Catfish Detective

Having been part of the online dating world for several years now – it still never ceases to amaze me how I can get fooled by men claiming in their profiles to be someone that they clearly aren’t.

Just over a week ago I stumbled across Aaron’s profile on PlentyofFish. He had about 6 pictures (all seemingly normal of a 24 year old guy) and claimed he was an investment banker living in Toronto. His profile stated he also had a Yacht called “the Anna Maria” which he liked to take out and sail over Lake Ontario. Okay — so that should have been an immediate red flag.. but I was still curious to learn more about who this guy was. Maybe he just came from a wealthy family and was fortunate to have luxuries in his life like that.

I messaged him asking whereabouts he worked in Toronto. Never got a response…

Fast forward to today and I receive a message back from him.

Hey. Yeah I work as an investment banker in the financial district. Whereabouts do you work? Would you be interested in meeting up over your lunch break tomorrow?

I was caught off guard with his mention of meeting up so soon. We had no back and forth communication whatsoever. I thought it was a bit odd – although at the same time refreshing to hear he wanted to meet in person to learn more about me versus having a long winded dialogue over PoF or text.

When I got home – I decided to put on my Nev and Max cap (for those of you who don’t know who they are, learn about their TV show Catfish here). I thought to pull some of Aaron’s profile pictures onto my desktop and drag them into Google Images. The first image I dropped in to my surprise WAS A HIT! It was the exact same picture as a guy on LinkedIn (with a different name) who had 500+ connections, went to a University in Kingston but currently lived in California – and worked as an engineer. Had no trace of banking anywhere on his professional page.

I gave myself a pat on the back for taking some time tonight to investigate – especially before I gave away any more information about myself. I immediately reported Aaron’s profile on PoF and provided the LinkedIn page for the moderators to see. Surely within minutes, his profile was deleted!

For those of you who are also currently online searching for love – don’t rush into meeting up with the guy/girl you’re talking to. Make sure to do enough basic research beforehand. Enough that you can be almost 100% sure that the person you are meeting up with is being true to who they say they are. I always try and speak on the phone before meeting up in person – I would strongly encourage you to do the same. Another tip that’s worked for me is to find out what school they went to / what program they were in. That way you can do a basic Facebook search to try and uncover a bit more about them and make sure what they’re telling you is the truth.

P.S. If you’re wondering – Advertising Boy and I are still talking almost every day. I’m still exploring the online scene as I’m not sure if it will turn into anything with AB just yet. We’re making plans to go out again shortly.. so definitely staying optimistic!

Lonely Girls Valentine Fantasy

Last night I was heading home from the subway and just as I was leaving the station I saw a man holding a single red rose as he was heading up the escalator. I thought to myself whoever was about to receive that token of love was a lucky girl.

I’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day with a guy I cared about. Probably because none of my serious relationships lasted long enough to make it to February 14th. I feel like part of ‘Valentine’s Day’ is just a clever marketing tactic for restaurants and theatres to up their prices. Despite this, I’d love nothing more than to go out on a romantic date; where the guy opens the door for me, takes me to see a romantic comedy and then buys me an overly expensive dish of chicken-fettuccine alfredo. Then he’d take me to a hotel where rose petals are scattered down the front aisle towards the bedroom (of course I’m referencing ‘The Bachelor’). Then we’d lie in each others arms for hours and even though there would be moments of silence it would just feel… right. Or we could skip the expensive meal and he could make a home cooked meal… equally as attractive in my books.

I know Valentine’s Day is more than just a money monster. It’s also about being with someone you truly care about and sharing in each others affection. It’s about making the other person smile and laugh. Maybe opening your door to a dozen roses or a big teddy bear with numerous x’s and o’s written across it.

I am fortunate enough to have a great family that still celebrates Valentine’s Day together. I wake up with a heart shaped container filled with ferrero rochers, and my dad always makes a fantastic dinner for all of us to share. There is always so much love in my household and as much as I’d love to share a romantic night with someone, I really do have a lot of special people in my life. My closest girlfriends wished me a happy Valentine’s Day, despite some of them currently living outside the country.

The fact that I do have such great friends and family doesn’t make this lonely girl feel extremely sad or bogged down. I am so appreciative for what I do have in my life and look forward to the successes and opportunities that are waiting ahead of me. I also want to thank all of you for continuing along this journey with me. All your feedback, suggestions and stories really make me feel like I’m not alone and to keep pushing forward.

What’s your take on Valentine’s Day? What did you do to celebrate? Or maybe you simply stayed at home in your pajamas like me and watched re-runs of ‘Catfish’ and ‘Modern Family’.

Exposed and Vulnerable

An HBO show I’ve been obsessing over since its 2012 premiere is Lena Dunham’s “Girls.” The story follows the lives of several 20 something year olds in New York City and the challenges and tribulations they face along the way. The script is raw, real and relates so well to every other 20 something year old who has or most likely will experience similar life situations.

Dunham both directs and acts as the lead role ‘Hannah’ who plays her character so well; projecting to all her viewers such confidence in her own skin and makes us feel secure and inspired, knowing that we aren’t going through our day to day’s life challenges alone.

In the most recent episode that aired this week, Hannah was introduced to her next door neighbour who was in his 40s. What was initially meant to be an awkward meeting about dumping her garbage in his disposal bin ended up leading into a torrid sexual relationship. Everything was heated and passionate and he invited her to stay the night at his house. The following day she found herself in such a natural, happy place with him. Once the evening arrived, she came to the realization that she was worth feeling and being in a state of happiness. She fell apart in front of him, leaving herself completely vulnerable and exposed. As she continued talking he listened but you could sense he was withdrawing from the conversation and wasn’t as engaged and responsive as she hoped he would be.

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Just like Hannah, I am constantly trying to get myself outside my comfort zone and experience things I would have never thought I would. The problem is aside from all the crazy adventures and life experiences and being there for my friends and family, I need to also make my own state of happiness a priority. Would I necessarily strip down all my feelings and insecurities on the second day of being with a guy? Probably not or else he’d start backing off a bit. When I told my best guy friend that I always have heart to heart conversations with my sister and we talk about how we’re feeling, he just looked at me strangely and said he never does with his brother. For most guys, it’s hard to open up and I guess for girls it’s different because it’s something we constantly do.

I think it’s important to share you’re feelings with someone you deeply care about, but you can’t engulf the guy with all your feelings in 20 minutes. It’s something that will naturally take time as you continue getting to know one another.

I question whether I opened up too much about my experience level with the most recent guy I’ve been seeing. That was a week ago and as much as I thought he was okay with moving slowly and getting to know me more he’s definitely been more distant. He’s still been texting and asking me how I’m doing but it’s been a week, and still no hint towards wanting to go out again. Truly, it’s probably for the better. As if I fully gave myself to him and that’s all he wanted, I’d probably never forgive myself.

Girls – at what point is it okay to start opening up about your feelings to the guy you’re seeing? Guys – what’s your take on all of this?

A Philosophical Tweet

Every girl wants a bad boy, who will be good just for them, and every boy wants a good girl, who will be bad just for them.

I checked my email inbox today and stumbled across this Tweet by @frank_oceaan that had been re tweeted by someone that I follow. I read it thoroughly word by word and couldn’t believe how true it was.

I feel a large number of us live in somewhat of a fantasy world. Girls like myself like the idea of a ‘bad boy,’ or simply someone who appears unattainable. Coming from a small suburban city and sheltered the majority of my life departing slowly now at adulthood, I partly crave the unattainable due to fear of attaching myself to someone who is attainable. When I have the attainable, sweet and romantic guy who has genuine feelings for me… I runaway. In constant doubt and uncertainty as to whether it’s related to physical attraction, missing the ‘bad boy’ edge that I constantly crave, or simply out of fear of intensifying our relationship. I feel I thrive off of the excitement of the catch, and once it’s gone, I’m afraid of whether I will ever feel that again or if there is something else better.

I get afraid that I typically go after the wrong guy, and I understand that my mentality needs to change and I can’t set my standards incredibly high. Of course my dream would be to take the ultimate ‘bad boy’ and change him to be more of a gentlemanly, sweet guy while maintaining somewhat of his edge… but the reality of that happening is slim to none. Of course at the same time I want a guy who will genuinely treat me like a lady, but have somewhat of an edge to him and surprise me with things that aren’t so sweet on every date we go on.

So what’s your perfect guy? Is he a combination of good and bad?

I Would Run To You

The other day my sister sent me a YouTube link to a commercial which had over 1 million views within a 3 week time span. Turns out it was a new advertising concept by Nike where a woman runs across the country in her Nike shoes to be reunited with her love. Humorous, cute and different from all the previous Nike ads I’ve seen, I thought it was very well done overall. It made me envious and hopeful that I will find love one day. Maybe not go as far as run across a country for that special someone, but show it through little day to day things. I’ve never experienced it before so I can’t share what those are just yet.

For those having been/ are currently in love, what are those little things that keep the spark alive? If you haven’t seen the commercial, you can click on the link below.