How To Avoid Online Dating Mistakes
Psychology Today reports that online dating has become very popular – as in, 40 million single adults now admit to using online dating sites to find partners. Increasingly, internet dating actually works to help two single people meet and find compatibility and maybe even fall in love. This is the best case scenario for online dating.
The reciprocal scenario is when online dating doesn’t work and it leads to heartbreak or something worse. Sometimes bad internet dating experiences aren’t just funny stories to retell over happy hour with friends – they can be real horror stories … the kind that make online dating news headlines.
This article will address how to venture into the internet dating arena while still keeping your own personal safety first and foremost.
Guard Your Own Privacy With Online Dating
In the internet dating arena, it is up to each participant to choose how much or how little of their personal information to share.
Many online internet dating sites issue vigorous and highly visible caution verbiage when a new user joins the site, right down to creating a fictitious “profile name” to use for identification so as not to reveal your real name to other users. You probably don’t want a stalker or a stranger having your personal information.
A lot of these dating sites also offer hosted in-site email, texting or even phone calls so you don’t have to reveal your real email address or phone number. This is for your own safety and protection, and here we are talking about protection from being stalked, robbed, raped, having your identity stolen or even being killed. It’s a real concern that should be taken seriously by anyone who engages in online dating. Some online dating mistakes can be very detrimental, no date is worth these types of possible consequences.
Do Your Own Research on Possible Dates
While women are still perceived as the more vulnerable gender when it comes to internet dating, men are not immune to its dangers either. For both genders, conducting advance research on a potential date is no longer seen as creepy but as smart and self-protective.
After all, you are using these internet sites to find a relationship match, not to locate prospective stalkers!
Doing background checks online can be one of the fastest and easiest ways to research prospective dating partners before you decide to meet in person.
Of course, this is not the only preparation you need to do before you meet up for the first time with an interesting stranger who may later become a boyfriend or girlfriend. It certainly is the first step you should start with.
If anything comes up during your first date that seems odd or “off,” you also shouldn’t hesitate to do further online research on that person before agreeing to meet them for a second time.
Background Check Your Online Date
Write out a list out all of the information you have about the other person. You may find you know more than you think by making this list. If you have one or more profile photos, you can search on those as well. Lookup their social media profile and see if their information meshes with the online dating site profile. Do your own due diligence, no one else will.
How To Do a Photo Background Search
XO Jane explains how to do a photo search. Drag the other person’s profile photo (and any other photos you may have) to your computer desktop. Do a browser image search on that photo and see what pops up.
How To Do a Social Media Name Search
Enter the person’s name into your internet browser. You can also enter other information if you have it. See what comes up and gather as much identifying information as seems relevant to that person.
Then open up to your social media accounts and do a search on the person’s name as well as any other identifying information, such as profession or city. Here, Facebook and LinkedIn can be especially useful since many people use their real full names for these platforms.
How To Do an Online Dating Background Check
If your state maintains an online statewide database, this can be a helpful tool to find possible records of criminal activity. You can also check the nationwide criminal databases if you have the person’s full name and state and county of residence.
When you do find information that seems troubling or suspicious about a prospective date, it might be best not to pursue that match further. Your safety is just too important to risk it.