Hey, all. I’m a woman and as all of those things, I’ve definitely checked people out online before going on a date with them, or even agreeing to a date with them. My safety is a huge priority (priority #1 even!) and I care about that enough to take precautions. I also don’t want to waste time going on a date or multiple dates with someone only to find out that they don’t view me as a full human being deserving of rights.
Recently though, I got into a discussion with a man in a thread online. He insisted that you get to know people through dating; you don’t invade their privacy by looking them up beforehand. He also said it’s immature and insecure to “want to know what someone was doing 4 years ago or who that woman is in a photo their cousin posted of them.” That was when I doubled down, because I absolutely don’t care about shallow stuff like that. I care about knowing whether or not the person I’m considering for a date might cause me harm.
I explained that iit’s very easy to find public records on Google. You can see if someone has been arrested and on what charges it will be all over the news (potentially relevant) or if someone is a registered offender (again, potentially relevant). I also added that checking even ONE social media (which, if it’s public, is public info) can tell you a lot about someone. I know wokefishing is real. A lot of people don’t put everything out there on their Tinder profile, but if I saw that they liked tweets from or followed certain people I hate, I would know that we weren’t compatible and I literally would not waste another minute on them.
The dude online insisted that that’s super stalking behavior, acted like there was something wrong with me for wanting to “invade someone else’s privacy” before letting them into my life, and was altogether very gaslighty. I stopped arguing with him, but I’m still wondering about the concept of looking someone up before you date them.
This is something I and all my female friends did. “I wanna make sure they are who they say they are!” or “I don’t wanna be getting involved with someone who’s already got a bunch of drama going on!”), but ultimately I don’t think we’re being petty or insecure.
It’s a way to stay safe.
So question for all of y’all out there: do you check people online before you date them?