Why do people catfish when it comes to online dating?

This isn't the first time this has happened but last night I met a girl off POF who added me on facebook and snapchat. She has a good personality and we have things in common. She looked really cute from her pictures and they weren't at MySpace angles or outdated. She would send current pics, not that I requested them.

But when I met her at the bar last night she was definitely a little heavier, not obese, and had a double chin. I hardly recognized her once she came up to me in the bar and it put me in awkward position because when she came up to me, I couldn't help but think you didn't look like that in the pics, and she could tell it in my face. I told her I didn't recognize her due to the glasses because she's never worn them in her pics but I was still a little disappointed.

Now she was cool but I'm wondering why do people catfish with their appearance like that only to make the person they mislead feel guilty?

I mean I don't shame anyone for their appearance nor should someone but I don't think anyone should feel guilty for not being attracted to someone, especially when the person misrepresented themselves. How do you know who will really like you the way you are if you mislead people? People will like what you have or they won't. Not that appearance is everything but it still matters.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I don't know to be honest. I have met quite a few guys and they all looked the way the had presented themselves. Perhaps it's just another insecurity thing, where girls make themselves prettier, hoping to attract men?

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    • 25d

      Yeah I present myself exactly the way I look so if it doesn't pan out, I know it's not because I misrepresented myself or catfished anyone.

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    • 23d

      That's true, there's no universal attraction.

    • 10h

      Thanks for MHO :)

Most Helpful Guy

  • Don't shame for appearance, fine, but absolutely and loudly publicly shame for deception. If the consequence for lying to hide being a fat was consistently getting called out and publicly shamed for it, that shit would stop, and online dating could stop being worthless.

    I just stopped online dating. 1/2 that I met would be fat, and that's after sorting for angled/outdated pics girls. I'd still get half fatfishers. Fuck that

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What Girls Said 31

  • For the most part its due to insecurities about their appearance and fear of rejection however I believe its much more broader than that. Personally I believe people "catfish" or use other peoples photos is to escape their own reality and be someone else for a short amount of time. Its the internet and anyone can be who they want in this fantasy land. They can say they own a record label or they can fake who they look like or they do a degree in medicine or science or whatever. They believe since its not face to face or confrontational it can't hurt them or the other person because "its not real" .. their life is made up along with the behaviours and actions they take. Every catfish walks down this path for an escape from their current reality then later on they will find someone who they wish got to know them out of their own persona. In your situation though; she believed she could get away with a white lie, meaning she can say it is her in the photo but that photo was taken 5 years ago, its misleading and she held back important info

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  • I out lighter filters on my pics because I can't do my makeup right and the lighting in my home is shit... I tell men look I look like backend if bus n take pics on kik there and then to send so they see an accurate me took there and then...

    I kno what u mean by catfishin tho pof is full of them unfortunately it's a guy I used to see that does it I gave up.. he calls me
    Old and says stuff callin my kids baggage while pretending it isn't him... quite sad..

    Want my advice tho if u think ur typin to a babe score her down to a 6 or 7 so u don't disappoint urself.. mostly every girl will use there phone filter to make them look better... n noticed guys are doin the same lol
    don't be disappointed tho... so she has a double chin so do I... I'm not fat or obses just unfortunate to inherit it is all..
    She wears glasses maybe she wears contacts also. ots of people wear specs I do too.. not deceiving anyone I wear my contacts all the time

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  • I think appearance itself is very subjective to ourselves and to others. What every man or woman would want to put our their most presentable and confident self online, hoping for the first approach (interest). Of course each of us has a personal motive for online dating and catfishing is one of them. So thats virtual dating for you. And so thats why it cannot replace real connections in reality where your feelings can develop towards a person despite their appearance, and that's when chemistry between 2 people can occur. Relationships have higher chances of lasting longer when it isn't sourced online. But again its very dependent on your personality type/ nature and whether you give the relationship the chance to grow.

    I think you're just periodically disappointed because she didn't look like what you'll be expecting to see. But maybe you should give it a chance! There are many things virtual reality can't give you, like the different behaviors of the respective persons (actions vs. words), their tendencies and even the small little details of a possible fulfilling relationship.

    I think our reliance for validation on the Internet is because of the power of anonymity, it makes us feel less insecure when the ''general'' population feeds our desire to be accepted. So this fuels the need to post possible, unreliable information (opinions) on the world wide web.

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  • I try very hard not to edit my pictures or wear much makeup in my pictures for this reason. I'd rather the guy be surprised that I look better in person than to look worse.

    I see the same with guys. Some guys I meet look nothing like their pictures or they put false information like what they do or how tall they are on their profile. They also put their best pictures from 8 years ago when they were fit or looked younger, then I meet them and it looks like they gained 50 lbs and look 10 years older.

    I think part of these dating apps is that people expect the pictures to be photoshopped or maybe not even the person you're talking to. For this reason, I normally imagine the person to look like the picture I am least attracted to and imagine someone who looks even worse.

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  • Don't feel guilty about dismissing her for not looking like her photos, she essentially lied to you and personally that is not ok w/me. I went on an online date, the guy was not the guy in the pic, completely different. I did not hesitate to shove it in his face because I used my real pictures. I use real pics because I want he guy to be attracted to me, not a picture of a skinnier, younger etc me. Currently I am in a relationship w/a man I met online, he looks the same as his pictures and we are attracted to each other. Attraction is very important, not the whole relationship, but it plays a part.

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  • You said she sent current pics. How is that cat fishing? Isn't cat fishing when someone uses others pics instead of their own? I am not photogenic and the pictures I take just don't look like me. Not worse, not better. Just doesn't look like me. I have been told that I actually look better in person. I think we put to much into the visual part of dating. She could be the one for you. Give her a chance - you said she was cool..

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  • Why didn't you skype/ videochat with her before?
    she has not a single body pic? I don't know it's weird i don't feel it's possible to get catfished unless you're really clueless , sorry :x ><

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  • Its so funny that the women commenting on this are all quite sympathetic. They say things like "they are probably insecure" etc but the men commenting say things like "because they are bored" "because they are liars and want to suck you in"

    I don't know the real reason people twist the truth but the thing about online dating is; you can totally fall in love with the IDEA of a person. You could fall on love with a figment of your imagination and so when you actually meet the person, of course you are disappointed! Sure that person may have twisted the truth to keep you interested but - you also chose to pursue feelings for someone you don't really actually know at all. Take two to tango

    But, the catfish is still more in the wrong for messing around with you. Not fair or nice

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  • I think it's insecurities that leads to catfishing. I was the opposite when I was on pof. I was completely honest in my profile. So honest I said I didn't have a good body. That if you liked me it was gonna be for who I am. But a lot of guys appreciated my honesty and some wanted to meet me anyway and liked me. So it's really doing a disservice to themselves and their date by showing only the good things just to show up and be disappointed. Just be clear on your profile that you're wanting a women that's athletic. :) Happy Hunting.

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  • I watch the show Catfish on MTV and common reasons are:
    -extremely self conscious with physical appearance
    -they find that using the fake pictures gets them more attention
    -as a mean joke (sometimes they fall for you over time so they don't reveal themselves)

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  • I swear, photos should be done old-school where everything was time-stamped at the corner. But these days you can edit and filter yourself to death so it wouldn't matter much.

    I'm just surprised, that if she gave you current pics, that none would include her body as editing those are harder. Very deceptive.

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  • I think that's exactly the point: Most people, if not all of us, are insecure about certain things for example facial features or body parts. Some people are so insecure about it that they feel the need to change or else nobody could ever like/love them with all their imperfections - which is obviously not true!
    But as looks play a huge, important role in our society and in the way we behave, there's a lot of pressure on us to fulfill the expectations of others.
    Maybe the girl you met felt too insecure to show you her a face/body/looks just the way they are but tried to win you over with her awesome personality first in hope you wouldn't care about her looks to much when you met her in person. (tbh you're lucky that she even showed up, many catfishs don't dare to show their true selves in the end which is a very sad reality..)

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  • I dont know. . Personally I make a point of never editing my pics (dont feel like I need to anyway) to not "trick" anyone. I also try to only use pics where im wearing no makup and use both close facial pics and pics where you can see my body. There is no point in pretending I look like anyone else, I look what I look like and either guys like it or they dont.

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  • There are usually 2 types of catfishing the one your describing sounds like she knows she isn't super pretty but she thinks if you get to know her then you may like after she shows she isn't exactly as perfect as she says this is usually due to low self esteem even still catfishing isn't ok but from the way you described your experience she looked similar to her pictures like same hair skin and eye color but she's aware that she isn't by stands "pretty " she so she most likely catfished you so you could at least get to know her (hope this helps )

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  • to get attention

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  • You're right, but you have to remember no one will post pictures they think that are unflattering in dating sites. They will be looking their absolute best in those pictures and that might not always correspond to what they look like in person/without makeup/currently. It's one of the downsides of online dating, and i don't consider it catfishing. Nobody posts pictures in which they look ugly or that accentuate their flaws.

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  • She probably knows you wouldn't give her the time of day if she was totally honest in her pics. Maybe she thought she could win you over since, as you said, she has a good personality and you two have things in common. Clearly she was wrong.

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    • 25d

      I get that, but the thing is, you aren't going to be able to hide how you look in person so you might as well get it out of the way.

      Not that I'm some superficial person. I've had dates with girls who are very cute but were boring or I just didn't have anything in common with them. Bottom line is you can't be completely lacking in one department whether it be looks, personality, or things in common. Not that there's anyone who's perfect necessarily but it most likely won't work out if you lack one of those things.

  • Partially insecurity, partially because you can put your best foot forward and become whoever you want to be online.
    But do tell, how did that date end?

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    • 25d

      I understand wanting to put your best impression and looking your best when making dating profiles. But there's a fine line between looking your best and flat out misrepresenting yourself.

      I mean the date ended fine. We had a few drinks for a couple hours, played pool, and darts but yeah I was disappointed with how I was misled.

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    • 24d

      @That1tallguy I'll consider giving it a second chance.

    • 24d

      My advice would be don't it would be a relationship build on a lie

  • Cause they are afraid their real face won't do it.

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  • Insecurity or for entertainment. Lol I remember when on OkCupid, some guys that I led on to agree on a date asked me if I'm a catfish when I disappeared on them 😂😂 no honey I just changed my mind.

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    • 24d

      Well as long as you keep doing that you have no right to complain about guys who lead girls on just to fuck them... not that you are complaining about that, but just saying :D

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    • 24d

      @frozenhorizon No, I actually do express a genuine interest at first but then I have second thoughts or get dull of them.

  • Like someone else said, set up a Skype meeting beforehand

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  • She feels more confident with the out to date/edited photos. Therefore it invites guys to tell her how beautiful she is. Also there are some crazy editing apps now. Lol.

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  • Cause the fish need attention

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    • 24d

      Yes, but that's the wrong kind of attention. Like I said, no one should be shamed for the way they are and how they look but if you mislead someone, you shouldn't be surprised when you meet them in person and they get disappointed.

    • 24d

      I know. I guess this is the only way they think they get'noticed'

  • I don't online date or catfish

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  • Because they are insecure about themselves

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  • .. because they are insecure.

    They seem to assume they'll get your initial interest by posting pics of themselves which reflects them in the best possible light. They are more likely to get dates that way , because people will be more attracted to them

    There's more of a chance the person they meet up with will look past their " true " appearance and give them a chance

    Personally, I'd never meet up with anyone online. There's more catfish than sincere people on the internet.

    I met my boyfriend at the gym so we kinda saw each other at our worst. Both in joggers, trainers and all sweaty... me with no make-up haha So he discovered I " scrubbed up " well outside the gym environment 😂

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  • I've done that before sadly (and never again) from when I was 14 to around 17. Insecurity was my reason, and I regret it.

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  • Thats why you dont do online dating cause you dont know how they really look like. A majority of girls photoshop their photos, as there are many apps that allows you to do it for free, you can even do it on your camera phone. Most guys posts very old pics of them, they prob dont even look like that anymore. Its always like this for most men and women.

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  • People can be really insecure about the way they look so it's the one thing people try to hide online.

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  • I dunno, I find it extremely fun to catfish people, especially those highly gullible thisrty men from POF. Loads of laughs guaranteed, at least on my end.

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    • 25d

      Lol so that's how you choose to spend your free time? Strong life you have there.

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    • 25d

      What do you do when they ask to meet up?

      What do you say to them when catfishing them?

    • 25d

      I simply don't show up and then come up with some lame excuse.

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What Guys Said 15

  • People obviously use their best photos on social media or even GAG. Obviously a limit though. If they look like a completely different person that's not cool.

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    • 25d

      ^^this

    • 25d

      Yeah, I don't blame anyone for wanting to look their best and give a good first impression. That's natural.

      I just don't get it when people mislead others and then act like the other person is shallow or an asshole/bitch when they aren't attracted to them in real life or disappointed.

  • I agree with literally everything you just said

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  • it affords them chances they wouldn't otherwise get in terms of dating.
    Other times someone may wonder how the online dating experience would be if they were more attractive, so they'll make a fake profile with way more/less attractive pictures to see how that changes things for them.

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  • I'd say insecurity, they don't think anyone would accept them for who they are.

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  • Because they are probably afraid of being rejected. So, they "advertise" themselves in a better way so that you would meet.

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  • If that were to happen to me I would have just left even if I liked their personality. That shows that they are dishonest and if they lie about their appearance what else could she be lying about that's not some one I want to be with.

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  • That term needs to die..

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  • It is fun.

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  • They do it to lure you in, then they hope their personality will do the rest

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  • They're bored and they like to play games.

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  • It wastes time. You start off with a lie off the bat.

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  • They have no life

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  • Trolls maybe lol

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  • Bored and have nothing better to do.

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  • i dont know.. I've never run into a catfish in my online dating career thankfully

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