Today, people spend most of their time glued to the computer screen or staring at their mobile devices while commuting.
Naturally, most relationships begin on dating sites or chat platforms. But when feelings start getting deeper, you may wish to accept your online friend’s invitation to go out.
If you’ve found your date online, use the internet to find out who you are going to date. Here is how.
Don’t Give out Your Phone Number in a Chat Session
While chatting with an interesting guy online, you must never give your phone number until you are sure you want to meet him in person. Sharing your number with the wrong guy can turn your life into a nightmare.
Find Their Social Media Profiles
Next, you can run a simple Google search with a combination of the personal details your date has shared with you. The combinations may vary: city plus names, college plus names, plus graduation year, etc.
If you are lucky, you may find their social media profiles with identifying pics. Even if the info they share in public is scarce, you can still spot some alarming signals.
Run Simple Background Checks on Your Future Date
As people spend more and more time online, many internet users recur to web-based tools to find out more details about their romantic interests.
Doing background checks on your future date is crucial to your safety during your first face-to-face meeting.
These checks usually reveal criminal records, financial information, and medical and residential history. Here are the most common types of background checks.
County Background Checks
If you live in the same county as your love interest, you may request to have their names run through the local criminal record database.
The county records are very detailed, so you’ll probably find everything you need to know about them. The downside is that county-level background checks can’t be performed online, and the results take several days to appear.
State Background Checks
If you don’t want to deal with county clerks, you can run a state background check on your future date yourself.
The results will depend on how many county records the database of the particular state contains. Some states have listed all of their counties’ criminal records online, while others aren’t so generous.
Federal Background Checks
You need special permission to access the U.S. national criminal record database. Instead, you can run background checks in the states where your would-be boyfriend has lived or studied. Currently, 46 states maintain online crime record databases.
How To Stay Safe During Your First Date?
If your online investigation hasn’t revealed anything disturbing, you can go on and meet your love interest in person. Here are some helpful tips.
Pick Up the Place
When you meet a guy for the first time, you must say where and when it’s going to happen.
For your safety, you should choose a place where you feel at ease and in control. The nearest Starbucks is one such location.
Tell Your Friends and Family Who You Are Going to Meet and Where
You must inform your best friend and at least one family member who you are going to meet and where.
You should also tell them when you are planning to get home and what they should do if they can’t reach you after that time.
Don’t Say Too Much on Your First Date
Before meeting an online friend in person for the first time, you can write down some questions to ask them. At the same time, you should think of how much you will feel comfortable sharing in return.
Dating safety experts advise against sharing too much personal information during the first few dates.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
When going on a date for the first time with someone, avoid drinking alcohol. Inebriation goes hand-in-hand with loquaciousness, and some sensitive info may escape your lips.
Secondly, alcohol consumption may weaken your defenses and make you less aware of what’s going on around you. In the creepiest case, your date may put something in your drink and take advantage of your helplessness.