Before you start this article, know that I do not think dating apps are full of catfish. I have never come across a catfish that was not easy to spot. And I know you know how much time I spend investing in online dating profiles for my clients. If you watch for signs of a fake boyfriend, you will not fall prey to romantic scams.
I was recently approached by a former client for advice about his daughter who was in an LDR (long distance relationship) relationship with a man she met online. He had some valid concerns: First, the 19-year-old girl and her online boyfriend of 25. It’s a big age gap that puts them in two very different places in life. She has just finished high school and he is already starting his career. I can understand why the father has concerns about a potential catfish.
Here’s the real kicker: they’ve never met, but she’s completely beaten and willing to suspend her love life. She will even miss her senior prom because she believes she is in love and he will find her and push her off her feet.
Here’s why it’s important
I have written in the past about catfish scams that are often targeted at older women. However, in 2020, romantic scams peaked Losses of $ 304 million Reported to the Federal Trade Commission in the United States. This is an increase of about 50% from 2019.
Increasingly, younger women are falling into emotional catfish, which can have even more devastating consequences when they end (and usually do).
The catfish victim may feel feelings of shame, may doubt his choices, feel unworthy of love and may have difficulty connecting to a new IRL (in real life) suitor.
The purpose of online dating is to go on a real date.
It bothers me that so many virtual relationships never make the transition to personal dating, wasting tons of time and emotional energy in the process.
If you think you or someone you know has developed an emotional connection to a man they met online and maybe it’s not going anywhere, here are 4 sure signs that your online friend is a catfish:
He will never meet you in person
Even if you spoke on the phone and heard his voice and he “sounds” nice, if he does not do his best to see you face to face, he is a catfish. Men want a physical connection and ultimately they are prevented from having sex with women to whom they are attracted. Simply put, if a man wants to date you, he will find a way to reach you.
His online identity is a mismatch
If you’ve been following him on Google, Facebook or Instagram and his name or picture does not match the guy you think he is, you have a problem. No matter how well he tries to explain it, it’s dubious. Continue at your own risk.
He only calls you at one o’clock in the day
If your man is only available late at night or on weekends and he always postpones your call if you call him during off-peak hours, you are probably his side chick. He does not have a second job or a particularly busy schedule. Maybe he’s not a catfish, but he’s playing you.
He has a lot of nice friends online
There are many ways in which a Facebook profile can be a dead gift for an online predator. Usually if he has a very small and seemingly unrelated group of friends and / or he is friends with an abundance of women, it could be that he is using this account to connect to his virtual harem and it is not something you want to be a part of.
It’s so hard to see a woman wasting her time with catfish and such phantom relationships bring a bad name to online dating. Meet your e-crush early and often and do your due diligence to make sure your online friend is the real thing.