KISSED TOO MANY FROGS? By Dating Advice Guy, Brad

(In coming up with this week’s blog, I thought, “Why reinvent the wheel?” I’m going to share with you some good online dating advice from the Dating Advice Guy, Brad.)

When to Get the Background Check

Background Check After the First Date

“What I recommend to people who contact me is to hold off on the background check until after the first date if they can (many can’t!). This is because in my experience, so many promising relationships end on the first date. There were plenty of “perfect” women that turned out to be someone I wasn’t really interested in.

You might then say:

But what if they’re an axe murderer?! I’d rather pay a small fee for a background check than be chopped into little pieces!

I think caution like that is fine, but I don’t think a background check is the only solution. Instead, I would recommend what I’ve recommended many times on this site: ensure the first date itself is very safe. How do you make sure you first date is a safe one? Here are some suggestions:

  • Set a limited time to meet. Let them know you only have 30 minutes or an hour but that you’d like to meet them.

  • Drive separately to your first date.

  • Meet somewhere very public.

  • Don’t drink alcohol.

  • Let a friend know where you’ll be and agree to call them after the date is over.

If you favor using background checks, an approach like this will help you stay safe while preventing you from spending money on someone you end up having no interest in.

Now clearly, if you feel you need to know about the person immediately or want to be extra cautious, I’m not saying that using a background check that early is a mistake. By all means, use it when you feel it is most appropriate. However, for many people, the timing I describe above is friendlier to their bank account without sacrificing much in the way of staying safe.

But I Can’t Even Afford One Background Check…

Online dating has a price tag and adding any additional money to that is more than some of us are able to do. With that in mind, I’d recommend becoming friends on Facebook as a free, if not perfect, background check.

Sure, Facebook isn’t going to go into the level of detail a background check would but it is going to allow you to know that this person is who they say they are. You’ll be able to see their friends, what they enjoy, how they spend their time…and all the areas like this should help confirm that the person you’re talking to isn’t scary/married/whatever.

How Others View Background Checks

One last thought: While some people are drawn to using background checks, others are offended by the idea of them. Bringing up the fact that you ran a background check early on could be a great way to kill a new relationship. So I’d avoid bringing up the fact that you ran a background check on them. Later in a relationship, that can be the sort of thing that you both look back on and laugh, but early on I worry it would be more offensive than humorous."

Hopefully, with a simple background check, you can kiss less frogs and find the real Prince Charming!

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