“Would you think it was weird if I said I’d found your articles?” asked the man I’d been talking to on Tinder for one day.
“It genuinely sounds quite creepy, but I actually did,” he admitted.
The thing is, I wasn’t surprised at all. Having told my potential suitor where I work, of course he was going to look me up, learn my surname and then find out all about me.
Stalking potential partners online has become completely de rigueur – it’s simply another way of vetting someone before you meet up.
Women in particular often don’t want to meet someone in person without making absolutely sure they’re not crazy.
That, and we don’t want to go to all the effort of doing our hair, putting on extra makeup and shaving our legs for someone who isn’t who they say they are.
So online stalking is the answer.
Whilst most dating apps only display a person’s first name, once you know where someone works, where they studied or which mutual friends you have on Facebook, it’s all too easy to give them a Google and learn their full name.
And from there, the internet is your oyster.
First things first, you’ll find them on Facebook, of course.
Whilst you’re hoping their privacy settings will be low so you can find out as much about them as possible, you’ll also judge anyone who has all their information, posts and photos visible to the public in this day and age. That’s just silly and they clearly weren’t paying attention in those cyber safety talks at school.
Having assessed all their profile pictures going back to 2007, you’ll almost definitely have come across a family member – whether a brother in a photo or a comment from their mum. Enter, your next targets.
And is that an ex-girlfriend I see? Excellent. Time to work out if she’s at all similar to you.
Of course, if your match has synced their Instagram account to their dating profile, you’re laughing. But even if not, any self-respecting millennial can find someone.
Pray they don’t have a private account, judge them on their choice of filters, have a minor heart-attack when you think you’ve accidentally liked one of their photos from 157 weeks ago, assess the photos of them and proceed to stalk all their friends.
It’s important to know what someone really does in their free time, because no one tells the truth on their dating profiles.
And if all else fails hire a professional to look into them thoroughly!