It finally happened. It was inevitable. I, Khalea Undateable, was finally catfished. I’ve been asking for it, really. Before, I was this super defensive dater who wouldn’t even give out my real first name within the first two weeks of talking. Every single online dating do and don’t checklist was bookmarked on Safari. And whenever I dared to give a guy my number, I made sure to pass his info along to a trusted friend just in case…before completing a good ol’ fashioned social media stalk. I guess I just got lazier as my messages got better. If I was really feeling someone for real for real, I’d offer my number if he hadn’t. My only true requirements were that we had to reach a substantial number of messages and that sparks had to fly. I thought that they were soaring with a guy who I’ll call Mickey.
He messaged me when I was back in the city for a John Legend concert, and we spent the night talking about music and so much more that entire weekend. Admittedly, I was a little bit hesitant because he only had one picture on his short and sweet profile… it was a really hot picture, though. We reached message 98 when I finally got tired of the back and forth and gently hinted at him to ask for my number. He called me a few minutes later and we had the best phone conversation that I’ve had in a very long time. How many guys actually call these days?! Exactly.
The next day, he asked me to add him on Skype so that we could video chat. I fixed my hair, slicked on a flirty Buxom lip gloss, pasted on a smile and called him. And was shocked to see that Mickey, my new crush, looked NOTHING like his photo. NOTHING. AT ALL. His skin tone was a lot different than the chocolaty-brown hue that I was attracted to. He wore outdated wireframe rims, a sloppy-looking white tee and had these short, strange braids that stuck out like straws underneath his white durag. WT actual F?! I made up a lame excuse and quickly ended the conversation. I felt duped. I know that the situation wasn’t as crazy as say, Paola and Ramon, and his profile pic trickery was more of a red herring than an actual catfish…but the deception was still the same in my book.
That Saturday, I went out with my girl Tasia for rooftop cocktails and burgers on U Street to erase my murky Mickey memories. To my surprise, he called. And called. And called some more. Dude was blowing up my phone the ENTIRE night as if he were my man! He wouldn’t stop. I explained that I was busy and that we’d talk later on that week…but day after day, he continued on with the excessive contact action. It was getting out of hand and slightly scary. Honestly, I don’t know what I was more afraid of – him being some kind of psychopath that’d be willing to MegaBus it to D.C. to come after me, or breaking his heart by explaining why I didn’t want to speak to him.
I’d always been on the receiving end of heartbreak, and I didn’t know how to let him down without hurting him. I really did feel bad for him. I also felt bad for being so, so shallow. Mickey clearly had some insecurities if he only wanted to use one picture of himself – especially when he has the ability to take more. However, I still couldn’t look past the fact that he wasn’t totally honest. After two weeks of relentless unanswered texts, calls and messages, my sympathy wore down and I finally told him that I didn’t want to speak to him anymore. He didn’t ask for a reason, and I didn’t give him one. I haven’t heard from him since then.
Online dating has taught me a few valuable lessons in the past few years that I’ve played around with it. The one that I’ll never forget from here on in is the importance of playing it safe. As a native New Yorker, I’m not easily shaken up…but this situation made me feel uncomfortable. From here on out, I’m definitely going to practice better discretion when giving out my number…or any personal information like that. And maybe put some effort into finding hot guys in real life, eh?
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.