Dating Games: Stalking tendencies

If you feel inclined to Facebook stalk your new dating prospect, try to hold off until after your first date – and even then, don’t add each other as friends for a few more dates.

Facebook stalker (photo credit: Courtesy)
Facebook stalker
(photo credit: Courtesy)
You see an interesting new prospect on JDate and, after exchanging a few emails, you find yourself Facebook stalking him to find out who your mutual friends are. Then you contact those friends to get their opinions.
Meanwhile, you scavenge his profile to see who he is in photos with, where he has checked in and what his likes are. By the time you go on your first date, you know everything on his JDate profile and everything you could possibly have garnered from his Facebook profile. So when you begin having a conversation, you refer to things that you have no business knowing. Your date notices these references but isn’t overly concerned. It’s kind of flattering...
right? After your first date, you send your mom and aunt to spy on your date at his place of business.“Was he as cute as I remember?” “Was he polite to complete strangers?” “Did you get a good vibe?” And so on. Except you forget that eventually your new prospect will meet your family if things go well, and he will know that you sent your cronies in after just one date. Hopefully you will have created a strong enough foundation by that time to withstand such a discovery. But after the whole Facebook stalking thing, it could start to be seen as a trend.
After a few weeks of dating, you begin rerouting your daily commute so you can stop at the coffee shops where your new beau grabs a latte. You linger for lunch at his favorite eateries and even begin going to the branch of your gym where he belongs. Once you do actually run into him, you make up some elaborate excuse as to why you’re in his neck of the woods. He knows you’re lying but thinks it’s cute that you want to see more of him.
After a month of dating, what is an appropriate way to celebrate? One woman I know asked her boyfriend’s roommate for access to their apartment and proceeded to completely redecorate his bedroom and bathroom with new linens, drapes, towels, art and even tchatchkes in her favorite (very feminine) colors. He was petrified but thought the intent was sweet enough to overlook it and he never told her how much he hated the colors. He stuck around even though she was clearly a stalker and shouldn’t have been surprised when things imploded later.
Many people do one of the things mentioned above and could still be considered normal; but doing more than one of them makes you a bona fide stalker.
Each of the above actions can be considered flattering and attentive and sweet when it’s only one of them. (Well, maybe minus the room renovation.) You can ignore the warning signs when it’s only one thing, but you cannot continue to ignore the signs when your stalking tendencies become commonplace.
If you feel inclined to Facebook stalk your new dating prospect, try to hold off until after your first date – and even then, don’t add each other as Facebook friends for a few more dates. And definitely do not contact your mutual friends to beg for information you have no business knowing. Keep your spies at bay.
What’s the point? What are your spies going to find out? One day your date is going to meet those people and you will be found out. Then you will be embarrassed and will have no defense.
If you find yourself having to fill up your gas tank more often because you are driving out of your way in order to “accidentally” run into your new beau, you may need to rethink your priorities. How long will you be able to keep up this charade? And if you have to sneak into your boyfriend’s apartment after just a month to do something as intimate as throw away every item from his linen closet and replace it with things you think are nicer, you have problems this article isn’t going to fix.
Simply put, everyone has stalker tendencies; it’s how we choose to act – or not act – on them that matters. So don’t act on them, because you know it’s not the right thing to do. It will never feel right to have information on your new beau that you came by in a dishonest way. Get to know each other organically and you will never have to be concerned with getting caught up in a lie.