Yes. I’m embarrassed to say, but I was catfished. It was only for a 24-hour period, but still. I don’t like making those kinds of mistakes. Well, I don’t like making any mistakes at all, but I’m getting far more comfortable with the large number of romantic mistakes I’ve made and will keep making.
The short duration of our exchange hid some of the red flags. And he was very clever.
Like the last one, his pictures were real. They seemed current. He was in his mid-fifties. He had filled out many questions on OK Cupid and had a full descriptive profile. We had a 95% match percentage.
In other words, nothing seemed off.
His opening message was articulate and straight to the point. He said he was moving from his city to mine, he quickly followed up with references to what he liked in my profile. He said he was visiting on the weekend to house hunt and he’d like to meet for a coffee to get to know me better.
In hindsight, I should have known that someone in a different city – no matter the circumstances – is at least a yellow flag. But everything fit.
I need to rethink my quick willingness to move to text. Because it’s a burner number, there is no risk to me. But I should treat it as if its mine. One consistent feature of the three catfish I’ve encountered recently is they move to text very quickly. I suspect it’s so they can’t be reported on within the site. There’s no evidence.
I am also starting to think that anytime someone has a sexual comment early on, it’s a sign that they definitely don’t want a relationship. I’m happy to be proven wrong in this regard. But when I go back and read our exchange, I can’t help but notice when I said (maybe 5 texts in) that I had an intense morning, he replied with “will need stress relief later :)”.
I was busy at work but texted him throughout the day. The first “hmm that’s odd” thought I had was when I asked him what brought him to my city. His reply was very vague – “oh I just love the city and it’s vibe”.
He was divorced with three boys in their early 20s. He wasn’t retired. Last time I checked, an international move when one has a job and a family is not a small deal. I asked him again in a slightly different way. He said it wasn’t a relocation. He wasn’t specific about how he came to choose my city to which to move.
Throughout the day I kept coming back to it because it seemed like a potential red flag. Eventually, he said he got to know my city because he dated a woman in a city a few hours away and they visited. He said he was an options trader and could do his job from anywhere.
I asked if he was open to a relationship and he said he was, “with a very open-minded and kinky woman…someone who we can share everything with.” He said he was fully single. He said most women wanted a man who was plain vanilla. He asked if I could date someone bisexual.
I did entertain those discussions because the tone was one of inquiry. Perhaps it was because I was texting between meetings and calls but it didn’t set off my radar. He was very clever.
We were in the midst of texting and I had a meeting get canceled. I asked if he could talk. He said he was in a meeting but offered later that evening.
He asked if I liked watching men together. He told me he liked being cuckolded. He asked if he was “too perverted” for me… which I thought was strange. He knew the name of one of the local sex clubs and asked if I’d been; he said he had.
He asked me for more pictures. He offered to send me a nude picture of himself and I said I didn’t need one but wouldn’t say no. I explained I wouldn’t respond in kind until after we’d met in person and established we had chemistry. I sent him a current face picture and asked him to send me a picture – he said he was driving but would send one when he was done.
I said I wouldn’t mind seeing him as he was at that moment, and he replied his profile pictures were current. Since he said he was driving I asked if I could call. He said he was on the phone with his father. “Perhaps later then?” I asked? “Sure!” he replied.
An hour later I asked if he was still driving and asked for the picture. He replied he was dealing with some stuff at his house. By then, that nagging feeling was there that something was off. He sent me two pictures of him on vacation. When I said “oh so you’re not a selfie fan?” he replied that he did have a nude selfie.
That nude selfie again. I asked him if he’d ever been catfished – I was curious how he’d reply. He said no and asked if I thought that’s what he was doing. I said no, but that’s why I ask for a “fresh” picture.
He said he understood, then asked what I was looking for emotionally and sexually. By then, I wasn’t going to have any kind of sexual conversation. I told him I’d answer his questions when I called later and he said that was fine.
I called him at 9:30 pm as we’d discussed. It went straight to voicemail, so I didn’t leave a message but texted him and told him to call me when he got off the phone.
The next day at noon I sent him one more text to see if he’d bite. I fully knew then he was a liar.
I did a quick reverse phone number search and found his full name, the name of his children, his Facebook account, and a blog entry about him entering a kettlebell contest. It took less than 5 minutes. So he was who he said he was, but judging from the conservative Christian groups he belonged to on Facebook, my guess was he was using OK Cupid as a way to have a dialogue about his kinks he couldn’t get elsewhere.
I know I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.
I blocked him on OK Cupid and send him a final text before I blocked him on my phone: “Not that you will likely care, but I’ve figured it out. You’re not catfishing in the purest form but what you do is equally shitty, Mr. Roberts. Perhaps in your desire to get off, you’ve forgotten the women on the other side of your texts are good people with feelings and hopes you shouldn’t be playing with.”
I resisted adding “good Christian people”. But yeah, I used his last name, which he hadn’t given me. If you’re enough of an asshole to do this to people, then I’m not going to be above having you realize using your real phone number is a dumbass move.
And that my friends, was catfish two of three.
I’ve saved the best for last.
Image from the 1945 Hitchcock movie “Spellbound”; dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali