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Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.


Interview with Sandy Heart of Check Out a Date - Part 1

I presented a talk on the psychological and technological aspects of compatibility testing at the iDate conference in LA earlier this summer. After the talk, I was pleased to meet Sandy Heart, the operator of a service called “Check Out a Date.”  Safety and security issues continue to be top of mind for online daters (especially women), and they should be. Predators of all types, online or offline, look for opportunities to prey on others. Everyone should be on guard when getting to know others. You can read more here on online dating safety: <insert link of choice here>. Services like “Check Out a Date” aim to help people date more wisely. In keeping with my promise to conduct more industry interviews and to strive for consumer education, I’m presenting a targeted interview with Sandy Heart,

This article is neither an endorsement of the service by me nor by Online Dating Magazine. I look forward to any comments or feedback you have.

What is your business "Check Out a Date," and how does it work?


My business “Check Out a Date” provides three types of background checks depending on the level you are in the dating process. Orders are placed through the website for one of the types of background checks.

Due to the mobility of our society singles do not always live in the communities where they have friends or relatives that can vouch for their dates (even then they may not know the whole story). This is particularly true after taking new jobs after graduation from college, moving to new cities, in the case of retirees living in “snowbird” (retirement) communities and especially online dating.


#1 FIRST DATE                            $39.95
 Basic Identity Verification
 Legal Full name
 Local Criminal record

 #2 INTERESTED                         $99.95
  What else should I know?
  Legal Full name
  Local Criminal record
  Previous address history
  Marriage and Divorce records
  Children and child support

  #3 LONG TERM KEEPER      $249.95
  What I really need to know!
  Legal Full name
  Home ownership
  Property ownership
  Marriage and Divorce records
  Children and child support
  Nationwide criminal history
  Civil Lawsuits
  Business Ownership
  Bankruptcy, Liens, Small claim judgments


With so many choices for identity verification and background checks on the market today, what makes your approach different or more effective?

There are companies that do background check, but only a few that are specific to singles. As a dating single myself, I take a personal hands on approach to insure the identity and integrity of the person I am doing the background check for. Some companies advertise that they offer “free” background checks then forward you to some other site – they are portals and often get paid just for sending your business to a third party. There is a new app (application) for iPhones & Palm Pre called “Date Check” that is being promoted as providing an instant FREE (which the app is) background checks but the background check is not free and is actually done by a division of Intelius. When orders are placed on my site either I or one of my employees does the research - we are of the Nordstrom (personalized service) of the background check industry. Your inquiries and financial information are secure and not shared with anyone. My company also provides dating safety tips and recommended links to other sites related to dating on my website and blog.


Can't a dater simply "Google" a person's name and retrieve almost the same types of information that you provide?

Yes, the information acquired is available all over the internet - knowing where to find it is the key! You would have to do a lot of research on many different sites to provide the depth of information that “Check Out a Date” can provide. We contract with databases and private detectives that supply the same information that pre-employment background checks provide. It is important to make sure you are getting the correct information about the right person. There is also the level of computer competency, not everyone has the capability or level of comfort on the computer to find the information, this often true of the senior daters re-entering dating after the death of a spouse or divorce.

Do you want to learn more about background screening and online dating?  Stayed tuned as the next month I present Part 2 of my interview with “Check Out a Date” and Sandy Heart. In the mean time, please email me with any personal experiences you’ve had with background check companies and the results they provided.

Interview withSandy Heart - Part 2


Dr. James Houran's "Office Hours with Dr. Jim" column is published every Monday.

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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