You can’t imagine how real catfishing actually is. Keep these tips in mind on how to recognize catfishing to keep your online interactions honest and short.
Online daters universally fear this happening to them. You talk to someone for months and find that you share deep, meaningful connections with them. You spend a lot of time with this person, share really intimate and maybe unpleasant details of your life with them, yet they still accept you. It’s the first time you’ve felt like you could fall in love with someone you’ve never met in person, and it’s a feeling you can’t shake.
After you suggest a face-to-face or video conference meeting, they become cold and dismissive. The whole thing blows up in your face, leaving you feeling devastated and duped, as you come to realize that the person you thought you knew was not at all who they claimed to be.
It finally clicks in your mind… Wow, you really got catfished there.
If you’ve ever been catfished, you know what I’m talking about.
Catfishing is terrible, but with the following tips, you can hopefully avoid falling for it again.
1. There are some dishonest people out there, despite your honesty.
It’s easy to be naive and think that if you’re a decent person who places a premium on honesty, you’ll automatically attract other nice, honest individuals. Wanting to believe the best in others isn’t always a defect, but it is the surest way to miss warning signs and end up disappointed. After being duped by someone you thought was trustworthy, you’re hit with a dose of reality that serves as a reminder that not everyone will treat you with honesty if you treat them with honesty.
2. Don’t risk everything on a single venture.
Your soulmate potential with this individual may or may not be true. Online dating is great because you can get to know someone before committing to a relationship.
3. Keep an eye out for warning signs.
Just interested in conversing at specific times of the day, only sending body shots, taking fewer photos overall, being hesitant to use video chat or the phone, avoiding in-person meetings, etc. As far as internet dating goes, these are some major warning signs. Avoid this individual at all costs if they exhibit any of these behaviors throughout your conversation.
4. Find out as much as you can.
In today’s technological age, there must be some identifying feature about this person that can be used to verify their authenticity. Find out whether they exist elsewhere by looking for their name online. If they don’t have a verifiable online presence, including profiles on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter, it’s safe to assume they’re pretenders.
5. Inquire appropriately.
Whether you’re dating online or in the real world, it’s important to learn a little bit about the person you’re talking to. Inquire as to their daily activities, interests, the types of people they associate with, and the places they frequent. You are being catfished if they give you conflicting replies.
6. Do not rely solely on texting.
Instead of spending months communicating with someone who might be hiding behind a fake image, it’s advisable to have them converse on the phone and have a video chat first. When it comes to video chat, Skype is your best bet. If they say no, for whatever reason, you should assume that something isn’t quite right.
7. Catfish victims tend to be insecure people.
People who engage in catfishing often lack self-assurance, which leads them to hide who they really are online. This is why they chose to create a fictional world in which to interact with the people they are tricking. Most people who catfish aren’t malicious, so it’s best to have some sympathy for them and then ignore them.
8. Ensure your own safety at all times.
If you wouldn’t tell someone you just met on the street, you shouldn’t tell them online either. Your address, occupation, friends, and other personal information can be used to stalk or harm you.
9. The old adage that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies here.
Shouldn’t you be over the moon if you strike up a conversation with the person who checks off all the boxes on your ideal spouse wish list? WRONG. The individual who is catfishing you may appear to be the perfect match at first. Don’t give in! Rather, before you run out and start planning your life together, be sure this person is who they say they are.
One of the many unpleasant outcomes of engaging in online dating is being the victim of catfishing. But if you know how to recognize and avoid them, dating online becomes a lot more enjoyable.
Related articles you might like: How to Have a Meaningful Conversation during Online Dates, Meeting Your Online Date in Person, 10 Common Online Dating Myths