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!

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(Everything I Do) I Do It For You

About a month ago I told you about Advertising Boy. Since then, we exchanged phone numbers and have been texting each other frequently. We constantly smile and make small conversation as we pass each other at work and occasionally sit in the kitchen together for lunch.

About a week after we started texting – I asked if he wanted to step out for lunch with me to go to a farmer’s market across the street from where we worked. He said yes! Despite the rain downpour that arrived soon after we got there – we had a nice time! I learned we both enjoyed live music, had similar family values, career goals and aspirations. He had the most gorgeous smile which I couldn’t stop melting over every time I looked at him.

That same week – a co-worker had sent out an all-staff email letting us know there would be a free Bryan Adams concert in our city on July. 23rd. It was first come first serve for the seats – so I immediately texted AB asking if he liked Bryan Adams and sure enough he said yes, and that he’d love to go see him.

The day of the concert arrived and I was a bundle of nerves, at the same time very excited for our “first date”. We had to be at the venue for 7pm. Both of us had to stay late at work to finish up a project – so we left together at 5:45pm. We decided it would be better to go to a mall close by the theatre and grab something from the food court (as that way we would get our food quickly and make it to the concert in time).

We arrived at the venue right at 7pm and took our seats in one of the 4-seater boxes to the right of the stage. We probably had one of the best seats in the house.. not to mention it was very romantic being in such a small, private section. It was one of the most incredible concerts either of us had been to. Bryan Adams was amazing, and we sang along to each and every one of his songs. When he started playing (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, we got a bit closer and our arms and legs were touching. We looked over at each other and smiled.

After the concert he asked if I wanted to go grab a coffee but it was already half past 10 and I knew it would take another hour to get home (and we had work the next day). He walked to the subway with me and once we got there, we both said we had a really nice time and we gave each other a really nice hug goodbye. There was a second there I thought he’d go for a kiss, but the hug was good enough for me. He told me to text him to let him know I got home safe.

I just got home! Thanks for a great evening. :) Had so much fun.

AB: That was fun! I had a great time as well. So mad its over haha. Okay gnite see you tomorrow!

Night!!

The next day at work – my co-worker that had sent out the email about the Bryan Adams concert came up to my desk and asked if I had a nice time. I looked at him and said yes, I did. He then proceeded to tell me that he saw AB and me together. My jaw dropped. I said we just went as friends and he replied..

Whatever you say. *wink face*

The truth of the matter is that we are still just in the “friend” phase, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s almost better to start it off as a friendship and see where it goes. I can see he still checks his OKC page.. as do I… so I’m not getting too excited just yet. Definitely feel it’s off to a good start though!

Advertising Boy

I started a new job at an advertising agency about a month ago. It’s been such a great experience so far. The culture and environment is great and the people make going into work everyday fun and exciting.

Shortly after I started, a new guy started working at the company and I immediately crushed on him. Even though romances at work are frowned upon, that didn’t mean I couldn’t admire him from afar or try and learn more about him. Let’s call him advertising boy…

Advertising boy and I exchanged eye contact here and there and sat in the kitchen around the same lunch time on certain days over the past four weeks, but I never got an opportunity to speak with him face to face. We even sat in on some of the same presentations, but always ended up on opposite sides of the table or room. I seemed cursed.

Today, I logged onto my OKC profile after dinner and started searching through the list of new users in my area. No luck.

Just as I was about to log off.. a new message appears in my inbox.

hey hows your week going?

I clicked on this user’s profile and I immediately screamed out of excitement. The pictures and profile description matched exactly that of advertising boy! I mean.. what are the fucking chances (excuse my language, but I can hardly contain myself!) I had no clue how to decipher that message he sent me. Did he know who I was? Do I really look so different in the office than I do on my profile pictures? I mean, how could he not put two and two together. I wrote in my profile I also worked at an advertising agency and what my profession was.

My hands were shaking I was so nervous. I figured after a long 10 minutes of deliberation that I should just come out and tell the truth.

I write back:

Hey! Umm.. this is really embarrassing but do you realize that we may actually work together? ;P

Advertising boy:

really? oh fml. hahahah
Me:
Hahah well what a way to get to know each other. :P How are you enjoying your first few weeks?
Then he responded telling me about how he was really loving the company so far and asked me how I was liking it / when I started working there. I just responded and now waiting for a reply back.
Gosh, this will make for a very interesting day at work tomorrow…
I mean… how would you handle this if it happened to you?

Talking on the Phone vs Texting

About a week and a half ago, I started communicating with Cory on POF. He looked gorgeous in his pictures (none of them made me question whether he was a ‘catfish‘). Cory recently graduated from University / moved to Toronto. His profile stated that as a recent graduate, he was doing lots of soul searching and introspection to figure out where to go in his life and his response has been to a) drink lots of tea and b) BLOG.

I thought to myself… wouldn’t it would be funny if we were both blogging about our dating stories? It would be interesting to read both of our first date perspectives about one another. Little did he know that I was a blogger myself.

We started talking about what our favourite teas were, as he mentioned working at a tea store. I was telling him about my adventures attending high tea. From there we talked briefly about where we lived (turns out we are only 10-15 away from each other), what we studied, and what our plans for the future were career wise.

After about 5 messages back and forth I made the next move and gave Cory my cell number. I suggested he call or text me sometime as it would be an easier way to have a conversation.

This past Tuesday he texted me. The first two days we were texting very quickly back and forth. On day 2 I asked if he wanted to call me but he said:

“I’m actually watching [fill in movie name] with my housemate. We haven’t seen much of each other lately so we’re catching up. Rain check!”

I thought to myself… that’s fair. At least he asked for a rain check. Mean while we kept texting back and forth a bit while he was watching the movie. As the next few days passed our text messages ranged from being an hour apart to days apart.

This past Wednesday, Cory told me he was having an interview the following day so I told him to let me know how it went. The following day I never heard from him. I texted him Friday night asking how it went. Still no response…

I was beginning to question whether this guy was being legit. I decided to be a ‘catfish‘ detective by dragging and dropping two of his online profile pictures into a google image search. I came across his LinkedIn (which seemed pretty up to date with everything he told me about himself) and it also provided me with his last name. From there I searched that name on Facebook and sure enough, I found him! 930 friends, 2 mutual ones and he even shared some of his WordPress blog posts on his wall which was set to public. I was too tempted and clicked the link and scrolled through. He did have some relationship posts but the majority of what I skimmed through talked about life in general. He is a great writer.

Anyway, I decided to text one last time this morning saying, “everything okay?” About an hour later he wrote back, apologizing for not responding sooner. He was out of town attending his old Universities homecoming weekend. He asked how my weekend was going.

I was getting tired of all the texting. I wrote back saying that he should just call me when he got back in town and we could talk more then. He wrote back saying:

“I’m not really a phone conversation person. I feel a lot is lost when you can’t see body language and hear tone. Although I’m hypocritical because I like to text… haha”.

Yeah, completely hypocritical I’d say. Sure, some people just aren’t comfortable with talking on the phone, I get that. Still – I felt something just wasn’t adding up. I wrote back:

“That’s fair! I like texting too but I find it’s really hard to have any sort of real conversation. Are you interested in meeting up at some point?”

Cory wrote back saying:

“This is true for any prolonged length. For sure. My schedule is a little sporadic this week but maybe we can find time for coffee, or tea! :P”

I haven’t responded yet. I would like to meet him, but part of me thinks I’d feel more comfortable at least hearing his voice once before. Perhaps even if it’s just to arrange where to meet. What would you suggest I do with him? Ever experienced something similar?

So close, yet so far.

Last Sunday, I found a guy on PlentyOfFish that seemed a bit too good to be true. Very good looking, 6’0′ tall, 26 years old, practiced law and lived in the same neighbourhood as me! He didn’t include much of a description in his profile aside from, “I’m new to this, just trying it out.” Usually I like reading a bit more about the guy before sending a message, but the little I already knew about him peaked my interest enough, so I sent a message.

Adam responded to my message within half an hour, and we started writing back and forth pretty quickly. Especially after discovering we lived a few streets away from each other! We also learned we went to the same high school, equally loved going to concerts, and were both on POF to connect with people outside our own circle of friends.

By midnight, we had probably sent about 15 messages back and forth and we both had work the next day. He ended off the conversation saying: “Well here’s my number if you want to text me sometime :) It was nice talking to you!” Then we both wished each other goodnight and logged off. I went to bed still thinking, he’s just way too good to be true, but it definitely ended my night on a positive note.

We texted back and forth for the next few days; and continued to learn more about one another. This past Wednesday evening, he wrote to me asking how my day was. I proceeded telling him how I had a very long day and it would probably be easier if we talked on the phone a bit. He told me he was having a BBQ dinner with his family. I suggested maybe he could call me later on, or another day later in the week. He responded:

Adam: Ya, okay. I recently got out of a relationship. :s It makes me a bit nervous.

Me: What makes you nervous?

Adam: Like moving on so fast.

Me: Well I’m not looking to rush into a relationship either. It’s always nice just to meet new people and see where it goes. (even though I would love that, but didn’t want to frighten him!)

Adam: Yeah, that’s true.

Then he switched the subject and we texted back and forth a bit more that night. Now if some of you think this guy could possibly be a catfish (click here if you don’t know what I’m referring to), he isn’t. How do I know? This is very bizarre – but as I was looking through Tinder after the first few days of us talking, his picture came up! The same one he used on his POF profile. I couldn’t believe it. Same name, and Tinder connects to your Facebook account, so I could see we had two mutual friends (both, really nice people). I did a quick Facebook search and he seemed to be legit. He’d been truthful about where he had gone to school.

We texted back and forth for a bit last night, although our conversation was cut short as Adam was just on his way out to go downtown.

I’m curious as to what all of you think I should do about him. I definitely don’t want to be the rebound again, but perhaps if I take things slowly and go at his pace, this could turn into something great. Throw your thoughts at me!

Signed, Utterly Confused and Disappointed

Hello to all my new followers! I’ve now reached over 100. I feel so blessed to have so many of you following along my hilarious and crazy journey to find love.

First off, I was unable to go to the speed dating event two nights ago. As I mentioned, I’ve been battling a bad cold over the last week and have been on antibiotics for the last few days. I was disappointed not to go, if not for the experience alone, but I knew it was best to get fully better and not expose my cold to anyone. The one positive thing I hoped from getting a cold was a sweet, sexy rhasp to my voice… but NO. I woke up to my phone ringing the other day to confirm an order I made to a print shop, sounding like a 70 year old man. I tried apologizing but it just continued getting worse. Luckily, my voice is almost back to normal.

Now if you can believe it, the guy I was talking about in ‘I Fed Him French Fries for Crying Out Loud!‘ finally took the initiative to reach out to me yesterday. However, it was surprisingly on the online dating site where our conversation initially started.

Heeelllu dere =)

Me: Hey stranger.

I couldn’t believe how ridiculous this was. I felt like we were back to square one and the mind games were starting again. It’s like we never hung out or kissed before. Quite honestly it felt like a slap in the face and it hurt.

I completely agreed with elizabethbennett2‘s comment, that he probably wasn’t into me as much as I was into him, and just wanted the “relationship” to die of starvation.

However, when I gave this guy space and finally came to terms with not seeing him anymore, he reached out in a form that I found very confusing and bizarre. After having gone on 4 dates, why was this guy messaging me on the site that everything started. Why not just call me and have a conversation? Even texting me is better than starting from square one again. Part of me didn’t even think I should respond. Although I couldn’t help but feel that maybe he still felt something deep within that pushed him to message me.

So as our online conversation continued, he proceeded to ask me about how my cruise was. He then told me he had a large amount of work to get done before the school year finished and was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it. Which made me think: Well, maybe I’m being too hard on him. Maybe he can’t commit to making any definite plans aside from focusing on his studies right now. But hang on… he can still make the time to go the gym a few times a week and continue having conversations with girls from the website? I’m busy too, but if I genuinely liked someone I would still make the time to see them. 

Then he asked me if I’ve received any crazy messages from anyone on the site recently. I was honest and told him I’ve received a few messages but I haven’t met up with anyone since him. He told me he hadn’t met up with anyone else either. However, he was still communicating with girls and even sent me an entire conversation thread he recently had with one of them. I was shocked. She was accusing him of just looking to sleep around with girls from the site based on a comment he made in his profile description. Which led into a heated back and forth conversation with him defending himself and telling her off. WHY would he be sending this to me. Why do I care what conversations he is having with other girls?

He also recently got back into smoking weed, and I have no clue whether that could have any effect on the way he’s been communicating with me. I promised myself I wouldn’t judge him for that. However, it is an issue if it dramatically affects his behaviour.

I always find the male mind a strange thing to wrap my head around, which is why I welcome opinions from all my readers about what they make of him. Is it time to ignore and move on?