Online dating is a reality today. Depending on the source, you’ll learn that between 5% to 33% of people in committed, long-term relationships met via a dating website or app. Furthermore, studies show that people who meet online get married more quickly and report to be slightly happier than those who meet in more traditional ways. News articles and studies done over the last few years have reported that, all-in-all, we’ve reaped benefits by using this technology to find that someone special. So, if you are looking to find a mate, online dating is a viable option.
But it’s also prudent to take some precautions, and in the end, if you think the person you are falling for may be questionable, opt for a background check. Here are a few things to keep in mind…
Online chemistry can be exciting, but don’t give out too much information just because it all seems perfect from the start. This person is still a stranger until you’ve met in person—at least several times. Decide ahead of time what you are willing to discuss. Never give out financial or personal information such as credit cards, a social security number, or passwords to accounts.
Don’t take too long to meet. If you are emailing back and forth frequently, but your meetings never quite seem to happen because “something comes up” at the last minute, be suspicious. This may be an indication that the person is not real and may be catfishing—a term that refers to a person who pretends to be someone else online. Motivations for catfishing include financial gain, identity theft or simply sick pleasure.
What if you meet for the first time and the person has exaggerated or doesn’t seem to be the person you met online? If they’ve lied to you already, there’s probably a lot more they haven’t told you. It’s perfectly fine to thank them for meeting and say you’ve got to run to another appointment. Don’t hang out just because you feel obligated.
Perhaps you have been on several dates and things are going well, but the person seems evasive to some of your questions. Maybe you have a gut instinct that something is “off.” As the old Russian proverb says, trust but verify. Be persistent in trying to get answers to your questions, but also be prepared to take additional steps, such as a background check by a qualified investigator.
Background investigations provide a wealth of information. Here are a few facts a private investigator can research for you.
Is this person married or has he/she been married before?
Do they have a criminal record?
What is their driving history?
Have they filed for bankruptcy?
Who are their known associates?
What is their online persona?
Are they licensed at their practice?
Our hope is that you find a fun, honest and compatible mate no matter how you search, but know that we are here to help you get more answers if you’re not quite sure.