The Huffington Post recently published an article reminding women everywhere, that the grand romantic gestures that happen in movies, don’t always translate in real life.
The article spells it all out for you in the title, Romantic Comedies Teach Women That Stalking is a Compliment, with writer Chloe Angyal reminding us with ovaries, that unless it’s Ryan Gosling writing you a letter every day for a year, it’s just f*cking creepy.
This article assumed I have no concept of reality , which is sort of true, but made me surprisingly introspective of my own stalker-ish behaviors when it comes to dating. Don’t call the police (again), I’m not referring to Fatal Attraction level boil your bunny, “Why Don’t You Love Me,” type stuff. I’m talking about the little things we do online, to learn about and track the people we’re interested in.
When does it go from social media savvy, to stalking?
It’s fairly common to Facebook the object of your desire, or look them up on Instagram. When you meet someone new, and send the initial invitation to connect on social media, the friend request is the virtual acknowledgement of a burgeoning relationship of some kind; romantic, friendly, or other.
What you do next is what separates you from the rest of the pack.
Personally, I’ll admit that I’m an adorable creep.
When I connect with someone on social media, I unleash research skills that should have already peaked the Canadian government’s interest. I can find out where you went to school, where you work, what you like to do and I’ll begin piecing together an idea of your family, your previous relationships and your own level of social media comfort based on the effort you exhibit to cultivate your online image.
From there, I’ll search tagged photos to see who you socialize with the most versus who comments the most on your photos, rule out that frequent commenter as the friend you only talk to online, find out that your parents are divorced but you’re dad’s re-married to a nice woman named Sheila, Sheila has three kids from a previous relationship, you all seem to get along well and celebrate the holiday’s up North at your cottage, where you once broke your leg skiing . Of course I won’t admit to any of this and when we hang out casually ask whether or not you’ve ever broken a bone, if you like to ski, or if you have any brothers or sisters. I’ll feign surprise but correct you when you say you broke your leg in 2008.
It was 2007.
If I REALLY like you, I’ll see what events you’re attending and maybe, JUST MAYBE suggest to my friends that we attend, “Just because.”
If we’re chatting and you all of a sudden don’t respond, but two seconds later like a photo on Instagram, I’ll know you’re avoiding me. I’ll know, and do absolutely nothing about it because I refuse to double text, and instead will just sit here and watch what you’re liking online.
This is creepy, right?
Totally creepy, but slightly adorably because I’m just being extra cautious of stranger danger and vetting a potential match before I invest time and effort into getting to know them. Also, the fact that I have zero muscle tone and am inherently lazy automatically makes me a threat to nobody.
Ok. I exaggerated…slightly.
But what’s more likely to happen: Me doing all of this recon before a coffee date, or a man scaling a Ferris Wheel threatening to kill himself unless I go on a date with him?
Firstly, I’d commend his climbing abilities. It’s rare that people show any kind of initiative anymore. Secondly, the fair only comes to this neck of the woods once a year, so his window of opportunity is incredibly small, but I can online lurk 12 months a year, rain or shine, night or day.
I’m really not this weird.
Happy lurking, Y’all!