Finding your match made in heaven used to be challenging, but not anymore thanks to the many dating platforms such as Tinder, Bumble, eharmony, Hinge, Raya, The League, Zoosk, and many more. Online dating allows you to get to know your potential partner before you meet in person, and you get to decide if and when that happens. Although online dating seems like a magical place to find love, it does have its downsides.
Most people online are great, but you should be aware there are some bad actors - scammers, catfish, and worse. Let's say your conversations online are running smoothly, you both get along, and BAM, you are suddenly really interested and excited to see someone you've never met. But you have to remind yourself - this is only his/her internet personality. You still have to meet in person. You truly know nothing about them and if they are telling the truth.
What Exactly Is Online Dating And What Are Dating Apps?
Online dating is where you meet and are “matched” with people through websites and apps. Many people think that online dating is all about looks, but that is not always the case. On these dating websites, you can include bios of yourself to describe your interests, activities, hobbies, occupation, if you have any kids or want any kids, your height, if you have pets, and where you attended school - in order to match with people that share your same interests and more. Websites like these are an excellent way to meet people if you have a busy work schedule, are single with kids, live in a small town or big city, and lastly, or if you moved to a brand new town. In just the last few years, Dating apps are becoming more widely used by people of all personalities.
It is essential to keep in mind that each app is different. Some dating apps cater more to a particular age group - some cater to finding someone for a long term, more meaningful relationship or marriage, some are specific to religious faiths, hobbies, occupations, and more. There are even dating apps created just for celebrities to meet other stars. That is why it is good to research these apps before you download them, as some might not be of your interest. Dating apps are most widely used by young adults (18-29 year-olds) and according to a study by the Pew Research Center, about 30% of adults report that they used some type of dating app. Perhaps surprisingly, about 12% of people from their study said that they had married someone from a dating app or website.
What Are People Saying About Online Dating Apps
Overall, most people who have used a dating app or online dating website tend to have more positive feedback about the experience than negative. Many people report that these apps and websites made it easier to find people they found attractive, had similar interests with, and would want to meet in person. Not only that, but online dating is so much safer than “going out” these days during covid-19. You can now “meet” and match with people while lying in your bed in your pajamas.
Of course, as with just about everything, there are some downsides. Romance scams are becoming more popular everyday as more dating apps get developed. Unfortunately, catfishes exist, and about 45% of people feel that they are being lied to on these apps. They are not entirely wrong. In fact, about one in ten dating accounts are usually fake and are used to scam people. Just under 30% of people report that someone they have met online had not been fully truthful in their profile. Not only are catfishes alive and well on dating sites, but harassment also occurs, especially for women dating app users. About 60% of women using apps and online dating sites report that men would not leave them alone, even after telling them that they were no longer interested or available. And 57% of women report that they were sent explicit images or comments that they did not want.
Certainly, it is sometimes hard to tell if the person you are talking to online is safe and mature, by just a few conversations. Sometimes the best advice is to just follow your senses. If someone starts acting out of place, block them, and report them (if necessary) to the dating website or app you are using. These companies want you to feel safe and have the best experience. They do not want these strange people to use their apps or websites either. It’s not good for their business.
Before You Meet: Verify. It’s Just The Smart Thing To Do.
So, you have matched with a great person. You’ve messaged and then talked. Everything is going great, and the next step is to meet in person. Is there anything you need to do first? Should you trust this person is who they say they are? Of course! But, verify too. When it comes to your safety, it is just the smart thing to do. So then, HOW do you verify someone is who they say they are?
The great news is that new, advanced people search technology allows you to verify someone’s true identity (and background) instantly and confidentially before you meet. These advanced people search engines instantly and confidentially search through public records (both online and offline sources) to verify anyone in the U.S. One of our favorite platforms, based on ease of use, quality of data, and very low cost is gladiknow.com.
Glad I Know searches over 600 million public records and provides you an instant report including criminal and sex offender history, former addresses, social media profiles, property information and history, phones, emails, family members, associates, neighbors, people linked by address, financial, and civil records, and much more.
For more information on people search engines check out this great video.
Here’s how you use it to verify someone’s identity:
- Go to gladiknow.com and input the person’s name and location or address into GladiKnow's people search engine and instantly get a confidential, comprehensive report on the person including his or her age, spouse, current address, address history, emails, phones, relatives, employment history, education history, social media profiles, criminal records, sex offender records, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, civil records, traffic and infraction records, licenses, permits, and much more.
- Then, ask the person some questions that you already know the answers to. Anything in the report: Where they have lived, their age, employment and education history, relatives, email addresses and phone numbers, social media accounts, or any bit of information you choose from the report in front of you. The search database even includes photographs!
- Obviously, if the person is a scammer, he or she will certainly not give you real information which would reveal their true identity. If this is the case, you will instantly see a mismatch between what they are telling you and what you know to be true from their report. Congratulations, you have just revealed a scammer, or have given yourself peace of mind by confirming they are who they say they are.
(Obviously, this process works perfectly in ANY circumstance where you want to learn more or the truth about someone, from online dating to roommates and classmates, to new friends or romantic interests - the list goes on!)
Here Are Some Additional Ways To Protect Yourself When Dating Online:
- ALWAYS meet in a public place. This tactic will prevent your date from doing anything sketchy to you. You can meet at a populated park, a coffee shop, a beach, or a restaurant. Scammers and creeps will always come up with creative and seemingly innocent schemes to get you to meet somewhere in private for the first time. Be ready for this, and don't fall for it! Always, always meet in public the first time.
- Keep your friends informed. When meeting up with someone new, always provide your friends with your date's phone number, first name and last name, a picture of them, and where you will be going on a date. If the date went smoothly and you both consent to continue the date elsewhere, text your friends and let them know. Not only that, but share your location with your friends so that they can track you at all times during your date.
- Be cautious throughout the date. Even if your date seems friendly and asks if you want to go somewhere private, say no and tell your date you want to get to know them better before hanging out in intimate settings. If you ever feel in danger, politely excuse yourself, and do not ever be afraid to ask someone for help, if in need.
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