Allan Reinikka

'Stalking' potential dates online now the norm

"STALKING" potential dates online and ending a relationship via email are becoming dating norms for Australasian women, according to a snapshot of online activity here.

An AVG Technologies survey of women in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands found that 20 per cent investigated potential dates on social media with one in five cancelling dates because of what they uncovered.

Questionable habits were not restricted to women seeking partners - of the 64 per cent of respondents in a long-term relationship, a quarter said they read their partner's emails and texts and nearly one in 10 would break up with someone via email.

Rick Davis, manager of New Zealand dating website, FindSomeone, was unsurprised by the data and said taboos around using online tools for dating have "all but vanished".

"With information being so easy to find on the internet, we think it's only natural that someone would use search engines and social media to seek more information on a potential suitor," he said.

"I wouldn't go so far as to call it 'stalking', but I would be surprised if most people weren't doing their due diligence using the tools available online, especially if they're using an online dating service ... doing some research on another person plays quite a big role in the dating scene."

Mr Davies said it was not just women who researched their dates: "Blokes unsurprisingly are more visual creatures and put more time into browsing photos, and not as much time reading all the detail as ladies often will. Men are also found online in greater numbers and more frequently when it comes to finding love."

The site has 75,000 members.