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7 Reasons We Should All Own Up To Cyberstalking Our Dates Already

"Yes! I admit it! I've read all your essays and watched your standup routines circa 2009. THERE, I SAID IT."

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1. It's not that crazy!

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Chances are, they probably have a public Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram, and if you already have their full name, wouldn't you want to, I don't know, make sure they're not wearing toe shoes in their profile pics or have comments in the vein of "heheeee no homo bro"? It doesn't make you creepy; it makes you genuinely concerned for your safety and, even more importantly, your time.

2. It shows you actually cared enough to get to know them.

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Why DO we look people up? Because we're intrigued by them and would like to know more. Because we want to make sure they're nice people who might click with us. Because there's a certain thrill in realizing that they too have a Tumblr where they only reblog GIFs of William H. Macy. The intention is usually good.

3. You won't have to worry about slipping up throughout the entire date.

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A few drinks in, you start to get comfortable around your date — but you can't get too comfortable, lest you slip up and say something that indicates you totally perused their personal blog on perfecting mug cakes. No matter how relaxed you feel on the date (which is a GOOD feeling), you can't relax TOO much because you might blurt out something incriminating.

4. And you won't feel like a big fake for pretending you don't already know certain things.

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"Yeah, so I wrote this piece on how cats help us confront our own neediness in relationships."

"Oh cool! Tell me more."

Of course you know the piece. You wish you could talk about how your childhood cat Tofu prepared you for a cruel life of constant rejection instead of politely nodding while they summarize what you've already read, multiple times. But you can't, and you secretly resent yourself for being such a goddamn phony.

5. Their reaction will actually tell you everything you need to know.

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Step one: Admit you crept a little on their blog.

Step two: Gauge their response.

If they're like "oh, uh, OK?" they're not on your level of openness and ultimately might just not be clicking. But if they respond with "OMG I found your old Myspace by accident and also went through a Hermione/Draco fanfic phase in high school and have been silently anxious to talk about it this whole time," well then, look at that!

6. It'll break the hell out of that ice.

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Instead of doing the "'where do you work' -> 'where did you go to school' -> 'where did you grow up' -> 'want to get another drink' -> 'what music do you like' -> (shit, running out of things to ask)" routine, you can dive right into the fact that you both photoshopped banners with Amy Lee from Evanescence for your Xangas. Aw, true love!

7. WE'VE ALL DONE IT.

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Including you. Sorry, but we live in a rapidly changing time where all our information is online and easily accessible (unless we consciously make an effort to hide it), and we're heading toward an age where it'll be inconceivable that someone wouldn't back-stalk a few Facebook photos or skim a few Medium articles when all of that data is readily available for our disposal and can ultimately spare us from sitting in a bar for three hours with someone who "just doesn't get Beyoncé."

So let's be real and get to the good part, i.e., bonding over each other's prepubescent-era YouTube re-enactments of Star Wars and making out right after.

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