Looking online for 'Mr. Right', screening for 'Mr. Wrong'

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The dating world has changed. Instead of couples meeting through mutual friends or work, many are now meeting strangers online. But, how much can you trust? New applications are being created so you can learn more about the person in front of the computer.

Like many women, Melody Johnson was tired of waiting for "Mr. Right." She took matters in her own hands, creating profiles on Cupid.com and Match.com.

One compatibility match named Brad, caught her attention, and the communication lines were opened.

"[We began] emailing and then we started talking on the phone," said Johnson. "And, when I found out he could cook I asked him if he would marry me."

With so many avenues available, millions of single men and women are shopping for their perfect mate. But licensed counselor, Dr. Gayle Burress warns that meeting online can create false intimacy.

"I think people want instant relationships and instant intimacy," said Burress. "Whereas solid relationships depend on time."

To make sure you are falling for who they claim to be, you could do a background check. I-phone apps like Stud or Dud and Are They Really Single are available for download. And, data company Intelius is offering Date Check, which features a "sleaze detector." For a package price you can even check their criminal history.

"I would want to know: Who are you? And, who are your people? And, by the way, do you have a criminal record?" said Burress.

Johnson agrees that you have to be smart about online dating. Never give out your personal info and always meet someone in public after you've communicated awhile.

But for her, it paid off. She and Brad were married in '06 and they have a two-year-old son together.

"I had just prayed and said, 'Ok, I'm done doing this. This is what the guy has to do. He has to do this, this and this. And, he has to be this, this, this,'" said Johnson. "And, about a week later, I met Brad and it was everything listed and he was."

Research shows Date Check to have mixed reviews online. Some people said the information was inaccurate.

But, Dr. Burress says it can't hurt to check-up on somebody, and always make sure your privacy settings are on.

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