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Should You Conduct a Background Check on Your Boyfriend?

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Should You Conduct a Background Check on Your Boyfriend?

So you’ve been dating someone for a while now and things seem to be going well. You like spending time with them and enjoy each other’s company. However, as your relationship develops, you may start to wonder how well you actually know this person.

Things like their past relationships, criminal history if any, or financial situation are still unknown mysteries. This is where doing a background check on your boyfriend could provide some helpful clarity. But is conducting such a search a good idea or an invasion of privacy? Let’s discuss the pros and cons.

Does Trust Require Verification?

From the early stages of dating, trust is a cornerstone that relationships are built upon. You open yourself up emotionally and make yourself vulnerable with the expectation that your partner will respect your feelings, care for you, and be honest in their dealings. However, absolute trust requires time to develop fully as two people get to know each other on deeper levels.

In the beginning phases, all you have to go on are the impressions and stories your new partner shares. While honesty is ideal, not everyone is completely forthcoming about their past so early on. This leaves room for doubt as to whether everything checked out perfectly. A background check in this context could provide reassurance by verifying details independently.

On the other hand, such a covert search behind someone’s back could damage forming trust if discovered. It implies a lack of faith in their word which they may perceive as insulting. The relationship psychology is that trust is built proactively through transparency, not reactively through snooping behind closed doors.

Respecting Privacy but Pursuing Personal Safety

No one wants to be spied on or have their privacy invaded without consent. Your partner deserves to feel secure in the relationship and that sensitive details about them won’t be pried into or exposed without permission. However, safety should also not be compromised at the cost of being overly trusting. Knowing someone’s history could reveal red flags important for your well-being.

A tactful conversation about willingness to share background information respectfully and openly may satisfy both privacy and safety concerns. If they refuse, it may warrant investigating discreetly to allay fears – but this approach risks losing their trust. The balance lies in pursuing knowledge with compassion, not suspicion or as a threat to the relationship. Your partner’s character will be revealed over time through ongoing honest interaction.

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What Can a Background Check Typically Uncover?

If done, here are some of the most useful and relevant areas a typical background check on a boyfriend could cover:

Criminal Records: Check for any past arrests, charges or convictions for crimes. This shows if they have a history of unlawful or dangerous behavior.

Credit History: Look for bankruptcies, unpaid debts, liens or judgments which speak to financial responsibility and stability.

Civil Court Records: Search for previously filed lawsuits regarding things like divorce, child support or other personal claims.

Address History: Verify places of residence over time. Look for discrepancies between listed addresses and those provided earlier in your relationship.

Previous Relationships: Search public records and social media for ex-partners’ names and details shared. Make sure stories line up and there are no hidden custody arrangements, restraining orders etc.

Employment History: Confirm job titles, places of work and lengths of employment stated to ensure consistency and explain time gaps accountably.

Educational Background: Verify claimed levels of schooling, majors studied and graduation years for accuracy regarding commitments made.

Carrying out thorough due diligence can offer important context regarding someone’s character, integrity and suitability as a partner through facts rather than just impressions.

Addressing Concerns Respectfully

Rather than stealthily snooping, the healthiest approach if worries emerge is to lovingly bring them up for open discussion. Express care for understanding each other fully with nothing undisclosed that could cause issues down the line. Ask to address concerns together through mutually learning more details.

Respectfully requesting information or a background check shows caring investment, not distrust. Suggest doing so jointly, or give them the option to access records independently to allay suspicions. Compromise by agreeing what’s reasonable to uncover at various stages as intimacy grows. Make the process more of a cooperative effort of getting to know one another fully with less defensiveness on both sides.

Focus on discussing discovered facts respectfully rather than accusation. Understand people aren’t defined by past mistakes which may have led to growth. The overall tone should build confidence through transparency, not damage it through gotcha “surprises”. With patience and compassion, greater clarity can strengthen bonds instead weakening them through uncertainty or concealed information.

Weighing the Potential Benefits and Drawbacks

Let’s evaluate some key pros and cons to consider in the background check decision:

Potential Benefits:

  • Provides objective facts about a partner rather than relying solely on their accounts which may omit details or twist stories.
  • Reveals discrepancies, inconsistencies or evidence of lying that raise legitimate concerns for the relationship’s healthy development.
  • Uncovers public records like criminal offenses, lawsuits or bankruptcies that could endanger personal well-being through violent, reckless or financially irresponsible past behaviors.
  • Addresses doubts or worries proactively through transparency rather than suspicion so they don’t fester and potentially damage trust later.
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Potential Drawbacks:

  • Invades privacy without consent which partners may perceive as a lack of faith in them despite any good intentions.
  • Assumes people cannot change from past mistakes or addresses them once, risking an unfair judgment of someone’s whole character.
  • Revealing little substantial beyond minor discrepancies that create unnecessary obstacles in a still new relationship attempting to build trust.
  • Does not account for possible inaccuracies, out of date or incomplete records which could wrongly accuse based on improper evidence.
  • May find mostly innocent or minor issues blown out of proportion, hurting feelings and straining the bonding process in formative stages.

Should You Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional Service?

Once deciding a background check may be worthwhile, the next question is whether to conduct research independently or utilize an online service. Both have merit depending on specific situation considerations:

Doing it Yourself:

Pros:

  • Free of cost beyond time invested
  • More private and discreet approach
  • Gain deeper understanding through direct research process

Cons:

  • Prone to missing important records without full database access
  • Skill and resource limitations may yield incomplete results
  • Legally risky accessing some private records without authorization

Using a Professional Service:

Pros:

  • Experienced investigators with extensive public record databases
  • Comprehensive multi-database searches find more complete profiles
  • removes legal risks by operating within access guidelines
  • Fast turnaround so concerns addressed promptly if needed

Cons:

  • Cost of typically $30-100 depending on plan and record levels
  • Less personal control over investigation process
  • Privacy compromised with sensitive details now in a company’s system

Overall, for thoroughness a service seems best but privacy must be weighed. For minor checks, doing your own initial digital searches offers a free preview of major issues before investing further if inclined.

Sensitive Issues to Tread Carefully With

Though background checks aim to promote safety and transparency, certain records require extra sensitivity when encountered. Here are some examples to handle delicately:

Mental Health: Avoid presumptions and show compassion. Address concerns with licensed counsel if needed calmly.

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Previous Abuse: Supportively discuss seeking help to ensure healthy behaviors. Focus on present accountability not past victimization.

Nonviolent Drug Use: Understand changing views and don’t isolate. Offer care, not condemnation if past but affirm sobriety now.

Major Financial Problems: Discuss circumstances empathetically. Look at present accountability rather than permanent defining past struggles.

Juvenile/Minor Records: Legally sealed often for good reason. Give benefit of doubt on addressed youthful mistakes, not reflections of full character.

Overall when delicate issues emerge, exhibit understanding, avoid accusations and support partner in discussing ways of achieving safety, accountability and growth together in a caring space.

How to Bring Up Discoveries Sensitively

If background research yields unfavorable findings, addressing them requires extreme sensitivity. Here are tips for a caring, thoughtful discussion:

  • Set a calm, private time without distractions when both can listen openly.
  • Express continuing care for understanding each other fully rather than delivering “verdicts”.
  • Present facts objectively first before interpreting to avoid accusations. Focus on clarity, not judgment.
  • Ask for their account of events respectfully to hear complete context, not just reactions.
  • Discuss how to build from this – not end the relationship – through honesty, accountability and compromise.
  • Seek counseling help navigating issues constructively if too complex alone.
  • Affirm belief in potential for growth, not permeant labeling, with commitment to supportive healing.
  • Agree discomfort will pass through understanding rather than being driven apart by uncertainty or secrecy.

With patience and empathy, difficult discussions can strengthen intimacy through facing challenges together versus keeping partners at a distance. Sensitivity and fairness are key.

Final Thoughts on Weighing the Decision Carefully

In closing, any relationship requires both parties feel secure through honesty balanced with respecting privacy. A background check decision impacts this delicate equilibrium significantly. Carefully consider:

Why suspicions emerged – do they reflect objective issues or insecurities to be addressed separately? Is the relationship ready for this potential intimacy step or still in formative trust-building stages?

Will the partner perceive it as caring to learn together versus a judgmental lack of faith in them? Have concerns been raised through open interaction already or is secrecy just breeding greater uncertainty?

If trust and safety can instead develop openly through patience and empathy initially without searches, that compassionate approach often strengthens foundations best. But transparency may be warranted too if facing objective dangers ignored. Overall strive for clarity through wisdom, not scrambling suspicion alone.

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