Online dating can be very exciting. It can be quite exhilarating compared to traditional dating where you see a person and go up to talk to them. You are doing that, only now through a screen. The big difference is that you can expand the pool of potential dates substantially.
With geographical restrictions taken away, you are free to talk to anyone from anywhere. Just a quick hop onto any international dating site and you will be able to talk to someone half the world away or someone just a couple of blocks away or anything in between.
This all seems innocent and cute, until you find out that the person is not who they claimed they were. This can be an emotionally painful experience for many, especially if you only found out after the two of you planned a meetup. Not only can it be emotionally scaring, but some people who are habitual liars on dating sites could potentially be dangerous people who might do you harm.
Doing Your Homework
In many cases of catfishing, it can get serious enough for the situation to warrant the very best background check you can find. Now, there are many things about a person’s life that no private investigator can obtain legally. However, what can be obtained within the confines of the law and good taste can be quite substantial.
You will be able to access public court records to see if the person as described by your online date exists or not. And if they do indeed exist, public records can also ascertain a few pieces of information such as the most recent mailing address so that you are able to verify a few things.
You will also be able to check if the person has had any prior criminal convictions. All you need to do to access the criminal records of a person is to file a request with the relevant court and the information you seek will be recovered promptly. Most courts will give everyone a freebie and usually ask for a modest processing fee for subsequent requests.
A background check will give you a little bit of insight into who the person on the other side really is who they say they are. If they have been proven to have lied on a substantial piece of information, you will be able to find out quickly with a good background check and be able to properly protect yourself from harm.
Do the Minor Details Really Matter?
Staggeringly, as many as two out of three users of online dating sites have admitted to some degree of lying. This is a very unfortunate reality that everyone who wishes to expand their dating pool to the online space needs to contend with.
For the most part, the lies that people told were superficial in nature. This means they would lie about their age, their weight, the number of past romances they had, and other such things. This is usually in order to seem more desirable in the eyes of the other party and increase the chances of having a long-term relationship with the person.
Statistically, both parties on the exchange are lying about something to the other party. However, these superficial lies do not end up causing any actual harm. If one person lied too much and over exaggerated their desirability, once the two met up, the other party would just walk away after discovering the deception if it was too much.
So, the controversial question raised by some people: is it really that bad when people lie about minor details? Increasingly, many people are becoming more accepting of minor lies that are superficial and largely inconsequential. Some have even equated things like lying about your age to the use of makeup because cosmetics are designed to give a more youthful appearance.
While it is preferable to tell the truth all the time, many have pointed at the fact that we are all human at the end of the day. Given the human search for validation being as great as it is, can we really blame those who lie for the purposes of attention for their actions when it is already widely practiced by most people? That conclusion will have to be left to the reader to decide on.
Guarding Your Heart
As more and more people around the world go online every day, the opportunity for human interaction on the world wide web has greatly increased. Unfortunately, so have the potential pitfalls that can arise. The more people you can interact with, the more pleasant people you can come into contact with, and the more crazies as well.
Now more than ever, it is important for us to make sure we know who the person on the other side is. It would be nice if we could trust anyone we met online from the get-go, but unfortunately, we do not live in ideal world. The online world requires a greater level of scrutiny since we are not able to use any of our in-built human instincts to assess a person’s character.
Ultimately, a good deal of judgement and self-responsibility is needed to navigate this brave new world. We must take matters into our own hands and take the precautionary steps necessary to guard not just our hearts, but our entire person so that we do not get into a situation that has no happy ending.