Due Diligence For Internet Romances

Online dating has now made it very much into the mainstream, and the odds are that at least 60% of those reading this will have had at least one dating and/or sexual encounter which was initiated online.  Some guys strictly focus on local women, however, others are not bound by geographic limitations.

Horror stories abound ranging from uncomfortable to downright dangerous regarding trips made to meet online love interests.  Just because you really connected online and over the phone does not mean it will convey to real life.  Furthermore, lying about yourself online is a condition which afflicts many Internet users.

So how can you ensure that you are not setting off to visit Kathy Bates from Misery or setting yourself up for major disappointment?  Although it might be impossible to uncover a professional prevaricator, you can use simple tools taking a modest amount of time in order to do a modicum of due diligence aimed at protecting you from this type of occurrence.

Search Engines

A simple Google search can yield voluminous information.  Don’t forget Bing and Yahoo as well — one search engine might turn up tidbits not present in others.  In addition to her name, you can search her screenname as well as email address both of which can yield valuable information.  You can also utilize Google maps in order to verify you are setting out for a valid address and not an abandoned warehouse within the meatpacking district.

Aggregators

Many sites now exist which aggregate information about all of us.  One salient example is Spokeo.  This site crawls through an abundance of sources even including Amazon wish lists.  These sites can also provide demographic information about the neighborhood you are setting off for along with accessing civil and criminal court information.

Social Networking Sites

Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, etc can provide a wealth of information about an individual.  Search all of the popular social networking sites to see what information can be gleaned — there is often a treasure trove of it.

These steps might seem extreme — if not on the verge of stalking.  However, one can never be too safe — especially within the realm of online dating.  Although guys generally have less to fear compared to their female counterparts, travelling across the country only to find out she has gained 70 pounds or is really 48 as opposed to 27 can result in wasted money, time and end up being quite disappointing.  A little Internet sleuthing can go a long ways towards avoiding unwanted surprises within this realm.

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