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How to Protect Yourself When Dating in 2020

In 2020, it’s possible to find anyone online.This fact has transformed the landscape of dating in many ways. On the one hand, the risks have increased. On the other, there are more and more ways we can protect ourselves.

A full background check is time-consuming, costly, and unnecessary. If all you’re trying to do is confirm the information a potential partner has given, there are far less expensive and simpler ways to do so. We outline the steps to take in this article.

Search Google

This is the obvious first step. When someone wants to learn more about a person online, they’ll predictably turn to search engine no. 1. However, a simple search of the subject’s name will retrieve basic information that you already know, like their social media, 90% of the time. You’ll be clicking through results endlessly if you’re looking for a person with a common name. You need to add more than a name to your search. Start with a full name surrounded by quotation marks, e.g., “Theodor Duncan” and additional phrases like university, school, crimes, boyfriend, girlfriend, divorce, or debt. Ask for their email or phone number and add it to the search. 

Be Realistic

We know, easier said than done. After all, we know how disappointing online dating can be. You might meet someone on the rebound, who is overly focused on appearance, or who has gone online only because a family member or friend encouraged them to. It might be the case this person isn’t emotionally ready for a serious relationship. Others will claim they’re looking for “the One” but actually unable or unwilling to build an authentic, intimate, serious relationship.

What is more, you’ll probably meet people who are having multiple conversations at the same time. Some have adopted a sudden death approach to dating, of which ghosting and benching are typical. All this understandably leads to frustration and diminished expectations. One can become cynical and disillusioned.

However, disillusionment can stop you from meeting the type of person you’re looking for. A lot of people have met their long-term partners online. It’s best to combine high standards with high hopes. With high expectations, you’re setting yourself up for emotional pain.

Assess Their Personality

To assess their personality accurately, pay attention to things like their sense of humor, how they handle rejection, disagreement, or criticism, how they deal with failure, what they care most about, how they treat strangers, and what they do in their spare time. When all else fails, trust your gut instinct.

Be Alert to Red Flags

Do they promise to call back but never do? Are they talking about themselves all the time? They are either narcissistic or socially inept. Either way, people should be able to listen to someone as well as talk.

You might learn they’ve knocked a few years off their real age. They tell you about it jokingly, as in, “What’s wrong with trying to impress?” What they’re really saying is that it’s OK to lie because the ends justify the means.

Above all, watch for signs of disrespect, but don’t take it personally. Insensitive or emotionally unhealthy behavior speaks about your date, not you. Never blame yourself for their less than exemplary behavior. If someone does not seem interested or acts ambivalently, they can’t be right, although they may seem very attractive. Spending a single second more chasing them is only keeping you from meeting the right person.

Remember that 20% of all romantic relationships start online, and over 40 million people are dating online today. When seeking love online, taking safety precautions, and being mindful of red flags pay off. Online dating certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.

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