When you meet someone online, it’s not always easy to get an accurate feel for what the person is really like.
Even if you met someone through your profiles on Catholic dating apps, it can be tricky to tell who someone is when you haven’t met them in person. These days, many of us have social media accounts that reveal a little more about us than what fits in an online dating profile bio.
You may search for the person you met via a Catholic dating app to see more information about their life, personality, and preferences. If you’ve stalked your date’s social media profiles before meeting them in person, you’re not alone. 75% of women and 59% of men admit to checking their partner’s social media presence before they sit down for coffee, drinks, or dinner.
And while you should check your intentions before falling down a social media rabbit hole, sometimes a quick glance at a man or woman’s social media accounts can help you get to know someone before that first date. It can even reveal some things about how they view the virtue of chastity.
Read more: Five Things that Chastity Is Not
Remember, someone’s social media accounts don’t tell their whole story. But what someone shares online matters. Here are a few things to look for if you search their name on Facebook or Instagram before your first date:
What kind of accounts are filling their feeds?
Unfortunately, just because someone has online dating profiles on different Catholic dating apps doesn’t mean they’re striving for virtue in their daily life. Though we’d love to assume that people who call themselves Catholics are in fact living a solidly Catholic life, that’s not always the case.
Even Catholics struggle with sins against chastity. Pornography specifically impacts the way someone views love, relationships, and intimacy.
Looking at a person’s social media is not going to tell you whether they struggle with looking at pornography. But if they are following multiple accounts full of scantily-clad people, this can raise a red flag. There might be some people who try to rationalize this online behavior–scantily-clad pictures aren’t porn per se. But these kind of images can make the virtue of chastity challenging to say the least.
But don’t ignore this issue if you’re seeing this as the main accounts filling their feeds. If you take a thorough look through someone’s social media and find one or maybe two accounts they follow that have some pictures like this, it’s possible that it’s an oversight, that they followed on accident or will be unfollowing as soon as they realize. It’s worth a good, old-fashioned conversation with them.
What sort of pictures do they post?
Social media can be a strange area of comparison and competition for some people. Particularly on the social media sites that utilize a lot of pictures, some people are tempted to compete with their peers in how cool their lives or how their bodies look.
But there is definitely a line between someone who posts pictures of themselves that are cute, and a person who posts pictures of themselves that are blatantly sexy all the time. Don’t jump to the conclusion that they’re not committed to chastity based on just a glance at their social media though. Remember, this can be a somewhat tricky area, because when it comes to things like modesty the intention behind that choice of clothing matters.
Do they follow or post positive content?
It’s not just the negative or questionable things in a person’s social media that can give you clues to their true character. Sometimes you can also find out about great things about a person’s commitment to the faith through a look at their social media.
Not everyone who is committed to living out chastity posts about virtues or prayer, or shares articles from sites like fightthenewdrug.org. But if they do post things that encourage their friends in striving for holiness, it can definitely be a good sign in this area.
Maybe they share articles or images from people like Christopher West. They might include quotes from St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, or follow other Catholics who encourage others to live a life of chastity. This kind of content can give you a sneak peek into their thoughts on holiness and chastity, too!
It’s important to remember that the absence of good signs like this doesn’t mean that the person you’re getting to know isn’t committed to chastity and virtue. But it can certainly be helpful to search specifically for such things in their social media to get a better idea of what they are really like.
Getting to know someone online can be challenging, even if you made that first connection on a Catholic dating app. But a quick glance at someone’s social media can help you get to know them better! And remember, if you have any questions about what you see when you search for someone on your favorite social media accounts, an intentional conversation with the Catholic man or woman you’re getting to know is always a great place to start.