Sure, sure, we know — everyone does it, it’s not just you. But would it be better for your relationships if you didn’t? And at what point in a relationship is it no longer weird to admit to someone that you Googled them? Also, how deep should you Google? For example, is it too psycho to Google your partner’s ex?
Let’s be honest here: If someone has an Internet connection and even the remotest interest in sleeping with you, they’re going to Google you as soon as they know your last name. Given how many people meet thanks to online dating, this frequently happens before you even meet in person.
First, though, you need to beware of what we call “Google goggles,” wherein someone’s impressive online profile blinds you to their body odor, bad table manners, less than stellar record on condom use, or deficient sense of humor. The more you find yourself swooning over someone’s online breadcrumb trail, the more you should pay attention to what that person is actually like in person. (Conversely, you also might want to think twice before posting your gut-spilling poetry online.)
Next, just because everybody does it, doesn’t mean that you should confess to the Googling in the early stages of dating. Telling your date, “So, I saw in your Facebook feed that you’re into the Arctic Monkeys — me too!” will make you appear over-eager or even stalker-ish. Save the Google talk for that cutesy stage in the relationship when you start admitting to each other, “So you were totally nervous on our first date? Me too!”
As for how deep you should dig: Google your own exes, and let them Google theirs. Know that if you Google your partner’s ex — and we don’t recommend this — you will forever compare yourself to them. Also, you will probably find yourself bringing this up during some terrible fight with your partner and regretting it. (“Oh yeah? Well, why don’t you just go back to your ex who graduated first in her high school class and looks really good in a bikini and has more followers on Instagram than me and just got a new haircut and likes way cooler bands than I do?!”)
Finally, if you want to save yourself some heartache, never ever Google the person your lover left you for. Just trust us on that one.