Separate Online Dating From Facebooking

There are a couple things you should consider about online dating in the era of Facebook.

One, remember that people’s online dating profiles are intended for viewing and interest. If you see a profile you like, you’re encouraged to initiate contact. Many Facebook profiles, on the other hand, are not intended for dating purposes. In fact, you’ll find that you can click on the “information” section of the profile to determine whether the person is looking for “friendship” or “dating.” Many people are on Facebook to establish or renew friendships, so searching out a mate while you are Facebooking may not be the finest use of your time.

Case in point: A friend I’d met online several years back was visiting my town during the Christmas holiday. He lives in another state and will be going to school there for several more years. We had become Facebook friends approximately six months prior. We met up a few times; he expressed interest, I deflected it. Two months later, he emailed me on Facebook asking if a friend with whom I’d just put up a picture was available. Never mind that he was indefinitely living in another town; his inquiry, which I then awkwardly conveyed to my friend, insulted her. She had no interest in a stranger’s affections based on his peeping peaks at her Facebook photos.

Keep in mind also, that Facebooking is not a substitute for dating. While adding your crush as a friend immediately following your first date may serve as a means to quench your curiosity and keep in contact, you may find yourself wishing he or she would rather use a telephone to schedule a proper date rather than writing “What’s up?” on your wall. Conversely, if you lose interest, you might rather he or she not have such convenient access to your personal activities.

Case in point: My uncle recently volunteered alongside a young woman in her early twenties, a woman whom he described as quite a beautiful and well-educated catch. She caught the eye of a young man who was a fellow volunteer, and he continued to find excuses to go up to her booth and make friendly conversation. After this young man approached her a last time before leaving, my uncle asked the woman if he’d gotten her number. The young woman, clearly disappointed, responded, “No, he gave me his email address so I could look him up on Facebook. I wish he’d just asked for my number.”

Receiving a phone call, in her perspective, would have been nicer than being added to his list of several hundred friends. Wouldn’t you agree?

So today’s online dating tip is to be mindful of how your online dating life interacts with your social networking world. Depending on your preferences, the two online mediums may come together nicely. Just determine what your preferences are to avoid an online collision.


  1. Facebook stalking is plain creepy. Use it for what it’s intended for: To connect with your circle of existing friends and keep each other up-to-date.

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