What does catfish mean and how do you know when you’re being catfished?
In simple terms, a catfish is either trying to con you (usually out of money), or they have self-esteem issues and share a false persona in order to hide their true identity from you.
If someone is a catfish, they have set up a fake profile with a fake profile picture and a fake bio. It’s just all fake!
The problem is a catfish is clever. They will be so convincing that it will be very difficult for you to know that you’re being catfished and you are in danger of falling for their lies.
Online dating is revolutionary. There’s no doubt about it, it’s taken the world by storm and the concept just keeps getting better and better. With new apps launching all the time, you’d be hard pushed not to find a site that works for you.
But with online dating comes a lot of negativity. Buzzwords like, catfish and ghosting have been around for a while and it’s made us a little more cautious about who we share our time with in the virtual world.
That’s not a bad thing. Being cautious can help you realise when you’re being catfished.
Discover 5 ways to know you’re being catfished
1 – They don’t live in the moment
We live in a selfie world and that certainly applies to online dating. If you are regularly talking to someone online, you will generally want to share pictures with them during random moments in your life.
Whilst none of us are about to share a selfie when we’ve just woken up, pre-make-up and suffering from a bad case of bed hair, if no photos are offered other than the profile picture at any time, red flags are waving.
One sure way to spot a catfish is to ask them to take a selfie in the moment and send it to you. If they repeatedly avoid the situation, run a mile.
2 – They live by text
Another red flag is if you’ve been chatting online for a while and think it’s time to have that virtual conversation. If you have requested a conversation over Skype, Zoom, Teams or any other virtual platform that will allow you to see their face and they refuse, something is up!
Now this is tricky because the chances are, they will have a good reason for not wanting to do this and can be convincing but if you’ve given them several opportunities and they still refuse, it’s time to say goodbye.
3 – Ding Ding, cha ching!
This should be an obvious one but believe me when I say, many people have fallen for it. If someone asks you for money early on in the relationship that red flag is waving so high, it should be blowing you over!
It doesn’t matter what they say they need it for, what amount of money it is, how convincing they seem, once they start, they never stop and honey, it’s a trap!
4 – Love is blind
We can all get carried away in the moment. When you’re online dating, you tend to talk to that person more than anyone else for a time. You are building a relationship. You can’t wait to get home and fire up the laptop and get excited every time your phone pings.
But stay in the real world. A catfish will fall in love with you very early on. They will start getting heavy soon into the conversation and whilst you might be feeling strongly towards them too, it’s a warning sign.
If someone is sharing deep feelings with you in the very early stages, start to investigate who they really are in detail before you reciprocate those feelings.
5 – No-where to be seen
When you meet someone online, go and look for them in different places. Yep, no hiding, I am categorically giving you permission to get a little stalker-like (only a little). Head over to social media and try and find their profile. Google their name and see what comes up.
If someone tells you they’re not on social media, I would seriously question it. Whist it could quite possibly be true, you have the right to ask them to prove who they are some other way.
If they can’t, get your trainers and jog on!
I’m not trying to put you off online dating. You know me, I love it. I met my other half on Tinder so I’m never going to try and put you off the idea. But I am saying be careful.
Today’s online technology is amazing, but it opens the doors of opportunity for some not-so-great characters. Just be careful, do your due diligence and you’ll be fine!
Online dating isn't for everyone
If you’ve tried online dating and it just isn’t for you, or the thought of meeting someone online makes you cringe, I have something for you…
In November 2021 I launched my in-person singles nights in Nottingham. Fun and relaxed events, just for singles.