Background checks the good, bad and ugly.
Remember when a background check was something the government did to see if you were a spy? And when it came to dating all we really wanted to know was what's your sign? Boy, have we come a long way! How safe are you dating on the internet? Is he or she all that they claim to be? People often say to follow your gut. What if you can't tell the difference between instinct and indigestion? Where can you go for a little professional help in getting the scoop on Mr or Miss Maybe?
I often joke than if only I was born rich, I would have avoided that one REALLY bad mistake of a relationship that I had in my youth. See, I would have been able to afford a private detective to investigate him and I would have run in the opposite direction. Well, with technology being what it is today, we can all afford to do a little detective work on potential suitors. Did you know that there are websites that offer "security in knowing"? Whether it's a personal or business relationship, there are sites that compile background checks on anyone and everyone. Sometimes all you need to know is a name and location of that person. Of course the more you know, the more they promise they can find. Here are a few services available in finding out more about Mr/Miss Maybe:
Criminal records check for the past seven years
Your perfect partner could be online right now...
What are you looking for?
Criminal records check on any recent alias (alternate name)
Nationwide and international warrant search on your subject's name and any aliases found
Civil litigation record (Has he/she sued anyone? Or been sued or divorced? DUI Check (Has subject been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol?)
Marriage license search
Child Support (Is he/she required to pay child support?)
Now, just like prescription drugs there are some ugly side effects to peeping, spying and looking for stuff. My mama use to tell me, if you go looking for something, you usually find it. The question then becomes what do you do with that information? How do you know if your "Danny Doe" is the same guy with three kids and four baby mamas in five different states with a bankruptcy and no driver's license? Or what's worse, what if the search comes up clean? But, he really wasn't. Perhaps you forgot to put in the middle initial or you don't have his real name to begin with?
I guess the best advice is to proceed with caution. Don't take everything at face value. But, don't be afraid to trust your instincts. Also, from the other side, do a search on yourself and see if the information is true. Be your own detective. Sometimes words on paper don't give the full story.
How would you feel if you used information that you received to end a relationship that was healthy and positive only to learn that your information was tainted or not complete? For example, I know someone that was divorced when her daughter was still an infant. By the time the child had reached her teens, there was still no love interest in her life. She met a man through mutual friends. Everyone thought highly of him. He seemed perfect for her. They dated for over a year and talked about marriage. On a whim, she did an on-line background check and found something very devastating. He had been charged with indecent liberties with a minor. She broke it off immediately, never asking any questions, she refused his calls. Many years later, after he married someone else, she learned that when he was in high school, he was in love with a girl; whose family didn't want them together. They were going to run off and elope as soon as she turned 18. Her father called police and had him arrested. She never asked and he never got a chance to explain. Use the check as a tool to discuss issues with your potential mate not to pass judgment and convict.
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