Expert explains why you shouldn't do online research before a date

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
A dating service founder has said you shouldn't Google your dates. [Photo: Getty]

A leading dating expert has advised against Googling potential suitors you meet online – if you want the date to work out.

In recent years we’ve seen a rise in online dating in the UK, with a third (32%) of relationships started between 2015 and 2019 beginning online, according to research by dating platform eharmony and the Imperial College Business School, compared to only 19% between 2005 and 2014.

If current dating trends continue, more people will meet their partner online than offline by 2035, researchers concluded.

READ MORE: Tinder user's list of strict dating rules sparks backlash

The temptation to do some internet-based research before meeting someone for a date is understandable. Thanks to the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, you can discover someone’s job title, leisure habits and relationship history with just a click of a button.

Yet, Greta Tufvesson, co-founder of New York-based matchmaking service The Bevy, advised that the practice is a no-no – adding that it’s preferable to go into a date “with an open mind”.

“A good rule of thumb is to have an open mind before even going on a first date,” Tufvesson said in an interview with The Independent.

“Don’t judge or create preconceived notions of who this person is based on a Google search or gossip.”

READ MORE: Just one in 10 couples now meet at work

Dating expert Nichi Hodgson approves of this no-Googling policy.

She told Yahoo UK: “It's never a good idea to Google someone before you meet them for a first date, tempting as it may be. Firstly, there’s lots of false info out there so you run the risk of reading stuff thats not even accurate.”

“Secondly, you don’t give someone the chance to tell their own story. Again, the order in which things appear via a google search often doesn’t throw the right emphasis on to what matters in someone's life. It's far better to let someone give you the context for the pic of them in latex you've seen, or explain why they left their job in the city.

“hirdly, whatever happened to the joy of a little mystery?! Enjoy getting to know someone fully rather than trying to determine how many things you re-read about then are true.”

While there are no specific UK studies, a US study conducted by consumer reporting agency JDP suggested just how common Googling your date might be.

In a survey of 2,000 Americans, 77% of active daters said they research prospective matches on a regular basis – with half spending more than 15 minutes per person.

Almost one in four (38%) said they would always research an online date before meeting – with just 11% saying they never would.

Unfortunately, in some cases the prevalence of online dating has led to a rise in bad behaviour.

READ MORE: What is the future of online dating?

Match-making app Plenty Of Fish recently revealed the romantic pitfalls to beware come 2020.

They include ‘Fleabagging’, inspired by Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s iconic character, where you consistently date people who are unsuitable for you.

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