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Have you heard of the term “catfish”? Before Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend, most people would have thought we were talking about the fish with the long whiskers. But in fact, the term Catfish was coined from a 2010 documentary, which launched the idea for the MTV series, Catfish: The TV Show.

A “catfish” is a person who creates fake profiles online and pretends to be someone they are not by using someone else’s pictures and information.

Between the MTV show and the Manti Te’o incident it seems like online dating is fraught with lies and liars.

Many of us have had the temptation to make a better version of ourselves online. Yes, maybe we exaggerate our weight and height, but why would a person lie about someone they are not?

Maybe using a fake version of yourself takes away the risk of opening up. Maybe it allows you to be less invested so it is easier to walk away. But the bigger issue, and what seems to be the underlying reason of why people lie about themselves online, is because they are insecure about their true selves. They do not believe what they have to offer is good enough. They are embarrassed about who they really are so they fabricate a person who is prettier or taller or more talented.

This better version of themselves helps them to escape the hardships of real life. This created online fantasy world makes them forget about the insecurities and the fears and they are replaced with feelings of confidence, emotional connection, and love.

Catfish are recognizable because they want to date exclusively online. They do not want to reveal their true issues.

When we watch these shows and discover the reasons why people are being dishonest about their profiles, it is either because they are maliciously playing a joke or hiding a deep insecurity. Either way, it is heartbreaking.

No one is perfect, and if someone appears perfect online, it is important for you to develop the relationship further. If they are truly the person from the profile, it will come out over time. Safety precautions are important in any dating situation. Check out CatholicMatch’s safety tips at CatholicMatch.com/safety/

If you are someone who is reluctant to show your true self online due to struggles you may have, realize that your obstacles do not define you, overcoming them does. Everyone has something that they feel they could improve on, even the greatest saints. Nothing is more admirable than watching someone overcome a barrier. It takes courage to be open about our true selves and accept our shortcomings. Honesty is integral to any relationship, and someone should love you for YOU not the air-brushed version of yourself.

Online dating sites are there to help members meet their spouses, but the website is, in fact, just a tool. If chatting online is going well and two compatible people are interested in each other, why wouldn’t you want to meet? You cannot have a real relationship if you don’t. 

Online or not, no one should waste time on a person who is unwilling to move forward. Don’t let yourself get involved with someone who isn’t willing (after whatever amount of time you feel is right) to take it to the next step. Guard your heart against having an emotional affair with someone who is dishonest online. While that person is undeserving and the relationship may be “fake,” the emotions and the hurt are very real.

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14 Comments

  1. Jen-3409 January 31, 2013

    You only tackled about people writing false info about themselves but the worst is — What do you think of people who work in online dating sites, posting profiles in exchange for money. They are in dating sites trying to chat and pretend to be interested. After a few emails and some so as not to be obvious would even meet you in person then they just disappear or fabricate excuses like there was no chemistry, no connection and all that crap. The TRUTH is: they are just DATERS for HIRE.

    These DATERS FOR HIRE aka SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETERS” only aim is to write to as many members so as to entice members to subscribe and to show there is high online interaction going on. I know, as I am speaking from experience. When I didn’t have a subscription, 10 people sent me messages. When I got a subscription, the 10 people disappeared. Isn’t that OBVIOUS? How many fake men and women are out there trying to get your money?

    ANYWAY, that is a DISHONEST way of earning extra income online. BE conscientious– those looking for extra income by FOOLING people.

    • Robyn Lee
      Robyn Lee January 31, 2013

      I can assure you 100% we have never done that nor have we ever thought of it. It is bad for business and bad for our industry. If you have more specific concerns I would be happy to forward your message to our customer service team.

    • Sheena-793046 February 1, 2013

      Wow! I’m learning more facts or truths about this CM site.I think everybody has issues in their own lives but who are we to judge one another. We are all imperfect human beings as it is said, “For all have sinned and fall short in the glory of God.” Anyways, we are all held accountable to what we think, say and do for whatever reason.And the truth will always prevail.That’s why we need to read the Bible and pray to God for guidance everyday… =)

  2. Maggie-918313 January 31, 2013

    Are you saying that CM is promoting this, Jen? Who is paying them?

    That would be very troubling.

    • Brian Barcaro
      Brian R. Barcaro February 1, 2013

      We try very hard to not delete comments unless they are somehow offensive. That being said CatholicMatch has a 14 year history of providing a quality service to the Catholic community. We have a stellar reputation and stand behind our service as does the the thousands of couples who have met through our site. In addition, we have a dedicated staff of people who work hard to keep fraudulent accounts who would prey on members off the site. If someone has a specific question or is concerned about a certain member we always welcome them to contact our customer service staff. Otherwise accusations without any merit is gossip and will not be tolerated or go unanswered on our site.

    • Carmela-925681 February 2, 2013

      I agree with Jen, my friend has the same experience here at Catholic Match. She got a lot of emotigrams and messages, once she got a subscription to be able to read and reply to their messages, THEY STOP RESPONDING to her.. SO WHAT”S THAT? They just enticed her to get a subscription!!! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. That;s why I am just trying this site and won’t get a subscription and won’t stay here for long.

      • Brian Barcaro
        Brian R. Barcaro February 3, 2013

        Carmela you are free to make baseless accusation on behalf of a friend but we stand behind our 14 years of providing an honest valuable service to single Catholics. If you ever have a specific question about our site feel free to submit a help ticket and our customer service staff will be happy to help you.

  3. Amanda-818043 January 31, 2013

    I love that show, and I find it fascinating to see why people create these fake profiles. Alot of the times, it`s because they have issues with their life, experienced bullying, or are insecure about themselves. I think they should get help before hurting people though. Go to therapy or find someone to talk to. It ruins/wastes years of a person`s life, and sucks them in to a relationship that isn`t real. It devastates people.

    • Meesch-691047 February 1, 2013

      catfish or plenty of fish? I’m so confused, but I love catching real catfish… they are delicious!

      • Susi-932519 February 2, 2013

        I agree Meesch..I love eating fried Catfish!!! YUM YUM!! LOL But, all and all it’s interesting read, and makes you think???

      • Daniel-792416 March 12, 2013

        LOL that is too funny!

  4. Joe-786218 February 4, 2013

    Fried catfish, that was a treat!

    Lying on profiles… sigh … I’ve met my share of overly optimistic profiles. They’re trying, I’ll give them that. But I prefer to let them try with someone else. I’m sure the girls have their own stories…

  5. Brian Barcaro
    Brian R. Barcaro February 5, 2013

    @Joe: There is a big difference between someone having an “overly optimistic” profile and creating a completely false profile for the expressed purpose to deceive. People embellishing about themselves can be wrong it is a far cry from Catfishing. Just to clarify. :)

  6. Melva-845523 July 9, 2013

    I figured something must be not right, after reading what many of you posted, it validates my gut feelings and conclusions on many of the profiles I have read. This truly saddens me, I am however confident and will go on. Thank you, “But, I am out”.

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