Research Of The Stalking Kind

I’m old enough to remember the good old days when you had to pull yourself together and ask someone face to face if they wanted a drink with you/ would give you their number/ wanted to go on a date. It was nerve wrecking but you knew where you were at right away.

No one could hide behind a keyboard or filter their photos to look like James Dean or use some that were taken ten years ago. The good thing about that is you immediately get an idea of someone’s personality; how they talk, what their voice sounds like, the way they interact with you and others. Today, we swipe, text and chat but all those apps don’t actually tell us who this person is, just who they want us to think they are.

So when I’ve been on a date with someone and I think I am going to see them again, I tend to google them. Have a look what comes up on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you name it. Don’t pretend you would never think about doing that, it’s internet dating after all and we have no idea who this person we just spend a few pleasant hours with actually is.

Now, one of the best dates I had was with a guy I was really taken by. I mean really, really taken. So I did what I do and I googled him. And a couple of things popped up that made me doubt the fact he was actually telling me the truth about being single. I looked a bit closer, and what I saw did really not match with what he told me. Everything I looked at is public information available to anyone, it does not cost me any money and hardly any time to find either.

I eventually decided to ask him about what I had found and to my surprise he went absolutely mental that I was snooping on him. Yes, his reaction did surprise me because if someone told me they had checked up on me, it wouldn’t particularly bother me, after all I have nothing to hide. Okay, maybe not a lot, but I bury my bodies deep. I asked a couple of my male friends what they thought about it and they agreed that a) being googled wasn’t really a big deal if you have nothing to worry about and b) he was probably only pissed off that he had been found out.

He absolutely denied my suspicions had any grounds and other than actually knocking on someone’s door, I had no way of finding out if there was anything to it. And that would have been stalking and not something I would have done, just imagine I was right. That would have made for a pretty awkward moment and I really don’t want to be the one telling some poor girl her husband/partner/definitely not better half was looking to dip his wick elsewhere.

Did it bring about the demise of the relationship? It most definitely played a decisive part. Was I in the wrong? I don’t believe I was and the doubts I had were not squashed by his denial. I just couldn’t trust this guy and that in itself made it impossible to have a future with him. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Because ultimately, we don’t know who we encounter on the internet. And it’s not just my own safety I have to be concerned about. While we never should assume the worst and paint everything black, we should also listen to our gut instincts and get some reassurance. It’s just a few clicks away.

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