At some point, we’ve all Googled a love interest or the person we are dating just to see what pops up. Some light web research has almost become a prerequisite for the first date. How else are you going to find out that your potential lover boy once played the role of Bi-Curious Frat Boy in an early 90’s B-movie, or that he likes collect Porcelain Dolls in his spare time?
However, with all this technology at our fingertips, is privacy in relationships becoming a thing of the past? When you’re dating someone, what should you be privy to know about them and what is off limits?
Defining that line
If you often find yourself hacking into his email and facebook, checking voicemail or if you’re reading this on your blackberry while parked outside his house, waiting to tail him to see if he really is going to play laser tag with his buddies, it means that you have already crossed that line and taken a sharp turn at the city limits of Stalker-town (population: you).
Just because you’re suspicious of the other person, it doesn’t give you the right to stage your own CSI-style investigation into their personal affairs. The rule of thumb is, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want done to you. This kind of behavior not only makes you look crazy, but it will drive you crazy. There is a fine line between looking for a problem and creating one. If you can’t let go of your suspicions, it means that you really don’t trust him. In this case, it’s probably best to walk away while you still have your dignity in tact.
If your guy won’t let you answer his phone, if he slams his lap-top shut every time you walk in the room, or if his many female friendships make you uneasy (for example, whenever you walk by your local strip club, the off-duty dancers seem to all know him on a first name basis), these are all tell-tale signs of a potentially sketchy guy. This kind of behavior shouldn’t be ignored. But, when it comes to finding out what your man is up to, where do you draw the line?
Here are a few basic things that you should be able to discuss openly with the person you’re dating (without resorting to an extensive Google-fest).
1. Who their friends are and how they spend their time when they are not with you
We’re not suggesting that you tag along for guy’s night out but, you should be allowed to know who his friends are and what kinds of things they do when you’re not around. If he is extra secretive about what he does and the people he hangs out with, this could be cause for concern.
2. How he pays the rent
Secretly checking into someone’s finances is never cool. However, you should know what he actually does as a living. If you’ve noticed he is very evasive about his job, or he is unemployed yet he has a house and a car that cost more than the GNP of a small country, it’s natural to raise your eyebrows.
3. Sexual History
You’re probably not dying to hear a play by play of every girl he’s ever had sexy time with however, you should be able to discuss with him whether he’s engaged in (or is still engaging in) any high-risk behavior and whether or not he has been tested. If this conversation makes him clearly uncomfortable or he says things like I can’t remember if I have been tested, but you shouldn’t worry about it, consider this a red flag.
4. Is he over his exes?
You should be able to talk about your past relationships and what you have learned from them. Possible red flags: he refuses to talk about anyone he’s dated in the past, or talks he about them incessantly to the point where you actually want to throw up a little.