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| Dating and Networking

01/27/14

Check and Mate: Online dating has its shortcomings and safety could be one of them

For those searching for love, you may be in the right place but just pursuing the wrong person.
Online dating is all the social networking and media rage when it comes to finding that special someone as busy adults turn to the wonder that is the world wide web and sites like Match.com or eHarmony.com.
Gone are the days, for the most part, of blind dates or fix ups and in its place is what some would call a more clear cut path to dating bliss. Dating sites don't fool around with serendipity or chance and instead implement a series of talking points as starting points to match you with someone who shares similar interests.
Those sites pride themselves on their matchmaking ability and even incorporate their success rate into their marketing campaign. Match.com tells any relationship starved prospective member that most of their customers end up getting married thanks to the web site.
The idea that you can meet your future husband or wife on the internet truly shows just how much dating has changed in the last few decades, and some would argue for the better. Online dating is direct and appeals to a busier lifestyle and someone who simply can't find the time to date traditionally.

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Then again, there's the flip side to trying to meet someone initially without actually meeting them.
So how exactly do you determine right or wrong when it comes to dating?
That's where some online dating consumers get themselves into trouble. But to be clear, those who use online dating sites ethically and correctly aren't the issue, but rather others who take part in this particular medium to falsify information or put forth bogus likes, dislikes and even pictures.
Even if someone is being totally honest about themselves, who is say they don't have character issues, flaws or a background that is a tad questionable.
The popularity of online dating would suggest that it's not going anywhere any time soon, so the real onus falls back on the users, the ones who are signing up for Match.com or eHarmony will the best intentions in mind.
It's up to those mindful users to mediate conversations, monitor who they're talking with and make sure they're adept at warning signs that they might not be dealing with the right person.
Sean Shahrokhi is the Director of Project Management for Instant Checkmate, a web site that allows you to perform background checks to ensure the person you're in the midst of conversing with isn't someone you should be avoiding at all costs.
Instant Checkmate affords customers the opportunity to do multiple checks on people for a modest monthly fee or can simply purchase one report at a time.
In addition to checking out a person before the online dating turns into a full blown relationship, Shahrokhi, is quick to remind users of these sites to be mindful of not only who they're talking to but what these people might ask.
"Most predators will ask for financial data and information, which should be a red flag, even when dating is not involved," Shahrokhi said.
Even when specifics aren't discussed or financial data requested, online scamming can take many forms, particularly when it comes to dating and the pursuit of an immediate time or place to meet.
"One of the first red flags that most people experience on an online dating web site is the rush to communicate via instant messaging or email, using a medium that is completely outside the purview of the dating service itself," Shahrokhi cautions.
Another sure fire flaw when it comes to online dating, Shahrokhi warns, is a user name from one person that changes frequently or if the topic of conversation tends to make you feel uncomfortable or doesn't seem consistent with normal banter.
What InstantCheckmate.com gives its customers who also dabble in online dating is piece of mind and the ability to make decisions knowing that the person they're interest in doesn't, for example, have a criminal record or is still married. Nothing kills a first date like showing up and finding out the person you've been talking to online is already taken.
And with that, your quest for love continues.

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