You know that thought you jokingly have when you’re about to meet a new guy for a date — that whole “He could be a serial killer!” thing? Well, I’m that girl — I actually ended up meeting a murderer.
Dating online is great. It’s a super convenient way to meet new suitors and I was doing just that when I met a man who seemed amazing. He was handsome, had his act together, had a bit of that edgy bad boy vibe but also had that tender side. The best part is that he was super into me, and vice versa… until the day he mentioned the fact that he had served a manslaughter sentence, which one Google search later proved to be reduced from an actual murder charge. I won’t go into detail, but it was ugly. My deepest fears were a reality, and I had to break it off, which I did over the phone as an obvious precaution. The point is, you never know who you’re meeting online, and this is why I encourage all women — no matter how creepy you think it might be — to Google search your dates.
- You can be anyone online. The Internet is huge, and with it we have an infinite list of resources that we can literally create the perfect profile that couldn’t be further from who we really are, up to and including pictures of someone else, real personal details that wouldn’t set off any radars, and any desired personality we wanted to convey. Make sure the person you’re talking to is really who they say they are.
- You can confirm details. If he gave you any personal details about himself, and they completely contradict what it says online like that he attended Yale, but he really went to a community college, read the warning signs. Even if he’s just embarrassed about superficial facts, do you really want to date a liar?
- It quickly points you to warnings or settles and comforts you. You’re either going to find out he was the captain of his high school basketball team and volunteered as a little league coach, or you’ll find out some crap like I did, which was that he was a sociopath. You’ll also quickly find out if he’s omitted some crucial details. I once was about to meet a guy who I Googled, only to discover he was in a five year relationship and they had just gotten back from Europe. We never made it to date one, obviously.
- It’s a legitimately smart thing to do. Contrary to what some people might think, which is that it’s creepy as hell to Google search someone before you meet them, it’s now necessary for your own safety. These are real and useful tools that we have now. You have the ability to know key points about a person’s character before you start to invest your time — why wouldn’t you look them up? As much as you want to trust everyone, that’s not the world we live in now.
- Your safety is worth it.At the end of the day, the most important thing is your safety. One thing I personally favor Tinder for is the fact that the person has to have a Facebook profile in order to sign up. Granted, yes, a person could still forge a fake Facebook account, it’s a lot more rigmarole to go through. Plus, you can’t really forge the friends list, the pictures with grandma or the interactions they have with other people. I’ve actually even friended men on Facebook before going on dates with them. Let’s face it; a Facebook profile gives a huge inside to overall character. Don’t ever hesitate to ask for these details or make a quick search to make sure the guy is legit. Not just for your sanity, but also your well-being.