The old version of awkward was running into a colleague while you are slogging out miles on the treadmill, beetroot-faced and flicking sweat from a ponytail. The new version of awkward? Running into your boss on Tinder. Anything weirder than those first date conversations after chit chatting online? Finding out that your new swipe-right has google-stalked you before they even got there.

Here are a few tips to avoiding the squirm-factor in online dating:

Choose a more exclusive app

Choosing a more exclusive invite-only app means you are statistically less likely to run into Alex from the mailroom in your online travels. The downside it that it limits your dating pool and there’s still a risk you might cross paths with colleagues in the same socio-economic layer as you if that was the selection criteria, but its worth a shot.

Check out the app’s own anonymity features

Dating apps are now launching privacy features which only make your profile visible to those you choose. It allows you to do the choosing but does limit the opportunity for someone completely fabulous to pluck you out of the online pool.

Cyber-stalk yourself first

Double-check your Facebook privacy settings to ensure they are private before you embark on online dating. As soon as you give out your name, if your settings aren’t private, your fellow dater can figure out your social habits (hello, regular Thursday night check-in at the local pub) right through to your family relationships.

Google yourself and key words from your online dating profile (eg university attended) to see what else is out there about you.

Dodge the Facebook connections

Apps like Tinder draw from your FB profile and will handily let you know if someone it presents as an option has mutual FB friend, so you can move on if that whole concept makes you queasy.


If all else fails and you do run into someone you know in your online quest for love? Don’t be embarrassed – they are on there too!


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