Ah catfishing. A word that only entered our vernacular when Nev, Max and MTV crashed into our lives to regale us with horror stories of people who are dangerously not who they appear to be.
My experiences of being catfished are nowhere near the, ‘I think I’m about to date Katy Perry but it’s actually a 45 year old IT technician named Malcolm’, level but lessons were learned along the way – and I thought I’d share them with you!
I met Chris* on POF and was initially interested in his chat about his job in politics and his gossip on Jeremy Corbyn. He seemed keen and at that point, I’d suffered a few rejections and wanted to get back on the dating game.
We spoke LOADS before the date, it ended up being about 3 weeks before meeting. What I should’ve heeded at that point though, was his complete lack of photographs on the app.
I convinced myself that I shouldn’t be shallow, that we were getting on via message and that we should just meet and see what happens.
Well that was a big mistake wasn’t it?
Not only did Chris* look NOTHING like his one grainy photo, he was also 25 years older than he purported to be.
What’s worse is that we’d decided a cute first date would be a few tinnies in the park and a mini picnic. Well, how do you escape 4 M&S sandwiches and lukewarm G&TS?
I cried, ‘I’m getting bitten and sunburnt – can we go to a bar?’ and en-route got my friend to call me with an emergency. Safe to say, I scarpered as soon as physically possible.
Lesson learnt? ASK FOR MORE PICTURES. Ask for a passport for Christ’s Sake.
Gavin* was an early Tinder endeavour after my ex-boyfriend and I broke up. AGAIN HE HAD ONE PICTURE WHY DID I NOT LEARN. But again, the chat was semi-okish and tbh, I just needed a date.
The picture this time was of a stocky, bearded, ginger fellow and Y’ALL know my type (Hi Ben) so I thought, why not?
Except that stocky, bearded, ginger fellow did NOT appear outside Superdrug at Clapham Junction station. NOPE a frigging Richard O’Brien, bald, hunched over and slim fellow did instead (no shade if that’s your type – you get your slice of Riff Raff peeps).
This date lasted 2 drinks before I handed him off to 2 drunk girls and RAN bank to the station without a further word.
Lesson learnt? Be bold. If someone turns up to a date (in a public place because your safety is paramount) and they have obviously lied about who they are, it’s perfectly OK to politely say, ‘You look nothing like your picture. I feel like I’m here under false pretences. You’ve already lied so this isn’t going to go anywhere is it?’ and walk away.
These stories aren’t uncommon are they? We’ve all experienced it, or had a friend who has been catfished and each time we walk away praying to the online dating gods that there could be a way to avoid this.
As you may know, I represent the dating app ‘Tally’ (download here) and the reason I love this app is that your chance of being catfished is 0! That’s right. ‘But how?’ You may wonder…
Each Tally registration is personally verified by actual humans. Signer-uppers MUST submit a selfie of them holding up a symbol to prove that it is them. Plus they are encouraged have more than one photo on their profile. Furthermore, your main profile picture is not allowed to include other people or anything obscuring your face (like sunglasses or hats).
For people who are self-conscious about their looks and who like to hide behind old photos or photos of other people – I get why you might do that HOWEVER, if you meet someone, they’re going to see you in your glorious 3D stunning beauty – so you may as well show them that up front!
Eliminating the possibility of being catfished is SUCH an attractive feature in a dating-app-saturated market, so get downloading Tally NOW.
ALSO keep any eye on my Twitter this evening (25.4.18) as I’ll be running a v exciting competition!
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