Online Snooping in Relationships: Is It Ever OK?

Online Snooping in Relationships

Here’s a modern day dating dilemma for you: is it ever okay to snoop on your date’s online profiles? I recently asked for your experiences in a Twitter poll, and 83% of you confessed to snooping on your crush. It’s just par of the course of dating in the social media era: you match online, creep on each other’s Instagram feeds, swap numbers, then go on a date. But where do we draw the line?

I talk a lot about this dating etiquette with my girlfriends, but thought it was time to get a man’s opinion. So I put the question to CTP’s resident dating expert, Oli (also known as #AskAStraightGuy), and here’s what he had to say…


“I think at the very beginning of a relationship checking out your date’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds can actually give you a really good idea of who they are,” Oli says. “Looking at someone’s Facebook page is like reading a dating profile from 10 years ago, because in the early days of online dating people used to write at least 500 words about themselves. But on Tinder you only get two lines. If that. All of my single guy friends snoop around on Instagram before committing to a date.”

However, in Oli’s opinion that’s where it should begin and end. “If you’ve been seeing someone for a while and still feel the need to snoop on them that’s not healthy,” he says. “Checking someone out and checking up on someone are two very different things. You need to get your trust and validation from their actions, not from their Instagram feed.”

“Checking someone out and checking up on someone are two very different things.”

Personally, I totally agree with Oli. Before I go on a date with someone new I’ll take a quick look at their Instagram (if they’ve shared their handle). But it’s simply a precautionary measure to check for secret girlfriends, gun collections and gym selfies. Any further snooping feels wrong and seedy.

It’s on WhatsApp that I find it hard to resist the urge to snoop, as you can see when someone has read your message – or been online and totally ignored it. I hate the fact these bulls**t blue ticks are something we now analyse! In fact, this summer I dated a guy who had his WhatsApp receipts switched off, so I had no way of knowing if he’d read my message or not, and it was so freeing. I never gave his responses (or lack of) a second thought. Which makes me think the problem is not that we’re a bunch of insecure nutjobs, but that social media has trained us to become stealth snoopers. Agree?

Are you guilty of doing the occasional online snoop when you start seeing someone new? And where do you draw the line? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to discuss in the comments section below…

{Featured image: Olivia Palermo for Tommy Hilfiger. Probably not snooping on her husband Johannes Huebl.}

  • monicawelburn

    Even though I’m rather partial to Oli’s advice (girlfriend bias – ha!) I totally resonate with this.

    The quote “checking someone out and checking up on someone are two very different things” could not be more true. If you are looking through someone’s private messages or trying to crack their passwords then you probably already have some questionable trust concerns in your relationship.

    Having said that, I would totally check out a guy’s social feeds before a date to get a better sense of who he is.

    Monica x

    • Dirk

      And would you later tell this guy you checked him out?

      • cocos_tea_party

        Yeah, if we continued seeing each other I’d make a joke out of it. They always have a much easier job snooping anyway, because my blog makes me so visible.

  • Well, we should never forget that whatever we put out online is… well.. public. It’s as good as shouting it to the face of every person we meet. Private message – other story, ofc, but our profiles are not really ours 🙂