In today’s day and age, your online presence is important. In reality, your online presence could be viewed by your boss, co-workers, potential employers, your spouse’s divorce attorney, and post-divorce – by your potential date candidates. If you’re headed towards divorce, or are in the middle of it and anticipate re-entering the dating scene in the near future, be aware that Google can be your friend or your enemy.
If you’ve been married for a while, you may not realize that modern daters are in the practice of turning to Google before agreeing to date someone new and this applies to people both met online and in person. For example, suppose a man and a woman met at the Coffee Bean. After hitting it off in line while waiting for their coffees, the gentleman hands the woman a small piece of paper with his name and number and a written message that says, “Give me a call sometime.”
Even though the pair hit it off at the Coffee Bean, the woman doesn’t dare call or text the handsome stranger until after she Googles his name and takes a closer look at what Google turns up about him. So, before you go back on the dating scene, keep this story in mind and think twice about what your online presence says about you.
If a simple Google search will turn up unflattering information or pictures of you, it may be time to clean up your online presence before you join eHarmony, a singles group at your church, or take the leap and download the Tinder app. For the modern dater, the following types of information on someone online raises red flags and often causes the possible suitor to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
1. The married person.
The Facebook status says he’s married and his account is chockfull of pictures of his wife and children. If he has an eHarmony account or is otherwise looking for an extramarital relationship, his marital status will turn women away – and understandably so.
If you’re still married and you don’t want to change your relationship status on Facebook until you’re divorced, just realize that dating may be difficult until the divorce is over. If you and your spouse agree to date while the divorce is pending, just be prepared to tell the truth if dates ask you why your Facebook profile says you’re married.
2. The virtual ghost on Google.
For dates that may Internet stalk you before agreeing to go out, if they Google your name and they can’t find anything – they may wonder if you actually exist. Or, more specifically, if you’re lying about who you are. These days, one of the craziest things people can find while stalking someone online is nothing. If you’re a ghost on social media or don’t have a LinkedIn account, potential dates may think you have something to hide.
3. The criminal.
When a guy or gal goes to Google someone’s name and they uncover public arrest records for something such as driving under the influence (DUI), often the criminal record will scare the person away and no date will ever take place.
4. The social media star.
Occasionally, someone will look someone up online and discover that they’re a social media star of sorts. Perhaps they’ll have an insane number of followers on Twitter and Instagram, and a huge following. While this type of attention may be intriguing to some potential suitors, it may be a complete turnoff to others. So, if you become popular on social media because you are tracking your weight loss efforts or you become a YouTube star, just realize that not every romantic interest will be OK with all the attention.
5. The negative person.
Suppose you’re active on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter as well as other online forums and one thing stands out about you: You dwell on the negative. If you have countless negative posts all over your “public” social media accounts and on online chatrooms, this will almost without question cause potential dates to lose interest in you. If you’re planning on dating again, you may want to rethink your online habits.
6. The person who has too much fun.
If you’re looking for a serious relationship but your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts are full of pictures of you drinking and partying, these images may not help you reel in likeminded people who are looking for a meaning relationship. If you don’t want to give the impression that you’re dating around, you may want to take down a lot of the partying posts before they turn some truly great people away for good.
7. The complainer.
If your Facebook profile is public and you’ve spent the last six months ranting and raving about your ex and your divorce, such posts will not be appealing to a potential mate. Instead of making you look like an attractive candidate, you will look like a complainer and depending on your updates, you could look like you’re still hung up on your ex.
8. The narcissist.
If you have gone through a divorce makeover and you have never looked better, then congratulations! However, if your Facebook and Instagram feed are full of dozens, if not hundreds of selfies where you’re showing off your amazing results, you may come across as a narcissist. If others suspect you have undiagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you may want to overhaul your social accounts so you won’t be perceived that way. After all, you want potential dates to see a well-rounded version of who you are, not just what you look like on the outside.
Before you go back to dating following your divorce, assess your online presence and make sure that when people Google your name, they see what you want them to see. If you don’t Google yourself first, others may decide not to date you because of what they find online – and you may never realize that your Google search results (your name) are acting against you.
Need legal assistance with a family law matter? Contact the Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLPfor a confidential, free consultation.