The Less You Know…

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dating PSA: The less you know, the better.  In terms of prior knowledge of your online date, that is.

Online Stalking

Is not Googling your date the new abstinence?

Stop Googling your dates’ names before you meet them! I know we’re are all guilty of playing online detective to some degree. When you find out a fellow JDater’s first name, city, and profession, it’s usually not too hard to find this person’s LinkedIn or Facebook page (unless you are the equivalent of a David Cohen, ESQ in NYC).

The next thing you know, you have spent an hour in a trance-like state staring at the screen, reading up on this person’s entire career history, the names of his nieces and nephews, and every photo from the New Year’s Eve party he hosted in 2011.  Believe me, I totally understand how tempting it is to extensively research someone online before your first date! This behavior, however, presents several potential perils:

  1. Particularly in the early stage of a new relationship, having more details about someone increases the chance that you’ll find something objectionable about him or her. Say you’ve been exchanging a few messages with ‘Mike’ and agree to meet him for drinks. But, a Google search session reveals his online poker activity or his habit of instagramming three meals a day, or his photo album from his cousin’s Bar Mitzvah last year when he was 20 pounds heavier with a bad haircut. These kinds of things are no big deal, but if you are feeling neutral about Mike, this prior knowledge will color your perception and produce a negative attitude toward the date. Once you meet Mike and develop a mutual attraction with him, you probably won’t care as much that he used to be heavier or that he likes to play poker. If you know this information and haven’t even met him yet though, you may never learn that he has a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh.
  2. Another potential problem with over-researching your date is that you might forget what you are “supposed to know” about him or her. Have you ever wondered if she said she had two brothers in her profile… or if you just saw it on Facebook? If you act surprised to hear about her siblings, but she mentioned them in her profile or in a message, she’ll think you weren’t paying attention.  But, if you didn’t already discuss it, and you bring it up yourself, you’ll appear creepy!  This is basically a lose-lose situation, so avoid it by remembering only the information your date gives you – nothing extra.
  3. Third, even if Google reveals good things about your potential date, beware of falling into the “good on paper” trap – the opposite of the situation described above in #1. This situation happens when you expect someone to be a great match based on prior research, but he isn’t. The Internet might tell you that handsomedoc76 went to Princeton, grew up on your Grandma’s street, and was a counselor at your camp. If you can’t hold a conversation with him though, or you don’t share the same values, then you might need to let go of the Google image you conjured up that doesn’t actually exist.

In conclusion, Internet research can be dangerous to your dating life!  If you disregard someone because you find a picture of him with his three cats, you could be missing out on a great match. Conversely, if your date doesn’t live up to your high hopes, you could face disappointment. Step away from Google and go meet in person!

Love at First JDate: Never Judge a Person By Their Social Media

by JenG under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

Last week, I wrote about deciphering the right time to get into a Facebook “friendship” relationship with someone you’ve just started dating. And while that’s bound to happen at some point in your courting, it’s also important not to judge someone based on what you find scattered throughout their social media trail. The other day, I was spitting out lines on the phone to my mom about how I didn’t want to go on a first date with a guy because I didn’t think we were a good match. My only justification for this claim was solely based on what I knew about him from social media. Was that a good enough reason to write someone off and skip out on a first date?

  • Do: Practice self-control if you have access to someone’s social media accounts before you’ve met them — and refrain from doing a thorough investigation on them. If you can’t control yourself (which, power to you if you actually can), try to digest the information by reminding yourself this is just a small representation of who they are. Think about what someone might think of you if they read through your 1,000+ tweets before meeting you. It’s worth giving someone an in-person chance.
  • Don’t: Cancel a date because you’ve seen too much on someone’s social media accounts. If you’ve stalked them to the point that you’ve seen photos of their ex-girlfriend or you know what they looked like at their Bar Mitzvah, that’s your fault. Ignore the fact that you just freaked yourself out and go meet them in person. Then, you’ll have the information you need to judge if you’d like to continue seeing them in real life… or just through the internet waves.

Read more of Jen Glantz:
or follow her on Twitter: @tthingsilearned

Love At First JDate: Google Me

by JenG under Date Night,Online Dating

The internet gives us the best of times and it also gives us the worst of times. We can find out just about anything about the average internet user—AKA our new potential date. But how much information is too much information? How much intel is better learned through hours of in-person conversations and how much do we NEED to know beforehand?

  • Do: look up someone briefly—just to make sure they are who they say they are. Search around until you have enough information to feel safe going out to meet this new person offline. Good sites to use for your search include LinkedIn, Facebook and Google.
  • Don’t: Try to be an investigator. Don’t stalk through 5,000 of their Facebook photos, click around to find out information about their Ex, or waste too much time trying to find out every single crumb that makes them who they are. That’s what in-person conversation is for. It’s always awkward sitting across from someone, nodding your head and acting surprised when they tell you about how they were the varsity champion of their middle school soccer team—but you already know, because that’s how intensely you stalked them (guilty)!

Read more Jen Glantz here.