Besides being a guilty pleasure and proving that there are a lot of creepers out there, Catfish proves that even the seemingly strongest of online relationships can go wrong. It’s like You've Got Mail without the happy ending. In fact, based on most of the episodes aired thus far, it’s the worst kind of ending you could possibly imagine. Sometimes, the catfish isn’t even the same gender as the smiling person that appears on their profile. And although we kind of doubt that Te’o will be getting back out into the virtual dating scene anytime soon, here are some tips to protect himself out there on the world wide web.
Don’t get swept off your virtual feet.
Falling in love is easy ... it’s even easier when someone (who is nonetheless wooing you from behind a computer screen) seems to accept you back for all of your flaws. Te’o seemed to fall for this flattering deception in the worst way. Te'o said that Kekua was, "the love of my life" and his parents even believed that the two would get married. But according to Notre Dame, the two never met. Not once. Don’t you think that being guarded upfront and having a face-to-face meeting would have cleared things up for you, Te’o?
Check the facts.
Logically speaking, you shouldn’t have reason to believe that the person who’s been IMing sweet nothings to you for the past six months is lying ... but the truth is how can you really know for sure? While we don’t necessarily condone virtual stalking, if the pieces of the puzzle are just not adding up, a simple Google search can make or break a catfish’s web of lies.
No meet-up? No online relationship.
If your online love is trying to worm their way out of a meet-up after a long time of "dating," this is a bad sign. If they’re avoiding any kind of face-to-face encounter (via Skype), this is a really really bad sign. Granted, an online relationship is usually over a long distance and there are always complicated logistics to merging two bi-coastal lives, but with. It may be time to defriend them on Facebook, block them on Twitter, delete their number from your contact. Whatever. This probably sounds harsh, but all online relationships eventually need to take the love offline. Wouldn’t you agree, Te’o?