Background Checks
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Background Checks

Dating is not what it used to be. We have certainly come a long way from the days of organized marriages! Today, not only can you decide whom you wish to date, but you can select that person from the comfort of your living room. Better still, he or she could be sitting in his or her living room halfway across the globe thanks to the online dating industry. Whether you prefer online dating because you simply don’t have time to get out and meet people, or because you like the ability to screen prospective dates, dating in the 21st century is not what it was 100 years ago.

In many respects, online dating offers benefits that more traditional dating scenarios don’t offer. Before online dating became common, your Saturday night date was generally the result of someone setting you up, meeting someone at work/gym/party or hanging out at the bars and hoping to hook up with a “date” for the night. While each of those methods may have their appeal to some, online dating offers the best of all worlds in many ways. Instead of praying that your mom/friend/co-worker has actually found someone worthwhile to set you up with, you have control over who you choose to communicate with. You are also not limited to people you happen to run into, nor are you stuck hanging out in bars hoping to spot a catch. Online dating has changed the rules of the game in many ways; however, there are still some concerns that apply equally to online dating as they do to other methods of finding that special “someone”.

Just as when you meet someone in a bar or other social gathering where he or she doesn’t come with a personal “recommendation”, anyone that you meet through online dating comes without any verifiable background as well. Backgrounds checks are not done on people you meet through online dating -- something to keep in mind at all times. Although a wide range of information may be available on the individual’s profile, the majority of this is not verified before the profile is created. That incredibly handsome and charming man you meet in a bar could be anyone, just as the intriguing bombshell you meet online could be anyone. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should not pursue online dating -- on the contrary.

One of the biggest benefits to online dating is that it allows you the time to get to know someone at your pace before actually meeting in person. Use this time wisely. Don’t agree to a face to face meeting until you feel as comfortable as possible. When you do agree to meet in person, follow some basic rules to ensure your safety. Only agree to meet in a public place. Consider meeting during the daytime and/or bringing a friend along. Do not give out your home address or office address. Make sure that you have your own transportation and your own money. Finally, make sure that someone close to you is aware of where and when the meeting is planned and when you expect to be home or to check in with them.

When considering that first in person meeting, think of it as meeting someone in a bar. Although people are often lulled into a sense of security since they have been communicating online for some time, an in person meeting really is like meeting someone in a bar. Remember that nobody you know can vouch for this person, you have virtually no verifiable information on this person, and nobody has performed a background check to ensure that he or she is telling the truth about anything. By keeping this in mind, you should be able to enjoy all the benefits of the world of online dating and maybe, just maybe, find “The One”!