Everyone has heard a story about someone getting catfished, but most people think that it could never happen to them. The reality is that it can happen to anyone, but it can be so embarrassing that the FBI says nearly 80% of victims never tell anyone about it. That’s the great thing about Drew Barrymore. The other day, she was talking on her show about some of her online dating experiences, and she revealed that she had recently been catfished.
According to her story, Barrymore was talking to a man on an undisclosed dating app. She had recently started speaking with a man who said he was the Quarterback for the LA Rams. As a big football fan, Barrymore was excited to be connecting with someone who did something she loved. Unfortunately, it turned out that the man she was talking to wasn’t a QB for the Rams, he was a musician who was catfishing her because he thought it was a cute way to get attention on dating apps.
Unsurprisingly, Drew didn’t think it was cute. In fact, here’s what she had to say on her show about how it made her feel:
“You made me feel stupid. I don’t know who you are. You’ve made me feel so dumb. Why did we have to get on this foot?”
This incident is all too common on dating apps, especially on apps like Tinder and Bumble, where you are trying to grab people’s attention in the .4 seconds they spend before deciding where to swipe left or right. It’s an unkind thing to do, and I’ve heard from a lot of people who have dealt with similar situations. So, what can you do in the future to make sure that you don’t get taken in by someone who is catfishing you?
Rule #1 – Check the facts that are available to you
In the case of Drew, she thought she was talking to one of the three QBs for the Rams. She didn’t say which one it was, but of the three of them, only one of them is currently single. I was able to find that out with a Google search. Beyond that, you can run a Google Image Search on the photos to see where else those profile photos are appearing online. Even if your search turns up nothing, it doesn’t mean that you are in the clear. A lot of people steal photos from private accounts or from dating sites that don’t index their profiles on search engines.
Rule #2 – Video Verify
If you are talking to someone, and you aren’t sure if they are who they say they are, ask them to hop on a quick video call with you. Don’t tell them it is because you don’t trust them. Tell them that you can tell a lot about someone by the way they smile, and you want to see if their photos do them justice. You can also tell them that you always hop on video with people when you start talking so that they can see you are who you claim to be. The point is this, if someone is unwilling to get on a quick Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime call with you, it’s a serious red flag.
Rule #3 – Meet Them Quickly
I don’t know how long Drew was talking to this guy on her dating app, but there is no better way to verify someone is who they say they are than to meet them. I recommend meeting within 3–5 days after you start chatting. It’s a perfect amount of time to see if there’s a good vibe going on between the two of you, but it’s not so long that the conversation has a chance to die on the vine.
Drew Barrymore did nothing wrong, but the fact that she was victimized shows how easily it can happen to anyone. Online dating is a great way to meet people. I even met my wife online, and we’ve now been together for 11 years. Unfortunately, there are always going to be people who either lie for attention or to take advantage of those of us who are looking for a real connection. If you follow these rules, you will have a much safer, happier, and more successful online dating experience.