When photographer Nev Schulman drove up to a Michigan barn in the dark of night, he was expecting to find the woman that he had been chatting with online. He thought that they could start an IRL relationship and that a love story was approaching. Instead, he found no one there... and we got to see it in the 2010 documentary Catfish. Angela Wesselman was Catfishing him and pretending to be a twenty-something named Megan.
Catfish is also an MTV reality series. When we use online dating sites or dating apps, we have to think, is the person that we're talking to legit... or are they lying?
Here is everything we need to know getting catfished while online dating: 10 signs that she's being catfished and 10 signs that he's totally for real.
20 She's Being Catfished: He Won't Tell Her Where He Lives
It's not only weird if he won't say what city or town he lives in, he's definitely a Catfish. This is a common thing to talk about while online dating since this stage is all about small talk and finding out things about each other. She's going to think that it's confusing that he's keeping this a secret.
19 He's For Real: He's Open And Honest About Anything She Asks
She can rest assured that he's totally for real when he answers questions that she asks him with complete honesty. He's not keeping any secrets or holding anything close to his chest. Sure, they don't know each other that well yet, so he's not going to get too open (that would be strange), but he's going to answer the questions that she asks him.
18 She's Being Catfished: His Job Sounds Too Good To Be True (Or He's Still In School)
When someone is a Catfish on the MTV series, they will say that they're a famous singer/rapper or that they're in school. This is sometimes a lie and they're doing something else. It seems easy enough for him to say that he's in school because he doesn't want to say what he actually does for a living.
17 He's For Real: He Has A Pretty Normal Job And Lifestyle
If he has a normal job and seems to live a normal lifestyle, he's for real. He's being honest and proving that she can trust him. Most of the time, with online dating, if he sounds pretty normal, there's a good chance that he is. He has a 9-to-5 job, likes to watch Netflix, sees friends on the weekends, and so on. It sounds legit.
16 She's Being Catfished: He's Full Of Excuses When It's Time To Meet Up
One of the clearest signs of a Catfish is when they can't meet up. He's full of excuses from saying that he has no way to get there to acting like he has to work or study and can't possibly hang out. If he says that he's tied up for the next month or so, she can be sure that he's not for real.
15 He's For Real: He Sets Up A Time And Place, No Prob
He's for real when he has no issues setting up a date and that part goes smoothly. Sure, the actual first date might not be as good but at least she knows that she's not being lied to and he's exactly who he says that he is. That's definitely what she wants.
14 She's Being Catfished: He Wants To Chat For Hours And Hours
A Catfish will want to talk for hours and hours. After all, many of the relationships on the MTV reality series feature two people who would text non-stop for months or even several years in some cases. These people don't want to say who they really are, but they don't want to let go of the other person, either.
13 He's For Real: He Gets That She Doesn't Know Him And Doesn't Want To Talk Forever
Many people would agree that spending hours talking to someone on a dating app isn't the best use of their time. After all, we don't know this person, so why would we do that?
A guy who is for real knows that the girl that he's talking to doesn't want to do this. He'll respect her time and chat just enough to feel things out and see if they want to meet up.
12 She's Being Catfished: His Stories Don't Add Up And He Won't Answer Questions
When she's being Catfished, she's going to start seeing holes in the stories that he's sharing with her. Things might make sense at first and seem fine but after a while, she'll start to question things. When his stories don't add up but he won't answer any questions that she poses to him, she can know that he's not for real.
11 He's For Real: He's Respectful And Answers Politely
Being polite is so important, whether chatting with someone via an online dating site or meeting up for the first date. When he's polite and he'll answer her questions, there's a really good chance that he's for real. She can meet up with him without feeling like things are going to be weird.
10 She's Being Catfished: He Comes On Strongly And Compliments Her Appearance
She's probably not going to want him to say that her hair is beautiful or that she's got nice makeup on, at least not when they're simply chatting online. This means that he's coming on way too strong. All these compliments about her appearance could point to him being a Catfish. This is part of his game.
9 He's For Real: He's Friendly But Not Overly So
He's for real when he's the perfect balance between being friendly but not being so friendly that it seems really strange and off. After all, she wants him to be nice enough that she would want to meet him and get to know him. Being too friendly can feel fake and creepy.
8 She's Being Catfished: He Says He Doesn't Have A Phone Or Can't Exchange Numbers
He's a Catfish for sure when it's time to exchange cell phone numbers to either chat a bit before the first date or to set up the date itself and he just won't. Maybe he says that it's too soon, or maybe he says that he doesn't even have a phone right now. It's not what she wants to hear.
7 He's For Real: He Gives Her His Cell Number
He's for real when he gives her his cell phone number. Honestly, this is the only way that this scenario should go. If they're going to date each other, how could she not have his number? That just doesn't make any sense. It's definitely really important, and if she has his number, she can breathe easy and sigh in relief.
6 She's Being Catfished: She Gets A Weird Vibe And Feeling After A While
Online dating can give anyone a bit of a weird feeling at times but it shouldn't feel super creepy. The fact that she's getting a weird vibe from the guy that she's talking to could mean that he's a Catfish. She's listening to her heart and her gut, and this is what she's realizing.
5 He's For Real: There Are Zero Red Flags And She Wants To Meet Him
When she doesn't find any red flags on his online dating profile (or while chatting) and she realizes that she would like to meet this guy, then she definitely should. It also means that he's most likely for real and that she's not being Catfished. Hopefully the date is a positive experience, too.
4 She's Being Catfished: He Only Has One Photo Up
She's most likely being Catfished if he only has one photo up on his online dating profile. Maybe the photo is even a bit sketchy-looking and he seems half hidden or she can't see his whole face. That's a huge problem since if he was legit, he would, of course, have no reason not to show his entire, real face.
3 He's For Real: He Has Several Pictures From Various Times In His Life (Group And Individual Photos)
On the other hand, if he's got a few different pictures up, including selfies and photos of just him and some with his friend group, that's a good sign. This is exactly what she wants to see.
He's got no reason to hide and he wants the girls looking at his profile to see him in various situations.
2 She's Being Catfished: He Doesn't Look Like His Photo(s)
Whether he has one photo up or a few, if he doesn't look anything like these snapshots when she meets him in person, that's a bad sign. She could feel super confused about why he wouldn't just post his actual pictures... but all she has to know is that she's been Catfished and he's not the guy for her.
1 He's For Real: He Might Look A Little Older Than His Pic, But It's Similiar
It's common to have some online dating pictures that were taken a year or two ago. Not everyone adores having their photo taken all the time (and we all have a few fave photos that seem the most flattering).
If he looks the same as his photos although a little older, he's for real. This is normal.