The Catch of the Season

Over the three-day weekend, I caught a fish with one hell of a bite. I had to toss it back like a live grenade. eHarmony matched me with a cute young woman with a pretty smile.

She writes me:

“How you doing? Am Maria new here seeking for a man i can call my own not really sure if you re single? if you re single and seeking for serious relationship kindly drop your email, I dont use to this site if you re interested in me you can also email me here..(she left her email address here).”

I snagged a bottom feeder catfish. They aren’t the smartest fish in the sea. Yes, I know your name is Maria and yes, I know you’re looking for a man. This is an online dating site, that’s the idea!

Catfish by annamariademari
CC Image by mariannaphotography

This is the point where red flags should be flashing before your eyes. Instead, I sent her an email.

Her reply:

“Thanks so much for getting back to me the reason why i am online stuff is because i was hurt and i got heart broken when my ex-finance left me just a week to our wedding which i never expected that while i was there thinking that i had found the right man not knowing he never loved me and that’s why am trying this on-line dating..”

I began to have flashbacks from past catfish experiences. I’ve caught about five or six catfish on eHarmony.

For the most part, online dating has been a pleasant experience for me.

Once in awhile, a catfish will get through the system. Your experiences may vary. Many people have met their spouses through eHarmony and other online dating sites.

The women I’ve met in person and dated from eHarmony haven’t been crazy people. They’ve looked exactly like their pictures they post.

Verifying somebody’s identity online is difficult. You must be careful whom you trust. If you look for the signs and use common sense, online dating can be a good experience. The ease of scamming a person on the Internet is irresistible to a catfish.

The Catfish Pattern 

Unnatural communication. You can tell they use canned responses and their communication is weird. The writing sounds like a ridiculous advertisement. No legitimate woman looking for a relationship or a date writes, “How you doing? Am Maria new here seeking for a man i can call my own not really sure if you re single?”

Move too fast. Catfish will want to communicate with you via email a.s.a.p.

“…if you re interested in me you can also email me here…”

Some women have legitimate reasons to communicate with you outside of the site. They might want to cancel their membership. Be suspicions of matches that give you their email in their first message to you.

Gain sympathy. They make up stories to make you feel sorry for them. They’ll tell you that they’re recovering from a bad breakup or an abusive relationship. They caught their boyfriend cheating on them and are having trouble trusting guys again. Are you that truth worthy guy that will save them?

“Thanks so much for getting back to me the reason why i am online stuff is because i was hurt and i got heart broken when my ex-finance left me just a week to our wedding which i never expected that while i was there thinking that i had found the right man not knowing he never loved me and that’s why am trying this on-line dating..”

Quantity over quality. Catfish will send you a lot of fluffy nonsense in their first email. They will write paragraphs of words that go on for an eternity. It doesn’t sound like you’re having a real conversation.

“I kinda am looking for a funny, loyal, smart, and attractive man. he doesn’t have to be a handsome or rich but that will make me happy either just has to be some kinda spark there.anyway i just wanna let you know that I’m seeking a serious long term relationship and more. Someone special to capture my heart and knows how to handle it with care, one who will cherish me and be willing to share life’s greatest joys and sorrows.”

Horrible English. Their English writing skills are atrocious. A kindergartner would have better spelling and grammar than a catfish. The run on sentences will make your head spin.

“some times people select there love with age as for me i dont believe in age in a relationship all that l want a man that will make me happy so much and make me feel so good and that will be faithful in all things that he told me that will be truthful to me I am actually educated…I kinda been single not long ago. I really haven’t met any men that I really liked I guess.”

Soul mate. Catfish play to your emotions of belonging and connection. They give you the impression that you might be their knight in shining armor and soul mate.

“…I’m looking for for a partner for life..are you the one?? Appearance is not important but more importantly: Are you a loving guy,,,??? I am a person that use to be very shy..A good listener, smart and funny! I’d give the same to the ONE !! Who knows – may be you are my twin-soul? Someone who’s willing to spoil, pamper and love me unconditionally, whom is kind, sincere, honest, passionate, loyal, sense of humor, loving and wants a lifetime of passion., so only serious inquiries will be accepted.I’m looking for a soul-mate…a best friend for life!”

Money. Catfish will start asking for money after a few email correspondences. They need a plane ticket to get home, money for groceries or an important project. They need extra money to help take care of their relative. If they ask you for money, run!

Have you ever tried online dating websites? If not, would you ever try it if you were single? Do you have any interesting online dating experiences? 

Share in the comments. 

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The Heroic Story of Kayla Mueller

You must hear the true story Kayla Mueller to show you how love and courage prevails in the face of evil. This story may shock you. It will also humble you and open your eyes to the atrocities committed by the Islamic State (ISIS). Kayla Mueller is a courageous American hero who stood on principles. Kayla was a twenty-six year old humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona. She gave her life to helping others. We must never forget her.

Kayla was helping Syrian refugees in southern Turkey. On August 4, 2013, ISIS captured her on her way to a Spanish Doctors Without Borders. The hospital is in Aleppo, northwest Syria. Abu Bakr-al Baghdadi enslaved and imprisoned her. Baghdadi calls himself Caliph Ibrahim, self-proclaimed successor to the Prophet Muhammad.

A True Hero, Kayla Mueller
A True Hero, Kayla Mueller

Early 2014, ISIS held Kayla along with other Western captives at a prison camp at Uqayrishah. It’s near Raqqa in north central Syria. Before Delta Force could rescue them, they relocated them to separate locations.

Four girls were held together. Kayla, another American humanitarian worker, a fourteen year old Yazidi girl and her sister. ISIS has enslaved about 3,500 Yazidi women and children into sex slavery. ISIS militants kept all four girls in a room and would repeatedly abuse them. Abu Baghdadi wanted to make an example of Kayla. He’d take her to his room, rape her, and tell the other girls what monstrous things he did to her.

Kayla’s compassion and love for others is what drove her. She couldn’t abandon or endanger her sisters. She turned down an opportunity to escape. Her fellow American captive was in no condition to escape and Kayla couldn’t leave her behind.

The two Yazidi sisters were about to make their escape but Kayla refused to join them. She feared that her appearance would put them in danger. Her mother instinct was to protect her sisters by putting their lives before her own.

ISIS wanted to make an example of her and break her through abuse. The strength of her heart was unbreakable. “I am not breaking down and I will not give in no matter how long it takes.” Kayla’s character is incredible. “I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it.” It takes a lot of courage to remain positive under horrific circumstances.

The horror she endured was no match for the love in her heart for others. “If I have suffered at all, it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through. I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness.”

ISIS announced Kayla’s death on Feb. 6. Kayla was twenty-six when she was executed by heartless monsters. ISIS blamed her death on a Jordanian airstrike. They provided her family photographs of her corpse a few days later.

Kayla Mueller was a hero in every sense of the word. Her courage and sacrifice for her fellow human beings will remain in our hearts forever.

“I pray each each day you have felt a certain closeness and surrender to God and have formed a bond of love and support amongst one another.”

Let’s honor Kayla’s memory by uniting and loving one another. The love and hope in her heart emanates from her immense faith in God. We can learn a lot from her faith.

How much longer will we deny that evil exists and turn a blind eye to human suffering?

It’s time to wake up! We must do something to help our brothers and sisters who face death at the hands of the Islamic State.

Life is not a fairy tale. The Islamic extremists our slaughtering Christians and those whose who don’t convert. They’ve also enslaved thousands of women and children. We must confront evil and call it by it’s name.

While we are comfortable and silent, evil is flourishing. Comfort breeds illusion and lies. Truth and facts are more powerful than opinion.

Our own government denies the connection of the terrorist groups with Islam. They also refuse to give the Christians who face death asylum on our soil.

Here’s what we can do help our brothers and sisters who face death:

  • Spread the word and bring awareness to all Americans.
  • Raise millions of dollars to save these families and bring them to our shores.
  • Donate to the Nazarene Fund: http://now.mercuryone.org/

Will you stand united against evil to help our brothers and sisters who face death?

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Sources:

Time, ISIS Leader’s Rape of American Woman Sparks Little Outrage

http://time.com/4001808/isis-mueller-rape/

Foreign Policy, Exclusive: American Hostage Passed on Chance to Escape

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/22/exclusive-american-hostage-passed-on-chance-to-escape-kayla-mueller-abu-sayyaf-delta-force/

The Christian Science Monitor, Why Kayla Mueller, raped repeatedly by ISIS leader, refused to escape

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2015/0815/Why-Kayla-Mueller-raped-repeatedly-by-ISIS-leader-refused-to-escape

NY Times, With Proof From ISIS of Her Death, Family Honors Kayla Mueller

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/world/middleeast/parents-of-kayla-mueller-isis-hostage-confirm-she-is-dead.html?_r=0

 

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Lost Art of the Heart to Heart

On our journeys, we either seek the truth or we lose our way. I lost my identity because I feared to speak my mind, stand out, and be different.

Viewing life through a different lens has taught me to be a truth seeker and a keen observer of the world.

The greatest discovery is the truth in the heart to heart conversation.

J.P. McEvoy When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know - but if you listen, you may learn something
CC Image by BK

Heart to Heart Wisdom

  • Love and respect. It takes courage to love and respect each other despite our differences. Relationships with others is the greatest gift we must not take for granted. Truth cannot strive when we hate one another and remain divided.
  • Connect on deep level. Have honest, authentic conversations free from judgment and ridicule. Ask each other tough questions. Our minds become stagnant when we don’t explore and challenge our beliefs. Listen to one another to find common ground. Bare your souls to find understanding and appreciation for each others strengths. Don’t shut people out when you disagree with them.
  • Learn and Grow. One person can’t have all the answers so we must unite upon principles like freedom and liberty. We grow as human beings by standing for our beliefs and learning valuable lessons from one another. Bring back the childhood curiosity. Be a student of history and think like an investigative journalist. Don’t accept a truth until you explore various ideas and possibilities. Facts and critical thinking are not our enemies.

Be Bold. Be courageous. Lead. Live by Honor and Respect.

No temper tantrums. Leave that shit to the children.

Will you join me and unite on respect to learn about life together?

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