Blind dates are a little less blind than they used to be.
By Rich Santos For HowAboutWe
Thanks to Google and Facebook, blind dates are a little less blind than they used to be. Social media allows a person to do a little research before, after, and even during the dating process. It appeals to the curious dater in all of us... even though it does take a little of the mystery/romance out of things. Even though it's better suited for a Viagra or AARP commercial, the song "Your Wildest Dreams" by The Moody Blues is a good indicator of the way romance used to be before the internet: "I wonder where you are, I wonder if you think about me."
1. Browsing The "Summer Album" There's one sure fire way for guys to figure out if that girl's arms looked as good as they did in that dark bar the night we met her: the latest Summer Album. Before women are married, living with a boyfriend and dog, or have children, they put up a Summer album every year. This summer album is a goldmine of the woman (and her friends) in bikinis, tank tops and skirts.
2. Good Old Fashioned Stalking With the check-in feature and the merging of social programs like FourSquare, it's easy to chronicle a woman's every move if she chooses to share where she's going. So, we can "serendipitously bump into her" if we keep tabs on her itinerary on a given evening.
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3. Trolling Interests This might not surprise you, but we usually check out the favorite books and music on a girl's Facebook page, thinking we might be able to bring up something she likes during awkward silent patches. You can also learn about a woman's sports teams and musical tastes -- a good way to think of a date she might actually like. 4. How Much of an Alcoholic is She? Dancing on tables is fun and all, but some women's Facebook albums look like the chronicles of a '70's hard rock band. It can be a turnoff or at least a warning sign if a woman's Facebook pictures are rife with drunken shenanigans.
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5. Ex-Boyfriend Threats Facebook is a great way to see if there was a guy in the recent past. It's pretty easy to tell when a guy is more than a friend in pictures: sheer volume, cheesy poses, lots of pictures of the two of them in formal wear, or the comments give it away.
6. How Many "Guy-Friends" She Has In addition to ex-boyfriends, it's interesting to see how many "guy-friends" she has. There's bound to be that guy that her mom thinks she'll end up with, the best friend from college who will never trust/approve of you, and the guy who would do anything who would be with her. It's not a deal breaker, but it's enough to set a suitor on edge.
7. The Post-Breakup Check Ups Who is my ex-girfrlend dating these days, or who is she hanging out with? It's not going to serve any purpose at all, but sometimes the masochist in us wants to see it all go down, like looking at a bad accident on a highway. Here is where it would be best to remove each other from your friend's list so you don't rubber neck your ex's romantic life.
8. Friend Hotness I'm sorry to have to be the one to admit it, but in a fledgling stage, a guy might look at a woman's friends before he commits and wonder if she's got a more attractive friend to pursue. In any case, most guys are happy when his girlfiend has cute friends. His friends might hit her Facebook page to look for potentials. 9. The Mother Dads always tell their sons that women end up looking like their moms. So, why not get a preview of a woman by taking a look at what her mom looks like in Facebook photos?
10. Digital Peacocking Of course, men can use their own Facebook pages to look cool (yes, I'm a huge poser) in front of a woman who is getting the updates. For example, I can fake check-in, or say I'm somewhere awesome from the comfort of my own couch in my boxers (she doesn't need to know I'm watching Lifetime movies, eating ice cream, and staying in for the evening). Having conversations around statuses is a great way to look popular, especially when bantering with other attractive women -- or having a cute girl like a status. Posting fun pictures, making funny comments, sharing great music, or even a cool passage from a book might make you look insightful and entertaining. Don't push it too far, though: I totally posted a passage from a Melville short story and my girlfriend Jenn promptly called me condescending. So now I want to know -- do women use Facebook the same way? Guys -- do you practice any of these dreadful habits?