Swiping, Snapping, Sliding, & Stalking

As flirting moves to the digital world with social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, you might feel overwhelmed and under qualified. With rapid changes in technology, it’s important to keep up with the flow, or you could find yourself trailing behind.

Whether you met through swiping right, randomly sitting next to each other in a class or through mutual friends, first dates can lead to clammy palms, a stomach full of butterflies or panicked thoughts. First date jitters are a normal part of the dating process, and everyone has their own way of reducing them. These can include reviewing potential conversation topics, spending hours getting ready to ensure an appearance that is nothing less than flawless, and for many, doing a quick (or in depth) review of their dates online presence.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while perusing their social media accounts before a date can yield many important facts about a person, it can also hinder the progress of a relationship and keep you from discovering who they truly are and loving them despite their faults. Part of the excitement of falling in love is learning about a person, and sharing pieces of your own life experience. Reading sensitive or personal details about a person before a date takes away the experience of opening up and being vulnerable, allowing you to grow closer as a couple.

In a society where we are taught to be constantly on the lookout for “our soulmate,” all it takes is one poorly written Facebook status, one unflattering profile picture or a suspect page like to tip the scales from “potential” to “never going to happen.” However, these cringe-worthy details that come off as deal-breakers early on in the relationship can actually come to be endearing traits later on when combined with other elements of their personality. Combing through online details to see if a person is less than perfect is not a healthy way to start a relationship. People are more complex than their online profile.

Clearly, a little peek at their social media profiles can reassure you that they’re not already in a relationship, isn’t an axe murderer or a Nickelback groupie, and can build confidence going into a date. However, more forward with caution and don’t get too caught up in the details. Get to know your date one-on-one, in person, and don’t let online details get in the way of finding real chemistry with your date. You never know what you could be missing out on.

   -Savannah Hawkins & Shaye Mullen

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