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Best Background Check for Dating Safely in New Relationships

Best Background Check for Dating Safely in New Relationships

Dating someone new can be an exciting time as you get to know them and grow closer. However, with the unfortunate rise of various scams, catfishing, and even abusive relationships, conducting a background check on a new romantic partner is becoming increasingly common for safety.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best practices for running a dating background check. We’ll recommend the most accurate services, what details to look for, potential red flags, and even include an FAQ. By the end of this article, you’ll understand the smart precautions to take before getting serious with someone new.

The Importance of Background Checks When Dating

Background checks allow you to verify someone’s identity and check for any past criminal history or activity. This allows you to enter new relationships with more information to stay safe.

According to statistics, over 10 million Americans are victims of intimate partner abuse each year. And financial abuse specifically has risen 20% in romantic relationships just in the past two years.

Furthermore, by the time emotional or physical abuse starts, you are already attached and invested in the relationship, making it harder to leave. The beginning is when it’s easiest to spot red flags and avoid potentially dangerous situations that are difficult to remove yourself from later.

Conducting a professional background screening early allows you to gain the upper hand regarding your safety and wellbeing. You shouldn’t feel afraid to take smart precautions when dating someone new.

What Shows Up On a Background Check?

There are quite a few categories covered by a thorough background check. This includes identity verification as well as checking county, state, and national databases for records.

Here are some of the main components:

  • Identity Verification – Validating name, age, email, phone number, previous addresses, etc. Helps confirm the person is who they claim to be upfront.
  • Criminal History – Felonies, misdemeanors, sexual offenses, incarceration records, etc. Usually the most concerning.
  • Arrest Records – Even with no conviction, multiple arrests could reveal patterns.
  • Court Records – Restraining orders, small claims suits, tax liens, bankruptcies. Helps identify financial issues.
  • Sex Offender Registry – Multistate database checks for matches. Critical.
  • Education & Employment – Helps confirm work history and college degrees they claim to have earned over time. Some exaggeration could be expected, but total fabrication may demonstrate tendency to mislead.

Conducting a check that thoroughly covers these areas allows you to feel more secure in taking the next step by determining if something seems off or concerning about their background. For maximum safety, you want adequate information rather than ignoring potential problems.

Which Background Check Companies Are Best for Dating?

Choosing an accurate and legally-compliant background check platform designed for everyday personal use is key here. There are now several options created for individuals who want to screen someone before dating them.

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However, it’s critical to avoid unauthorized or partially inaccurate basic websites when your safety could depend on the results.

Here are the top 4 recommended companies for personal dating background checks as of 2023 based on reliability, cost, ease of use, and data accuracy:

1. Intelius – Our #1 choice overall. Widest range of up-to-date information from extensive sources. $2/day or packages over longer periods for ongoing periodic checks.

2. Truthfinder – Comprehensive reports with convenient dashboard for monitoring and updates. $28/month basic plan.

3. Spokeo – Good option for local/state-level searches only. Limited info compared to Intelius & Truthfinder. $13-$40 depending on depth.

4. Instant Checkmate – Specializes in criminal records over other history details. Shows mugshots. $35-$150 packages for different lengths of access up to 2 years.

While individual reports may vary slightly in terms of the exact databases searched, we found Intelius and Truthfinder to have the most comprehensive information overall at reasonable subscription rates compared to alternatives.

Of course, conduct some due diligence yourself as well before settling on the right company for your needs and budget to keep personal information protected. Read reviews, check the fine print, and confirm what databases a platform uses.

Pay attention to transparency, reliance on public records, and ensuring they comply with all regulations like the Fair Credit Reporting Act that protects consumers when handling this type of private data responsibly.

Potential Red Flags to Watch Out For in a Report

Certain details found in a background check on someone you just started dating may raise some initial red flags. We always recommend carefully considering anything questionable rather than ignoring it. Talk to the person about any records found for their explanation.

Some examples include:

  • Active warrants or upcoming court dates for violent crimes
  • Bankruptcies within the past few years
  • Multiple jobs held over short periods
  • Suspicious education history that doesn’t match careers
  • Suing former spouses or partners
  • Recent incarceration stints
  • Alerts for identity theft
  • Restraining orders from past relationships

One or two warnings may end up being reasonable exceptions if properly addressed upfront through open communication. We encourage using wise discernment about any inconsistencies uncovered early when dating someone new.

Look out for patterns that could suggest unstable or abusive tendencies masked well during initial interactions. Be alert about charming people who may attempt hiding aspects of their real personality until you’re already attached months down the line.

While everyone has a past, taking a thoughtful approach from the start helps mitigate risks by considering all information available to determine if pursuing a relationship seems safe.

When Should You Run a Background Check on Someone You’re Dating?

We recommend running an initial search shortly after meeting someone new – within the first 1-2 months of casually dating. Early on is when most people tend to put forth their best impression possible.

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However, as you grow closer and more serious in a relationship, obtaining additional details reduces chances of manipulation from those seeking to harm or take advantage of others.

Follow up with periodic checks at least every 6 months as well to catch any new records if you end up in an exclusive partnership. Do this for any roommates, babysitters or others spending substantial time around your home too as a regular precaution.

For online dating specifically, consider conducting an initial search before meeting in person if you have any concerns. This could help verify details provided in someone’s dating profile to determine if they seem legitimate.

Trusting your intuition as situations progress lets you request additional background reports whenever anything feels “off” about the way you’re being treated.

What Information Do You Need to Run a Background Check?

At minimum, you’ll need:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Current city location

Helpful extras that improve accuracy include:

  • Email address or phone number
  • Past addresses
  • Aliases like maiden names
  • SSN (last 4 digits)

The more verifiable details available, the better chance of surfacing complete history tied specifically to that individual for confirmation.

If gaining enough data points ever becomes an issue early when dating someone, that reluctance in itself could be a warning sign not to ignore.

What Should You Do If You Find Something Worrisome?

Despite best efforts vetting partners, some concerning discoveries may still emerge down the line after initiating a relationship.

If a background check uncovers something disturbing about someone you’re dating, take preventative steps:

  • Avoid confrontation if you feel physical safety could be at risk
  • Tell close friends/family regarding unease as a precaution
  • Consider moving funds into accounts solely under your name
  • Document incidents that feel threatening or unstable as written records
  • Contact authorities like police or attorneys if abuse occurs

While hoping for the best, make practical preparations noticing any behaviors making you uncomfortable. End relationships immediately if escalating arguments, controlling patterns, violence, threats or crime enters the picture.

Stay vigilant removing yourself from unhealthy situations, but avoid blaming if finding unfavorable history about someone. Focus efforts on personal protection moving forward once discovering any psyche possibly prone towards misconduct based on records.

Dating Background Check FAQs

Q: Are dating background checks legal?

A: Yes, it is legal to conduct a personal background screening on an individual as long as the search complies with Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements for accessing public domain records. Most dating companies follow appropriate guidelines allowing individual checks.

Q: Can someone find out you did a background check on them?

A: In most cases, no. Background checks access publicly available information about criminal history, court records, etc. that individuals likely assume is searchable. Running a basic screening is usually confidential without them being notified directly.

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Q: What medical records are included in a background check?

A: Typically none. Health records including physical or mental diagnoses fall under HIPAA privacy laws, meaning they require individual consent to access. Most standard background checks do not contain medical info unless it directly impacted criminal proceedings.

Q: Can a school see a student ran a report on another student?

A: No, third parties like academic institutions do not receive notifications or records of an individual utilizing a personal background screening on another person privately. It will avoid college record systems entirely, focusing only on public domain records as allowed under fact verification regulations.

Q: Do companies see every background check ran on you?

A: No. Employers usually utilize more in depth workplace screening through FBI, Homeland Security, etc. beyond what an individual can access. Reports done for personal dating purposes won’t show up to corporations or impact jobs/housing applications. The two processes are entirely separate.

Q: Can someone press charges for running a check without telling them?

A: Extremely unlikely. As long as you utilize a reputable background check company following required compliance standards, the search will simply access available public record history generally assumed to be open. FCRA guidelines prevent platforms from illegally obtaining private medical, financial or employment information in these standard screenings.

As long as you avoid abusing data found or making threats based on results, conducting a basic check stays within reasonable limits allowing individuals to be informed about those around them if done properly. However, one should still be sensitive in discussing anything found directly with the person involved once notified.

The Bottom Line

Dating someone new comes loaded with upside reward, but also various risks in the process. Protecting your emotional and physical safety during relationships means taking smart precautions.

Conducting thorough background checks at regular intervals enables seeing someone’s history in black and white. This allows women and men both to make better informed decisions beginning something more committed with enhanced certainty.

Rather than spying, view search tools as instruments equipping people to exercise reasonable discretion. Arm yourself with as much knowledge possible assessing any potential partnerships that could impact life quality and peace down the road.

Remember to choose reputable background check companies understanding your legal rights in accessing public information as well. With the proper diligent screening procedures in place, many unnecessary problems become preventable later.

Here’s to forging secure bonds free from abuse or deception aided by running key relationship checks when required. Stay safe out there!

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