Should You Google Your Date?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This picture taken on January 27, 2010 in Paris shows the internet homepage of the English version of the search engine website Google. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty)

"The impulse to snoop behind a date’s back is, of course, as old as dating itself," writes Maureen O'Connor, columnist for New York Magazine and the Cut. She talks about the decision to do online research before meeting a new date and takes your calls on how you negotiate the urge.


Maureen O'Connor

Comments [9]


A few years ago a friend of mine was dating a guy she had met in her condo development. They were dating only casually and hadn't been intimate when she decided to google him. She discovered that he had actually had gender reassignment surgery a few years prior. She felt guilty for her discovery, almost as if she had read his personal journal. (This was a several years ago, nearer to the advent of Google and online lives.) On their next date, he could tell that something was bothering her. She admitted that she had googled him and confessed what she had found. It actually opened the door for him to talk about his past, which then led the way to very happy intimate relationship between the two of them.

Jun. 25 2014 12:05 PM
Andrea from Philadelphia

Even minor bits of information--he loves a movie you hate--or something like an unattractive photo can turn you off a person who might be someone you would really hit it off with. I think this stuff kills intimacy--not sex, but the process of developing a personal interaction, sharing, building trust independently of what other people say/think, etc. What I always wonder about people who do the pre-date googling is: Do you tell your date? When they tell you their work history or about previous relationships, do you say, "Oh, I knew that" or do you feign ignorance?

Jun. 25 2014 11:59 AM
Joe B

This topis is so old.

Jun. 25 2014 11:59 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Hey, once we eliminate marriage and babies are made in factories, then that will take the pressure off people. Then they will just go out for sex or for other things to do together to have a good time, because marriage will no longer be relevant nor even exist, inshallah!

Jun. 25 2014 11:57 AM
a new yorker cartoonist from NYC

I googled my boyfriend because he was/is a new yorker cartoonist, and I couldn't possibly date a guy whose cartoons I didnt think were funny! Luckily, I loved them, and we've been together ten years. ;)

Jun. 25 2014 11:56 AM
Joe from UES

I started online dating more than 10 years ago when it was taboo. As a gay man it's a really great way to get to know people. Here is what I know to be true:

The Mind's Eye plays tricks. Filling your head with preconceived notions does nothing but paint an incorrect picture. This goes for Googling and lengthy phone calls. Keep your expectations low.

Jun. 25 2014 11:47 AM
John A

I've heard it called 'creeping', to look someone up by outside means.
As in: 'I creeped her Facebook'.
As in undesirable and creepy.
(And what does this make the NSA and Axciom?)

Jun. 25 2014 11:34 AM
GoogleHer from nyc

Should we google an ex, that's the question?!

Jun. 25 2014 10:18 AM

No, and the movie Her showed a prime example of why not. You'll either get a bunch of manufactured social media profiles to make the person look good or a bunch of random weird stuff from ten years ago that you can't even be sure is the same person. It just makes it awkward and doesn't really tell you anything useful. There's nothing creepier when people start hinting about stuff that they could have only got from google, with an extra dose of awkward when the stuff they are talking about is from someone else with your name.

Jun. 25 2014 07:42 AM

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