In addition to being a world-renowned comedian, talk show host, philanthropist, husband and father, Steve Harvey is the Chief Love Officer of online dating siteDelightful. He draws on his personal experiences and the stories that millions of people have shared with him over the years to help more people find and keep the love they deserve.
Here’s the story: you’ve met a really great guy on Delightful.com–and now you’re poking around on Facebook to see if you can find him there. I understand. We’re all amateur detectives these days, trying to take a few shortcuts when it comes to getting to know someone new.
But the thing is, just because you’ve started chatting with someone great on an online dating site doesn’t mean you two are friends–not yet, anyway. Take a deep breath, ladies, and pay attention. I have a few rules about Facebook when it comes to online dating, and they’re important to follow. Read on.
Don’t friend someone you’ve only been out with once or twice.
What’s the rush? Especially if you are in the habit of posting photos of your kids or other personal stuff, there is absolutely no reason to add your new dude as a friend until you’ve REALLY gotten to know each other. In fact, I’d let a few months go by. I doubt anything he’s posting is so fascinating you can’t wait a while.
If you start following and friending him all over the internet, what are you communicating? Maintain a little mystique and ease off.
Do keep social network stalking to a minimum.
Sure, it is very tempting to take a peek at his Facebook page before your first date, but don’t mistake social network sleuthing for really getting to know someone in person. It’s not the same thing and you are above wasting an hour wondering if his latest status is about you. Plus, it would be awkward if you made a comment on a date based on something you read on his profile instead of something he told you.
I do want to mention one thing, though. It is okay to check to see if you have any mutual friends. Finding out your social worlds overlap a little bit will make getting to know each other in real life much easier. It is not a good idea to message these people to get extra information about your dude. Keep your mind open and form your own opinions. You’re a smart woman, you can do it.
Don’t post cryptic statuses about your new man.
You’ve finally met someone amazing and you want to tell the world about it. You must resist this impulse, ladies. Keep your love life to yourself until you’re on solid ground. Let your people meet your new man in person before you take to Facebook to start gushing about him. He will appreciate it if you respect his privacy in this way. And so will everyone else.
The same goes for tagging Mr. Right in photos. Ask him first. Everyone participates in Facebook differently, and if he’s a private person, you need to respect that.
Don’t complain about your dude in a Facebook status.
I have a word for people who use social networking sites to air out all their drama and complaints: teenagers. You’re not a teenager, right? Facebook is not the place to complain about any aspect of your love life. Facebook is the place to share cute puppy pictures.
Do have a conversation about your relationship status in real life.
If you’ve decided to date exclusively, you should talk to your significant other about whether you’re going to change your Facebook relationship status. Don’t just change it. Your new man shouldn’t learn where he stands with you by scrolling through his news feed. Also, 500 of your best friends shouldn’t see that you consider yourself to be “in a relationship” with someone new if he doesn’t see it that way.
When it comes to Facebook, keep this simple rule in mind: less is more. Play in the real world, and leave the screens alone for a while. They’ll be fine without you.