Let’s say you’ve been trying this online dating thing for a while, and finally you’ve found someone you’re maybe kinda into. Congratulations! We’re so happy for you. As you obviously know, dating is hard, and most days we’re exhausted by the very thought of it. But back to you: Your conversations with your new boo are going well, and you’ve just arranged your first official date. We’re sure you’re over the moon with excitement (well, you at least don’t hate them yet), but the question is: What do you really know about this person?
While the internet and dating apps have made it easier to meet new people near you (after all, you can do it on your couch without pants), they’ve also made it a lot easier to be to be deceived by the person on the other end of your messages. So easy, in fact, that there’s even an entire show dedicated to exposing these deceitful jerks.
And while it’s totally not your responsibility to keep people from being terrible, you can get your due diligence on by doing a little research online before you pick out your date night outfit.
Here are 6 very good reasons you should Google your online date before meeting them IRL.
1To see if they’re still with their ex or are dating someone else.
If you’re about to go on a date with someone, chances are you definitely wouldn’t want them boo’d up with anyone else (unless they’re open about that). It’s totally reasonable to peek at your date’s social media accounts and check if they’re posting or have posted recent photos making kissy-face with other people or a #MCM or #WCW who isn’t you. This will perhaps save you the potential heartache and the trouble of putting on pants to go meet them.
2To check if they have a criminal record.
Having a criminal record might not be a deal-breaker for everyone, but if it is for you, then you might want to check before you head out on your hot date. No one wants a new beau whose ex had to file a restraining order against them or someone who may or may not have burned down an entire building just because they got a little heated.
3To see if they work where they told you they did.
Because social media makes us feel pressured to have things all figured out and have the perfect jobs, some people may end up lying about what they do for work. You can always check this by doing a quick LinkedIn search, but keep in mind, your date might just be in-between gigs and was embarrassed to say so. Don’t be too quick to judge.
4To make sure they’re actually the person in their photos.
By now we’re sure you’ve seen the MTV show Catfish, but if you haven’t here’s the 411: The show starts with a hopeless romantic who has fallen for an online love. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong. Because this online love usually isn’t being completely honest, and the show almost always ends with us finding out that the person hasn’t been truthful about any number of things.
So, just to be safe — especially if you haven’t FaceTimed or Skyped — you could run a quick reverse Google image search to make sure the pictures your date has sent you are not link to any other accounts.
5To see their stances on important things.
In the early stages of your courtship, you’re still getting to know each other. Hell, you haven’t even had your first real date yet so, chances are you haven’t taken that deep dive into all the heavier topics, like religious and political views. Just to make sure you aren’t about to go out with someone you’ll probably just clash with, take a scroll through their Twitter and Facebook statuses. You can tell a lot about people based on their updates.
6To make sure they’re not a troll.
Speaking of Facebook and Twitter statues, you should definitely check if your date is an internet troll, aka someone who spends a lot of time creating drama and causing fights online by posting hurtful content. Seriously, can you imagine arguing with an internet troll in real life? Nobody wants that! Stay on the safer side of things and just do your research.