I’ve cut my teeth as an investigative journalist a time or two, and nowhere do those hard-earned skills come in handier than with online dating. Every profile is filled with clues–every first date stuffed with opportunities to learn more about this mysterious stranger sitting across from you! But the key to it all, the latch that opens the box to the world of internet stalking, is finding out a last name.
That’s one of the weirder things about online dating–the fact that you meet this person based on their photo and first name, and can often go weeks without learning this pretty basic information. And figuring it out takes a bit of sleuthing or clever questioning–one friend of mine said they discovered the golden ticket when they were talking about their heritage and she asked what country his last name came from. I myself have tried to master the side-eye on a credit card receipt when my chivalrous mystery man offers to pay for drinks. I also have a habit of dating writers, who in a fit of romantic pique, send me their blogs, poetry portfolios, or twitter feeds. …Mystery solved!
I, like every other human-being on the planet, cannot fight the urge to then type that name into Google or Facebook and see what I can find. I’m not looking for a criminal record or a LinkedIn profile–just a hi-res still or two from a philanthropic gala they were honored at, or some unlocked vacation photos from their volunteer trip to save the whales! Obviously just your basic fact-finding….
What’s My Age: 24, when I dressed as Sherlock Holmes for Halloween and dominated the office costume contest.