8 Ways to Screen Your Date Online

Kate

So, youve been set up on a blind date, and now youre freaking out. How will I know its him? What if hes crazy? What if hes not who he says he is?

Back in the 80s (and even most of the 90s), women used to drive themselves crazy at the thought of a blind date. Lucky for us, this is the 21st century, and we have the world at our fingertips. No longer do we have to beg and plead our brothers girlfriends best friends cousin for information about a date with a mystery man — all we need is a comfy chair and a WiFi connection. Stop stressing and get surfing, Sherlock — youve got some research to do.

1. Lets start with the basics. Whether its the phone number of your favorite Chinese restaurant or the weight of the human brain, you can Google absolutely everything these days. So why not start your investigation by Googling this mystery dates name? The galaxys favorite search engine provides access to more information than well ever need —find out if he was a star athlete in high school or if he made the deans list in college. Running a quick background check on a potential suitor — well bet Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin never imagined that when they launched the site back in 98.

2. That little search box in the top right corner of Facebooks home page is a dating girls best friend — its the easiest way to gain access to tons of information about, well, just about anyone. If youre not friends with him, check for mutual friends, but be wary of digging too deep — you’ll look like a super stalker if you shoot his best friend a message fishing for details. Plus, Facebook has revamped privacy settings recently, so visitors have access to a lot more information than they used to.

3. Speaking of mainstream social networking sites, see what this possible man of your dreams (or creep of the century) is doing right now on Twitter. Herein lies the beauty of social media — it allows you to track friends, family, and complete strangers, and all at just a few clicks of the mouse. Youll be able to gain valuable insight on your dates personality through his tweets. For example, if he tweets Watching the game with @joe_schmoe, then hes probably pretty normal, and your date is worth keeping. But if you find that hes constantly tweeting his favorite pick up lines at Snooki, then (cough, cough) we have a feeling youll be coming down with the flu very soon.

4. Youve been told that your date is Ivy-educated and that his career is on the rise. Stop driving yourself crazy thinking that hes too good to be true by finding his professional details on LinkedIn. Hes probably telling the truth, but run a search if you think hes trying to pull a fast one on you.

5. Does Mystery Guy say hes 64 with blue eyes? A photograph proves a thousand words, so (if his FB account is private) check to see if he has a Flickr account. Its an easy way to see (literally) what hes like and what hes into.

6. Were not quite sure when or how it happened, but at some point, all the angry ex-girlfriends of the world united over their shared hatred towards cheating, untrustworthy, and dishonest former flames. The result? Dontdatehimgirl.com. Thats right — Dont date him, girl. Type in your dates name to see if hes a sleazeball or has any crazy ex-girlfriends looming in his past.

7. Picture this situation: you convinced yourself that going on a blind date was fine and that you didnt need to do a full-fledged background check. However, you arrive to the restaurant a few minutes early, and youre starting buckle. I shouldve done more research! you think, panicking that this guy youve never met before is going to be a total weirdo. Well, have no fear: Date Check is here. For the girl on the go, download the Date Check app for iPhone and Droid (its coming soon for Blackberry!). Its motto — look up before you hook up— says it all, and by typing in the guys name, phone number, or e-mail address, you can find valuable information like where he lives or if hes had any past criminal offenses.

8. If none of these online tools are working for you, and you’re dying for more information (so much that you’re willing to pay for it), Intelius is an information database that includes address history, ages, birthdates, household members, home value, income, and more. But don’t say we didn’t warn you: just because it’s legal doesn’t mean that it’s not incredibly creepy.

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