Best Background Checks for Dating
Why People Try Dating
Young adults can be drawn to romantic relationships. Dating is about finding that special someone to walk through life with while pursuing a relationship with God. It is a way to help figure out who your potential life partner will be—and it can also help one understand others and how you relate with others. Everyone wants a meaningful connection. There is a powerful longing in us for connection with others. The longing can be so powerful that we run from it, trying to suppress it. Sometimes, young adults may use dating to fill the longing, running from relationship to relationship without finding what they think they are looking for.
Everyone wants to be accepted and loved. Dating relationships allow us to reveal more and more of ourselves, like peeling back layers of an onion, giving someone access to deeper and deeper levels of ourselves, hoping to find someone who can truly love us, with our weaknesses and all.
Different Ways People Meet
· Through friends: Even though we’re all addicted to our phones, digital dating did not take the top spot. Instead, meeting through friends remains the number one way to meet someone in 2018. Thirty-nine percent of people surveyed had met their partner through a friend.
- Work relationships may seem terrifying at work, but it was the second most popular way to meet people — with 15 percent meeting their significant other through work.
- At Bars and other public places: So 12 percent met in a bar (which sounds reasonable) or at “other public areas,” which sounds… interesting. But perhaps beaches, parks, and meet-cutes fit the bill on this one.
- At Sport, Religion, Hobby Events: Nine percent of people met their partners at church, a stamp-collecting club, or their favorite places. It is a range of options between sport, religion, and hobbies.
- On the Internet or other dating apps: Down here at number five, only eight percent of people met online through a dating app.
- Through Family: As much as you may not want your family involved in your love life, seven percent of people helped them find their partner.
Reasons Why One Should Run a Complete Background Check Before Dating
We do not usually meet our significant others like we used to. Now that we have the Internet, many people turn to online dating sites to find their life partners instead of friends, family, or real-life encounters.
While this can widen the pool of potential mates, it also makes it easier to contact potentially dangerous people. Luckily, the increase in online dating has also increased the popularity of online dating background checks. A full, exhaustive background check can be expensive because it pulls past employment history, credit history, and criminal history—everything an employer would want to know about an employee. But if you’re trying to corroborate details you know about your partner, there are far easier and less expensive ways to go on a fact-finding mission.
At first, glance, looking into someone’s personal history may sound like something only private investigators can do. Nowadays, however, there are relatively easy ways to get valuable insights into who a person truly is. Suppose you meet someone online or long distance. In that case, you should always pause to consider whether they may be hiding something important from you (like criminal records, bankruptcy filings, aliases, social media profiles, and more). In an ideal world, we should be able to trust the people we care about, but it is smart to double-check that they are who they say they are. Here are two compelling reasons to check the background of someone you meet online:
In the online dating world, a catfish is a person who creates fake profiles on social media accounts using someone else’s information. Maybe they want attention, or they’re trying to lure you into sending them money or personal details. Some people do not want to believe they’re being catfished. But especially if you have never met your long-distance partner in person, there’s always a chance they’re hiding elements of the truth from you.
Other Lives and Hidden Details
Your partner might choose to avoid telling you certain details about their life. It could be something small and forgivable, like a few speeding tickets they’re embarrassed to mention. Or maybe it’s something big and concerning, like a recent DUI, drug charges, or a series of tax liens that might make it very difficult to buy a home together. Learning more about your partner’s background is your choice. But if your gut tells you to learn more about them before things get too serious, here are some things you can do.
Best Background Check Before Dating
According to research, it has been discovered that 29% of people have searched online for information about someone they were currently dating or about to meet for a first date. If you’re one of that 29% who wants more information, read on to learn how you run a dating background check.
- Check Their Criminal Records: You can see if your date is one of them by running either a country, state or national background check. Country records could include crimes only committed in that particular country. Since most crimes are prosecuted at the country level, you may likely want to run a country check on your dates to get the most detailed records. However, there are some caveats. You need to know which country (or countries) they spent most of their lives in, and you will need to have someone physically go to the courthouse to obtain the records. Luckily, that person doesn’t necessarily have to be you. For example, some country background check service sends a licensed investigator to get the records on your behalf. If you don’t know which countries your date lived in, a state criminal background check might be better. State records vary depending on the state: some states have just a handful of country records on file, while others have all country records in their databases.No matter which type of background check you choose, they will all contain information about arrests, convictions of felonies and misdemeanors, court records, warrants, sex offenses, and incarceration records. Which criminal background check you choose will depend on how much information you know about your dating person.
- Make Sure They’re Not a Convicted Sex Offender: It is good to look at your date’s sex offender status. All US states are required to maintain a sex offender registry which is public information. There is also a national sex offender registry which includes all state, tribal, and territorial registries.
- Find Their Social Media Profiles: Standard criminal background checks can only tell you what your date has been legally charged or convicted of. The Internet, on the other hand, can offer more information. Type your date’s name and city into a search engine to see what comes up (make sure to turn off all personalization settings in your browser. You will likely find their social media profiles. You’ll be able better to understand their interests, hobbies, and friend groups, sure. But you might also see updates that reveal sexist attitudes or characteristics you don’t agree with.
DIY Background Check: How to Find Information
You can also get information about the person by yourself in an approach considered a Do-it-yourself Background check. Some of these ways include:
Find them on Google
Naturally, Google is the first place most of us turn to when we’re trying to learn more about a person online. But nine times out of ten, searching for a person’s name returns basic results like social media pages you already know about. And if you’re trying to find someone with a common name, you’ll probably be clicking through search results for ages.
So don’t just put in their name. Try searching:
· Their email address
· Their full name in quotes (like this “FULL NAME”) and additional phrases like outstanding debt, divorce, girlfriend, boyfriend, criminal record, school, university.
Ensure you check all the common social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest). You can search for profiles on Facebook by using names, locations, and even groups (like the 1999 class of St. Andrew’s High School, for example).
Looking Them Upon LinkedIn
In addition to social media profiles, check them out on LinkedIn to get a view from a slightly different angle.LinkedIn is a great place to cross-check information. Not only can you see if stated information on a LinkedIn account matches other claimed info (ramifications of lying on LinkedIn are much higher than on other social media accounts due to the risk of consequences if your current or potential employer discovers fraudulent information), you can learn useful things as well, such as inferring date of birth from dates attending school/starting work, confirming locations, claimed professions, etc. Also, the extent to which their profiles have been ‘endorsed’ by peers, while not flawless, is an indicator of the integrity of their profile.
Run a Reverse Image Search
Before you spend too much time chasing rabbit trails on Google or searching social media sites, run a reverse image search on any images your significant other has sent to you, including their profile picture on dating profiles or their email account. If they’re catfishing you with stock photos or profile images from someone else’s account, a Google image search will return any other places the photo has been published.
Here’s how to do a reverse image search:
1. Save a copy of their profile photo to your computer
2. Go to images.google.com
3. Click “upload an image.”
4. Either click through the search results to see where the image may have been posted elsewhere online or explore the “visually similar images” section at the bottom of the page
Do they use the same profile photo for their social media accounts? That’s pretty harmless. But if their profile photo appears on some stranger’s Instagram timeline, something might be funky.
Do a country criminal record search.
Criminal records aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker in a relationship, depending on the charge. But at the very least, you probably would want to know if you’re dating a felon, especially since a felony charge can get in the way of finding a job.
In the United States, criminal records are generally part of the public record, which means they are not considered confidential, and you can view them. However, criminal records are recorded and filed differently depending on local laws. If you know the country or state your partner lives in, you may be able to view portions of their criminal history online. Just Google “state/country + criminal records” and search for sites with .gov in the URL.
Do a public record search.
Try a public records search website if a DIY background search isn’t generating the results you want. Sites like Open Public Records or Instant Checkmate are designed to aggregate results from public records, turning information from tons of different sources into one report about the person you’re trying to research.
Keep in mind that these sites usually charge a fee to access information. Instant Checkmate even states that “almost any method of accessing public records involves payment” because people and companies have to pay to access the data. But in return, you can save tons of time searching. You can narrow down your results by entering a person’s name, age, and location, and you can view details on everything from their real name and location to their criminal history. A public records search could reveal everything you want to know—or give you priceless peace of mind.