Unwritten Rules of Free Background Checks and Dating

There are various unwritten rules and legal statutes surrounding background checks. It is always better to know what the rules are before you decide to start poking around the web for a background check free of charge. 

Dating has become more challenging for many adults.  You need to put yourself out there, but you don’t want to end up in a bad situation.  It’s probably safe to assume that almost no one wants to date a serial killer, escaped convict who is armed and dangerous, or person that already has a spouse (or multiple spouses).  Many daters decide to conduct a free online background check on prospective significant others.  After all, employers conduct routine background checks on people that will be in an office around many other individuals, and daters typically invite each other into their homes. 

What Constitutes a Background Check?

It is important to realize that you are on shaky legal ground in most states if you conduct a formal background check on a date without his or her written consent.  However, there are some simple and legal steps you can take to conduct a mini-background check on prospective dates:

  • Conduct a simple web search on the person.  As nutty as it might sound, searching for a person’s name and location on a major search engine can show you social media pages where they were tagged in photographs or other information that is not secure.  You might find some things that you are not comfortable with and move on to the next date within five minutes.  It is difficult to argue that conducting a web search constitutes a background check. Problem solved. 
  • Use dating websites that conduct background checks for you.  Many major dating websites such as Match and eHarmony conduct basic background checks on all of the people on their sites when they sign up.  It is important to keep in mind that a basic background check will eliminate people that have felonies from some dating sites, but the background checks are not as comprehensive as federal background checks that require fingerprinting.  Federal background checks also cost around $50. 
  • Free background check websites.  Many websites that offer free background checks are not accurate.  It is important to be discerning before placing trust in websites that sound too good to be true.  One quick way to tell if the sites work is to search for people that you know well and have known for a number of years, such as family members, to see if that information is accurate. 

Before taking further steps to conduct a comprehensive background check, it is important to think about how your date will react if you ask him or her to sign a waiver for a background check. 

How to Eliminate Many Potential Criminals without a Background Check

There are certain jobs that are almost impossible to get with any type of criminal record.  If your date has one of the following professions, chances are that he or she did not have a significant criminal record and still does not:

  • Teacher in a school (especially a public school)
  • Psychologist that works with Children
  • Physician or Pediatrician
  • Administrator or Custodian based in a School
  • Residential Counselor for Adults with Developmental Disabilities 

Most jobs are almost always verifiable by conducting a simple web search.  It is important to look for discrepancies in job descriptions and actions.  However, it is important to be aware of your date and your surroundings in general. 

What NOT to do After You Found Something Unflattering about Your Date

It is not recommended that you confront your date about something unflattering you found during a background check free of charge or something you read on a free online background check.  Instead of being confrontational about a date doing something you view as wrong such as being charged with a misdemeanor charge for intoxication, failure to pay child support, or already being in multiple relationships with multiple boyfriends/girlfriends and a spouse, think about if you really want to be with this person.  It can be tempting to tell him or her off, but the more mature course of action is to walk away from the potential relationship.  Instead of ruminating over a bad date, spend your time doing productive activities that will attract the type of person you deserve. 

Is it Safe to Trust Dates?

Dating can be tricky in more ways than one.  Many people that are in the dating market have been hurt before by a significant other physically or emotionally after a bad relationship.  It is almost impossible to predict the future.  No matter how accurate an online background check might be, things can still go wrong.  It is important to note that there is a difference between trusting others and not being safe.  In short, you have to trust dates.  There are a number of actions you can take to ensure that you are safe. Some actions you can take to stay safe are listed below:

  • Do not get in the other person’s car on the first date.
  • Meet in a public place for the first date or two.
  • Let a friend know where you are and arrange to call or text after the date to check in. 
  • Do not go to the other person’s house alone on a first date.
  • Do not get drunk on the first date.

Taking a few reasonable safety precautions is good.  However, there are no guarantees that nothing bad will happen.  Be present and ready to leave in the event something bad happens.  Conducting a simple background check free of charge can rarely hurt. 
Have the Right Attitude when Dating
You can go out and have fun without putting yourself directly in harm’s way by taking a few necessary precautions.  It is important to be open to meeting a new person even if your significant other cheated on you or harmed you in the past.  Put the past behind you, and be open to dating.  Take necessary steps for your safety such as letting a friend know where you are and conducting a free online background check.  Feel at ease, and be ready to meet your match.