The Fine Art Of Catching (and Releasing) a Catfish
Photo: John Holcroft (Getty Images)
There are plenty of fish in the sea, but in the dating pool, the one you don’t want to catch is the dreaded catfish. You’ll know you’ve hooked a catfish if their backstory keeps changing, they never want to meet face to face, or they beg you for money. Instead of getting upset or getting revenge, you decide to do the ethical thing and release your catfish back into the wild. Doing this might feel counterintuitive or even hurtful, but remember that these bottom-feeders feast on the desires of others. Here’s how to ethically let your catfish go without anyone getting hurt in the process.
With so many easy and meaningless ways to "meet people," things start off pretty mild. You swipe, swipe, swipe until you've got a match. And that match responds and suddenly you have a potential love connection.
Too Good To Be True
Your very own catfish doesn't seem so catfishy at first. In fact, they're kind of perfectly tailored to what you say you want. Except they seem to never have time to meet up. Are they a gift from heaven or something worse?
Something Seems Off
So you share some of your concerns with a friend who immediately believes the love of your life might not be so real.
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
Real love, the Mary J. Blige kind, can't be destroyed by the opinions of the people you trust the most. So you obviously persist by making more plans they don't show up for.
Fraud Detection Alert
Still, they've got an excuse for everything. So much so that now even your internal bullshit detector is going off. If they won't even meet you once, is it really real love?
There's really only one thing you can do now, and that's release them into the wild for some other unsuspecting chump. You don't have to give a flowery emotional speech or even get upset. You simply have to move on, which is harder than you think.
But Not Impossible To Do
Unfriend and unmatch them to undo their power over you. They might fight it at first, but in the end there's not much they can do as they're not real and refuse to meet you. Plus, later on you'll be telling the story at the same bar you'll meet Darlene, the love of your life, who laughs at your catfish story and then tells you her own.