Kinda Catfish

If you are reading this and thinking that “catfish” refers to an actual fish, then I’m assuming you haven’t been in the online dating game very long (or at all) and/or have been living under a rock. But never fear, I’ll bring you up to speed with the 21st century…

A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not online to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. If you have been deceived by a catfish, then you’ve been catfished. The term really caught on with (or maybe even originated from) the movie Catfish, which was then spun off into MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show. Then when Manti Te’o was catfished, I think people started to realize, “oh shit, if this could happen to a star football player at a good college…then maybe it could happen to me too.”  Want to read up more on the background of the word catfish? Here‘s a good article. Still confused? This synopsis of a Catfish: The TV Show episode should help: watch here.

catfish1

Watch the summary of this episode here.

Clearly, catfishing is a huge dating problem. The thing is, it tends to happen to those who are okay with talking to someone for weeks without ever meeting other person… and I barely have the patience to chat for a few days.  Needless to say, I’ve never been completely catfished (meaning: the person I’d been talking to was a totally different guy than who he claimed to be).  That said, I – along with tons of other online daters I know – have been kinda catfished (meaning: the person I’d been talking to was real but his profile terribly misrepresented what he was actually like).

There are plenty of ways that this happens, but here are the most common ones I see..

Height

Probably the most common occurrence of the “kinda catfish” problem is exaggeration of height.  Look, it’s one thing to tell someone it’s 3:30 when it’s actually 3:28, but it is a completely different thing to say you are 5’10” when you are really 5’8″.  That’s the difference between wearing heels and wearing flats to the first date.  Bottom line: just list your true height, daters.

6 feet

Looks

I totally get that people deliberately choose their best photos for dating profiles – or any online profile, for that matter.  I do it, you do it, everyone does it.  But c’mon, people, at least choose pictures that resemble the way you look today.  If you are balding, then don’t post photos from when you had a full head of hair.  If you have gained weight, then don’t be choosing pictures from when you were 30 pounds lighter.  And as a general rule, you probably shouldn’t be including any photos taken over five years ago (that’s being conservative).  Bottom line: go ahead and make yourself look good, but make sure it looks like the way you look today.

muscly

Personality

As someone who doesn’t exactly enjoy the whole messaging and texting part of online dating prior to the first date, it’s the best when someone has some wit or humor to make it all more bearable.  Heck, it’s great when they can simply just carry on a basic conversation so it doesn’t feel like I am pulling teeth the entire time.  So you can imagine the disappointment when this person is dull and blah in person.  Bottom line: don’t suck in person.

bored1

So, daters, take this opportunity to review your online profiles.  Give it to a friend to review if you need to.  Just don’t be catfishing anyone… even if it’s just kinda.

 

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No Strings Attached

I’m sure most of you have had an experience where you were seeing a guy (or girl, whoever) you were into and may had even seen the possibility for a potential relationship with that person. You started out dating and things were going great, but then you eventually realized that you’d been doing a whole lot of the casual hang outs and staying in (usually in bed) with that person more than you went out on dates together. Before long, you felt like you had become more of a hookup to this guy/gal than someone that person actually wanted a relationship with.  Can I get an Amen?

amen

This scenario has happened to me before (ahem, my first Hinge guy and at least one other Chris), and it totally sucks.  Well, I should clarify and say it sucked because I actually wanted more than a hookup.  This post is a similar tale of dating-turned-hookup, except I got exactly what I wanted.  Allow me to explain…

After my Bumble fails, I took a break from dating for a few months.  Then in October, I matched with a guy on Hinge who was immediately hilarious to chat with.  I typically can’t stand the messaging part of online dating, but this guy made it more than bearable.  We swapped numbers and soon had a first date scheduled.

Only Dating Problem: Kinda Catfish

The issue wasn’t that he didn’t look like his profile picture.  In fact, he was actually taller than the height he listed, and he looked as attractive as I had expected.  However, his humor from our messages did not carry over into real life. At first I thought it was nerves, but nothing changed after three dates.  What’s worse is that not only did he not make me laugh, but he just didn’t laugh in general.  His goofy level was probably a 1.5 out of 10, and so it was a total letdown from a dating perspective.

no laugh

Ok, so I mentioned I went on three dates with him… but it didn’t take me that long to realize he wasn’t my person.  However, that didn’t discourage me from continuing to see him.  It might make sense if I divulge the progression of our dates and how it led to where things went.

First Date Makeout

This guy was a great kisser.  Not only that: he was great at making out.  Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that the same thing?”  NO!  While being an amazing kisser is half the battle, there are a few little underrated moves that end up going a long way:

When the guy has his hand behind your head and pulls you closer.

pulls closer kiss

Take another pointer from Ryan Gosling

When he touches your face while making out.

hands on face kiss

Sensual, eh?

And if things get more heated… When he ventures outside of just kissing your lips (woah, kiddos, all of this is happening above the waist, cool down!).

Obviously there is more to it than this to be a skilled makeout bandit, but I’m not teaching a kissing class here.  All I’m saying is that if you like to kiss people you should not forget these small things.  So basically, this Hinge fellah pulled out all these moves on me, which not only left me swooning, but he also had me thinking he would probably be pretty great in bed.

Second Date Hookup Hookups

We went to a bar near his place for our second date, and afterwards we went back to his place. For approximately half a second I thought I’d try to be a proper lady and keep my clothes on, but then I realized I’m a grown ass woman who will do what she wants!  So we tore each other’s clothes off, and I was far from disappointed with what I saw.  We did adult things, and for the first time since the Hinge guy I really liked back in 2013, I finally found someone who could get it right. Very right.

that's right

The First (Planned) Booty Call

Thanksgiving was that same week, but we were both back in the city that Saturday and had plans to do our separate things… but we also made plans to meet up later.  And it was a mutual understanding that later = after the bars start to close and there’s nowhere to go but bed.  That time rolled around, we were back in touch to figure out location, and soon enough he was in my bed.  For him being the first guy I’d slept with since that Happn guy back in March, I had to wonder why I let my dry spell go on for so many months when getting a good lay could actually be so simple and convenient.

what like its hard

Consistent Booty Calls

We got dinner once more after that (date #3), and it did nothing but confirm that he was not my person and delay what we both were really wanting at the end of the night.  So since then, we just skip right to the point.  We only talk on weekends after at least 7pm to put the initial feelers out there, and then we only see each other after we’re both done with our nights.  The only exception was one Sunday when he had his apartment to himself, so I went over in the middle of the day when we were both sober and took advantage of that opportunity.

Since New Years rolled around, we haven’t seen each other.  We have both reached out to each other several times, but neither of us are ever in the same area at the same time.  I suppose I could always go out of my way, but I haven’t really had a use for him lately… I’ll get to that in my next post.

suspense

Picky Dater Meets Picky Eater

No more than 15 minutes after examining the sidewalk with my first date, I was off to the bar where I was going meet my second date of the evening. Now, if you’ll recall, I was way more excited for date #1 than #2, and seeing how fabulously that went, you can imagine how super thrilled I was to spend time with someone I was already not overly interested in. Whatever, I sucked it up and figured at least this date would involve alcohol.

there will be alcohol

Problem #1: Kinda Catfish
Guys lie about their height; that’s something I have just come to accept. But this guy was really doing himself an injustice with how blatantly he lied in this category. When he approached me at the bar, I don’t think there is any possibility that I could’ve masked the disappointment on my face. He listed himself as 5’8″, but he was shorter than me. Mind you, I’m 5’5″ and was wearing flats, so there is zero possibility that he was 5’8″.

best liar award

To make matters worse, he was thin and just clearly didn’t spend much time lifting at the gym.  I am not looking for a GTL Ronnie character by any means, but I also don’t want to feel like I am dating a freshman in high school.  Sorry for being a bitch, but I would prefer if onlookers didn’t immediate think that I was taking advantage of an innocent underage boy.  If he had a similar body as the Hinge guy I liked last year who stood at 5’7″, then this date may have been off to a little bit better start.  But he didn’t, and when I explained what he was like to my friends afterwards, I said it in the type of voice you would use when describing a cute puppy or an adorable baby. He was just so little and precious!

Seriously though, I think it’s time that I lie and say I’m 5’9″.

Problem #2: Food Compatibility

As part of my picky regiment when perusing online dating sites, I systematically weed out all the vegans, vegetarians, and obsessive-compulsive healthy eaters. I figure the remaining bunch that I’m left with is similar to me and will eat pretty much anything.  This guy didn’t answer the “Diet” question on OKC, but in one of his earlier messages to me he referenced chicken parm and pizza, so I took that to mean that our food compatibility was high.

Like I said, I got there first and went to the bar because I assumed we were just going to do a low-key drinks-only date.  After he arrived, he asked if I wanted to get a table (note: if you get a table at this place, you are obliged to get something to eat too).  Just drinks was a-okay with me, but he practically insisted that we get a table.  I was super hungry, so pshhh, I wasn’t going to fight him on it.

im starving

I had eaten at this bar a number of times before, and everything from the apps to the entrees to the sides were incredible.  Let me list off a sampling of a few of my personal favorites:

  • Mussels with the most amazing sauce
  • Cheese fondue with melt-in-your-mouth pretzel bread
  • Sweet potato gnocchi that requires no further explanation
  • The burger definitely makes my top 10 in the city
  • Brussel sprouts that stink up the room but are literally everything

Remember, that’s just my list of favorites; it doesn’t include other amazing dishes like their bomb cheese & charcuterie plate, the beef tartare, or the oysters.  I was sure that he was going to have a field day once he took a look at this menu, but his reaction was seriously lacking the ooh‘s and ahh‘s that I was expecting.  I rambled off my recommendations, told him that I was totally up for trying any of the other items on the menu, but yet, there was no reaction from him.  It looked like he was intensely studying the menu, and then finally he looked up and said, “I’m a really picky eater.”

Hmmm… okay.  That’s fine.  I used to be a picky eater when I was younger.  I can deal with this.  I tried to get a sense for what he liked to eat:

Me: “Ok, so what kinds of food do you like?”
Him: “Cinnamon sugar.”

laugh at that

Me (laughing inside): “Oh…. what do you mean?”
Him: “Well, every morning I have a cinnamon sugar bagel.  Then every day for lunch I have a peanut butter sandwich with cinnamon raisin bread.”

Red flags.  Red flags everywhere.  I’m all for routine…. but holy shit.  I didn’t believe that he had this every day, but he confirmed it.  He eats a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.  Every. Single. Day.

Me: “So then what do you have for dinner?”
Him: “Chicken.”
Me (somewhat relieved… or so I thought): “Oh nice.  How do you usually make it?”
Him: “Idk.  The normal way, I guess.” (I ask him to clarify.) “Like on the stove.” (Pulling teeth to get more details.) “With pepper.” (OMG.) “I also like chicken parm a lot.”

I decided to settle with that answer, and then we got back to the menu.  Since I was okay eating anything, I told him to pick something he liked.  With the expression he was making, you would have thought that the restaurant was offering a Fear Factor-like delicatessen.  He needed some help.

Me: “It looks like they have chicken wings; those are probably good.  The warm pretzels with mustard and cheese seems pretty simple.  Or if you are more of a salad kind of person, then I’m sure you’ll like any of these. Oh!  And this one has goat cheese on it!  Anything with goat cheese is amazing.”
Him: “I’ve never had goat cheese.”
Me: “WHAAAT!?!  Why?!”
Him: “I don’t like how it comes from a goat.” (I’m confused.)  “It’s just weird.  I’d rather it come from a cow.”
Me: “So what kind of cheese DO you like? American?”
Him: “Mozzarella.”

embarrassing yourself

The cheese situation ruled out a good chunk of the menu, so he finally decided upon something: the chicken wings and a side order of fries.  Eventually, we found our way back onto the conversation of his food habits.

Me: “Other than chicken and cinnamon sugar, what else do you eat?  Like do you ever eat vegetables?
Him: “Yeah, but only mild vegetables.  Such as carrots and squash.”
Me: “Mild? So what constitutes itself as an, um, intense vegetable…? Like asparagus?”
Him: “Actually, asparagus would be closer to mild.” (Shocking, because I’d consider it to be more intense.) “But like broccoli and spinach.”

The food came, and as expected, it was awesome.  The wings did have a bit of an unexpected kick, but nothing unbearable by any means – and trust me, I don’t handle spicy very well.  He, on the other hand, was struggling.  It was literally painful watching him try to eat them.  By the end of the meal, I had finished at least 5 wings clean to the bone.  He…barely finished one.

too hot food

Problem #3: Dull

I’ll keep this brief because I have already ripped on this guy enough.  Let’s just say that my fascination in his picky eating habits was the most interesting thing about him.  He had never traveled outside of the country, he didn’t play any sports, and he didn’t seem to have any hobbies.  From what I gathered, his routine consists of waking up, going to work, eating a peanut butter sandwich, getting home, watching the Amazing Race, and going to bed.

taking naps a hobby

All this being said, I do want to say that my date was a total sweetheart.  He seemed really nervous throughout the date but was a complete gentleman throughout.  I was actually VERY insistent that I pay for the entire bill, but he was adamant on treating me… to everything – even though he ate practically nothing.  So despite the fact that I am a horrible person for exposing all of the negatives about my dates, this guy really was a very genuine person who does deserve credit for that.

Oh, and he didn’t judge me at all when I got the leftover wings and fries wrapped for lunch the next day…

leftovers