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Date Knight: Is it OK to Google a date?

As the staff’s resident relationship guru — who’s carved out a space on the web with an award-winning site called Naked With Socks On — I’ve been tapped by JET’s EIC to offer up dating advice and perspective each week for our readers. Five days out of the week I’m slaving behind a desk as JET’s Managing Editor, so I look forward to exploring the sights and sounds of Chicago with my wife as part of our weekly outings. I am Anslem Samuel Rocque and this is Date Knight.

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Maybe I’ve been off the (single man’s) dating scene too long, but I’ve been perplexed by recent revelations about people Googling their dates. For the most part, folks say it’s because they want to make sure they’re not going out with a killer, rapist, ex-con, etc. I can understand that to a certain degree, but it still sounds a bit stalkerish.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I thought the whole point of getting to know someone was actually asking them questions about themselves not sitting in front of a computer to see what pops up. Sure, people can lie and withhold certain information about themselves, but isn’t that their right?

What business of it is yours — a person I don’t even know — if I failed biology in the 12th grade or did some stupid thing in my youth that led to me having a juvenile record? By the way, both of those examples are not true, I’m just trying to make a point.

We all know that people can be very judgmental, so you can’t blame someone for wanting to keep certain parts of their past that might be held against them private — at least in the beginning. Chances are if you uncover some questionable information about a date online the average person won’t even let him or her make it to another date.

The problem with snap judgments, though, is you never know what kind of quality person you’re letting slip through your fingers. I know a guy who is an accomplished writer and the ladies seem to think he’s quite the looker (their words not mine), but he’s also served time for a few petty crimes in his wild out youth.

Does he, or anyone else in a similar situation, have to be judged for the mistakes of a dumb kid for the rest of his life? I think not. Who we were yesterday is not always who we are today. That’s not to say the past isn’t important, but you shouldn’t let it cloud your judgment of what the future may hold — especially based on something you read on the Internet.

What are your thoughts on Googling dates? Is it a necessary evil or an invasion of privacy?

Speak your piece…

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