I’m sure many of you have seen the MTV show Catfish: The TV Show by now. It’s a reality series that investigates possible cases of false identity in the online dating world. I haven’t seen a ton of episodes, but what I have seen got me thinking about the increased potential of being catfished in the polyverse. Why? Because most catfishing happens over the internet, as does the lion’s share of poly dating. And poly daters are a natural target for haters who want to mess with them for brazenly rejecting the sacred rules of monogamy.
4 Signs You’re Being Catfished
1. Your New Love Interest Doesn’t Want to Meet in Person
Some delay in meeting can be expected with online dating. Many people feel it’s too risky to rendezvous in person until they’re at least somewhat certain that you’re not going to kill them and harvest their organs. Add to that the stigma associated with non-monogamous relationships and you might have to wait a while.
If the waiting period has stretched beyond what you consider reasonable, they refuse to video chat, and plans to meet keep being cancelled at the last minute for vague or implausible reasons, you could be a victim of catfishing.
2. Their Pics Can Be Traced to Other People
When in doubt, do a reverse image search on their profile pic, or pics sent to you in private messages. You can do this by going to Google Images, clicking on the camera icon in the search bar, then uploading a photo or URL. This will tell you if the photos they’re using appear elsewhere on the internet and in what context.
This works best if they’ve shared personal info with you (like their name), but it can also provide valuable info in terms of how many profiles they have and if there are glaring inconsistencies between them.
3. They Don’t Have Established Social Media Accounts
Most people have some sort of social media presence these days. Depending on how they feel about outing themselves as poly to their friends and family, however, you might not be welcome to friend them on Facebook right away.
Check out what you can of their social media profiles anyway. Do they have lots of friends or followers? When did they initiate their accounts? Do your findings gel with what they’ve shared with you? A catfish might have skeleton accounts and very little happening on them. Some people are private, lock their profiles down, or don’t live their lives online, so use discretion when forming your verdict.
4. Your Gut Tells You You’ve Been Catfished
Trust your intuition. If you suspect that you’re being catfished, you’re probably right. Most people using online dating sites will make some effort to meet, or connect over FaceTime or Skype or alike.
Keep your wits about you. Don’t get so wrapped up in dreams of your perfect poly match that you fail to acknowledge red flags as they arise. Ask your friends or other partners for their take on things. Sometimes an objective voice is all you need to see things for what they are. It’s so important to be open, but also safe and discerning in your search for new poly partners.
Have you ever been catfished? Please share your story in the comments.