Hola, Miss July here. No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth and no, I still haven’t interviewed Mr. June but I promise to fix that soon. I know y’all are anxiously awaiting the answers to your questions. In the meantime, Mr. June and I hit the 6-month mark as well as celebrated our first big holiday together (and successfully navigated family and social commitments); and he also nursed me back to health after I had sinus surgery. If a willingness to get up at 3am and clean snot out of your significant other’s nose isn’t a good sign that things are going well, then I don’t know what is.

Anyway, my coworker and I were discussing those recent milestones.

“You did good, Miss July.  I have to admit, when you first started all this, I was a bit concerned.”

I had a few folks concerned when I decided to try “online dating” again-after all, you’re doling out personal, private info to complete strangers with no guarantee that they are presenting their most personal, private info in a truthful and honest manner in return. This particular coworker, both older and wiser than me, had worried about the quality of person I’d meet online (that I’d find someone “good enough” for me) as well as my general safety. It’s scary out there, especially if you are female, and I’ve always been super cautious in not telling anyone where I live, making sure I meet up with dates the first few times, and letting more than one person know when/where/who I’m going with and then confirming each time I made it  back alive. Excessive, maybe, but better safe than dead in a ditch, I always say.

Recently, after the previously mentioned surgery, in a period of time I wanted to do nothing but lay on the couch and watch mindless entertainment, I found this (new?) show on MTV called “Catfish” about people who meet online but suspect that the object of their affection may be keeping some sort of secret from them, because they’ve never meet in real life. Seriously, these people are talking marriage about a person that they’ve never laid eyes on in the flesh, but they’ve carried on “relationships” in which they’ve fallen “in love” and have communicated for years(!!!) in some cases.

It was the saddest, most bizarre, most mesmerizing thing I’ve seen on TV since Sister Wives.

I watched all three episodes that came on, and then watched another one later on in the week. I only changed the channel on a re-run because Mr. June said, “We’ve already seen this one,” and his tolerance for my awful reality television vice is not very high.(I totally would have watched the re-run.) In this show, the men and women communicate for years-one of them keeping some sort of secret (some more sordid than others) and one of them (with super-low self-esteem) buying whatever crap their “love” tells them to avoid meeting up in person, somehow not realizing that they deserve more in a relationship than some text messages and phone calls. A host/guy helps them find the true identity of the “secretive” one and helps arrange a face-to-face confrontation. In one case, the woman seemed more disappointed that the man she had fallen in love with via telephone was not the hard-bodied “dancer” of his photos than the fact that he had lied to her for a year about his appearance, location, number of children, and occupation. In another, the guy was embarrassed to reveal himself to the girl he’d talked to for ten years because he’d gained hundreds of pounds (that one was kinda sad).  The worst one was a girl who had emailed and texted a guy for TWO YEARS, and it turned out to be a fake profile created by a former romantic rival (who was wholly unrepentant for doing something so deceptive-she thought the girl got what she deserved).

There are clearly plenty of reasons to be skeptical of online dating and meeting folks over the internet. If you can’t quickly meet up in person and verify the basics of each other’s online profiles, then cut off communication before you get caught up with feelings and emotions like the people in this show. If the person is real and honest, they will WANT to meet you and spend time with you in person.

So, is online dating the scariest hobby ever or what? Anyone out there ever been “catfished”?

One thought on “Catfish

  1. Pingback: Loneliness is a Powerful Affliction « accidentallysingle

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