“Cat got your tongue?” is the expression most of us are used to hearing. Today’s version might be “Catfish got your tongue?” as there is nothing that will make you more hesitant to online date than a bad experience. This might be in the form of an in-person date who wasn’t like you thought they’d be, a scammer who got (or tried to) your trust or cash, or a Catfish who led you into believing that you had a ‘real’ relationship.
Here are some tips for getting back into dating, especially online:
1. You’re Smart, Wise, And (Gosh Darn-it) People Like You!
“Once bitten, twice shy” might be a natural reaction to being deceived online, but you are (without a doubt) wiser and smarter than you were when you first started online dating. You know what NOT to do. It might be time to reflect about what you learned from your online dating mishap.
2. Have A Dating Plan:
Perhaps your new and revised dating plan is to only reach out or respond to dating candidates who live within thirty minutes (or closer) of your stomping grounds. This will help you avoid getting into sticky entanglements with long distance pen-pals or risking a Catfish setting you up. Another idea is to review possibly dates or contacts with a trusted friend and see if the person you’re meeting or talking to sounds legit to an outside ear. One of the consistently most important rules is to never, ever (ever!) give, transfer or wire money to anyone you haven’t met or don’t know and trust implicitly. Remember Catfish and Spammers are good at what they do. They can create an illusion of trust and connection, to get what they want. They have likely done it before you and will do it after you. Stick with a dating plan and, if possible, write it down and look at it time to time, to make sure you’re staying on track.
3. Reverse Image Search… Every Time:
Maybe they’re good looking or seem especially honest. Regardless, make sure to reverse image search every, single time!
If you’re less tech savvy, this might seem like a lot of additional work or unnecessary, but it’s more necessary than ever! It’s also easier than ever. SocialCatfish.com makes reverse image search that gives the most comprehensive results at the click of a button. It’s also possible to do online reverse image searching yourself. Our article explains how to, here: How To Use Reverse Image Search To Avoid Scams.
4. Don’t Over-Think It!
Being tricked or deceived will never feel good. However, even being careful doesn’t totally diminish the possibility of being hurt or tricked in a relationship. Sometimes the people who disappoint us are people we met through dating sites, other times it is people met in bars, churches, or volunteer events. ‘Happily ever after’ is only a line from fairy tales. Happiness in a partnership takes time, energy, maintenance, trust, and work. If one tries to be too careful, opportunities for connection will be limited.
You can limit the risk of being taken for a ride, by someone dishonest online, but dating and love will always involve some risk!