Apart from being a group of extremely smelly bottom feeders and having paedo-moustache worthy whiskers, catfish are very prevalent in all dating websites. You can usually smell them from a mile away with their pictures that are way too perfect, their lack of wanting to meet up with you because their aunty has fallen down some stairs or they need to help their Mum bake cookies.
Some of these trolls are seriously messed up. They will perform elaborate, expertly planned scenarios to fool you, whereby they will take other guys’ photos (who may also be on the apps) and try to be them. They basically steal that person’s identity and use their dashing good looks to win the attention of naive singles (me) who are looking for love. More times than not I’ve matched with someone I thought was my mate (who isn’t really my mate) after I’ve flirted with them and asked them out. IRL, they get weird when I start to get touchy-feely with them. It is not a fun experience.
The thing is, these little mosquitos are sucking every possible happily ever after out of my life and make the dating game harder for the rest of us. Tinder and Grindr, in particular, feel less credible than other dating apps. For example, when you see Tom Holland hopping around Sydney with his bio being a smiley winky face that drags you in like a twink to an overwhelming rich muscle daddy (too much imagery?), it’s hardly authentic. You could say I’m irritated that he didn’t match with me (even though the slight chance that Tom Holland would be interested in me is way out there), but I digress. The whole idea of dating apps is for dating – right? Wrong. These people using fake profiles are taking advantage of naive people (like me) and the end goal of a hook-up over a date or actual relationship seems like the inevitably endless result for me.
Today’s dating apps are grooming us to pretend to be people we aren’t just to find someone attractive who will talk to us for five minutes before moving onto the next hoe. The turn over time for finding people online transcends the speed of light, whereby the boredom of knowing and talking to one person overbears the commitment you have to this person. When this person is a catfish, it makes the experience 100 times worse.
It has happened to me. I completely wasted my time with a beautiful human (or so I initially thought). I should’ve known, the dead giveaway was that this person was extremely perfect and very into me – which doesn’t happen very often (yes, welcome to my self-pity party). Every time I attempted to reach out and organise to hang out, he would divert the conversation until eventually, he (or she) let me know that their conversing with me was for a university research task and that I had been played. It sucked because as soon as they sent me that message, I really had nowhere to turn. At this point, I kind of relied on them. This is when catfishing sucks: when people get hurt. I got over it in ten minutes, by which time I’d matched with 45 other twinks in Sydney, it’s fine.
Catfishing doesn’t even have to be with another person’s profile, I believe we are all catfish to an extent with our fabricated profiles being an attempt to perfect ourselves for others. As I said, these dating apps are grooming us to pretend we are different to who we really are, always picking our best photos, funniest lines, and best banter to win the other person over. I’m one person who willingly lets myself do this and actually believes that these other people are perfect humans of whom are gracious enough to talk to me.
When someone I want to talk to doesn’t match with me or talk to me, I feel disheartened, like there is something wrong with me. I find myself going back to my profile multiple times and swapping pictures that I thought I liked to ones that made me look like a completely different person; the essence of my identity and individuality was lost in the seeking of perfection. At the end of the day, I’ve learned that being someone I’m not will never get me a date anyways so I should just be my weird imperfect self and live alone with my 24 cats in Surry Hills.
In summary, catfish are bad. Always check if they have whiskers. x