Picture of a catfish, the actual fish, not a person.
Photo by Denise H. on . The catfish gets a bad rap for this terrible behavior by humans.

Catfished. Ugh.

God damnit. I feel so used. Heart slowly breaking. Angry, hurt, seething, confused sad, empty. Ugh.

The song of the post can only be: Who are you by The Who.

The catfish followed me on Instagram and messaged me. I thought it was genuine interest and she was hot. I was a target and fell for it because the female attention, validation, and ego stroke felt so good. Because I’ve been starved for romance, love, and dating for so long. After being lost in the dating desert, I saw an oasis and dove in for water. For a couple days, I ate my fill, the madness of “love”. I felt my love tank, filling. A tank I haven’t felt filled much before. It feels like something I can only get from other people.

I’ve learned from past encounters with catfish to be wary of anyone online. So I used the reverse image search function on google photos. Then I used:, another tool suggested by the catfish subreddit.

I found a match on twitter for someone with a different name, identical photo. 🚩. So I looked that name up on Facebook and found like 20 clone accounts with different photos of that person.

Turns out it was the woman mentioned in this article by vice… An instagram model/porn star:

This model’s face, and photos have been used by thousands of catfish scammers. Sometimes for huge amounts of money. Whoever the person who tricked me into a romantic relationship, then tried to ask me to buy gift cards, used her photos. I said goodnight, then reported/blocked on whatsapp. The instagram account that started this, was deleted before I could report it.

Guess it was too good to be true. Online dating is tough because on some level you have to trust the person on the other end is who they say they are. Maybe I was thinking too much with my other head.

So I’m back to the relationship desert. I guess the oasis was a partial illusion because the sand I “drank” had some water. Some nutritional value.

People who trick people like this are the worst scum of humanity. The sick part is that they took time to get to know me.

Maybe it was a placebo. The audiobook Breakup Triage by Susan Winter, a relationship expert I like, has helped a bit today.

In summary, I didn’t lose a penny. I lost some time, but got to practice being vulnerable. Got to practice expressing loving feelings. I’m pissed off about the situation and loss. Still left bitter and hurt. I think what hurts the most is being upset at myself for falling for this. It’s embarrassing to admit.

I really despise that catfishing is such a problem with online dating.

Therapy helped, even if it was short. I’m so glad my therapist fit me in for an appointment. Sigh, I know this pain will pass, and I’ll be happy to date again. But wtf humanity.

Work is going well, and I’m doing well according to my bosses. So that’s good. Oh, and my aunt that was hospitalized is okay, so that’s good too. In one more week, I’ll be fully vaccinated so I can resume doing stuff with people.Soon it will be safe to visit friends. Gratitude is bittersweet when hurt like this.

Sorry for being late with the post.


  • I’m glad that work, and your aunt, are both okay. Great news on being able to do things out and about soon too.
    But I am really upset, along with you, that someone could take advantage of you like that! Wtf, humanity, indeed!
    I am so sorry that this happened to you. Here’s hoping you’ll find some comfort and happiness in the days to come!
    Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Meg! I certaintly feel a strange mix of heartbreak, disgust, and betrayal. The one positive is that I am able to be mindful of these difficult feelings and accepting them.

      I really appreciate your support as this strange grief unravels.

      Liked by 2 people

      • There’s a lot of good advice out there… but if, after reading/hearing it, you still feel the negative emotions, please don’t feel like there is something wrong with you. Advice and tips are always great, but you must remember that you are a unique individual and so not everything is going to work for you.
        Unfortunately it takes time to find the things that help us heal and cope with different things in life.
        In the meantime, please know that this lady in South Africa is thinking of you and hoping for some happy moments to bring you strength and comfort 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  • PClear Reigstad

    Reilly, There was a 12 year span from my divorce to when I met Dale. There were a lotta losers and a lotta misses. Even a relationship of over two years with someone who used the excuse he wouldn’t marry someone divorced to only later meet someone else who was divorced with a child. Today it is so different. So much is now conducted on the internet with little filters. Nobody in the family seemed willing to set me up with a blind date, so I joined Great Expectations. When I read Dale’s profile I got really excited. Then I turned the page and saw a picture of him with 2 German Shepherd dogs. I was definitely a “cat person” and passed on him. Within a year, he chose me; I didn’t even provide the city where I lived. As it turned out, he lived only 3 miles from me — directly across I-5–me in Edmonds and him in Mountlake Terrace. We clicked right away and I moved in 2 weeks later. You just never know what will happen so hang in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Pingback: Close, but no Cigar | Reilly's blog

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