The One with Catfish

Online dating sometimes feels like playing the game bamboozled(BeanBoozled?). Now Bamboozled is a game my nieces and nephew love that involves eating good/bad Jelly Beans. You grab a jelly bean at random and without knowing quite what you are going to bite into, may taste something delicious like buttered popcorn, coconut, or peach…. or you might get something a little more unpleasant like rotten egg, barf, or spoiled milk. Still trying to wrap my brain around why my 7 year old nephew loves this game so much….

Dating is definitely trying playing the game bamboozled.

The interesting thing about online dating is that until you work up the nerve to actually meet the random stranger that you swiped right on (whether on purpose or accident) you are operating largely on a principle of trust.
– Trust that the men are actually men, not women (not really my thing)
– Trust that the pictures in the profile didn’t come from a quick google search for “hot guy”
– Trust that the dudes aren’t adding 2-3 inches of height on when they list their height. If I can’t pretend to be 5’9″ you cannot pretend to be 6’2″.

Sometimes you get lucky and the guy who has vague or terrible pictures of himself actually turns out to be a charming, unbelievably handsome guy with a great smile (congrats Gary, you made it to the blog). Two.

Other times… The tall Nigerian guy with the incredible beard? Actually a short stocky guy with some kind of “facial hair” that is reminiscent of “Brian with the Soul Patch” from the movie Just Go With It…. whispy, long, thin and certainly not impressive- especially to the girl who is not a fan of beards in the first place. And that pro ball player? Actually only made it for picture day before he got kicked out for drugs….

Just this week I was talking to a friend about how difficult online dating can be.
#1 Are the guys/girls who only post group photos. It can be incredibly disappointing to swipe right on a profile that has two friends in every picture and then you meet up only to realize it was NOT the cute friend… Like, is it ever socially appropriate to ask your date for their friends’ number?? No, really, I want to know…
#2 Are the guys whose pictures are way too vague to recognize them in real life. From the ones who only post blurry half-a-face selfies, to those who don’t post any pictures of their face… C’mon now. I get that your bio is super clever- telling me you are not Ryan Reynolds, listing a five-star review from your mom, and

Side note: I think if I were to have a side hustle, it would be to help these poor guys improve their profiles. I could make MONEY

#3 Are the guys/girls (I’m assuming girls do it too) who post completely inaccurate photos. I remember seeing a guy I came across on there who I knew personally and his photos were 10 years and 100lbs different from present day… Just own who you are! Confidence is irreplaceable.

Now I still remember one of the most awkward dates I have ever been on…Which if you follow my dating life at all you know is saying quite a bit.

I was giving a shot at the time, after a few month break from dating, and had a guy reach out to me. Now all of his pictures were from distances of at least 30 feet away so I knew from the very beginning that I was taking a gamble… But he was also a world traveler and intelligent and funny (in text) so when he typed up a long message asking me to get dinner with him (and I do mean longggggg), I figured it was worth a shot. He seemed like a sweet, kind person and I mean he looked like he might at least have good bone structure…. from the angles I could see from a distance… haha

Being just at the end of summer I put on my favorite sundress and jacket and met him on the patio at the Cheesecake Factory.
– Brought me flowers (I swear I am a sucker for flowers)
– Tall. Like, this 6′ girl can wear her stilettos and still feel short kinda tall.
– Never left 7th grade- greasy hair, bowl hair cut, and the oh so classy long sleeve t-shirt layered under a short sleeve button up shirt, and the classic cargo jeans… You know the look. Might even have had some rhinestone design on the undershirt…

Now, before you go and write me off as shallow, you should know that I am the kind of person who is almost always willing to give someone a chance regardless of being a bad dresser, socially awkward, or even, wait for it…. a bad speller! 😉 Its so hard to judge who someone really is from a few pictures and words that they choose to put on an online profile. Some people are not photogenic, others are just so much funnier and put together in person. Then again, probably the reason I’ve gone on a date with two guys at the same time and kissed a guy missing a tooth. So clearly, I have this whole dating thing dialed in.

The date quickly went downhill from there.

Captivating and sweet words in messages online apparently looked like three words sentences, insulting my family and my tattoo, and a total inability to make eye contact. Seriously…. I don’t think he actually looked me in the eye on the date once. It was almost impressive. There was so much awkward silence and so little to talk about that I quickly remembered why I don’t do dinner for first dates.

When you get to the point where you are memorizing license plates of parked cars on a date, it does not bode well

When we went to leave the restaurant…. still trying to redeem the date I tried to walk slowly and reasonably close to him so that we could continue to talk (or stare awkwardly at other people and not each other, same difference). But I must have smelled bad or something because dude would NOT walk closer than 10 feet away from me… I’m telling you, I am starting to get a complex…

Dude walked me to my car as I held the one good thing to come out of the date- my flowers. Got to the car only to have him say

I need the vase back. Its my moms

Mind you… it was not a crystal vase passed down through the generations… It was a plastic vase I am pretty sure I saw on sale the other day at Target.

Again, that sense of humor of mine comes in handy. So instead of the displaying the awkwardness and shock I felt inside, I just chuckled, took the flowers out of the vase, handed it back to him and told him to have a good night. I got in my car and seriously considered walking back in to go get me some cheesecake (who goes to Cheesecake Factory and doesn’t get cheesecake??). Oh right all my socially awkward dates

Apparently, though all the awkwardness that I experienced was not mutual because 4 days later Dude texts me

Thank you for the best date the other night. I really enjoyed getting to know you. When are you free again?

One more heart broken, one more solo slice of cheesecake, and one more re-evaluation of my criteria to saying yes to a first date…

2 thoughts on “The One with Catfish

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