meet with him in person. God only knows who would’ve walked up to the restaurant table for our date.

The internet is filled with people who claim to be things they’re not, so there’s really nothing wrong with doing a little checking up on them before you agree to meet them in person. This still doesn’t guarantee who you are talking to – only investing in face-to-face time will help with that – but it can weed out the creepy people to whom you don’t want to give the time of day.

Header image courtesy of imagerymajestic / 
Body image 1 courtesy of photostock / 
Body image 2 courtesy of marin /
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I am a writer living in South Africa. I have been working as a journalist and blogger for ten years. I am passionate about writing, and I have to confess I love it even more than my favorite high heels and Lindt chocolate. Writing on the topics of dating and relationships is an interest of mine, and I love keeping my finger on the pulse of the latest dating trends.

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