The first date. Whether the butterflies are fluttering uncontrollably or you’re just willing to give it a shot, chances are your mind is flooding with a million questions. As a single woman who dated when answering a phone call from the land line was the ‘norm’ to nowadays when social media is at its prime, one important question in today’s dating world is How Much Homework Should You do Before the First Date? And with the click of a button, homework may be dreadful but it is way too easy to get the scoop on that special (or not so special) someone.
@YourLifeAfter25 put this question to the test at our Twitter Party on Oct. 9 with lots (and lots!) of awesome guests and our expert panelists:
@TheSingleWoman Mandy Hale, Author of The Single Woman
@TrippAdvice L.A. Men’s Dating Coach
@IamJaeNash VH1’s Tough Love
The below includes the tough homework questions and a recap of what most of our guests considered the right answer during our #RelationshipRant.
How Much Of An Impression Do You Get From A Person’s Social Media Profiles?
Your online impression is extremely important – thinking about how you present yourself online is key for not only your personal life but professional as well. While our guests seemed to have a pretty good understanding of someone based on social media profiles, they could only learn so much prior to actually meeting. As long as a social site was kept open, it could still reveal a lot…and in many cases, just enough to determine whether you really wanted to take the next step.
When Someone Asks You Out, Does Researching Them Online Cross Your Mind?
Yes, although some do not feel the need until they are actually interested…like the second date. The ones who make an extra point to research are the ones who had a bad experience. Like me
How Would You Feel About A Potential Date Looking Through Your Social Media Profiles?
Everyone seemed ok with scoping out someone else’s page and acceptable if someone did it in return. Some liked the idea of openly displaying their beliefs, interests etc. because ‘they are who they are.’ A few answers like ‘stalker’ abounded but it depended on how far someone went too. Then again, @YourLifeAfter25 said it should now be protocol.
When Researching A Date, Which Sites Are You Using?
Facebook seemed to be the most popular source. A profile may be ‘private,’ but you can probably see what someone likes (i.e. bands, TV shows, interests) which can be very revealing. A general SEARCH was a common response too because hey, who would ‘like’ their own mug shot via Facebook? Oh wow…now that’s a random thought. Moving on…General SEARCH by name is very important in your research. A good response was “online sites, especially online dating sites, are a great way to put someone to the test too – ask someone a question to determine if it matches up with any claims they make online. Talk about an #OnlineDatingFAIL.
Do You Think Getting A Background Check On A Potential Date Is Taking It Too Far? Why or Why not?
Most people thought a background check was a little intense and taking it too far, however not everyone agreed. The ones who had bad experiences and perhaps failed to do their online homework first were the ones who learned and now believe a background check was ok. Anyone can seem normal but truth is there are a lot of weirdos.
What Red Flags Have You Found On Social Networks That Would Prevent You From Going On A Date?
Someone who has a lot of interactions/photos with the opposite sex. That just screams commitment. RIGHT. Oh, but then there’s the obvious – someone who has a mug shot!
Before the 1st date what lines of communication are you using most; phone/texts/etc?
Most people said online and texting but many preferred phone, aka the “old fashioned way.” One person even said a “good old fashioned love letter.” Sweet….as long as it’s umm…..like waaaay into the relationship right? Speaking of stalkers. Overall, everyone seemed to acknowledge that communication in general was very important. #REALmenCALL
Do you video chat with people you’ve met online before a 1st date?
Only a few said yes but majority said no, not until they have met that person first.
What Are Your Main Questions You Ask To Get To Know Someone On A 1st Date?
The basics – interests, work, family, kid status, etc. Oh, and then there’s my favorite – ever been convicted of a crime? I give our guest major props for that one – it’s important to protect yourself! And sadly, I must admit that I seriously ask if men are married. The.First.Date. True story.
How do you handle when someone you just started dating is openly flirting on social media?
It depends on the situation and whether or not you truly connected. If it’s truly bothersome then it’s ok to confront that person. Someone also said that openly flirting does not bother her at all.
Share Any Dating Stories You Have Regarding Social Media Mishaps!
Someone got stood up for not accepting a friend request; someone else received photos that were not meant for her.
What Advice do you have for other daters in this digital dating age?
Where to begin? This was a hot question and probably received the most responses – here goes. Don’t send nude photos. Like. Ever. Nothing can replace face-to-face communication. Meet in a public place. Don’t ever invite people home. Be informed and watch what they do, not what they say. Time will always tell the truth. Always tell your friends where you’re going – you can even create code words for “they’re psycho, save me.” TRUST YOUR GUT!!!
The Bottom Line: Do Your Homework
We hope you learned something – check out these “A +” takeaways from our STAR students, the relationship experts.
— TheSingleWoman™ (@TheSingleWoman) October 10, 2013
— LA Dating Coach (@TrippAdvice) October 10, 2013
— Judy Jae’ Nash (@iamjaenash) October 10, 2013
Here’s A Summary Of Our October Party