RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you’re single and dating in 2019, chances are you made an impression long before the first date. You’ve probably fallen prey to a pre-date investigation.
Richmonder Lelia Connard admits, “one time I was set up on a date, I Googled them. My friend had told me they hadn’t been married but when I when on Facebook, they had been married.”
Online dating profiles, witty write-ups or a set up from a friend are apparently not enough.
Most of you dating today are pre-date Googling.
Ok, get your mind out of the gutter, pre-date googling is researching online before that first date. A new study from JDP finds most of us are doing it and aren’t embarrassed to admit it.
“We found that 88% of people have researched and probably 2/3’s of people are researching their dates on a regular basis,” says Andy Kerns Creative Director at Digital Third Coast.
Kerns worked on the recent study that found it’s not necessarily criminal history we’re checking but rather it’s a pre-date social media sweep before meeting face to face. It’s mostly pictures and videos, they’re looking at social media feeds,” says Kerns.
“Blind dating makes you anxious anyway so you want to do some pre-work on your own,” says Connard.
“I have had some people contact me and ask me to look somebody up,” says Amanda Mansfield. She’s a local paralegal who frequently gets first date researching requests.
“Just recently there was the marine biologist in the coast guard.”
“Unfortunately, he’s not real. You just don’t know and it’s online it could be anybody. And nobody puts there real pictures out there, they put the filters and they best, so nothing is real,” said Mansfield.
What your search reveals does matter. Forty percent say they’ve back out of date based on what they’ve found. But should you be looking up everyone?
Wayne Vaughan is President and Owner of “It Takes 2”, a matchmaker and dating service in Glen Allen. He advises against the pre-date Google.
“Lots of times we find Google searching brings more anxiety rather than less.”
We find people work better when they go into an introduction which is how we phrase it which is basically a first date with a clean slate,” says Vaughan.
Plus, if you’re in that chapter of your life looking for a real love story, Vaughan says there’s more to a person than a picture.
“Three, four months down the road the physical stuff starts to not be as important as the connection and the compatibility side and now you’re invested and it’s hard to break out of that without some collateral damage,” says Vaughan.
Not to mention, sometimes that Google glimpse can lead you down the wrong path.
“One of them I did Google and when I googled I accidentally found the wrong man so if I had not gone on the date based on that I would have missed out on the experience,” says Connard.
She is now forgoing the pre-date Google and now letting the professional services of “It Takes 2” help her make a connection.
Still, for some a digital deep dive can pay off.
“I have a friend, she married to the man that I looked up. We joke about it now and I am like I found out all about you,” said Mansfield.
The study also found you’re spending a lot of time on pre-date digging. Most people admit to spending 15 minutes or more on research- per person.