Have you ever been ‘catfished?’

 

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Yesterday on one of the judge shows there was a case where a young guy was suing a young girl for the cost of his trip out to visit her.  He said he met her on Facebook (in a group where they began to share recipes and chat) and had been ‘in love’ with her, thinking they were in a relationship for the last several months.  He purchased a plane ticket to her town, booked a hotel and now wanted a refund.  He said that she misrepresented herself and did not look like her photo.

The young woman admitted that she posted a photo of her friend on her profile but had no intentions of dating this man.  She said they were just friends and were NOT in a relationship at all.

Now, I have not watched the show called Catfish but I have heard that it is a show where people are tricked (with cameras rolling, of course) by members of the opposite sex (hopefully) through online dating (please correct me if I’m wrong about what goes on on the show).  The show’s website has this as a definition:

catfish [kat-fish] verb: To pretend to be someone you’re not online by posting false information, such as someone else’s pictures, on social media sites usually with the intention of getting someone to fall in love with you.

The judge (I think her name is Karen) was confused by why the young man thought he was ‘dating’ the young woman when he had never even talked to her on the telephone.  She kept saying, “Aren’t there women in your hometown?  Why do you need the internet?”

She is obviously not living in 2014 where most singles are online or meeting through dating apps, but her main question was valid.

HOW CAN YOU THINK YOU ARE IN LOVE WHEN YOU HAVE NEVER MET???

With shows like Catfish and the new show “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male” there is NO EXCUSE for falling for someone when you have no idea if they are who they say they are.  This guy only had chats and emails, not even one phone conversation, yet he spent hundreds of dollars to visit the woman he thought he loved.

Granted the photo of the woman’s friend was very hot, but when she refused to even let him call her or skye or anything, he should have been suspicious.

The real girl looking nothing like the friend’s photo.  She was slightly overweight, had brown hair and an average build.  Her friend was a blonde model.  She said that her friend had no problem with her using her likeness and even wanted her pictures out there more.

I can’t remember how the judge ruled on the case.  Do you think the man should have been reimbursed?  He flew miles in the hopes of finally connecting with his ‘love’ and she was not only a different woman than she represented herself to be, she didn’t even profess to have any interest in him, like it was all a joke.

I think on some smaller level, a lot of us have been fooled by online photos or representation in a person’s profile.

I remember meeting a guy that I had been corresponding with and chatting with on the phone for about a month.  We were very excited about each other and felt an instant connection.  He was so easy to talk to.  But unfortunately, though I had one photo of him from the dating site, when we met in person, he looked totally different to me!  The photo was not inaccurate in hindsight.  It just represented a moment in time that caught him at a certain angle.  It WAS him.  But he was sitting in the photo and I thought he was taller.  He also didn’t have braces in the photo and he now did.  And maybe his hair was different.  I don’t know, he just didn’t live up to the image I had built up of him in my head (based on the one photo I had to go on).  I felt no chemistry or attraction in person.

I always recommend my matchmaking and dating coaching clients post at least three photos (five is good) on their online dating sites.

But regardless of how many photos you think you have of the person, you must MEET them fairly quickly or you are wasting your time.  Things may flow over the phone or by email and text, but that does not mean you will hit it off in person.

And more importantly, singles, do yourself a favor and make sure you do not invest your heart until:

1) You have met at least a few times in person and really gotten to know the person’s character

2) They have started to invest their feelings into the relationship as well (until you talk about exclusivity, assume they are not only seeing you).

Check out my “Dating Talk with Kiki Strickland” blogtalk radio show for more tips on online dating.

  • Catfish: The TV Show is an American reality-based docu-series television series airing on MTV about the truths and lies of online dating. The series is based on the 2010 film Catfish and is hosted by Nev Schulman. Wikipedia
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