You’ve met a special someone on a dating app, and they asked you out to dinner. Intrigued by their charm, cute pictures, and good conversation skills, you agree to the hangout. But before you leave for the night, you probably do one thing (other than tell your best friend where you’re going and what tonight’s coded get-me-out-of-here text should be) — you stalk them of social media, of course. Like most singles in America, we’re totally guilty of stalking our date’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages before we head out on a first date. But according to Match’s 2018 Singles in America study, there are a few things singles do on social media before a first date that are probably turning their potential partners off. From when to follow your crush on Instagram to the rules of changing your phone background to a couple photo, here are nine social media etiquette rules to follow when starting a new relationship.
1. Don’t follow or add someone on social media before the first date. Hands up if you’ve looked up a potential date’s social media profiles before going on a first date… we certainly have! But while light perusing is okay, following or adding someone before the first date might give off the wrong vibes. According to the Match study, fewer than a fifth of singles say it’s okay to connect with someone before the first date by friending them on Facebook (19 percent), following them on Instagram (17 percent), or adding them on Snapchat (19 percent).
2. Avoid accidentally liking one of your date’s pictures before you meet IRL. This one is probably a no-brainer, but if you do find yourself snooping through your first date’s pics before the big day, be careful not to double tap. Only 20 percent of singles say liking one of your date’s photos is acceptable before a first date.
3. Avoid direct messaging on social media before the first date. Keeping with the same vein of not friending them or liking their social media posts before your first meeting, it seems like direct messaging your date on a social platform is also no bueno. More than three-fourths think you shouldn’t direct message on Facebook or Instagram before the first date.
4. After a few dates, you can probably follow your date on social media and chat via direct message. Okay, you’ve been out with the person a few times and have ruled out the possibility that they’re a psycho catfish serial killer. A bit over a third of singles say it’s now time to start following each other on Instagram (plus there’s the other third who’ve already started following their dates earlier on). By this stage, roughly 75 percent of singles are totally okay with being friends on Facebook and chatting on Facebook Messenger.
5. Wait until after a few dates to tag them in a post. Even if you’ve taken the world’s cutest couple’s selfie on your first date, 40 percent of singles say you should wait to tag them in a post until after at least a few dates. Best to hang onto the pic for a #TBT!
6. Don’t change your picture to a couple photo after only a few dates. If you want to change your social media profile image to include your new beau, you’d better make sure you’re both ready for a committed relationship. Barely one in 10 singles think that it’s appropriate to change your profile to a couple photo after several dates.
7. Only friend your date’s friends once you’ve had the DTR talk and both agree to be in a committed relationship. Once you’ve actually sat down and determined your relationship, it’s now totally acceptable to start adding their friends and acquaintances to your own social networks. A little over half of surveyed singles say it’s now acceptable to friend their friends — heck, 65 percent say it’s even acceptable to friend their family members.
8. Wait until you’ve talked with your partner about being in a committed relationship before you make things Facebook official. Do not, we repeat, DO NOT joke about being Facebook official with someone you just met. Two-thirds of singles say that you should wait until you’ve chatted with your partner about being in a committed relationship before making it Facebook official. In fact, the pressure around making things Facebook official is so daunting, 13 percent of singles say they would never, under any circumstance, change their relationship status on Facebook.
9. Only change your phone screen to a couple photo once you’re in a committed relationship. Now that it’s finally acceptable to change your social media profile to a photo of you two lovebirds (two-thirds of singles agree), you can pretty much do any couple-y thing you’d like on social media — including changing your phone screen to a couple photo. Just remember, if you’re not sure how your partner will react to something you do or say on social media, don’t be afraid to ask them about it before posting it online.
Have you used social media to check up on an S.O. before a first date? Tweet us about it @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)