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How Much Social Media Stalking Is Appropriate Before a First Date?

"Before I go out on a date with a girl, I tend to stalk her social media footprint. Is this healthy? How much online due diligence is too much?" —Weston N., Attleboro, MA

First off, maybe you don’t want to casually throw around words like stalking. Julie Spira, an online dating expert and founder of, says it’s perfectly normal to “sneak a digital peek” at a woman before a date, but it probably isn’t healthy to comb her online details “to see if she’s less than perfect.” This can lead to jumping to unfair conclusions. “You’re setting yourself up for failure by becoming a cyber-sleuth,” Spira says. “Take the time to develop your relationship with a potential date offline, looking for things you like about her, instead of digging deeper about her past online.”

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