Online dating comes with its fair share of challenges and it is definitely not for everyone. While more and more dating apps and websites appear all the time, and an increasing number of people meet like this, there are still certain difficulties preventing an even larger audience form doing so. Most often, that is the fact that you do not know much about the person, especially if you never carry out a sort of background check, also referred to as screening.
The practice of screening an online date before you physically meet them is quite useful if carried out the right way. It can save you the time that you would otherwise waste on someone who might not be the right fit for you. It can also help keep you safe as you may learn more about the person and identify potential red flags, as they say. People who use dating sites and have screened potential partners claim that it helped them dodge a bullet, and they are usually thankful that they ultimately decided to make the move. In the end, screening could leave you with more energy and hope for the meetup rather than a dating disaster that could have easily been avoided.
Running a Background Check
There are several quick, easy, and effective ways to screen an online date. One of these is a free background check with CheckPeople. This tool was specifically designed for anonymous screenings, to be used by those who feel the need to further inspect the person they are about to meet for the first time.
Browsing Their Social Media
While we are certainly not recommending social media stalking of any sort, there is no harm in giving their Facebook or Instagram accounts a quick look. It might reveal something concerning like an infatuation with serial killers, racist comments, or misogyny. Nobody wants someone like that as their date for the night. On the other hand, it is very easy to ruin something that had real potential by taking a status update or something equally trivial out of context, especially if you accidentally bring it up during the date.
One really good reason to check social network profiles is to make sure your online date is not already spoken for. For example, 42% of Tinder users were in a relationship or married, according to a 2015 Guardian report. This is quite alarming as people most often do not feel good about themselves once they learn that they are ones their date is cheating with. If you have enough decency and respect for others, you will not feel comfortable dating someone already in a relationship, especially someone who is married. If something like this has happened to you already, make sure to glance over their pages just in case the are not single.
One less familiar screening approach is profile mapping, a practice which lets you compare people and set standards using the same strategy. This is where you learn to assess all profiles on your dating site of choice in the same way. First, establish your priorities. Most people are interested in the career, family, health, education, and interests of a potential partner. Skip profiles that do not correspond to your top priorities and you will save yourself a world of trouble and time. Appearance should definitely not be the top priority, particularly if you are looking for a serious relationship.
The photo of the person in question should be the last thing you look at. When you look at their pictures, examine the activities they are doing and their surroundings before you look at their face. Look at other people they may have photos with, things in the pictures, locations, and how good of a time they may be having. While examining a photo of a potential romantic interest, everything can help show what kind of person they really are.
Get to Know Them
If you are interested in someone, do not immediately give away personal details like your last name, email, workplace, or phone number. Use Google images for a more in-depth screening. Above all, communicate with them and just talk about stuff. Ask them what they do, what their hobbies and interests are, and what they like or do not like about their job. Be wary of people who give short, vague or weird answers to common questions and statements, such as “I work for a private company, but I’m thinking about changing my job.” If their answers keep sounding weird and out of place, be careful as it may be more than just nervousness or a minor lack of social skills.
It Works Both Ways
Just like you might decide to screen your online date, they could be willing to screen you. If you tend to share personal information online, they will then surely know what is happening in your life, especially what has already happened. This always entails a potential risk. Sharing personal data attracts unnecessary attention to you no matter how small and insignificant it seems. It is frequently possible for utter and complete strangers to view information about you readily. You do not want to invite unwanted criticism to yourself in this age of digital information and social media. Neither do you want to become a target of some kind of shaming or cyberbullying because of the things you share.
IS there something worse about unnecessary attention? You simply do not and cannot know who is watching. You will not be able to know if your date may pose a threat at some point or in some way. The ambiguity surrounding third-party anonymity should concern you. Violating someone’s privacy has become all too easy in the age of social media and many people do it without even realizing it, thinking it is normal because it is so easy to do.
Some would argue that dating is all about spontaneity, and screening destroys that unfamiliarity and the romantic element. However, we need to be realistic with our safety, energy, and time. You do not want to meet someone who is going to be a poor match and certainly not someone with whom you will not be or feel safe. We may have overindulged in first-date horror stories, but we may still experience some of our own. People who date online must learn how to screen effectively without crossing the line between prudence and stalking. Hopefully, this article has been helpful to you and you will know what to do next time around!