Beware of a Date Who Admits To Googling You…

Hi, I’m Ted. I’m looking for someone who’s as comfortable at home on the couch as they are out dancing! Also, someone into being murdered.

Everyone researches their date. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. If a real email or last name happens to get dropped in conversation, then yeah, you’ll jump over to Facebook and check the person out. Maybe to see a few more pictures, or find out if you have any friends in common, or make sure they have friends at all. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe you’ll even do a Google search, though I don’t know what a person’s Linked In profile and an article they wrote for their college paper about the delays in renovating the new science wing will really teach you. But whatever you do, don’t tell the person what you found out in your research of them. Because that’s more than a little, well, Ted Bundy-ish. How do I know? Well…

For you who have been reading my riveting prose for months now, it will not surprise you to learn that I am a writer. “But what about the typos?” you say. “But what about my fist in your face?” I reply, and it’s clear to you that I mean business. As a writer, you can Google me and probably find more stuff than you would for the average person. But when one young lady, let’s call her Shawna, announced on the phone before meeting me that not only had she Googled me, but found an interview that I forgot even existed, I was perturbed. On the one hand, I was charmed that she was so interested in me (my shrink would have a field day with that one), on the other, I wondered how many pages deep she must have gone in her Google search to find this interview. Turns out…nine. I checked myself and it took NINE pages to get to a seven-year-old interview I did on a friend’s podcast that itself lasted only three episodes and no one ever listened to. That means she waded through pages and pages of things that weren’t even close to being about me just to find this terribly pointless waste of ten minutes. For someone she’d never met before. And then for some reason, told me all about it. And somehow I ended up charmed? I don’t know. Like I said, I have a shrink, we’re working through it.

There’s something about him in here somewhere, I can feel it!

So I go out with Shawna the night after the big Google admission, and things go pretty well for a time. The banter is lively, she’s actually quite attractive, and seems to be fairly rich – which is good news for Daddy Nobucks over here. She’s a succesful lawyer, why was I so worried about a little Googling – we’ve all Googled, right? Who hasn’t Googled? And then she got up to order food. That’s when the trouble started.

Shawna goes up to the counter at this cute little coffee shop and orders a sandwich, or something equally simple. I realize I have to head out to a birthday party in about an hour, and tell her when she returns. Her face turns almost immediately to disdain. “What?! An hour from NOW?!” she half yells. Honestly not knowing when else it would be an hour from, I nod tentatively. “Well that is outrageous!” she now fully yells. We’ve already been there, mind you, for over an hour and twenty minutes. Ending it an hour from then would put it safely in the two-hour category, which I insist is plenty for a first Internet date. One hour if they’re bad, two hours if they’re good, three hours if, as Vince Vaughn likes to say, you’re gonna make some bad decisions.

“I’m sorry,” I say, even though no one was buying that shit. “I thought two hours would be enough time. How long do your first Match dates usually last?” You’re guessing in your mind what she’s going to say, aren’t you? You think she might say three hours, or she doesn’t have an expected time, or some other answer that is nowhere near as awesome as what she actually said which was…FIVE HOURS. She’s never had a first date of any kind that lasted under five hours. And she had planned this evening accordingly. We were going to have coffee and sandwiches, then go to a movie, then play some pool, then “see what happens.” Except actually she would be the only one who was seeing what happened, as I would have long since hung myself in the bathroom.

“Why didn’t you tell me before I ordered my food?!” she continues to yell with her ever-reddening face. My thought: why didn’t I tell you I would have to leave in an hour before you ordered a turkey sandwich? Because that would be ridiculous. Should I tell you about everything that I’m planning on doing in the next six hours on the off-chance that it conflicts with someone insane plan you’ve concocted? I’m probably gonna take a crap in a little while, wanna know about that? My actual words: “I guess I wasn’t thinking.” That, clearly, was insufficient. “Well, what am I supposed to do, just wolf down my sandwich?!”

The last time anyone tried to eat a sandwich in under an hour.

I stopped talking at that point, because really, what was the point? Shawna shot up from the table to ask the people at the counter to cancel the sandwich that she couldn’t possibly eat in the next 60 minutes. She came back and sat down and pretended to compose herself for a few minutes then announced, not unexpectedly, that “my time is clearly about to be up, so I think I should just leave now.” Then we had the most awkward walk to the subway in the history of awkward walks to the subway, and I bid her adieu.

The lesson I take from this? When someone tells you they’re crazy, either explicitly or by admitting they Googled you to a ridiculous extent before you even went out, then you should believe them and cancel the date. Learn this lesson, loyal reader. One day I may actually learn it myself. That’s what my shrink says, anyway.

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20 Responses to Beware of a Date Who Admits To Googling You…

  1. Mark says:

    Jesus. I gotta say when she started yelling I think I would simply say “Clearly you are completely insane”, and walk away. Quickly. Possibly while zig-zagging…

    Makes for yet another great disaster-date story though! And who could put a price on that, aside from a little dignity..?

  2. Peter F. says:

    As a general rule, I don’t date lawyers even though I work with them. I dated a prosecutor who kept asking prior relationship questions over and over only phrased differently each time. I finally responded with “Objection counselor, asked and answered”. Plus, they will analyze the hell out of most responses or lack thereof. Also, mine liked a long date too…they think it is a deposition of sorts.

    • Julie Poole says:

      This is so funny-I had a guy who was a judge in the city where I got my divorce contact me through match-0n the first phone call he cross examined me about it -I wish that I had thought to say what Peter said

  3. Becka says:

    Hi B,
    i hope there is nothing wrong with googling a potential date. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I figured out the name of a person (they had a posted a picture of themselves from a newspaper with a legend that contained their name) who has been checking my profile but never made an attempt to contact me. So I sent them a email, but it is still unread ( ok it has only been 2 days) . So I googled their name, low and behold, i found all kinds of information on them (email, phone#s,linkedin accounts etc). But, they have not checked their match email despite being online several times. Do you have any advice for me on this one? I am thinking of letting it go, if i don’t hear from them. But, they keep checking my profile and I think we would be a great match based on their profile.

  4. A says:

    It seems clear that Shawna’s expectations were unrealistic, her behavior irrational, and that you benefited immensely from finding this out on the first date. However, her reaction, while inappropriate and completely over the top, is not totally invalid. Your timing, the way you tell it, sucked. A little consideration and communication can go a long way, and you could have mentioned beforehand that you had another obligation that was relatively close time-wise.

    When you blindside someone with that info after an hour or so, crazy or not, it’s not unreasonable for them to assume that you are trying to get out. I mean, hasn’t it already been discussed that having to go to a friend’s birthday party is one of the best exit strategies out there? She was having a great time and looking to prolong it, and essentially, you made her feel like a total fool.

    I certainly adore your blog and what it brings to the table, but for someone that is a seasoned online dater, that was an amateur mistake. No one wants to feel like they are on the clock, unless that’s what they are signing up for. Like you said, “If you do something lame and hasty on your date, it’s pretty likely your date is gonna end feeling lame and hasty. “

    • B says:

      Eh, I appreciate the compliments, A, but disagree. I think a first Internet date can be ended after an hour with no objections from anyone. If it was 15 minutes, sure. If it was a third date, absolutely. But flying off the handle at a perfectly reasonable limitation to the evening is just not reasonable in my opinion. There’s really just no cause to yell at anyone on a first date pretty much ever.

      • A says:

        Of course it can, and I think arranging a meeting for coffee is the best way to ensure that a date will stay within your desired time frame. Flying off the handle is never reasonable, and like I said, she was unrealistic, irrational, inappropriate, and over the top. Forgive me if I was unclear, but my point was that your timing in the delivery of this information could have been improved. Even waiting until after she finished her sandwich would have been better than bringing it up immediately after she ordered it.

        Take away the yelling, the excessive google-searching, and the 5hr first date expectation, and you still put yourself at a disadvantage. Who needs an hour of warning that their date is going to end unless it means you have to stop drinking? You could have done all the right things and handled it with nothing but finesse, and she probably would have reacted the same way… because she is crazy. However, replace her with someone more sane, and you still, at the very least, deflated her confidence in how the date was going.

        My unsolicited advice? If you see no reason to tell them beforehand, wait until there’s a suggestion to move the date to another location, or when you’re winding down to the last 10-15 minutes of your time frame. It’s a lot more natural (and beneficial) to tell your date something to the tune of, “I didn’t expect this to go so well,” or “I totally lost track of time,” than it is to tell them that they have an hour before their time is up. Assuming you want a second date, that is. Otherwise, tell them whatever you want.

  5. D. says:

    A few observations/questions.

    1.) If this girl has never had a date that lasted fewer than 5 hours, then this girl has not been out on a lot of coffee dates. It’s entirely reasonable to end a coffee date at 2 hours and count that as a solid introduction. But I’m betting this girl usually goes out to dinner with guys, rather than get coffee, because dinner can, legitimately, last a MINIMUM of 2 hours, and easily up to 5 if the evening is going well. If she’s the one who planned this (more on that later), then her lack of experience with coffee dates is showing here. When you plan a coffee date, you may have a “best case scenario” about all the cool stuff you’ll do as coffee spills over into movies and then dinner and then back to your place and “see what happens”….but you always recognize that at any point the other person could say “Well, I gotta run. I have a thing at 7.”

    2.) Her plans for the day, however firmly held, were purely aspirational and her flying off the handle at you for it is indeed a clear sign of lunacy. I doubt anyone here would question whether she was nutty as a fruitcake if, for example, you went out twice, then decided you were done, and she said something like “BUT I ALREADY BOOKED THE CHAPEL FOR OUR WEDDING!!!” Assuming that a coffee date will definitely last 5 hours AND having a clear step-by-step plan, AND losing your shit when things don’t go according to plan is, indeed, loony.

    3.) However, that raises a question: why is SHE the one making the plan? That sounds as if you were a bit more passive in the planning department and she took the lead. If that’s the case, well, there’s your problem. Might be that she also always makes the plan. Starts talking to a guy, they hit it off, he says “So do you want to get together?” She says sure, he then says “Ok, what do you want to do?” and she runs with that. That would actually explain a lot of her “But I had 27 different things planned out for today!” reaction. I’m not saying her expectation of blowing coffee into a full fledged 5-hour-and-then-“we’ll see what happens” date is reasonable, mind you. Just that the sequence of events makes sense, and to a certain extent, if you let her make the plan, that’s where the problem came in.

    Now, if you’re the one who said “Let’s do coffee. I know this great place on 25th St. that serves these badass begniets. You ever had a begniet before? You’ll love ‘em,” and she just…made up some fantasy date for herself after that, then she’s SERIOUSLY nuts, but if she’s the one who made the plan….well…she’s still nuts for the degree of her reaction and how much she assumed, but you did set yourself up for a fall.

  6. Rose says:

    Hey B, thanks for the many laughs I’ve enjoyed from yur blog. It would have been hilarious in this sitch if you had then said you were feeling pretty hungry then ordered a sandwich you ate verrry slowly… Lol ;)

  7. Rick Phillips says:

    Really? An attractive girl wants to spend five hours with someone who has a hard time with subject/verb agreement and you let her go? I woulda cancelled the party and got my five hours worth…

  8. Ally Valero says:

    You could have told her before you ever met, that you’d like having coffee that day, and that you’d promised to be at that party at whatever time it was.

    If it sounded like an escape plan, so what? You’d never even met.

    Anyway, how many parties are too important to miss if you’re with a really special person? That part is up to you, and you can even set a definite date before you leave for the party.

    She made an unfortunate mistake though. I’d have asked if you were expecting me to spend a whole ‘nother hour there just to have a sandwich.

    • B says:

      She wasn’t a really special person, it was a first Internet date. And yes, i could’ve told her, but again, it was a first Internet date. Casual affair…

  9. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web site.

  10. Angie says:

    Just because it took you nine pages to find the interview doesn’t mean it took her nine pages. I spend an unhealthy portion of my day doing internet searches for work. If you do it a lot you get very good at using the ” ” and + as well as keywords. That will narrow down searches a great deal. I am often able to find the information I am searching for much quicker than others because I am more efficient. Just a thought.

  11. Becky says:

    A friend of mine began a relationship with a man she met on eharmony. He eventually confided that he had been in prison for attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend’s fiance. In my internet dating experience I upfront ask for last names and disclose that I will most certainly be googling you before meeting in person. To your credit though Shawna sounds like a lunatic. I may google the strangers wanting me meet me on the internet, but I can also eat a sandwich in under an hour. Very amusing post though!

  12. Pingback: 11 Lies Everyone Tells on an Internet Date | It's Not a Match.com

  13. GoogleAway says:

    I think it is a great idea to google or even go further and run a quick background search before meeting, if you care about your safety and security. Meeting strangers is a dangerous business. I happen to have 2 young kids and a promising career, and I really am glad that I took the time to check out a few guys before I even had lunch before I put myself in harm’s way. 2 REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS and an ex-con contacted me and wanted to take me out. One of the registered sex offenders had raped a 10 year old girl. Another dude told me he had been divorced 10 years, but when I googled him, there he was on the front page of the local newspaper with his wife just 2 months earlier. Just saying.

  14. Shana says:

    Forget Google, I had a guy doing serious background checks on me. I met him in a starbucks and gave him my number – he seemed very professional and sweet. When we met for dinner, it started off very pleasant, and then he started talking crazy. Either he watched too many Jason Bourne movies, or something. He claimed to be in French Intelligence (DGSE?! Like the CIA, only more French!) and proceeded to tell me my life story. Clearly he had paid some some online service to find out where I lived before, names of friends, etc. It was majorly creepy!! He even knew the name of my cat that died 5 years ago! He kept talking about himself in the third person (“Gilles Martel never lies.”), and looking around as if we were being watched. I made an excuse and went home. Nobody needs to know that much about me!

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