I was raised on the idea that every date you go on is something like the movies. You meet at a coffee shop or a bookstore, and you get each other's number.
Then, you go on a candlelit dinner date, where the guy is a gentleman and pulls your chair out for you. You guys talk, laugh and have SUCH a good time that, all of a sudden, you're married with children and have a golden retriever named Bailey or something.
Well, welcome to 2017, where everyone and their mother has Tinder. (Yes, I've seen this happen.)
Nothing is more terrifying and thrilling than going out with someone who swiped right on you based on your looks, and, of course, it's only natural to want to get to know someone more in depth before you risk your life trying to meet them.
So, you stalk their Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and by the time you're on your date, you know where he works, what restaurant he's recently been to, and the names of all his friends.
We are a generation interested in knowledge, and that's obviously OK when it comes to just trying to make sure you feel safe before you go on a date.
But when you rely on their social media pages to create a personality, that's when the problems begin.
Here are some reasons it might be good to just go with the flow and figure out who someone is in person instead of creeping on their social media accounts.
1. People Lie On Social Media
There's a shocker.
I'm so sorry to let you know that not everyone is truthful with what they put on the internet. I know too many people who will post or say things online just to seem "cooler."
It's impossible to correctly judge or know someone just by looking at their Instagram or Twitter, so it's best to wait and see if you have real-life chemistry before deciding whether or not your date is the right match for you.
2. You Might Find Something You Don't Want To See
Whether you see something that changes your perception of the person, like finding out about a huge difference in your beliefs, or you're freaked out by the number of "Shrek" memes they posted in the span of a day, it can be a huge disappointment and ruin your date before it even starts.
You let those annoying memes or politically heavy statuses get in the way of seeing who your date is as a person — not a social media page. You become judge-y, closed-minded and preoccupied with things this person might have a reasonable explanation for.
3. You Become More Focused On The Idea Of A Person Than The Actual Person
I cannot count on one hand the amount of times I've been on a date with someone from Tinder and learned they were nothing like what they were on social media.
Of course, I assumed my date would be this amazing person who would take me hiking and out to cute, little cafes, like his pictures indicated. But instead, he was just a douche who wanted to have sex in a parking lot.
I, like many others, created an illusion of someone based on an internet interaction. I thought the personality they showed on their social feeds would be exactly how they were in real life, only to find out I was so wrong.
Get to know someone in person. Then, you won't be disappointed.
4. You Will Inevitably Start Comparing Yourself To Their Ex
Ah, the old, “Wait, am I as pretty as his ex?” thought process has probably been around since the dinosaurs, and it's something that continues to plague our existence.
It's just best to avoid this comparison game when you're trying to meet someone new. After all, their relationship ended for a reason, so there's no need to be better than someone who's already out of the running.
So what's a cautious, interested, and curious girl to do when she's meeting a stranger and has easy access to their online profiles?
Obviously, a little digital diligence can save you from some kind of disaster date (e.g. the guy has a girlfriend, serious ties to organized crime, is a misogynist/playboy, or even an ax murderer). But then, you don't get that exciting, suspenseful, mysterious feeling that comes with meeting someone for the first time.
How do you not kill the mystery? Well, just try to enjoy yourself when you two meet one-on-one. Don't let the little phone that rules our lives get in the way of having real chemistry with someone. You never know whom you're missing out on.
And as that old cliché goes, you should never judge a book by its cover... or by its social media feeds.