Online dating is something to be skeptical of. I’m not knocking the people who have been successful in their online dating ventures, or the ones who keep giving it a second chance. I’m just not one of them.
However, this is my story. My “online dating” story, and how it got me Catfished.
Around the fall of last year, someone introduced me to Tinder. It might have been one of those “Oh you should look at Tinder, it’s been kind of fun” type of intros. So, I gave it a whirl. Swiping left on guys I went to high school with had never been more entertaining! I went on a few Tinder Dates, and some were even repeat Tinder Dates.
In the later part of winter, I swiped right on this pretty stellar looking guy named Parker (age 30) because he had really pretty blue eyes (shallow, I know) and the best tagline of any Tinder profile I’d seen yet. “Tinder Tinder heart in a blender! Watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion! Rendezvous then I’m through with you!!!” In hindsight, this guy’s compulsive use of exclamation points should have been my first clue. But, guess what? It’s a match! He messaged me very quickly after that, and asked me if I wanted to go grab a drink that night. I declined, because it was kind of late, and I was already in comfy clothes ready for bed. We exchanged a few more messages about meeting up later in the week, and agreed to meet on a Wednesday night for a beer.
We exchanged phone numbers and sent a few texts back and forth about where we wanted to go, and that sort of thing. I took him to Guthrie’s because as shady as it is, if this guy ended up being a weirdo, the people who work there would have taken care of me. We get to the bar, and things are actually going pretty well. He paid for the beer, and conversation came very easy. We spent a good amount of time talking and flirting and just kind of becoming comfortable with each other. After a round of beers each, he asked if I wanted to come back and watch a movie with him. I agreed, because at this point, I was comfortable enough that I was no longer concerned. That, and I carry heavy duty pepper spray and “I know people”. Continuing on…we spent the next two days together and it was wonderful. It was like having a boyfriend without all the crap that comes with having a boyfriend. I got the cuddles and the compliments, we went to dinner and he was just sweet. I was actually pretty bummed to see him leave that Friday. He told me he’d be back, and that we could hang out again. Fast forward…
We’d been chatting and texting a LOT over the course of the couple of weeks he was travelling around the country doing whatever it is he does for work. Three months later, and I still have NO idea how he pays his bills. He tells me that he‘s going to be back in Bakersfield for a night at the end of the month and asked if I wanted to see him. Of course I did! I had a thing for him! He gave me his hotel information, and I drove right on over to see him. I told him that I only had a little while before I had to leave for a big road trip to Arizona that night so I wasn’t able to spend too much time with him. Jokingly, (I thought) he mentioned driving out to where I was going to be so he could spend more time with me and get the chance to meet some of my closest friends. You know, the ones who I’d told about him and how utterly amazing this guy was.
HE DOES IT. He really did drive all the way to Arizona (out of his way going back home) so he could spend more time with me. I picked him up from his stupid yellow truck and introduced him to my friends. He stayed the night with me, and helped me pack up my car. We said our goodbyes in the BevMo parking lot, and I watched him drive away, not realizing he still had my mug, and I had his jacket. Sigh. Fast Forward…
After that eventful weekend in Arizona, we talked non-stop. We had hours and hours and hours of phone conversations that ranged from music, to talk shows, to writing all the way to polyamory. He dropped the “I’m polyamorous” bomb on me shortly after I got home from Arizona, and while I wasn’t too keen on the idea of it, I certainly wasn’t opposed to it. I was falling for this guy, and was willing to be open to the idea of a poly-relationship.
We’d spent hours on the phone and thousands of text messages talking about everything, and it just seemed to line up as if Fate herself had placed this guy in my path for a reason. I got serious with him, one night and told him if this was going to continue in anyway, I needed to get some kind of commitment from him. So, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Like we were in junior high. It was pretty adorable. Within a four hour phone call I learned a lot. He’d been married, he had a daughter, he was in love with me, and he wanted to be with me. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends about this guy and how absolutely perfect he was. There was no big MOVE discussion at that point, but it wasn’t off the table. We set boundaries when it came to the polyamory thing. It was definitely more “open relationship” than polyamory. He wanted to be able to cheat and not feel guilty about it in the morning. Fast forward…
This guy has been a BIG part of my life for the better part of three months. Little did I know that my entire sense of anything with this guy was going to come crashing down in a REALLY big way. We’d gotten into a tiff earlier in the day over something stupid and it actually caused a bit of snafu. We hadn’t argued, or gotten in a fight at all. I’d been irritated with him, and he with me, but nothing beyond that. I could almost certainly tell that the conversation we were having was leaning towards him breaking up with me, and I so I asked him. “Is this something that you want?” He responds with something about a second opinion. A girl gets on the phone and she tells me that she’s Chris’s girlfriend.
Wait. What? I’m his girlfriend. How did I miss this? How…what? Really? I just got played. I got Catfished.
This girl who was claiming to be his girlfriend hangs up on me (rightfully so…) and I immediately call my best friend Rachelle and talk to her. She calms me down and says all of the things that a best friend is supposed to say in this situation. “He’s an asshole. You’re better than this. You’re better than him. Block him.” I get a text message from him while I’m on the phone with Rachelle, no longer crying my eyes out but more preparing for the absolute worst.
“So yeah. There’s that.”
He acts high and mighty, and as if there was nothing he did wrong. He tells me that he’s a sociopath, and they excel at lying, like that’s going to make things better for me? He tells me they’ve been together a year. I tell him that he’s Catfished me and that this could be a Lifetime movie. More text messages follow with no explanation as to his actions. I’ve stopped caring at this point and am only concerned that I don’t go off the deep end because I’m just so utterly befuddled at the situation. Portia came over and kept me entertained while I vindictively, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” his jacket and cut it into tiny little Chris-Confetti pieces. We joked about my Catfish episode, and my Lifetime Movie. It’ll be called Bayou Justice, by the way, and tried to light his jacket pieces on fire using Crisco in the middle of the street. Turns out polyester just melts, and doesn’t actually catch on fire. Bummer.
Tinder Nightmares is a real thing.
Here’s to you Chris, or Parker (and he’s 32), or whatever your real name is. Karma’s a bitch.