Date 1: You head out on Saturday morning to grab coffee at the local daily grind for your first date with a new guy. You only have an hour before you run off to your girl friend’s birthday party, but you’re committed to making time for dating. First impression: awesome vibe, nice little connection, and definite intrigue for another date.
Date 2: The following Saturday the two of you meet up for a hike. This time the date is a few hours long. You are not the biggest hiker, but he suggested it and you “chose in” to be adventurous and step out of your dating safety zone. The landscape provokes great conversation about nature and your mutual love of the great outdoors, and you discover you both volunteer for various green campaigns. Cool! You give each other a nice hug and laugh about how sweaty you are from the hike, before you both carry on with your days.
Date 3: Next Friday night you meet for dinner at a fun Mexican restaurant Downtown. You each enjoy a cold margarita followed by steak tacos before he leads you onto the dance floor for some salsa. He is a total gentleman, and seems to emulate the suave, romantic feel of Luis Miguel, rather than bumping and grinding like a Ricky Martin video gone wrong. He drives you home, and the juices are flowing from the West Side Story dance remake the two of you performed at the restaurant. You both are feeling pretty weak and it seems that a night of passion might commence, but he exhales and gives you a goodnight kiss. He then calls you the next day to tell you how great of a time he had.
You find yourself thinking about him during the week, and are feeling more and more intrigued by the guy. Since you’re trying to keep a good pace you don’t want to call him randomly to say “hi” just yet. One night mid-week you find yourself on Facebook chatting with a girl friend, and she asks about the guy you’ve been seeing. You decide to see if you can find him on the site to show her a picture of him. His unique name (let’s call him Antonio Venespaldi III) pops right up and, since he barely uses his account, his security options are not enabled, leaving his pictures and wall posts totally available to everyone.
So now you and your girl friend are simultaneously cruising through Antonio’s pictures and chatting back and forth about the juicy info. You find out that he is a lobbyist for a major oil company, “likes” Lou Dobbs, is a Scorpio, and has 1560 friends, many of whom seem to be women. What happened to your eco-loving man who enjoys hikes and seemed to, at least, be a centrist politically? I mean, how could a man “like” Lou Dobbs and also be a champion of the environment? The worst part is that you are an Aries! And we all know that Aries have no compatibility with Scorpios in the dating world. Your heart drops. But it gets worse. You get another IM from your friend: “Did you see him tagged in ‘Lake Tahoe Trip 2010’ album?”
You eagerly pull up the album and find your former Mr. Right in almost every single picture with his arm around some blazingly gorgeous girl, cocktail in hand, and looking like quite the playboy. At this point it’s over. This is not the great guy you thought he was going to be. Mr. Eco-Loving Green Champion Salsa Remix Gentleman is nothing but a Fox News playboy who drinks too much and doesn’t even belong with your sign anyway.
This is what we call the Facebook Effect. It is most commonly associated with Facebook, but can also occur as the result of researching your dates on other social networks, long-winded emails, or just spilling way too many beans during the first months of dating.
You know my mantra–SLOW DOWN. Too much information is a wicked sword that cuts many ways. It does not allow for the discovery of getting to know the other person, and it stunts the wonderful, organic growth of a relationship. I am not a stickler for rules, but there are a couple things I don’t budge on when coaching clients toward substantial relationships: no sex until you get the commitment and no Facebook. It utterly wrecks the discovery process of dating and, like most things on the internet, can be filled with so many mistruths. Maybe Antonio went to a family reunion in Tahoe and, since he is a good looking chap, all of his cousins and family members are also easy on the eyes. Maybe he loves Lou Dobbs but is open to listening to the left. And as for the Scorpio thing–throw it away. I literally had a gal freak out one time because she went to my FB page and saw that I was a Gemini. She was so excited for our 4 weeks of dating up to that point, but had heard such horror stories about Geminis that she was on-guard from that point on. Needless to say, it did not work out.
So stay away from Facebook while you are dating someone. FB=TMI. Don’t do it. Let the man’s actions speak for themselves, not his status, pictures, or political interests.
Have fun out there!