Watching Sex and the City, I realise how much the dating world has changed. I’m longing to feel excitement waiting for a phone call; the anticipation once felt when you had to wait an entire week for a glimpse of your date. This is 2018 – we are constantly in each others lives. We’re like spies with no cover, which makes it all the more okay to stalk before a first date.
Background research is good for protection
I’m not just referring to our own safety. We have precious time to protect. A quick social-media check can verify whether a person’s dating profile adds up. I guess with our hidden editing and Photoshop skills, we as a society are less trusting. People are more confident online; it’s easy to create a character, edit an age or a job description.
We know so much of the online world is unreal. But maybe if we have a dating profile and then a social-media profile for back-up, we can breathe more easy. This isn’t predominantly about looks. Although, physical attraction is a real thing and there’s no shame in wanting to see the physical truth.
Your date might already have a partner
A prime example which happened to me. A photographer asked me out on a date, and having recently become single and in a state of misery, I thought – why not? He wasn’t my exact type and the chemistry was a little sour, but I didn’t have much to lose.
We started to mix into the pre-date texting phase. This is where you suddenly have bouts of time to send silly messages back-and-forth, all the while practising your flirtation game. My suspicions grew when he offered to drive over an hour away for our first date. He used a photography excuse – we could shoot photographs in this lovely location.
As a writer who loves to research, I had to get on my detective badge and do some digging. Preparing myself to dig like an eighth dwarf (off to work we go), I was taken aback and dumbfounded to realise I was already sat on a pot of gold. His own social-media work page, had a photo of a baby, with a link to a woman. When I clicked, it was glaringly obvious this woman was his wife, and the baby was his.
I didn’t want to give him satisfaction thinking I was upset by any of this, so I tried to give some sort of pay-back. I upped my flirting game by pretending I wanted him more than ever. We set a date to meet, and then I dropped him at the last-minute, letting him know I struggled to find him sexy or attractive. This was finalised by a block.
Another occasion, a handsome, popular social-media guy began chatting to me through Twitter. He played the role of a single, lonely New Yorker, unable to find a nice girl to date. I’ve never been to New York, though I’m confident there’s plentiful women. And I was right. He blocked me when he uploaded a photo of his wedding.
The downsides to choosing to stalk before a first date
As Cosmopolitan discussed, if you opt to stalk before a first date, you may go too far. Going full CIA on a potential partner, means you have criminal evidence. Criminal as in, incredibly awkward and embarrassing. How do you cover up accidentally admitting you know their mother’s name or where they grew up? When they start opening up about their lives, how strange would it be if you already knew the information. You would have to spend the date lying and playing dumb.
Secondly, as pointed out by Glamour, stalking can ruin romance. We have too much choice; our local community has transcended from a river to an ocean. Do we really want to go round people’s profiles and begin judging and comparing them?
Imagine someone ghosting you because they came across a bad photo of you drunk from five years ago? What if you gave up on a person because your pickiness got in the way? For all you know, that person is your ideal partner, and your online assumptions of them will ruin your fantastic opportunity to fall in love.
How to stalk correctly
I think there’s a fine line to tread. A quick 5 minute scroll is enough to provide answers. Flicking through every photo album or locating their work and friends, is setting your first date on the wrong foot. You might find information you like or information you don’t. Either way, it’s probably a wrong misinterpretation. As social-media is not an ideal platform to source genuine facts. It’s merely a helpful reinforcement.
You want to find out about your date with fresh eyes and a curious mind. It’s the best part about falling for someone. Additionally, you have to consider whether you find it acceptable for someone else to stalk before a first date. I wouldn’t mind a guy scouring my blog pre-meeting, as it’s an accurate portrayal of who I am. It’s incredibly sensitive and full of open insights, however – it’s based on the truth of me. My social-media meanwhile, that I wouldn’t prefer. Who knows what theories could be conjured.
Do you stalk before a first date? Where do you draw a line, or do you stalk with no boundaries? Do you believe it ruins the romance, and would you prefer to date in the old-fashioned way of phone calls and no texting? I would love to read your opinions on this!
I have to mention, I’ve come across one of my first blog posts which was about my first date disasters. It needed some editing, but I’ve had a laugh reading, and funnily enough, I wrote the same thing about stalking on there. If you fancy reading, click: My First Date Disasters