Dating can be scary. You have to put yourself out there to succeed in dating. It’s easy to feel anxious or to want to withdraw, and online dating in particular has been shown to lower self-esteem and contribute to depression. Yet attitude is extremely important in dating — creating a sort of Catch-22 for nervous daters. And long after the first date is history, maintaining a relationship can still feel like a high-wire act. It takes work and trust to keep our meaningful relationships strong.
Unfortunately, all of this can make us vulnerable. Diving headfirst into dating means meeting a lot of strangers, especially in the era of online dating. Trusting others in relationships can mean hurt and betrayal on all sorts of levels. How can you balance being outgoing and being safe? How can you balance trust and truth in dating and relationships?
Scary times for the dating set
It has never been tougher to protect yourself. Online dating means meeting a lot of people we don’t really know, no matter how long we’ve spent chatting with them online. The frightening truth is that some of the strangers on dating apps are dangerous. Some of the people who have looked for romance online have instead found con artists who have robbed them of tens of thousands of dollars. Others have encountered murderers.
We know people lie in online dating profiles, but there could be much more at stake than dates who are a few inches shorter than they claimed to be. There could be serious danger awaiting you in the world of online dating, and “real-world” dating is not much safer.
Love and betrayal
When love blossoms and you enter a committed relationship, you can usually (though by no means always) assume that your partner is not a psychopath or a con artist. But there are still ways in which your partner can hurt and betray you, and you need to be careful.
People cheat in relationships for all sorts of reasons, and while the rate of marital infidelity is down from its high, plenty of spouses (and boyfriends and girlfriends) are cheating. You need to trust your partner, but what can you do when you begin to suspect that they’re not worthy of that trust? How can you balance your need for the truth with your desire to have a trusting relationship?
Whether you’re meeting a date for the first time or are trying to maintain a long-term relationship, you need to protect yourself. Too many dangers are out there — be they financial, physical, or emotional — for you to leave yourself exposed.
You need to trust your intuition, use your common sense, and keep your personal and emotional safety in mind. Don’t meet strangers in private places, don’t give away personal information early in a relationship, and don’t assume that anyone, no matter who they are, is incapable of harming you.
When you fear that there might be a dark truth to uncover, don’t ignore it. If your fears are correct, you could be putting yourself in danger or setting yourself up for emotional devastation. If your fears are wrong, you could be destroying your chance at love or your relationship from the inside out by allowing your suspicions to fester rather than simply learning once and for all whether they are true or not.
You deserve the truth, and professionals can give it to you. Experts in background checks and private investigations can help you with a people search, background check, phone lookup, location check, or even surveillance. These services can give you a sneak peek at any secrets a would-be date or longtime partner might be trying to hide from you.
Should you surveil your spouse constantly? Should you demand the Social Security numbers of anyone you’re thinking about dating? Of course not. But following an intuition is not the same thing as forcing a partner to live under a permanent cloud of suspicion, and common-sense safety and security measures are not the same thing as paranoia. If you take care of yourself and rely on the professionals to unearth the truth when you need it most, you’ll be able to place your trust in the right people with confidence.