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I just recently had a split with a girl I'd been talking to online for several months, and I need some outside input as to whether this girl was a faker or if she was real and I screwed it up.

 

So back in February I was playing around on Hot or Not. I connected with this girl, and decided to reach out and say hi. She said hi back, and over the next few weeks things just seemed to take off from there. We talked about all kinds of stuff. From early February through early June, we messaged each other every few hours, 7 days a week. That's right, we never went one single day without messaging, and when we happened to be on at the same time we would often chat for hours. So anyway, she lives down in St. Cloud, FL and I live in Spokane, WA but I decided to chat with her because I'd made plans to move to her general locale in a couple years.

 

So about 2 and a half months into it, I bring up the idea of meeting in person when I fly down there this fall for my vacation. She likes the idea and is all for it. We had been chatting for a couple months at this point and things had really started taking a more romantic turn; she would ask how in the hell I'm not already married, where I've been hiding her whole life, and I'd say that I didn't know if it was too much to ask for to hope that a girl 3000 miles away would work out but I was willing to see, and that kind of thing. So I mention that since we've been talking for almost 3 months and have talked about meeting (I even laid out the specific range of dates I would be down there and we talked about what we'd do), I thought it was time we swapped numbers and had a phone conversation or texted, or at least exchanged full names and Facebook. I even offered up my full name, cell number, and the link to my Facebook. She replied "lol Mr your too cute!" I figured I was jumping the gun so I let it slide for a week or so. But then I asked her why she was so averse to swapping numbers or full names or what-not, and that I was sorry if I moved too fast. I told her that I could understand if she didn't yet trust me as we hadn't met in person, and if she would just talk to me I would understand. I said that the way she would subtly redirect whenever I brought it up was a bit suspicious, and if she was not comfortable with telling me personal info then she could send a selfie of her holding a piece of paper with my name on it and that would verify that she is for real without giving up her info. Talking as long as we'd talked, about the things we'd talked about, and feeling the way I did, I had to know if this was for real or not. She replied the next day. She told me that she got a bit paranoid after the whole thing with this cop she'd met. She told me she'd chatted with him and they met at her work one night. Then he would show up every night just to check on things. Pulled her over in the parking lot after work one time, ran her plates, and then showed up at her house to check on a noise disturbance, and that's when she moved. For the next few weeks, wherever she went, he'd be there. and that's how she got freaked at giving out info. And that's why she prefers to exchange numbers in person. As far as the Facebook thing goes, "honestly mr I don't even have any pics on there and I only have like 8 friends and they're family." She did not address the selfie idea. all she said was "Aww Mr you're so sweet...I promise you I'm 100% real."

 

Now at this point I was so into her and afraid of ruining it that I honestly believed her and told her I'm glad she talked to me about it and that I would never doubt her again. But I didn't really buy the Facebook thing (i did not say this to her) because there is not a 25 year old girl in the world who looks like she does and doesn't have a ton of pics on facebook as well as a small army of friends. So we keep on chatting.

 

Now early on, she sent me 2 selfies directly. I would occasionally ask for more, and she would respond one of three ways: 1) lol aww your sweet, 2) lol Mr its dark outside you couldn't see anything, or 3) I'll try to take some this weekend. And the selfies she did send were set on timed view, meaning I could only view them for 10 seconds then they disappeared. I asked her why she did that and she said she didn't know how to change that setting. Her profile itself typically had 3 unique pics on it, and two which were edited copies of 2 of those 3. I asked her why she didn't just put her other selfies on her profile and she said she used to but had too many crazies messaging her. I could buy that one because there's a lot of shady and guys who send pics online.

 

I, on the other hand, sent her lots of pics, which she always loved. She would ask for more whenever she knew I'd be going out somewhere. Keep in mind that at this time I had a flip phone so I had to usually have someone else snap pics and email them to me, but I always found a way to get pics to her. When I graduated college this last May

 

This name thing troubled me. About two weeks into our chats, I asked her what her profile name was short for. She said it was just made up, and that her real name was Sarah. About 3 weeks later, she asks if Don is my real name. i say yes it is, and she says hers is Stella. I ask her about the contradiction, and she says Stella is her first name, and Sarah is her middle name and the one she usually goes by. Now at this point I was into it and afraid to rock the boat so i let it slide, plus she is Italian and that actually is a thing among Italian girls. So yeah when Google+ said her name was kat that really made me suspicious.

 

She had told me a few things about herself early on, like how she worked as a night shift manager at Choice hotels, lived in one of the rooms of that hotel, liked to go out dancing at night when she was not working. She also said she likes to sneak out to the beach at night (BTW it is illegal in the state of FL to be on the beach at night), and that she had 7 siblings, and a few other things like how she was thinking about going to law school after another year had passed. I asked what her favorite drink was, and she said she didn't drink alcohol, which is a little odd for someone who goesout clubbing, but not unheard of. She asked me what mine was and I said Fireball. She didn't know what it was, so I told her and a couple hours later she messages me saying she asked her cousin about it and he said it was good. I found it odd that someone who worked as a hotel manager and had worked part time at a bar as a promoter would not know what Fireball was. i would ask her how old her siblings were, and what each of them did, and she typically would ignore the question. She mentioned she was from NYC originally. I asked her if she would ever consider moving back up there. She said she'd love to, but it would be hard to convince mommy to move again after they moved down there to get away from the cold, so the most she could do was come up and visit me during the summers, "but then that's better than nothing lol." Now this really struck me as strange. First off, that's better than nothing?? Second, why would she need her mother to move up there with her? Third, if she works in the hotel business in orlando of all places, she would know that sumers are slammed and there is no way she could leave for an entire summer. She had even mentioned before how busy summers were, and that's why we decided I would fly there in october. Also, when I asked her why she had to have mommy's permission to leave, she said that she loves her family more than anything, and that the grocery bill to support them was 600 a week. I found this strange because she said her siblings ranged from 18-30 years old and only a few of them lived down in that area. Also, hotel night managers at Choice Hotels typically make around 45-50k a year, nowhere near enough to afford the 1500 rent she said she paid plus 2400 a month for food. But I let it slide. Plus she also had mentioned moving away for law school so the whole bit about being stuck down there with family doesn't really jive. She also said that she sleeps like the dead during the day, but would always be up around the clock to message me, or would always go out shopping with her sisters. The Hot or Not app syncs with your GPS, and she would always be all over the greater Orlando area during the day, too.

 

So anyway, one day in early June, a buddy is really harping on me to make her skype or talk on the phone before I fly down there. I am defensive at first, but eventually agree. At this very moment, she messages me to say she can't believe I'm leaving for a week and she doesn't know what she'll do without being able to message me. BTW that week I flew to Minneapolis for training at my new job. So the next morning, I message her the usual good mornig beautiful and all that. I then ask her if she would do me a small favor. i ask her to write my name down on a sheet of paper and take a selfie of her holding that sheet of paper. I tell her that I am not saying i don't trust her, and I hate to ask this of her, but if I'm gonna fly 3000 miles to meet her I need to protect myself and have to have more than a first name and profile pic. I say that I understand her fear of giving out personal info, but that this is a compromise that would verify her without giving up her info. I say that I'm not like that cop, plus I'm 3000 miles away and even if I did have her name and number there wouldn't be anything I could do with it. And that it was only fair since I told her exactly who I was, and that all she offered in return was her promise that she is 100% real. I reiterate that its not that I don't trust her, but I have buddies in my ear and I hear all these stories about catfishing. I emphasize that I don't even want her personal info; this pic will prove she's who she says without giving her info up. She immediately replies "lol true...and i totally understand where you're coming from Mr." so I immediately send her several pics of me in Minneapolis, along with one of me holding a paper with her name on it, asying that I would not ask anything of her that I wouldn't do myself. She went silent for an entire week.

 

For the first two days of her silence, I just sent her the usual hey whats up, hope all is ok, and some funny pics and flirty banter. By day three, I start to worry that maybe I ruined things by pressing her too hard, so I send her an apology for not trusting her and being too forceful about the pic, and that I hope she can forgive me. No response, yet I knew she'd been online because 1) the app tells you when your connections are online, and 2) she had removed one of her profile pics. By day 5 I'm seriously freaking out and am pissed at my buddy for convincing to do this and screw up a thing with this awesome girl. So I message her some more of our usual banter, along with a 'why won't you cht with me anymore? ;(" Still nothing.

 

Day 6 rolls around and I'm drinking my blues away. I send her a couple of messages saying I guess I got my answer as to whether or not she was real, and that there was only 2 reasons why she would refuse to send that selfie and then go silent, and they are 1) she is not really single, or 2) she is not the girl in her pics. I tell her that it was partly my fault for being so gullible and getting so invested in this without any proof of her being real. I tell her that its ironic because she once told me that she felt bad for people who had to feel needed, yet here she was doing this for whatever reason. i tell her that even if she wasn't the girl in her pics, or if the pics were old or whatever, I still liked her because it was her personality i fell for not her pics. Still no reply. The next morning I say I guess you must have bblocked me, because you've clearly been online yet have not even read my messages. A few hours later I say "goodbye, i guess ;("

 

the next morning, just as I hit the block button, she messages me. So I unblock her to read it. She said: I didn't block you, my real name is Stella second name Sarah, and that is me in my profile pic. ..I'm glad you're doing good in life and I wish you all the best. Goodbye, Mr."

 

This broke my heart and sent me into panic mode, because at this point I'm still thinking I screwed up a good thing. Actually, I'm still not totally convinced that she wasn't for real. So i try to message her back, but she had deleted her profile so I couldn't. I sent a couple of messages to her gmail saying how sorry I was for jumping to conclusions like that and accusing her, and begged her forgiveness. Never heard back. A couple weeks later, and I send a message to her Tumblr saying that I was sorry, but that i also was not stupid, because there is only one reason why she would behave how she did when all i did was ask for a selfie. I said if she were truly for real, I was truly sorry and could she ever give me another chance. I said that if she were catfishing me, then would she mind telling me why? I told her i would not be mad, and that I liked her for her, not for some stupid profile pics. i asked that she at least respond one way or the other so I could have closure. Just a few days ago she finally read the message and blocked me.

 

Most of my friends say catfish, but I'm not so sure. Our conversations were so real. she never asked me for anything, I initiated the chats, not her, and it was my idea to fly down to her. i ran it by my sister and my sister took her side, saying I probably came accross as a psycho and that she was just being a girl by guarding her info. My sister said she would NEVER give out her name or number or Facebook to a guy online no matter how long they'd been chatting, at least not until after they'd met in person. She also said she would be freaked the out it a guy accused her of being fake and asked her for a unique photo, and that there is no way she would give him one. I told her to off, and to watch an episode of Catfish. She did, and later changed her tune, saying she could see both our sides, but she still didn't think the girl was being unreasonable. I said so wait, you don't think its weird that she would be freaked at giving out her number, name, or Facebook, but is perfectly ok with meeting in person? With a guy 3000 miles away? Any sane person would want to talk on the phone or skype first, at the very least. I then told her about the name discrepancy, and she said ok the more you tell me the more I think you might be right.

 

So what do you guys think?? I'm still on the fence, probably because i had my heart tied up in this. I mean, I could understand calling her a catfish if she tried to get something from me, but she was never anything but kind and sweet to me and never asked for a damn thing. And maybe I came off as obsessed with the messages i sent asking her forgiveness and then later accusing her of catfishing. But then there's things like the names, which you could let slide, but combined with the other stuff, i just don't know. I mean, if she was faking her pics and stuff, was she also faking her emotions and the compliments and encouragement she gave me?? That really hurts if she was. Before we stopped talking, I ran some of our chats by a friend, and she said she didnt think she was faking the emotion but something wasn't quite right. it also just doesn't make sense for her to totally delete her profile like that and then block me on Tumblr and ignore my gmail messages and google hangout requests. Was asking her for a pic really so bad that she would cut me out of her life like that? And if she truly felt the way she said she did, how could she just go cold like that? Unless it was all just some game to her and she was just laughing on the other end. i would like to hear what you all have to say.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To put it blunt, you're in denial about this entire thing. Even when the reality of it is staring you right in the face, you still have a second reason as to why this could be happening. You need to wake up and look at this situation as a whole like an adult. You are being catfished, it happens.

 

I've catfished quite a bit in my time as a teen and through my early 20s. In fact the Reddit IAMA I did on my 7 year catfishing story got somewhat pretty popular. She set off all of the obvious flags and you still for some reason blamed yourself because you thought you ruined something that was never going to happen. Doing that, right there, and not trusting your gut and not having enough confidence in your decision and in yourself makes it so easy to catfish guys like you. You instantly back down from the truth and it's easy to just move the conversation somewhere else while you automatically shame yourself in your head for even assuming to ask if this person is real or not despite all the signs. Just because you guys shared something real, just because you guys had a connection doesn't invalidate any possibility of that person being a catfish. They are still a person on the other end, just sometimes they lie about their face and in other times lie about their personal life as well. I can say this from experience, if someone is real and wants to meet you - they will meet you. If someone is real and is being told to send a proof picture by someone they regularly talk to - they will send a proof picture. The moment they start avoiding any sort of proof or validation of their identity then follow up with some crazy story that for reason specifically inhibits you from getting that kind of source of information or getting that sort of personal with someone is 9 times out of 10 a catfish. Bottom line. Not to mention all the other things this girl did.

 

You asked too many questions, you got too serious about meeting, and she cut you out to move on to another guy who won't ask so many questions and doesn't get serious about meeting. I've done it, all catfishes do it, it's just the endless cycle. It wasn't your fault, you didn't move too fast, you didn't pressure her or any of that other crap you keep feeding yourself. You were being catfished and unless you complied with being 100% gullible this was going to happen anyway.

 

Cut your losses and move on. Don't keep dwelling on it because she's not. She's probably talking to someone else by now pretending to be another girl since she deleted her last profile so you wouldn't talk to her anymore. Also the lack of voice chat probably means it's a dude. Just saying, almost all actual female catfishes will get on and talk unless their voice is noticeably older/more mature and they can't make it sound any different. It's the ones that don't talk or refuse to call or avoid it, it's those ones that are usually dudes.

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Thank you for yhe response. Its helpful.

 

do you mind if I ask why you catfished people? Was it an attention yhing, or a self image thing, or was it just for the fun of it. I think that a lot of times people who catfish dont intend any harm but they still end up hurting people. It may be a game to them but theyre messing with someones mind and emotions. And yes i ws naive to the whole thing but have wised up.

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Once she was not interested in talking by phone that was the only sign you needed. Anyone who wants to meet you in person will want to talk by phone very early on (or at the very least meet in person ASAP - I would never meet in person without a phone convo but some people do). There was obviously a part of you that was content to have the computer between you because that makes the fantasy part more prominent and the interaction more thrilling/exciting. I know you made plans to see her but the fact that you continued to interact when she wasn't enthusiastic about that tells me that part of you liked the thrill of the chase/fantasy. That's far more important than whether she was real -are you being honest with yourself about what you want?

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Im honest about what I want. I live 3000 mils away from this person so there was some significant planning for an in person meeting. I do thik you are right about me being hooked on the fantasy or idea of her. She had this awesome personality was cute but not conceitted and she happened to live in my dream city, which is far enough away to add an element of unobtainability to her. I think that without in person contact to anchor this in reality it is way too easy to elevate someone to an unrealistic pedestal in your mind. As far as having a computer between us, yes and no. No because i wanted to be with her in person and was completely honest about who i am and what i look like. Yes because i had just spent a couple years away from the gym due to a shoulder operation so i wss not my usual formidable self and needed a few months to hit yhe gym and get back into peak shape before i was completely comfortable with meeting. But honestly only maybe 3 weekes passed between the day she fed me the story about why she wont give her number or anything and our falling out, so it is not like i was just totally buying it or content to just sit there and let it remain online forever.

 

having said that, theres still a part of me that misses the idea of who i hought she was. Given the chance i would go back to chatting because i miss the personality, albeit without any expectation of anything more. That probably isnt healthy. In my cuurent situation i live in the middle of nowhere for the next 9 months due to my job so there is an isolation element at play. Im very social so not having my usual interactions is driving me crazy.

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"No because i wanted to be with her in person"

 

Your actions were not consistent with that goal so there's the disconnect. My advice -do not interact with someone where there is potential for a date until you are ready to meet in person ASAP. If you exchange more than a few emails with someone and there is no phone call, move on. If you have more than a few phone conversations and there is no time and place plan to meet in person ASAP, move on. Be strict with yourself if your goal is an actual relationship so that you don't give in to the fantasy part.

 

I'm sorry your job is geographically isolating. What I would do is find a volunteer activity that involves interacting with people within driving distance as a start to balancing the isolation with healthy interactions.

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This place im in is about 2 hours from my home city so i drive home on weekends. Yeahit was a tough situation with meeting that person. I started talking with her during my last semester of school so i had to graduate find a job and save a little money to fly down there. The thing with that kind of distance is that you cant really just up and fly down there. You have to plan ahead becauseof things like money andpto from work. Believe me if i could have gone there immediately i would have. Her response had been let me know when ur coming and we canwork something out. Since shes busy in the summer due to work (or so her original story went) so we decided on the last week of october. So yeah talking with her feeling the way i did it was really messing with me to have to wait several more months to see her. And honestly like i said earlier i was really getting a weird feeling about meeting her with nothing more to go on than a couple profile pics and a first name (or three).

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This place im in is about 2 hours from my home city so i drive home on weekends. Yeahit was a tough situation with meeting that person. I started talking with her during my last semester of school so i had to graduate find a job and save a little money to fly down there. The thing with that kind of distance is that you cant really just up and fly down there. You have to plan ahead becauseof things like money andpto from work. Believe me if i could have gone there immediately i would have. Her response had been let me know when ur coming and we canwork something out. Since shes busy in the summer due to work (or so her original story went) so we decided on the last week of october. So yeah talking with her feeling the way i did it was really messing with me to have to wait several more months to see her. And honestly like i said earlier i was really getting a weird feeling about meeting her with nothing more to go on than a couple profile pics and a first name (or three).

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I would agree. I take it a step further by not doing online dating. I will chat with someone now, but i wont consider the possibility of a relationship.

 

Whats messed up is that even knowung what i know now i would still go back to chatting with that pwrson given the opportunity. Because i miss the pen pal aspect, the connection our personalities shared. But it would be with the caveat that there would be nothong beyond chatting and possibly friendship at some point. Guess that illustrates how powerful the attachment to an idea can be...

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I would agree. I take it a step further by not doing online dating. I will chat with someone now, but i wont consider the possibility of a relationship.

 

Whats messed up is that even knowung what i know now i would still go back to chatting with that pwrson given the opportunity. Because i miss the pen pal aspect, the connection our personalities shared. But it would be with the caveat that there would be nothong beyond chatting and possibly friendship at some point. Guess that illustrates how powerful the attachment to an idea can be...

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Don't date online. Date in real life and if you happen to first be in contact with the person on an online dating site so much the better IMO.

 

This is the universe's way of telling you you need to connect with people. So find a way to do that,even if it's a long distance penpal, that doesn't include the romantic aspect or potential.

 

Good luck!

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Thank you for yhe response. Its helpful.

 

do you mind if I ask why you catfished people? Was it an attention yhing, or a self image thing, or was it just for the fun of it. I think that a lot of times people who catfish dont intend any harm but they still end up hurting people. It may be a game to them but theyre messing with someones mind and emotions. And yes i ws naive to the whole thing but have wised up.

 

I catfished because it was a way of not dealing with me as a person. I started at 13, and I don't just mean trolling around on chat rooms describing myself to be a prettier version of myself or what I'd like to look like or something that we've all done back in the day, I mean full fledged taking someones pictures and creating an entirely new identity for any and all social networking outlets. MySpace, Bebo, LiveJournal, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Skype, everything. I did it for 7 years and it was 100% because I was getting attention I thought I would never have gotten before as myself. People talked to me and people got to know me and I was able to be friends with people I thought were amazing at the time. People catfish for many different reasons, for some it is a game, for others it's an escape from the reality of the body and face they were given. I've known men and women who are in my opinion gorgeous people inside and out, but never saw themselves as that due to just zero confidence and turned to catfishing.

 

This doesn't mean you shouldn't rule out online dating, but you need to be more aware and educated about it. Some catfishes, myself included, ended up telling the person I truly fell in love with who I really was and end up having an amazing relationship still with that person. But you do need to learn what the signs are and when to let go. Anything that doesn't feel right, listen to it.

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I did check out your AMA on Reddit. Interesting stuff. The message I sent to this person on Tumblr was that it was regrettable the way things ended on Hot or Not, and that regardless of whether I was right about her being the person in her profile pics, it was her personality that I'd grown fond of rather than the pretty face in those pics. So i was a bit stung when she blocked me on Tumblr. I guess that means that she must have felt nothing for me and the whole thing, all of the emotions and affection, was all a lie. I think that is what hurts the most about it.

 

So when you were catfishing guys, did you ever feel anything for any of them? Or was the whole thing a ruse? And I totally get where you're coming from about not being happy with yourself. I've been there. I spent much of my childhood years being mentally beat down by classmates and constantly ridiculed by grandparents. I did not realize until my late 20s that that did not have to define me. I was one of those people you mentioned who had zero confidence. I was always smart and very gifted athletically, I just never really believed in myself due to some bad programming and thought patterns that I developed from a very early age. I'm an outgoing person naturally, but I also can be a bit of a social retard. Classmates would pick up on that. Like in sports or the classroom, people would always attack my appearance, athletic performance, or academics. I didn't realize until many years later that my peers said those things out of jealousy or insecurity themselves, because they knew that I was vulnerable to their input and influence. So yeah I get the whole bit about depression and all that, and I'm glad you were able to overcome it.

 

This bit with that girl (I'm reasonably sure she was at least female...) I guess really hit a nerve that took me all the way back to when I was a kid, when I was never good enough. And I chatted with that person at a time when I was again vulnerable. I spent much of my 20s in the gym building both my body and my esteem. For years, much of my self-image and sense of self-worth was rooted in what I was physically. and then 3 years ago I had a major injury in the gym that required a couple of operations to fix. Those operations and their respective recovery times, kept me out of the gym for 3 years, during which time I watched everything I'd worked for, everything I'd based my value on, melt away. I will eventually get back all that I lost, but at the present I am a soggy shell of the man I once was. I guess by normal standards I still look decent, but not compared to my previous self or to my friends who I trained with. So connecting with this girl like I did, and getting those compliments and affection from her, it really had a profound effect on me. When she wouldn't divulge who she really was, and when she later stopped talking to me when I pushed the proof pic thing, that really yanked the rug out from under me. It brought my world crashing down (and yes I know that it is not healthy to base my self worth on external validation like that, old habits die hard), I went from walking on sunshine at the thought of this girl and looking so forward to our chats, to feeling like I had been gutted and getting out of bed was a chore. Made me start going through my old thought patterns of 'if I'd just done this differently or if I had just been a little bit better in this way or that, or maybe I didn't play it cool enough', and once more I felt like that scrawny 12 year old boy with red hair and glasses who nobody would spit on if he were on fire. I guess that is why I had to go on here and have people reinforce the notion that that girl was NOT who she said and that it was not just me not being good enough, because that is what lets me sleep at night. Does that make sense to you??

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Luckily this would never ever have happened to me because I was able to weed out the liars/scam artists by meeting ASAP in person. Out of the over 100 men I met in person only one was a pathological liar and I figured that out while on the date but also by talking to friends who had encountered him as well. Waste of an hour or so but it could have been much worse. I feel very sorry for any victim of what is described above then getting involved with that person -far better to get involved with a therapist to figure out why that kind of horrible treatment was ever acceptable.

 

It's common sense -be as good as you can about screening, don't stay in contact with anyone who doesn't want to talk by phone ASAP and then meet ASAP and if you are feeling particularly vulnerable/needy so that you won't pay close attention to the signs that the person is a fraud, take a break. I definitely wouldn't approach on line dating sites with a cynical attitude - posters like this one don't succeed in ruining the experience for all the well-intentioned people on line because it's so easy not to be scammed.

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Yeah true. I have made several other platonic female friends on that site that are from all over the country. Thing is, every one else I've chatted with, everyone that was a real person anyway, had no problem jumping over to phone calls and Facebook after a couple weeks. If anything, phone Facebook and Skype provide reassurance that you are in fact dealing with a real person who isn't hiding something. It was just that one girl who had a problem with identity verification, which could only mean she had something to hide. I still can't believe I let some of those things slide as long as I did.

 

I can understand the loneliness and self image thing and how it could twist someone to the point where they catfish, at least to an extent. But I still have some trouble wrapping my head around how someone could just intentionally screw with someone like that for months/years on end then just drop them like a hot potato when they catch on or when they have gained all they could from the victim. I think providing her input on here and creating that reddit forum is her way of trying to make up for what she did.

 

 

Witch, I don't want you to think that I'm judging or shaming you. I greatly appreciate your feedback and your willingness to give us a peek inside the mind of a catfish and why they might do what they do.

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"I can understand the loneliness and self image thing and how it could twist someone to the point where they catfish, at least to an extent. But I still have some trouble wrapping my head around how someone could just intentionally screw with someone like that for months/years on end then just drop them like a hot potato when they catch on or when they have gained all they could from the victim. I think providing her input on here and creating that reddit forum is her way of trying to make up for what she did.

 

 

Witch, I don't want you to think that I'm judging or shaming you. I greatly appreciate your feedback and your willingness to give us a peek inside the mind of a catfish and why they might do what they do."

 

I have no problem judging someone who chose to violate and betray other people in the way she describes it. She had many alternatives other than intentionally hurting people -she could have reacted to her feelings by taking up yoga or meditation, seeing a therapist, talking to a friend, eating ice cream or some combination. No excuse to hurt innocent people that way in the way she did. It is interesting to read why she chose to hurt people as she did but it may or may not be typical of people who choose to lie to and defraud other people.

 

I always resented when my time was wasted by men who lied about their age or marital status for example but luckily the time that was wasted typically was under an hour (maybe a few emails and one phone call -I was great at googling or sometimes the liar "confessed" before I actually wasted my time meeting in person)

 

I am glad to read that the person who behaved that way no longer makes those choices to hurt other people.

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Yeah I can understand that. This catfish thing really does hurt. What bugs me about is all the unknowns, like who was she, did she mean any of the things she said or was it all just a big joke to her, etc. I guess looking back she did seem to say a couple of yhings that didnt really line up with the person in her pics. Like her image of herself and her level of attractiveness was out of step with her pics. Just little things like that. I almost get yhe feeling she may have been a teenager or something...

 

i dont know im split here because the compassionate part of me forgives her because she likely has issues and she was always so kind and sweet to me. But on the other hand part of me thinks she should be horsewhipped for what shes doing to people...

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Witch, other than the guy you ended up in a real relationship with, did u ever have any real feelings or interest in the guys you chatted with? I would like to think that the feelings and interest between catfish and i were real but she just wasnt the girl in her pics. It is less invalidating that way.

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Yeah I can understand that. This catfish thing really does hurt. What bugs me about is all the unknowns, like who was she, did she mean any of the things she said or was it all just a big joke to her, etc. I guess looking back she did seem to say a couple of yhings that didnt really line up with the person in her pics. Like her image of herself and her level of attractiveness was out of step with her pics. Just little things like that. I almost get yhe feeling she may have been a teenager or something...

 

i dont know im split here because the compassionate part of me forgives her because she likely has issues and she was always so kind and sweet to me. But on the other hand part of me thinks she should be horsewhipped for what shes doing to people...

 

She was kind and sweet because it took no effort -just typing words but ultimately never any intention to follow through. Don't let her have control over whether you feel ok about it or not -you're simply a victim, at some point you chose to continue interacting despite red flags so you prolonged the victimhood and the resulting hurt from it. You'll make a different choice next time.

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Once she was not interested in talking by phone that was the only sign you needed. Anyone who wants to meet you in person will want to talk by phone very early on (or at the very least meet in person ASAP - I would never meet in person without a phone convo but some people do). There was obviously a part of you that was content to have the computer between you because that makes the fantasy part more prominent and the interaction more thrilling/exciting. I know you made plans to see her but the fact that you continued to interact when she wasn't enthusiastic about that tells me that part of you liked the thrill of the chase/fantasy. That's far more important than whether she was real -are you being honest with yourself about what you want?

 

Sorry I just now noticed something you said here. She acted totally enthusiastic about the idea of me coming down there, so it's not like I was just blindly pursuing her without any interest on her part. I do have emotion just like anyone else, but I also am not stupid. I would not suggest meeting or pursuing someone who did not express interest. She was totally into it and acted excited. So that isn't quite the same thing as chasing after her despite a lack of interest on her part...

 

But all that is kinda irrelevant as she likely wasn't real.

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A friend of mine he got catfished. Twice.

 

The first one actually gave him a flight number of the airplane "she" said she would be on to come visit. She said she'd contact him when her plane landed. He never heard from her again.

 

The second one claimed to be a model in New York. She would voice chat only. I heard her voice and it was very obvious she was a middle aged or older woman. But my friend wanted to believe so he did. For two years!

 

I don't know why the women did what they did, but my friend was overweight and didn't feel he was attractive, so he resorted to fake online relationships. I didn't think he needed to, but apparently he did. Sad.

 

I do think your online friend was not who she claimed to me. You'll probably never hear from her again. All you can do is take it as a learning experience.

 

PS: not all women require their men to be "buffed"!

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How cruel.

 

Not cruel at all on her part or in my giving this opinion. She was a complete stranger to you. My standard is -if the person is not willing to meet in person ASAP -time and place - you move on. Period. I would have said the same if she decided to move on because you couldn't commit to meeting because of financial concerns - I think it's important not to build a fantasy interaction with a stranger who is long distance on top of all of that. Certainly you can get back in touch with the person when you can meet but to keep typing and talking all that time is very often -with rare exception -a recipe for disaster, wasted time, etc. Especially if you already feel isolated and vulnerable.

 

I never said you were stupid. I simply gave my opinion of why it was a bad idea to continue interacting with this stranger (and for all you know she lived a 2 minute drive away). If you want to focus on the victim part of it or lash out in this way that's fine but I think it's counterproductive to moving on and meeting people in real life, whether you contact them first through a dating site or otherwise.

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Sorry I just now noticed something you said here. She acted totally enthusiastic about the idea of me coming down there, so it's not like I was just blindly pursuing her without any interest on her part. I do have emotion just like anyone else, but I also am not stupid. I would not suggest meeting or pursuing someone who did not express interest. She was totally into it and acted excited. So that isn't quite the same thing as chasing after her despite a lack of interest on her part...

 

But all that is kinda irrelevant as she likely wasn't real.

 

Words of enthusiasm are basically irrelevant without actions to back it up (like a time and place plan). I didn't write about chasing - I simply suggested that you stop interacting with a person who is not willing to commit to a time/place plan to meet ASAP. If you can't make a plan for months, tell the person you will contact the person when it's less than a month before your trip.

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