Dating of any kind can be a nerve-racking experience. But when it comes to dating someone new? Well, that’s an entirely different level of stress that you are opening yourself up to.
The trust factor in any successful relationship is key, but that requires putting yourself out there beforehand. And unfortunately, in an era of internet dating, we tend to mistakenly believe that we know everything we need to about our new companions, just from reading their social profiles.
Here are three situations where it’s important to learn more about those we open our hearts to:
A first date is quite possibly the only scenario in which it’s considered normal to be alone and/or vulnerable with a complete stranger. You would never normally allow yourself to get into a car or be out late at night with someone you don’t know. But because of social norms, we make an exception and aren’t as vigilant as we would normally be.
And that’s dangerous. Individuals who are up to no good also know this is one of the few scenarios where they can get people to let their guard down. So, before you commit to a first date, you should protect your safety by making sure they don’t have a criminal record.
Young women who recognize warning signs on the first date
Of course, it’s not easy to break out of our complacency. Many people will not take the responsible step of doing a background check before a first date. And that first date might be going quite well…until there is something that seems just a bit…off.
It could be almost anything. Maybe they said they work as a middle-manager, yet order an expensive bottle of champagne that would normally be reserved for a very special occasion. Or it could be a sudden flare of the temper, just for a moment, before quickly calming down again. And that one time they called you by the wrong name, then tried to laugh it off? These could be nothing. But they could also be subtle indications of money coming in from illicit activities, a history of domestic abuse, or even another significant other or spouse.
But why leave it to chance? If you feel someone might be hiding something early on in a relationship, a background check might dig up other skeletons in their closet indicating they won’t be a good long-term partner.
And ultimately, that knowledge can save you a lot of wasted time and potential heartache down the road.
Single parents that are starting to date again
For single parents, knowing what you are walking into before a first date is even more important. Remember that anyone you date is someone you’ll be indirectly letting into your child’s world for now, and possibly directly later.
For that reason, the importance of taking all the normal precautions multiplies for single parents. It’s one thing for an adult to take chances with their own safety. But when children are involved, failing to exercise due diligence is no longer just about your wellbeing. You owe it to that child to protect them, even if you don’t feel the need to take the necessary precautions for yourself.