Friday, April 25, 2014

Background Checks on potential mates??

DVC (he knows who he is) mentioned on FB the other day that it's a good idea to do some kind of background check on a potential mate.  I agreed, some else didn't. No big deal.  That's the law of averages.  Everyone is not going to agree with everything that everyone says. I do want to mention that one person, who's married likened it to snooping, while those who aren't married was all for it.  Since i'm a numbers person and social researcher, i thought maybe i'd ask some people if they were down for checking potential suitors out?

Let's be clear about background checks and the definition of such.  In my mind, when i hear background searches, etc., i'm thinking Googling, taking a peak at his FB, or something that takes just a few minutes and costs no money.  I don't see it as "snooping" so to speak.  I see it as finding out what you might be getting involved with.

When I was in college, there wasn't a Google or FB or other types of social media. It's amazing how much things have changed since the early 90's.  Back then, all we had was word of mouth.  If you asked someone about someone else, you'd get all kinds of different answers about that person.  Just like we do now.  Human perception is still very subjective and always will be.  Back then though, a person could hide their past.  They could have a completely different life somewhere else and no one would ever know about it. These days, you can't hide from no damn body.  Somebody is always posting a pic of you, your friends, family, etc. and tagging you in it.  And while we're on the subject of tagging...i HATE when people tag me in a pic that is NOT of me.  If you want me to see a pic of something or someone, just tell me to look at it.  When you get tagged in a pic, all the dang comments come to your notifications/email and you're sitting there wondering who the heck is such and such that just commented on some picture that i didn't even tag?? Can't stand that.  Anyways, back to what i was saying.  No Google, FB, IG or Twitter meant that there was a relatively obscure knowledge of anything that anyone didn't want you to know. Somebody who lived in a certain part of a city could be dating other people in different parts of the city and chances are, no one would know about it (for a while at least).

Earlier this week, I sent out a text message to some of my friends asking them, "Question? If you started dating someone that you didn't know, would you do some kind of background check on them? If so, a formal one or just a Google search?" My goodness! I got some good responses! What caught my interest was the differences among men and women.  I was expecting more women than men to say Yes they would do some kind of checking.  I was WAY wrong! A lot of the women responded saying that they would do one, but after a certain amount of time elapsed.  A lot of the men responded that they would indeed do some kind of check before even going out with a woman.  Interesting...

So does this mean that women are more accepting of a potential mate's flaws than men are? Is it men who are superficial? Or are women more gullible? Unfortunately, I can't answer that question.  For me personally, I'd definitely consider doing Google searches on any man that I meet. Not because of the "nosy" factor, but because I have a son and I'm not taking any chances on potentially dating anyone who's a child molester, pedophile, etc.  There's a protection factor that single moms MUST consider when entertaining offers of dates and stuff from potential suitors.  It's better to be more careful, then regretful.  I will admit that one time i didn't Google a man that asked me out last year.  Only because my older cousin knew him and vouched for him. That was good enough for me.  We went out a couple of times, but the distance factor eventually got the best of the situation. So yesterday i decided to Google him. All i can say is that i wish i had done that last year.  I was pleasantly surprised! So I texted "TL" to basically let him know that all the while we went out, i had absolutely no idea who he was (lol).   And then that made me think of the flip side of things.  Would i prefer the element of surprise or just knowing someone's background BEFORE i went out with him? I'm still on the fence about that one. I jokingly told "TL" that had I known who he was before i went out with him, i probably would have never gone out with him in the first place.  I don't date athletes anymore. 

So back to these background checks and such. My cousin in Vegas who's like my brother, we are on the same page as far as checking in on potential suitors.  We both said to play it safe from the very beginning.  A couple other friends of mine says that she would wait a few months, then check. Another friend asked me what would i be looking for if i did a check?  Marcus, who's more than a friend, but not a "boyfriend", gave me an interesting response.  "The bottom line is you can't trust a background check.  That shows past history and can't guarantee future behavior.  You're still taking a chance." He continues, "Even in the stock market they use the disclaimer that past performance doesn't guarantee future performance." That about sums it up.  

So at the end of the day, the question remains.  Is it ok to do a background check/Google search, or should you just go with the flow? In doing a background check, are we looking to hold people's past behaviors against them? I guess it all depends on the situation.  A good friend of mine, who's also a single mother with a son, seems to be on the same page as i am.  It's better to be safe, than sorry.  Again, every situation is different, but whatever position you choose to take, i hope that in the end, you're happy with your decision. 

Until next time,