Infographic: Should you Background Check Your Date?

By: Simone Paget |

Ten or twelve years ago, if you told someone “I googled my date before we went out” most people would likely think you were referring to something other than doing a background check on your new love interest. However, these days “Googling” someone to learn more about them is common practice – especially when it comes to dating. We recently stumbled across this fabulous Infographic from the website BackgroundCheck.org that provides tips on how to run a DIY background check on the person you’re dating (or anyone really!) The Infographic shows that as online dating has grown exponentially, so has the technology that allows us to investigate the people we are dating. If you feel like a simple Google or Facebook search won’t suffice, they suggest checking a free public records website, such as your state or country’s Department of Corrections website or National Sex Offenders registry. Obviously, these kinds of tools are in place to keep people safe however, when it comes to dating, is there ever a point where knowing too much is a bad thing?

Take for example one of my favorite TV shows, How I Met Your Mother. In the episode “Mystery vs. History“, Ted agrees to go out on a date without researching each other beforehand. However, he ends up ruining everything when he caves at the last minute and Google searches his current date, Janet, while she is in the washroom and discovers that she is one of the most accomplished (and intimidating) women he has ever met. The episode forces us to think about whether sometimes, a little mystery is a good thing.

Doing a background check on someone can lead you to make pre-conceived judgments about them before you even have a chance to meet in person. For example, you might discover that the person has a bizarre or embarrassing hobby or did something they weren’t proud of when they were much younger – things you would have learned about anyways if you had kept dating but, instead act as pre-mature deal-breakers, over-ruling the fact that you might hit it off fabulously in person.

At the end of the day you should always put your personal safety first. I am a firm believer in “trusting your gut.” If you are so concerned about the person that you’re dating that you feel compelled to run a CSI style investigation on them, you might want to ask yourself whether you really should be going out with this person in the first place. Just a thought.