These days, online dating has nearly taken over as the number one way that relationships are formed. Dating sites are an attractive solution for people who have bad luck meeting the right people, or who don’t have the time to go out and meet potential dates the old fashioned way. Many of us are busy with work, school, and life in general, so making the time to find someone with whom you’re romantically compatible can be difficult.
Online dating is like a relationship middleman because, essentially, it does the initial work for you. You enter in your information as well as the qualities you’re looking for in a mate, and the site works its magic to provide you with a list of several potential dates. You don’t have to waste any time weeding through random people in search of someone with the specific qualities you’re looking for.
Yes, online dating has many benefits, but it also has a few downfalls, one being that these sites are home to a growing number of creeps and liars. We’ve all heard horror stories from people who went on a date and the person was nothing like their profile suggested. Stories like this aren’t meant to scare you away from online dating forever. Instead, they are meant to make you more aware of the potential dangers of being matched up with someone from the web.
The best way to protect yourself from the predators who lurk around online dating sites is to pre-screen your matches before you actually go on a date. The last thing you want is to end up on a date with someone who fabricated their entire online profile just to lure people into their weird trap. To help you out, here is a list of three ways to screen your potential dates to make sure you actually get what you signed up for.
1. Google Search
Have you ever searched your own name on Google? Well, you should try it because you never know what might come up. You should also Google the name of your potential date because it’s the simplest way to find out more about the person you’re about to invite into your life. Depending on what they’ve been involved in, you could potentially see news stories, photos, their existing social media profiles, etc.
2. Social Media
Social media provides a great way for you to do a little research on your date before you decide to meet in person. Search your date’s name on Facebook and if their profile pops up, then go ahead and take a little gander at their pics and post. Don’t feel weird, you’re not a stalker! You’re just making sure the details from their online dating profile check out.
3. Online Background Check
An online background check is probably the most effective way to screen a potential date because if the person’s history contains any glaring red flags, you’ll be able to tell from a single report. All you have to do is search someone’s name, and you’ll instantly see tons of different details about their past, particularly if they have a criminal history or any arrests under their belt.
Next time you get matched up with someone online, take these three tips and use them to your advantage. That way, you can save yourself from wasting time on dates with people who you’d never want to be with. Come on, no one wants to date an ex-con! Luckily, now you have the tools that will allow you find that information out before you’re forced to spend an evening with someone who wasn’t who you thought they’d be.
This article is written by Jared Hoffman. He is a blogger from Boulder, CO. He specializes in writing about Internet safety tips for social media users and online dating enthusiasts.