By Joanne Rosa
The world is at our fingertips and there is no reason not to read up on someone before the first date. Now, before you get all hyped up saying people that do this are creeps, take a seat. People that research their date before meeting for the first time are smart! Dating is a minefield, and if we have the advantage of finding potential explosions before playing that field, then why the hell not?!
No matter what you think, we are in a time where finding someone online is more common than finding someone at a bar. If you’re finding your dates online, it only makes sense that you should carry out a little investigation on who this person is. How many times have you gone out with someone, only to find that person wasn’t who you thought they were. Whether it’s looks or personality, this is one of the most unsettling feelings someone can go through.
We cannot help you find out if your date is a loud chewer, or is a A-list jerk, but we can help you find out if this person is a criminal, married, or what his real name is. Follow these steps before you commit yourself to going on a first date.
We know some of you like to keep the pre-meetup chatter to the dating apps, but you’re screwing yourself by doing this. Instead of giving out your number, ask for his instead. This is your main priority before meeting up with someone. Getting a phone number opens up doors to many pieces of information. Fast forward to after you conduct your full investigation (we’ll get into that later), if you like what you find, shoot him a text! If you don’t like what you find, forget him and move on.
Did you know you can search a phone number to find someone on Facebook? You might not even realize it, but your phone number is probably connected to your Facebook account. By searching someone on Facebook, you can confirm who they actually are, what their name is, where they are from, and if you have any mutual friends. This is another important step in your investigation, as a full name will allow you to search other things.
Now we are really in business. Once you have a full name, you’ll be able to find your potential date on all social platforms (as long as he has them), and google search him. Even if an account seems old, check it out. You never know what bones he could be burying, like racist tweets from college, or being a troll. This is also a way to see if your potential date is currently in a relationship (this can also be done on Facebook, but Instagram is the best best place to look), or if he’s mostly following “Instagram models.” Beware when searching through LinkedIn, as it can often show users who viewed their profile. If you’re doing this, ask a friend that has no connection to your job to help out with the search. Google search the name to see if anything comes up in a general search, then search it in Google News. Some of his criminal activity might show up.
With photos from online profiles, save the image and drag it into Google Image search like how Nev and Max do on Catfish. Crazies can go to extreme measures to seem legit, but this is a sure way to tell if the photo is being used anywhere else online.
Once you’ve gathered all you can, cross reference the information to see if everything adds up.
Ok, so you went through all of the steps, but still no luck. It’s time to get down to serious business. Start by checking the Free Public Records Directory and the National Sex Offender Registry. People can complain about having an online presence all they want, but more often than not, if they aren’t online of freewill, they could be trying to hide something from the public.