Can Google help — or hinder — your dating life?

GooglePerhaps you’re like me and immediately Google a guy as soon as you have his first and last name. While I’ve never found any incriminating evidence this way, I have found some interesting items about the guy I’m considering meeting. I imagine myself a CSI (one of my favorite shows), linking disparate clues to complete a puzzle.

Early in my midlife dating adventure, a man with an unusual first name contacted me online. His profile said he was active in our local Rotary Club, as well as an organization specific to his lineage.

RotaryI Googled the local Rotary Club web site. I searched the site for his first name and voilà, a mention appeared including his last name. Armed now with more information, I Googled his full name. I found the web site for the small company he owned, complete with picture (which luckily matched the one on the dating site, so I knew he’d posted a reasonably recent one). It gave the company’s address, phone number and map. His bio said he’d been president of his national trade association. Nice!

A little more digging found the organization relating to his ancestry. A quick search on the site by his first and last name revealed a listing with his home phone number. Googling that yielded his home address, and a Google map showed me where he lived. If I had wanted to go the next step, would have revealed how much his house was worth (although no info on any mortgages or liens).

This took all of 10 minutes.

Scary, isn’t it? Which is why I suggest you be a bit secretive in the beginning of relationships. You don’t want a guy you haven’t met Googling your home phone number and getting a map to where you live!

I don’t typically tell I guy I’ve Googled him. Some read it as “potential stalker.” However, when I have disclosed it after a few dates, most guys seem flattered that I took the time to look, and that I know things about them that they didn’t know were on the web.

I Googled the guy I’m currently seeing, a former city official. There was lots of press on him, luckily all good. The reporters were respectful of him. That says a lot.

So I encourage you to Google away. However, keep the findings to yourself unless you uncover something bothersome, then ask him about it. If he squirms, gets upset or avoids your inquiry, then probably best to pass on this guy.

What have you found after Googling a guy?

And, BTW, Google yourself and see what’s out there about you — or someone with the same name.

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10 responses to “Can Google help — or hinder — your dating life?”

  1. john Avatar

    I Googled myself just to see what happened, not to any suprise, I didn’t find myself. The search did result in learning that i share a name with a semi famous musician.

  2. Traci Avatar

    I make a habit of periodically googling both myself and my phone number . . .

  3. Elena Avatar

    Personally, I hate this. As someone who has an unusual first and last name and who used to have a relatively high-profile job, I can tell you that I don’t like the fact that a guy can find out a lot about me by typing my name into a search engine. In the past, I would use my real first name in corresponding by email with prospective dates. I stopped doing that after a guy on a date thought he’d impress me by rattling off everything he had learned about me from a Google search, including my real age, where I went to graduate school, awards I had won and how much money I had earned one year. Yes, that kind of info is out there, particularly if you’ve been the subject of newspaper or magazine articles. It really creeped me out. It wasn’t flattering at all. After that experience, I stopped using my real first name on the web and in email communications with strangers. That includes posting here at DG.

  4. Paulette Avatar

    I, too, Googled just my first name with the city I’m in. Although I’m very easy to find when including both my first and last name, no accurate results appeared at all with only my first name and the city. A great sense of calm came over me.

  5. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Paulette — I’m so glad you’re able to be in stealth mode! And Elena, it sounds like you are doing a wise thing, too.

    On my profile I try to be nebulous, as I’ve found with just my first name, occupation and city it is too easy to find me. And there are hundreds of references to me on the web. However, two other prominent women with my same name also come up, so someone could easily confuse us.

    So do be cautious about what you disclose.

  6. Gatti Avatar

    As soon as I have two or three bits of information I Google. There are a lot of liars, or worse, nuts out there and I feel that it’s the least I can do to inform and/or protect myself. Plus it’s interesting to see what comes up. No one has minded so far.

    In my profiles I don’t usually use my real name and don’t give the name of the village I live in, but the nearest larger town or city. I just checked and since there is a hotel in London with the same name as my village and the hotel has something to do with a famous person with my first name, on the 10 page (I didn’t look further) nothing on me shows up. I feel very relieved!

    However since I have an unusual last name I don’t usually reveal it until I decide to tell someone about my website. And there are a fair few other references on the web to me as well.

    I was a well known person in a particular field in Germany, so maybe I’m used to people knowing about me.

    On a curious note, I Googled a recent gentleman and because of what I found out about his company I realized that we had been in email contact briefly four years ago, the first time I tried internet dating. On another site, with another screen name, another photo and another location he was once again attracted to me. Worth persuing, wouldn’t you say?

  7. bookyone Avatar

    Hi all,

    I personally think Googling a potential date is a SUPER idea, (I only wish I’d done this in the past, it could have saved me a lot of heartache). I now Google any and all potential dates. Unfortunately, this isn’t much help if the guy has a really common name as there may be hundreds of unrelated hits and very little information about the particular individual you’re targeting. It works best for those with unusual names. I have Googled myself a few times, but as I have a fairly common name I have gotten a number of unrelated hits each time. Still, Googling can be a useful tool for the dating wise.

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  8. Liz Avatar

    I expect a man to look at the website of the university of my employment and any other obvious place online. I do the same for info about them, usually accompanied by a more thorough search starting wtih google. Recently, however, I went out with somebody who had obviously googled me and found things that I did not expect them to know (nothing bad). I was flattered.

  9. Mark Avatar

    Thank You

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