Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild, and sometimes wonderful world of dating. Look out for a new story every day this month.
I hate the idea of being judged by my social media and yet I’d always do my online sleuthing before meeting prospective dates.
The problem with this was that oftentimes I’d judge them too harshly. Eek, he looks like he parties too much, he probably isn’t looking to settle down, is just one of the preconceived ideas I've had. Hmm, he’s just broken up with his ex, he’s rebounding, is another.
Nine times out of 10, I’d decide that going on a date would be a waste of time. However, this led to a major dating dry spell.
So I made a conscious decision not to stalk anyone online and judge them purely off of my own experiences.
Then I matched with a guy on an app. He had good conversation, messaged regularly and seemed like he genuinely wanted to get to know me. Could my self-imposed research ban really have paid off the first time around? Sadly, I discovered it hadn’t when, after waiting over 30 minutes to meet him at a bar, I realized I’d been stood up.
After waiting over 30 minutes to meet him at a bar, I realized I'd been stood up.
I felt embarrassed and the rejection triggered a deep-rooted insecurity that I’m not good enough. Mixed with the anger I felt at being disrespected and messed around, I kicked myself for not doing my online detective work.
While I knew I shouldn’t waste one more minute on him, I needed to know what I would have discovered if I’d done my research. So I lifted my ban and went to work.
First up, I searched his number on Facebook. I’ve had luck with that before but this time no joy.
Then I googled his first name, job title, and the area of town he worked in. I then clicked on the images and trawled through. Bingo, found him! I then put his full name into Facebook; his profile was private but if you put a person’s name in the search bar and type "photos" after it, any pictures of them that are open to the public will appear. From there I discovered from comments and dates on a host of photos that he was engaged to a woman whom he had been seeing for around 10 years. They had a son. Rather strangely, this woman looked a lot like me.
Perhaps he got cold feet about cheating on the mother of his child but whatever the reason, I’m now a firm advocate of always doing your research.