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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