One of the splendors of online dating is that you can meet someone that you would not have met otherwise. That is truly fantastic on so many levels, except you cannot call a friend to ask, “what do you know about this person”? If you don’t know someone, you do need to check them out to make sure they are a real person, they are divorced, and if there is anything else in their history to give you a pause.
When you decide it is time to do a little cyber sleuthing; keep a few things in mind.
1. People have histories that are good and bad. You are dealing with a human being.
2. Everyone can learn from their experiences. Be open to what you see. Ask about what you learn. These are great conversations waiting to happen.
3. Make sure you have the correct person. Verify the full name, age and location are correct. If you do not know these things, you are sleuthing too early in the relationship. If you are not sure you have the correct person, assume you do not.
4. If there is no history, nothing at all, this is a concern also. Check it out further.
5. Not everything is as it seems, especially in pictures. In other words, do not jump to conclusions. Calm yourself, please.
6. Be open to being sniffed. Invite them to look. Do not hide from who you are.
Number 6 is the most overlooked. If you are not open to sharing with this person, maybe you do not know them well enough yet. So, when should you open yourself up? First of all, be safe here. Opening yourself up to someone gives them a little power and a lot of information. (For example, case net will provide your home address.) This is not something that is a first or second date kind of stuff. When you decide to be a cyber sleuth or to invite a sleuth, needs to be more of a feeling than a time frame. If you have moved out of casual dating and are feeling connected and want to learn more; ask them to be friends, connect, or follow.
If you have already sleuthed and have been connected on social media with your date for a while now, do not freak out about everything they do on-line. These sites are not weapons despite how some people use them. If you are inquisitive that is healthy, but interrogating is not. Feeling a little protective is healthy, fully enraged jealousy is not. Talk it out and stay healthy.