When you want to change your relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship,” social media can make your dating life complicated unnecessarily. You follow him on Facebook to find out if he’s employed instead of just asking him questions directly; he cyberstalks you right after you connect on Match.com, liking photos and leaving comments on statuses, and you haven’t even had a date yet. Or, you’ve been dating for a while, and now you’re feeling some kind of way because you notice he leaves kissy face emojis on some other woman’s selfies and he won’t answer your texts even though you know he’s online right now.
Everybody’s doing it…but that doesn’t mean it’s normal to let social media replace good social skills. Scrolling, snapping and double tapping isn’t dating, and if you keep making the following 3 mistakes, you could stay single when you don’t want to be.
Mistake #1: Exchanging Instagram accounts instead of phone numbers when you first meet.
“What’s your Instagram?” has now replaced, “Can I have your phone number?” I know it goes down in the DMs, but I don’t recommend social media handles when you first meet someone for two reasons. First of all, it’s hard to establish personal boundaries with someone you just met if they can have access to some of your most personal photos and thoughts in one swipe.
Secondly, you set yourself up to be misjudged as a party animal because you posted one photo of you in Vegas, or as “high maintenance” because you post your upscale shopping trips in Dubai.
I had a bachelor turn down a date with a matchmaking client after he found the bachelorette on social media. He judged her virtual identity instead having a conversation with her, and it ruined a potentially great match. Another gentleman said he would’t go on a second date with a woman because her timeline was full of too many “duck lip” selfies. He was concerned she was self-centered and didn’t have many friends and, as a result, didn’t want to move forward with her. First impressions matter in real life and on social media!
Mistake #2: Cyberstalking the person before a first date (or in between dates).
Researching someone before you go on a date with them isn’t always smart because you end up acting like an investigator instead of a person who really wants to enjoy getting to know someone. You start off a potential relationship with suspicion instead of anticipation, and that negative energy can ruin the chemistry and connection you must have in order for a first date to turn into a soulmate.
Even if you don’t find anything incriminating, it can still feel strange that you know the names of your date’s parents, where he went to high school, what he wore to work yesterday and where his favorite food truck is located. Call me old-fashioned, but these are the things you’re supposed to discover while you’re dating each other, not because you played detective on his timeline.
Mistake #3: Ranting on your own social media accounts about dating and relationships
Ladies, you know that guy on Instagram whose timeline is full of memes complaining about how women just don’t recognize a good man when she sees one? Fellas, have you seen the woman whose Facebook account is a confusing mix of “Dear Future Husband” memes and “Men Ain’t Acting Right” photos? I’m willing to bet you think things like, “oooh, he’s jaded!” Or “Man, she’s bitter!” when you see status updates like that.
My advice is that you stop treating your social media account like a diary of your deepest, darkest thoughts about your relationship frustrations. You come across as insecure and undateable. It’s just not attractive!
The bottom line is this: What would a new romantic interest think about your profile? Would you feel comfortable with what they see? Are they getting a good impression of you? And how would you feel if your date found out you were stalking them and asked you about it on a date?
Take a fresh look at your social media profiles through the eyes of a potential mate, and remember real relationships take place offline, but can be shaken by what someone discovers online.
BNWK: What are your social media rules with someone you’re just getting to know? Post them below!