Researching Your Date: Should You Keep the Mystery?

The ever-increasing uptake of social media is fantastic for keeping in contact with friends, making plans and even meeting new people. It also provides an opportunity to find out information about a person before meeting them in person. But when it comes to dating is this really a good idea?

On the plus side you can discover what their interests are and plan ahead, but does this take all of the mystery and excitement away from the experience of actually going on a first date?

A helping hand?

Katie, 25, from Manchester is all for a little date pre-planning with the help of social media. She met her current boyfriend James on a night out. Instead of exchanging phone numbers, they added each other on Facebook right then and there, so when they arranged the date they had instant access to each other’s’ ‘likes’ and personal information.

Katie commented on their first date: “It was great, I knew what TV shows that he watched, what music he listened to, and there were no awkward silences – conversation just flowed so it was more enjoyable than a nerve-filled evening. I already knew we had lots in common.

For Katie, a bit of help from Facebook made her first date with James fantastic. They have now been together for two special years.

Too much information?

Although Katie had a fantastic first date thanks to the help of social media, not everyone feels this way and it isn’t always a good thing. Rachel, 27, from Preston believes she made the mistake of checking her date’s Facebook and Twitter page before actually going on a date.

Before the date I knew exactly what he did, where he went to school, everything. I basically knew everything about him that you would usually ask on a first date so the date itself was entirely boring,” she says.

In Rachel’s case, the lack of mystery ruined the date and any prospect of going on a second. She went on to say: “Dates are supposed to be where you find out about each other. Without the nervous butterflies, there just wasn’t any excitement at all.”

Rachel made a vow not to use social media to research any future dates as she believes it makes her dates more exhilarating – she hates it when her date knows everything about her.

So the jury is out when it comes to the pros and cons of dating and the internet. For some people it completely takes the magic out of the dating process; for others it is simply a tool for getting to know that potential partner. It all comes down to personal preference.

Remember though, just because you don’t use social media to research your date doesn’t mean they won’t use it either.

Experts view:

If you are meeting someone online then hooking up on Facebook can help. You can learn a little more about them and this could, perhaps, give you a heads-up on whether they have tweaked their profile in their favour!

However, what happens if the date doesn’t work out and they now have access to your Facebook page, and friends. You might get rid of them, but will your friends? Do they already know enough about you so that they become a permanent nuisance? Things are always great… until it goes wrong!

When it comes down to the opposite sex, men and women communicate differently. The green-eyed monster is not a pretty sight. What happens if the ‘Ex’ is marked as a friend? Are they better looking? Are they fitter, and liked by all their friends? This is fierce competition!

Interest and hobbies have to be similar.” Not according to the latest research – only 63% of couples say that they share the same hobbies, so how is knowledge of this going to help?

If you are working in a professional capacity, do you really want to give all this information away to someone whom you hardly even know, a complete stranger?

What do you think about researching a date beforehand? Can it ruin the mystery or wise you up to something you might need to know? Let us know in the comments.

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