We’ve all been there. You’re checking out the options on a few dating apps, and you’ve exchanged some pretty fun messages with someone interesting. Whether you’ve got hundreds of matches or just a few, know that you have options before committing to meeting up for a date. Don’t get stuck feeling like you have to buy dinner or drinks for a golddigger. And definitely don’t waste precious time and effort going out with some loser who turns out to be nothing like the profile described
According to eHarmony, 53% of people lie on their online profiles, so if you’re wary of what people share on dating sites, you might be onto something. Perhaps unsurprisingly, men made their professions and paychecks sound more impressive than they are, and women have copped to using older photos when they were younger and maybe a few pounds lighter.
In a recent study of our own, Spokeo found that many people are worried about meeting dates who had lied on their online profiles. So here are some ways you can research your date before meeting in person so you can get the skinny on what they’re really like.
Find Background Info
Just have a number but forgot their real name? We’ve all been there! Luckily you can quickly cover up your mistake before anyone is the wiser. Plus, you can find out a lot more than just their name. You can do a reverse lookup on someone with just one piece of information, like a phone number, name or social media profile username.
Enter their number and you’ll get a list of possible results, linked to their social media profiles so you can check out their recent photos and posts. Find out if their profile pic just had really good lighting, or whether they tried to make their job sound a lot more glamorous (and lucrative) than it actually is. Learn their name, maybe their school, job and get a sense of who their friends are and what they like to do together so you can make your own decision about who they are instead of just taking their profile’s word for it.
Guess what? They might be reading this same article, right now. What are they going to find if they do a reverse lookup on you? Search yourself and see what comes back. You’ll be surprised what gets dredged up from the old days: old profiles you don’t update, embarrassing pictures, more-embarrassing posts from years ago. Leave it up or take it down, but at least you should know what your crush is going to see when they look you up.
Who Are They Really?
Hopefully they are wonderful, but it’s worth asking yourself: Who is this person really? Are they someone you can trust? Do they have a sketchy past? You can find out with the same reverse lookup, because it also taps into public records.
Research whether they are a criminal, from minor traffic offenses to something serious. Crimes from misdemeanors to felonies could show up on their background report. But it doesn’t stop at crimes.
You may also find if they are legally married, divorced, or single. If they are still married, that can definitely impact your decision to meet up. Get suggestions for their friends and family too. You can pry deep, but this may be way too much to dig into right now, before you even really like them yet. It can just help to get a picture of the person–are they a criminal? Serial divorcee? Lying just a smidge about their age? Can’t hurt to know, and they’ll never know you researched them.