Catfished

“Catfishing is when someone sets up a fake online profile to trick people who are looking for love, usually to get money out of them.”

So I met a guy online (Bear411.com), handsome, charming, complimentary. A nice guy who really liked me. He had only one photo on the site, and I have a rule – that I break all the damn time – that says I should say NO to those profiles. His profile also had a red flag of not having any narrative. He’s in another state, Rhode Island, but all the really hot guys seem to be in another state.

It started out innocent enough. He looked at my profile so I looked at his. He was handsome, I told him so by signing his guestbook..

“You’re handsome” I post on his profile

“Thanks so are you” he replies

“How are you doing tonight?” I ask

“Just looking at your gorgeous photos” he responds [should have known then that he was a liar]

“How old are you?” I inquire, again nothing on his profile

“I’m 57, 5’4″, stocky build, single” I respond with my stats, even though they are on my profile, men don’t read. I like his stats, he’s a little short but that’s fine.

“Nice” and then “what would you do on our first date” [this gets my guard down, he’s not just after sex, he’s interested in more than that… it increases my interest in him]

“Lots of kissing, get to know you, hold your hand and take you out to eat. Stare into your eyes” [he has blue eyes in his photo]

The narrative goes on and on and gets steamy after a while. Our interests are the same, our sexual appetite synchs. He’s a great chatter and I find myself liking him more and more. We chatted on Bear411 for about an hour back and forth.

At the same time we both post “If you want you can text me at 555-1212”

I go to bed that night with pleasant thoughts of a guy I just met online.

We start chatting right away in the morning. He’s pleasant and tells me he can’t stop looking at my photos online. I send him a few photos directly to his number, he likes those too and continues to tell me how sexy and attractive I am. I’m so into him, he’s really a sweet romantic and great guy… The texting gets very sexual and that’s all good stuff, I mean really good. Perfect even.

I ask for a few photos of him and he sends them, about 4 photos and he’s still just as handsome and didn’t suddenly turn into a troll or anything. I call him to hear his voice – no personalized voicemail but I leave a message and tell him how sweet I think he is and that I’m looking forward to meeting him. He calls back, he’s at work and can’t talk but wanted to let me know he got my call.

We text back and forth for days, I let him know I’d love to come visit and start looking at flights to Providence. He says that he works most weekends and only has one off a month and wants me to wait until he can get time off from his supervisor. He’s doing well at his job and getting promoted soon, being trained for a better position. I call again, get his voicemail and leave a message.

I tell other people about him, they are all excited and asking questions. A few ask if I am sure he’s not leading me on or lying to me. One asks if we’ve Facetimed and I say we have, but we haven’t.. I’m not going to be scammed, I’m very internet savvy. People are happy that I met this nice guy, even if he’s in Rhode Island.

One day he texts me that he’s sick. People get sick and it’s the Covid world now so this doesn’t shock me and I don’t lose interest. The next day he’s at the emergency room and then admitted to the hospital. I ask him for a photo in his cute little gown and he sends me one. I don’t notice the date on the photo.

I show concern for his health, ask questions about how they’re treating him. Try to discover what’s wrong exactly. Ask if he wants me to send flowers to the hospital and he declines. I call to chat with him, he doesn’t answer so I leave a message. He texts later that he was sleeping and sorry he missed my call.

He’s texting less and less. I attribute it to his being sick and in the hospital. He lets me know they took him into surgery on Sunday for a twisted intestine.

Now in the back of my mind I remembering when I was in the hospital for a few things over the years but they never took me into surgery on a Sunday, so I have some doubts at this point if he’s being honest with me or maybe he’s just trying to blow me off.

A few days later they release him from the hospital and he’s “safe at home in my little bed”. I’m happy for him and glad he’s home safe. He tells me a nurse came to check on him at 12 and would be back in the afternoon again to see him. This too I find suspicious, what kind of insurance does this guy have that that would happen.

I poke at him that he could call me and I’d answer, he promises to call the next day.

He doesn’t call. I don’t prompt him to call.. I want to, but I control myself.

The next night while doing something on TikTok that required me to show a photo from years ago and one from today I see his hospital photo at the beginning of my photo feed. That’s curious to me, why would it be there. I open the photo and look at the metadata and see that it’s dated for October 2006.

Now I’m convinced he’s telling stories… but still want to believe he’s not. Suzanne suggests I insist we Facetime, which I now think is good advice. I text him that night “We need to video chat as soon as you’re feeling better”

I don’t hear from him for days. I don’t text or call him. Scared him off with the video chatting I guess.

Now, he didn’t ask me for money and I’m not sure he would have. I think he was just after the romance of it and gets off on that. But it’s possible in a few days he would have asked me to send him money, I was already wary and don’t think I would have done that even if I hadn’t been.

He did text me back after three days “I’m sorry, you deserve a great guy and to be happy. I was really falling for you” and that was it. I didn’t respond.

I’m thinking he can do this to someone else, only with my photos that I shared with him. And I think he will, I’m not that bad looking… or maybe I am. I certainly feel stupid and maybe I look gullible.

I am an idiot and started to develop feelings for this guy just over text and a few photos. I was genuinely concerned with his well being. I did that thing again where I thought positive about someone. I know better.

I think a lot of people have that desire to find that special someone and it’s easy to get lost in it without following your own rules. So again Jamez – one photo, no narrative, too nice, too handsome, too sweet… probably a damn liar. Don’t trust anyone and certainly stop hoping – it only hurts later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s