The Problem With Creeping Your Date’s Dating Profile

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): SarahInternet Dating
Comment: Hi Moxie!

I met a great guy on OKCupid and had my first date with him about 4 weeks ago. We’ve had 3 dates so far, all completely great. We have an awesome connection, similar interests, great chemistry, and everything else you’d hope for at this early stage.

My only “concern” for the LTR possibility is that we’re both in a similar age range and divorced, but I have kids from my previous marriage. I’ve dated a lot since my divorce, and guys without kids are a riot, but generally don’t last long with me because they can find women my age or younger who don’t have custody schedules that compete with scheduling dates.

Here’s my question…I’ve still been actively dating other people. Even though I really dig this guy, I didn’t want to invest too much too soon. I had assumed he was still out there dating as well. Today, I logged into OKC to reply to a new message, and 3 date guys picture wasn’t in my inbox anymore. I stalked his profile at that point…he took it down.

We have date #4 already scheduled for next weekend.

Do I bring up that he’s off the site? Should I just not mention it and see if he does? We haven’t talked about exclusivity or about whether or not we’re dating other people…am I reading too much into this? I don’t want to ruin a possibly good thing either way – by continuing to see other people, or by pushing this too soon when he may have taken down his profile for other reasons.

Any insight you can provide on my next steps would be appreciated!
Age: 33
City: Wichita
State: KS


Well, first things first. Make sure he actually took it down and didn’t just block you. Some people do that so that the people they’re dating can’t see if they’re still actively using the site. If you do confirm that he took his profile down, then you have to determine what you want.

You’re not considering one other possibility, though. He could be dating other people and maybe decided to take his profile down for one of them or because he’s currently juggling multiple women.

If you’re not ready to stop dating other people, then I wouldn’t bring it up. If you would like to give this guy a solid shot, then you should ask him about it. All of this depends on where you’re looking to take this relationship and when.

In general, I try to avoid creeping the dating profiles of the men I date. Nothing good ever seems to come from it. I don’t want to know that he’s hopped online an hour after our date. Nor do I want to know that  last checked in on the site at 7pm pm on Saturday and not again until 3pm on Sunday.My mind will start to make up scenarios that might not even be true. Once I’ve convinced myself of something, it;s very hard for me to talk myself down.

This is one of the reasons why online dating sites are not designed to facilitate the development of relationships. They provide users with so much access to the people they’re meeting that it encourages anxiety and insecurity. We start to wonder if they’re out with someone or if they’re saying one thing to us but behaving the opposite behind our backs. That’s why I do what I can to avoid, avoid, avoid viewing my date’s profiles.

And the thing is, even if you make it a point not to view their profile, the sites still find ways for you to know they’re online. On OKCupid, a small little green dot appears on the thumbnail of their profile photo when they come up in a search. Now I hide the profiles of men I meet on OKCupid so they don’t appear in my searches. I also delete their messages from my inbox. That way I’m not informed of their activity unintentionally.

People will say, “But you’re on the site, too, so why does it matter if they are online?” That’s true. Logically, I know that my activity on the site should excuse his. But I didn’t say it was a logical concern. And since I try to avoid behaving in a way that is illogical, I don’t stand at the precipice of the rabbit hole debating whether I should jump in. I just avoid the hole.


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13 Responses to “The Problem With Creeping Your Date’s Dating Profile”

  1. BostonRobin Says:

    EXACTLY. Just focus on how he treats you, how you feel with him, all the real stuff. Otherwise you get distracted by the “rabbit hole!”

  2. DMN the Wise Says:

    “If you’re not ready to stop dating other people, then I wouldn’t bring it up. If you would like to give this guy a solid shot, then you should ask him about it. All of this depends on where you’re looking to take this relationship and when.”

    I disagree with this. You should not ask him about it. It accomplishes nothing. If you’re not ready to stop dating other people, then don’t stop dating other people. If you don’t want to date other people, then don’t. There’s no point in trying to arrange some quid pro quo because you don’t know the guy well enough to have any sense of whether he’s trustworthy. Even if he promises exclusivity, he is not obligated to keep that promise or even just to change his mind. There is no TV audience or jury of imaginary angry women who will hold him to his word. So, just do what’s best for you without making some grand announcement….and assume he’s doing the same.

  3. Steph Says:

    I’ve brought this up with two different guys I met online and dated for an extended period of time. Let just say that bringing this topic up never had the intended effect of bringing us closer and gaining clarity on where we are. I’ve heard that some guys will welcome this talk, especially if presented at the right time and way, but I’ve actually never met these kind of guys.

    However, most guys will automatically go on the defense for any number of reasons like, what’s it her business, is she trying to control me, uh-oh she’s starting to freak-out or going into lock-down mode with our relationship. I can only imagine he can detect the sweet air of freedom escaping from the window, after such a discussion is started.

    I regretfully brought the topic up with my current guy, after I saw that he became very active online after stressful week between us. I did this in the worst possible way as we were reconciling, which in turn made him go online even more.

    Since then, I’ve let well enough alone and gave him plenty of space between dates and he is starting to come back my way. Lesson learned, it ain’t my business and nothing good will ever come from bringing it up. He knows my stance and what I want on the topic. It’s up to him to bringing it up when he is ready.

    I think it’s finally starting to click with me that you can’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do or feel. If it’s meant to be and they want you, then it will happen. If not, oh well, next.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I mentioned in another comment that if things seem to be going well with a particular guy I’ll take my profile down. Then I’d casually mention to the guy, “Oh, BTW, I took my profile down,” but not ask him about his own. Yes, I admit I’m broaching the topic hoping they’ll follow suit, but I leave that up to them. I’m largely glad to not have to look any more, so I’m usually glad to take the thing down, without necessarily assuming anything about the guy I’m seeing.

      I only do this if I am very, very confident my feelings are returned and the discussion will go well. If I’m unsure, then no way in hell I’m touching the subject – nor will I take my profile down for someone only lukewarm about me.

      • Steph Says:

        I was always very confident as well and dated longer than 3 months before broaching this topic. Regardless, it never had the intended effect, in that, it actually caused a wake of awkwardness and pressure when everything was progressing nicely beforehand.

        I don’t know, I think it all depends on the couple and how it’s brought up. Trial and error I suppose. If it works for you great, but I’m very weary of ever bringing this up again with anyone I’m with, unless moving-in or engagement is discussed.

  4. BigCityLife Says:

    the other possibility is he took down that profile and posted a new one so he shows up as new on the site.

  5. J Says:

    I dated one guy who kept freaking out because I was on the site but when I asked how he knew unless he was on it, he said he was just checking to see if I was on it. Creeper.

    • John Says:

      Here is a stealthy creeper tip: You can do a search on Match and POF without logging in or even having an account. You put in your parameters of search and the thumbnails and the last time they were online will show up. You may not be able to view the full profile in Match but on POF you can.

      You can do this every day for weeks and as long as you don’t log in, your inactivity will show up when they search for you. One time I didn’t log in to my account but checked regularly to see that a girl I was dating was active when we both agreed we wouldn’t be. I suspected she was lying and checked POF daily and saw that she was indeed active. But since I didn’t log in myself, my activity was not recorded.

      When I told her I knew she was actively logging into the site and told her she wasn’t LTR material because she was a liar, she defended herself saying the only way I could know that is if I was actively logging in myself. I told her its a small world and I just know (implying that she met or was communicating with someone I knew.) She said BS and the only way I could know this was by logging in myself.

      So I told her to log into POF, do a search for someone with my parameters and see what she finds. I was standing right next to her. POF lists when last active. So when she got to me on like the 10th page, my thumbnail picture said “last active 3 weeks ago” or something like that. (Of course I told her to log into her account first before doing the search so it gives more credo to the myth that you need to be logged in yourself in order to see someone else’s activity level).

      Then I sat back and enjoyed the mushroom cloud I created as she cried and called and texted me for the next few days apologizing and wanting to try again. I didn’t give her another chance. In reality, she was out of my league anyway and was probably using me as a placeholder until a better deal came along. That’s why she was active when she agreed she wouldn’t be and lied about it.

      But dumping her in this fashion was an ego boost for me for catching her in a lie and then disproving her defense that I knew of this by logging in myself. Also, telling a girl who is better looking than you are that she isn’t g/f material is a great way to see her hamster wheel rev up right before your eyes .

      Of course the first time I looked her up, if it came back that she hadn’t been active in a few days or weeks instead of “online today”, I wouldn’t have checked anymore. I wouldn’t have checked at all if it wasn’t for the fact that she couldn’t talk at night many times because she said she was going out with her girlfriends. When a 40something person says they cant talk at night because they are going out with their girlfriends and it happens 3x a week for several weeks, get suspicious. Most adults in their 40s who work full time don’t go out 3x a week with their girlfriends week after week. They are going out on dates or they are seeing someone else.

      • D. Says:

        That…seems like a whole lot of effort to go to just to say “GOTCHA!!” especially when it’s actually premised on bullshit. I mean, she was right, you did go on the site. She just didn’t know that you had, or couldn’t figure out that you can log in anonymously and keep tabs on someone.

        Maybe if you’re feeling that kind of lack of trust about someone, it’s better to simply exit the relationship, rather than go to these lengths to (a) prove it, and (b) catch them in a lie. When you’re at that point, it’s time to pull the ripcord.

        Also, maybe if you’re feeling that kind of lack of trust about someone, you shouldn’t have agreed to date them exclusively in the first place. Dating exclusively should really only be happening when you already trust someone. If you don’t trust someone to begin with, why would you want to date them exclusively? Or at all, for that matter?

  6. Steph Says:

    My intuition is that’s probably not the case. Maybe because I would never do that or understand why anyone would. In any case, one month is too soon to discuss this. My spidey sense tells me she thinks this is a grand jesture on his part and wants to use this to initiate a where are we going discussion.

    My suggestion do what you feel and don’t bring it up,

  7. D. Says:

    On the issue of bringing up having viewed someone’s profile…don’t. Just…don’t. There’s no profit in it. At the worst, they’ll think you’re a psycho creeper/stalker type. At best…they’ll think nothing at all. There is no real upside, just neutral/absence-of-downside. So don’t bring it up. You can have a discussion on exclusivity without ever touching on the subject.

    On the issue of when/whether to bring up exclusivity, I’m not convinced that four weeks in is the right time, to be honest. I think in many, many cases, people who push for exclusivity that early in the process are more responding to their own sense of anxiety at getting hurt if the other person bails on them. So, they try to “ensure” that the other person won’t, by getting them to say “Ok then, we’re officially a couple.”

    Basically, the way I see it, exclusivity should be happening when you trust the other person, and when you feel that you willingly will give up the opportunity to date anyone else because you’re convinced that this person is awesome enough that you just want to explore things with them, to the exclusion of all others. That’s a pretty serious statement, and not something that ought be taken lightly.

    The thing is, when it’s still early days, you probably aren’t there yet. A desire for exclusivity at that point is probably more about wanting to have the opportunity for things to develop to that point, but without the worry about this person finding someone better or losing interest in you.

    And that’s why, as DMN points out, the words themselves — absent the emotion behind them — are pretty empty. People look for them as some kind of guarantee, but the guarantee is meaningless if the emotion and trust isn’t there on the front end. And that’s about the point where, even after saying “We’re exclusive,” you find people doing things like stalking each others’ profiles. That’s because, again, the exclusivity came from a place of anxiety, rather than a place of trust.

    So, I’d ask yourself why you want to be exclusive, if that is, indeed, even where you are at this point. If the answer is because of something about how awesome this person is and how you happily forego the romantic/sexual company of others for them, and how you trust them if they say the same to you, groovy. Go for it. If you can’t really say that, though, then this is probably more about your own anxieties and turning to empty words to try to quiet them.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **And that’s why, as DMN points out, the words themselves — absent the emotion behind them — are pretty empty.**

      Yeah. As I said, I don’t bring up, “Oh, BTW, I turned off my profile [now, feel free to say you also did or will soon]” unless I feel very confident, and feeling a genuine sense that there’s real emotion and connection going on with someone is what it takes for me to feel very confident.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        I have had the experience where I’ve seen someone I just went on a date with on the site, and it has bugged me. I always figure, “He hasn’t promised me anything, and I’m not even sure about him, plus I’m obviously on the site as well…”

        I absolutely do not bring it up when things are really new and the guy hasn’t promised me anything, if he isn’t noticeably escalating things in terms of time together, emotional investment, etc. To force a talk like that too soon would be, as you say, only words. Judge people by their actions; that will tell you if their words mean anything.

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