Well, the day has finally come (the one we all knew would happen eventually) whereby I, the serial online dater, have been catfished. This is the story of how I found out that the 20/10 I was going to hook up with this weekend was a fraud. I still don’t know how I feel, but all I know is that I am uncomfortable and I’ve spent the last few days mumbling, “This is fucked.”
Let’s start from the beginning: It was all too perfect. He was like something out of a book (and as an avid romance reader, I had a lot to compare him to). I think this guy spent way too many nights with his nose in a Christina Lauren novel because he fucking nailed the act of the dream guy.
To summarize his tale: He was your typical twenty-something-year-old playboy, he worked in finance, dressed impeccably, and he had a smile that would make any woman either drop her panties or cry. Or so I thought.
You have to imagine, I’ve slept with many delicious guys, so his profile and lifestyle weren’t anything I haven’t heard or seen before. I would say I have a selective taste, and it just so happens that the men I’ve slept with in the past all possess the same ‘dream boy’ qualities (well, most of them, anyway). I mean, just last year I slept with a civil engineer on the same caliber who I still think is the most perfect man I’ve ever met. So when I swiped right on this next one, I knew he would be the next guy to send me into hysteria, and I was fucking ready for it.
Now I want to make this clear: Everything moved very quickly from the moment we matched, and the red flags and an odd feeling in my gut developed almost immediately. I sent my usual cute and casual introduction message to which he ignored (rude) and instead responded with a douche-y one-liner.
I was turned off immediately, but still thought I’d suss him out, as he seemed like a great one-time-only fuck for this weekend and I could easily go back to work on Monday like it didn’t happen. So I responded with something sassy, emphasizing that I was looking for a guy who wasn’t afraid of the fact that I write about my sex life and publish it online. The next thing I knew, he sent through his number and we began texting.
Our conversation barely progressed past “What are you up to?” when I received my first leg-spread dick pic. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice, I just really wished I wasn’t showing my mum something on my phone when it popped up…
Flag One: The dick pic mid-conversation
He then called me. I panicked and declined it twice before I hesitantly picked up. We spoke for almost an hour, and to my disappointment, we got on quite well, which looking back now makes it all so much worse. He sent me videos of his house and I was impressed. He boasted about his lifestyle, travels, and work, how he had a different woman in his bed every few days and a threesome he once had while studying abroad. He was fluent in his character and never once strayed. However, I thought it was a little strange that whenever I asked questions, he hesitated.
Flag Two: His strained response to basic questions
He had asked to see me within a few days, but I told him I couldn’t because I was menstruating. From that point, he turned from charming and intrigued to disinterested. The conversation ended pretty quickly after that, and once we hung up, he had unmatched me on Bumble and blamed it on a glitch. Like fuck, I’m sorry that my vagina likes to do a cleanse once a month — if I’ve had to come to terms with it, so should you. I didn’t think much of him after that, and I left it at ‘I’m not going to hear from him again’ and I didn’t care. Fuck him! I’m a treat and I know it. If I wanted to have sex, there were other guys I could have hit up.
Flag Three: His mysterious disappearance
Over the next few days, he kept popping up on Bumble and disappearing, which I thought was very strange. That’s when it clicked that he had told me he was 23 over the phone when his profile had said 26. I don’t know why that sat wrong with me, but it did. Like, why lie about your age out of anything? Although I think that was the least of this guy’s issues.
Flag Four: The mismatch of ages
Exactly four days later I received a message, he had casually asked about my weekend. It was obvious I hadn’t heard from him until he must have counted that my period would be over. Pfft. I narrowed it down that this guy’s dependency on getting a fuck for the weekend was at the top of his to-do list. I was annoyed, but my dumbass kept replying. Turns out in our little catch up he had two girls straddling his thighs in the previous 48 hours. How cute for him. Like, c’mon man, everyone knows the unspoken rule of casual hookups is never talk about other people to the person you’re trying to root. It’s not that hard. As far as every guy I sleep with knows, I’m as pure as the color white. We all pretend we have no past and we are, as Madonna would say, “A virgin touched for the very first time.” Just me?
The next day was when everything took a turn. Our chat started off normal, and then the conversation circled back to when we were going to see each other. We agreed on the upcoming weekend. Great, I thought. It gives me a few days to settle into a liquid diet, workout until I pass out, and shave my entire body.
As a precaution, I had then asked him for his Instagram. One thing I always do before I meet up with someone is observe their socials. This is to see how they interact with their friends and to gauge whether my gut thinks a person is the real deal. He then sent a name. No other reply to what else I was saying, just a casual Instagram handle. I went straight to Facebook but was extremely confused at the face that was staring back at me. “Hm, that’s odd,” I thought. So I went to Instagram and tried again, this time pressing copy and paste, but it was still the same face. I was confused — very confused.
So I dug deeper, I compared old photos to new, looking at the dates thinking (hoping) that there was some miracle that he had a makeover which included facial bone restructuring and a buff up in two weeks. I paused when I found some pictures of a house.
“That looks like…”
NO, NO, NO!
The inside of the house matched the one from his videos perfectly. The plants, furniture, and pictures were all the same.
Flag Five: He didn’t look like his pictures
Flag Six: He DID NOT look like his pictures
Flag Seven: HE DID NOT LOOK LIKE HIS PICTURES
“Have I just been catfished?” I mumbled, staring down at my phone in disbelief. FUCK.
When I told him I noticed his photos didn’t match, he said, “How? I deleted my Bumble.”
I said, “I screenshotted ‘your’ pictures to send to my friends.”
He then made it out like it was my mistake. That I had somehow confused him with someone else. Everything then made complete sense! I had been played.
Next time someone @s me for being a PI when it comes to finding out shit on the internet, I’ll tell them this story. Because I very well could have ended up at this guy’s house, and god knows what would have happened.
After that and a quick block later, it was pretty hard to get back to work and concentrate. My brain was in overdrive, and as if I wasn’t already feeling disgusted and humiliated enough, as I drove home from work that day the universe decided to have one last laugh. As I sped down the M1 screaming “what the fuck” every five-seconds, a massive billboard caught my eye. To my surprise, guess who’s fucking face was on it for a reality TV advertisement? (In case you’re not following, it was the hot guy whose pictures I thought I matched with.)
This is what happens when you don’t watch reality TV. You get fucking catfished with pics of a guy that’s on Love Island. Well, if I wasn’t being dramatic before, it was at this moment that I absolutely lost it. I take that same route every day and out of all days for that image to change, it had to be that one. I was so embarrassed.
It’s hard not to laugh, but this goes to show that when you are meeting someone online, you really don’t know the face behind the picture. Our families told us this from the moment we were old enough to log onto MSN, but did we listen? No.
I had fully intended to be at this guy’s house that weekend, and imagine what would have happened if I turned up. The thought alone makes me queasy.
What would have happened if I went to his house without checking his socials and discovered someone different?
What was the point of all of this if he straight out told me his name, linked to his real pictures?
Whose dick was that? Because it was sure as fuck not his.
How many girls has he already fooled?
And why the fuck would someone do this?
So many questions, with answers I really think I’d rather not know.
If my story teaches you anything, just be careful when you meet people online. You need to be safe, make sure someone always knows where you are, take precautions, and trust your gut. And don’t be fooled by the tale, no matter what he looks like.