Ah, Facebook. You love it. You hate it. Now you are “friends” with the guy you started dating. It’s a little like reading his journal in the first week of dating, because there is a lot of information about your new “friend” that is up for grabs. Here are a few things you can learn about a guy using Facebook.
This is an obvious and easy place to start. Are the pictures on his profile showing him doing cool stuff in cool places? You know, pictures of him on the golf course, at a football game, hunting, fishing or on vacation somewhere interesting? Or are his albums filled with pictures of him sticking his tongue out in a bar with a pie-eyed girl on each arm? The only thing worse than an immature frat boy is one who is proud of being an immature frat boy. It’s one thing to act like a pre-adolescent every weekend. But it’s quite another to advertise his arrested development to the masses like it’s a badge of honor.
Number of status updates
How often is your guy on Facebook? If he’s updating every couple of hours, you might find yourself hanging out with a guy who already has a girlfriend: it’s called his smart phone. And what do these posts say? What is happening in his life that is so fascinating he has to talk about himself every 17 minutes? Is he witty? Or are his posts a little more like this: “OMG. Had the best breakfast burrito,” followed 16 minutes later with, “OMG. Stomach hurts.” You want the kind of guy who is updating his status once or twice a day, tops. Ideally, these posts should be half-way interesting.
If his profile picture is of him doing something he enjoys, or of him goofing around, it’s a good sign. If it’s a full-on glamour shot, your guy may be using Facebook as a cheaper version of eHarmony. There is nothing really wrong with that — after all, we all know women who post pictures from about five years and 20 pounds ago in hopes of piquing someone’s interest. Just keep an eye on this. If you start dating exclusively, watch to see if he keeps his “cover of Men’s Health” profile picture up or if he changes it.
Looking at someone’s “friend” count on Facebook can tell you a lot about a person. If it’s really low, that’s a red flag because “friending” people on Facebook requires a pulse and little else. A low friend count equates to lackluster people skills, lack of personality, subpar social skills and quite possibly bad hygiene. Conversely, if it’s really high, that can be a red flag too. Some folks are very well networked because they are just a lot cooler than the rest of us. Be warned, though: a high friend count can also mean someone who spends way too much time in a bar and “friends” everyone they meet. It can also mean that person has a “please love me” complex, or worst of all, is in some twisted Facebook popularity contest.
Friends of the opposite sex
This is where things get really dicey. Unless you’re 15, you and your new guy both have a past. If he is paying a lot of attention to a girl on Facebook, or vice-versa, now you have to wonder. Old girlfriend? Potential new girlfriend? Girl he made out with on the back of the bus in seventh grade and still dreams about? Don’t get too twitchy about this in the beginning. You’ll just look like a pathetic stalker. People forget that Facebook isn’t real. You’re the one going out with him Saturday night, not Facebook. If you become more serious as time goes on, maybe suggest changing your single status to “in a relationship,” or just removing your relationship status altogether.