Should You Background Check Someone Before Going on a Date

Should You Background Check Someone Before Going on a Date?

In the online dating age, meeting someone for the first time through an app or website is becoming increasingly common. While the convenience of swiping through potential matches from the comfort of your home is undeniable, it raises important questions about safety and security.

One way to address these concerns is by conducting a background check on someone before going on a date. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of background checking to help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you.

What is a Background Check

First, let’s define what we mean by a background check. A background check involves investigating someone’s personal and professional history.

It may include searching public records for criminal history, checking social media profiles, and contacting references or previous employers. Alternatively, you could use a background check service to do all this for you.

Why You Should Background Check

The purpose of a background check is to verify someone’s identity and determine if they have a history of criminal activity or other red flags that could indicate they are not who they say they are.

Two legitimate reasons for conducting a background check are for your own safety and to confirm suitability.


One of the most compelling arguments in favor of background checking is safety. While most people on dating apps are genuine and looking for love, unfortunately, some use these platforms for nefarious purposes.

Numerous cases have occurred of people being catfished, scammed, or even physically harmed by someone they met online. A background check can help you feel more secure by providing valuable information about your potential date’s past behavior.

For example, a background check may reveal that your date has a history of domestic violence, harassment, or other violent behavior. This is obviously a huge red flag and could be a sign that you should cancel your plans.

Similarly, a background check may show that your date has a criminal record for theft or fraud. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a danger to you, it’s worth knowing before you go out with them.

Confirming Suitability

Another argument favoring background checking is that it can help you avoid wasting time on someone who isn’t a good match. For example, if you’re looking for a serious relationship and your background check reveals that your date has a history of cheating or multiple short-term relationships, you may decide they’re not the right fit for you.

While it’s possible that people can change and grow, having this information upfront can help you decide whether to pursue a relationship with them.

Downsides of a Background Check

Of course, there are also some downsides to background checking. One of the biggest is that it can be seen as an invasion of their privacy. Some people may feel uncomfortable knowing you’ve dug into their personal history before meeting them. This could create a barrier to building trust and make the date awkward or uncomfortable.

Another potential issue is that background checks aren’t foolproof. Just because someone doesn’t have a criminal record doesn’t mean they’re a good person. Your date may have engaged in other harmful or unethical behavior that wouldn’t appear in a background check. On the other hand, someone may have a criminal record for a minor offense that doesn’t necessarily indicate they’re a danger to others.

Finally, it’s worth considering the cost of a background check. While resources are available, such as free people search sites or looking up social media profiles, more comprehensive checks may require payment. This can add up quickly, especially if you’re going on a lot of dates or using a service that charges a fee.

Consider Your Reasons

So, should you background check someone before going on a date?

Ultimately, this is a personal decision that depends on your own comfort level and specific circumstances.

If you’re concerned about safety or have had negative experiences with online dating in the past, a background check may be a good option for you. On the other hand, if you feel that it’s too invasive or unnecessary, there’s no need to do so.