Online Dating Tips and the Pros and Cons of Googling Your Date
Dear April Masini,
I’ve been online dating for a couple of months and I think I’ve met someone I’m interested in going out with, but I’d like to know more. Should I Google him? Do you have any tips for online dating safety?"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Google Safety,
So you're about to go out with someone new. You know their first name and their last, so you get to work. The Googling begins. Googling prospective dates is pretty common. But, what if it turns out he or she murdered someone? Or was arrested for drinking and driving? While Google is grand, things aren't always what they seem. What's to say what you read is right? Also, there is more than one John D. Smith out there after all, right?
I bet David Letterman wished he "Googled" his ranch painter, who later turned out to have a criminal record he didn't know about, until after the kidnap attempt on his son. In fact, it's always a good idea to run a little background check on people in your life -- without going overboard or getting paranoid.
Below are 5 Google tips you can use for your date -- or anyone else in your life.
1. Oogly Googly! Just because it's written doesn't mean it's true. There can be more than one person with the same name, and you may read things about the person who you think is your date, but it turns out it's really someone else with the same name. On the other hand, just because it's true doesn't mean it's written about. Google is a wonder, but it doesn't catch everything.
2. The good news is the bad news. If you "dodge a bullet," and find out something horrific about your Saturday night date, cancel, by all means. Never put yourself in any danger.
3. Google-dropping. If you do find out something interesting -- like he's a multi-gazillionaire, or he's been married four times already and he's only 30, by all means bring it up on your date, but gently. There are ways of easing into a subject so that you give him the opportunity to say it first. If you find out he has kids -- or grandkids -- by Googling him, you can say on your date, "I love kids. I have the cutest niece. Do you want kids someday?" It gives him the opportunity to bring it up himself.
4. Mutual Googling. One way to bring up Googling is to say, "I assume you've Googled me. Find out anything juicy?" And then he gets to ask you what you found out about him.
5. A Google A Day. If you want to keep tabs on him, set up a Google Alert that will yield daily information about your date, as it's posted on the search engine.