Former Catfisher Maintaining Relationship With Victim Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
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#1
So, when I was younger, about 10 years old, I created a fake persona online. There were two reasons for this: 1) I was too young and did not want to reveal my identity and 2) I had slight self-esteem issues & it was easier for me to just use someone elses photos at the time.

This, however, manifested into much more as I grew older. I'm now 22 and have just stopped using this catfish persona. It's weird because I no longer have the esteem issues, but had become almost addicted to the act if catfishing. Really, I liked the freedom and anonymity to speak with multiple people without any real ties being there. I'm aware that my actions were wrong and I should've never continued deceiving and lying to others. I wholeheartedly regret it. But flash forward to the present...

The last guy I catfished... We met approximately 8 months ago on an online dating website. We exchanged numbers and began texting. Initially I didn't pay him much attention and figured it was whatever. But he became persistent and had a way of making me fall for him super hard. We were in an online relationship for 6 months. I lied to him for six months and felt horrible about it. I was sad that he'd never get to meet the woman he fell for. That he would be broken and hurt. I struggled fir months with whether or not I should tell the truth, because things were complicated once my feelings were activated. I was torn between being selfish and doing what was right...

Eventually, I chose the former and confessed to him. At first he seemed like he still was willing to go on with our relationship. I was super apologetic and told him the truth about everything to give him clarity and closure. I didn't expect or hope anything was going to happen between us because I had lied & just wanted to make sure he was okay. But he was doing some of the same little gestures he'd done while we were together, like calling me at night, referring to me as 'babe,' ect... Then one day out of the blue he stopped and things became more casual.

We ended up meeting in person not long after I confessed. He drove over to my house and we went to the park. Things seemed okay. We ended up being intimate and things were fine. He was still mad and upset (understandably). He would have mood shifts and swings... Then out of the blue told me he wanted to continue our friendship. Mind you, he never officially broke up with me and we see each other regularly now.

It's weird because sometimes I feel like he still loves me, or cares about me. On a few occasions he's shown that and even told me... So my question is what should I do? Do I continue with the friendship and let it ride out? Do I call I'm out on his mixed signals, or leave it alone?

I'm not really at a place to decide anything or demand a relationship of more substance considering the betrayal, but I genuinely love him & want him in my life so bad... In a deeper capacity . Either way, I'm grateful he is even granting me friendship...

Any and all advice is welcome. Questions and criticisms too.
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DrawTheLine
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#2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So, when I was younger, about 10 years old, I created a fake persona online. There were two reasons for this: 1) I was too young and did not want to reveal my identity and 2) I had slight self-esteem issues & it was easier for me to just use someone elses photos at the time.

This, however, manifested into much more as I grew older. I'm now 22 and have just stopped using this catfish persona. It's weird because I no longer have the esteem issues, but had become almost addicted to the act if catfishing. Really, I liked the freedom and anonymity to speak with multiple people without any real ties being there. I'm aware that my actions were wrong and I should've never continued deceiving and lying to others. I wholeheartedly regret it. But flash forward to the present...

The last guy I catfished... We met approximately 8 months ago on an online dating website. We exchanged numbers and began texting. Initially I didn't pay him much attention and figured it was whatever. But he became persistent and had a way of making me fall for him super hard. We were in an online relationship for 6 months. I lied to him for six months and felt horrible about it. I was sad that he'd never get to meet the woman he fell for. That he would be broken and hurt. I struggled fir months with whether or not I should tell the truth, because things were complicated once my feelings were activated. I was torn between being selfish and doing what was right...

Eventually, I chose the former and confessed to him. At first he seemed like he still was willing to go on with our relationship. I was super apologetic and told him the truth about everything to give him clarity and closure. I didn't expect or hope anything was going to happen between us because I had lied & just wanted to make sure he was okay. But he was doing some of the same little gestures he'd done while we were together, like calling me at night, referring to me as 'babe,' ect... Then one day out of the blue he stopped and things became more casual.

We ended up meeting in person not long after I confessed. He drove over to my house and we went to the park. Things seemed okay. We ended up being intimate and things were fine. He was still mad and upset (understandably). He would have mood shifts and swings... Then out of the blue told me he wanted to continue our friendship. Mind you, he never officially broke up with me and we see each other regularly now.

It's weird because sometimes I feel like he still loves me, or cares about me. On a few occasions he's shown that and even told me... So my question is what should I do? Do I continue with the friendship and let it ride out? Do I call I'm out on his mixed signals, or leave it alone?

I'm not really at a place to decide anything or demand a relationship of more substance considering the betrayal, but I genuinely love him & want him in my life so bad... In a deeper capacity . Either way, I'm grateful he is even granting me friendship...

Any and all advice is welcome. Questions and criticisms too.
You need to have a talk with him and decide what this relationship is that you have with him. Are you in a relationship, are you just friends or what. Have a good chat with him and figure all this out.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by DrawTheLine)
You need to have a talk with him and decide what this relationship is that you have with him. Are you in a relationship, are you just friends or what. Have a good chat with him and figure all this out.
I agree... I mean, he's said numerous times that we are "just friends." But at times, most of the time actually, it doesn't feel that way when we are physically together. I've been afraid to have a formal conversation with him because of my mistakes. I don't want to push him away or force something onto him that he doesn't want. All in all, it's a very complicated situation and I don't want to lose him as a friend too.
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Welshvisitor
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This is him trying to make sense of the lies. He has had to go through a process of reconfiguring what the hell he was out through and no doubt reaching out for advice within his social circle who would almost certainly had a very dim view of you. He has every right to walk away, you’ve built an attraction based on his real identity and he hasn’t had this from you. Also, there’s a real issue with believing you’re in love with someone from nearly messaging and having phone conversations so when you meet up - even without the deceit - that’s when you really get to know each other and he’s realised you’re not the person he’d imagined you to be. I think you should be ready to chalk this up as an ‘experience’ and a lesson. Why would he be friends with a person who he’s realised he doesn’t have ‘real’ feelings for and won’t see the identity fraud as an act of true friendship anyway - which it isn’t.

It’s his decision alone.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Welshvisitor)
This is him trying to make sense of the lies. He has had to go through a process of reconfiguring what the hell he was out through and no doubt reaching out for advice within his social circle who would almost certainly had a very dim view of you. He has every right to walk away, you’ve built an attraction based on his real identity and he hasn’t had this from you. Also, there’s a real issue with believing you’re in love with someone from nearly messaging and having phone conversations so when you meet up - even without the deceit - that’s when you really get to know each other and he’s realised you’re not the person he’d imagined you to be. I think you should be ready to chalk this up as an ‘experience’ and a lesson. Why would he be friends with a person who he’s realised he doesn’t have ‘real’ feelings for and won’t see the identity fraud as an act of true friendship anyway - which it isn’t.

It’s his decision alone.
You're absolutely right. When I finally confessed (at the end of June), he was eager to meet the real me. I mean, he wanted the truth and I was compliant because he deserved the truth. I offered him an explanation in person and didn't expect it to go anywhere. I knew everything was going to unravel for the both of us because of the decision I made to lie. But, the odd part of this entire thing is, there is actually very strong physical chemistry on both ends. Although I do not look like the girl whose photo I used, he still finds the real me attractive. And I believe the feelings we had over the phone are definitely present in person for the both of us (although he tries not to allow it most times - which I understand).

And right... Now when this first happened, I told him that I would do everything I can to rectify and make amends for what I've done. I told him I didn't care how long it took, & that I'd respect whatever decision he decided to make. Obviously I didn't want to lose him because (aside from loving him) he became my best friend. I just wish I could have been better to him and I'm currently doing my absolute best to make sure he is okay. Even if it means him being happy with someone else one day. But the point is, all of the control was in his hands at this point. He didn't have to be my friend after the incident or continue speaking to me. At first it was awkward, but now it's starting to feel like when we first started talking to one another.

He's basically known the real me for what is about to be three months. And he has seen me almost every week since July 3rd. So if he didn't want to be around me, he wouldn't come around, I know that for a fact.

I know the decision is ultimately up to him. And I know I'm probably just being overly hopeful for something to happen. But do you think there is even a possibility to mend this relationship with him? Even if it means simply being nothing more than friends in the end?
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YaliaV
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I think the whole relationship is unhealthy to be honest. I also think you may need some counselling for whatever issues you have. You’re definitely not ready for a relationship and you can’t keep visiting your problems on other people. You’re going to keep doing this if it has been a pattern since you were ten.

I would never be able to trust someone who did that to me and core of the relationship is rotten and tainted. I think you should leave him alone.
Last edited by YaliaV; 3 weeks ago
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So, when I was younger, about 10 years old, I created a fake persona online. There were two reasons for this: 1) I was too young and did not want to reveal my identity and 2) I had slight self-esteem issues & it was easier for me to just use someone elses photos at the time.

This, however, manifested into much more as I grew older. I'm now 22 and have just stopped using this catfish persona. It's weird because I no longer have the esteem issues, but had become almost addicted to the act if catfishing. Really, I liked the freedom and anonymity to speak with multiple people without any real ties being there. I'm aware that my actions were wrong and I should've never continued deceiving and lying to others. I wholeheartedly regret it. But flash forward to the present...

The last guy I catfished... We met approximately 8 months ago on an online dating website. We exchanged numbers and began texting. Initially I didn't pay him much attention and figured it was whatever. But he became persistent and had a way of making me fall for him super hard. We were in an online relationship for 6 months. I lied to him for six months and felt horrible about it. I was sad that he'd never get to meet the woman he fell for. That he would be broken and hurt. I struggled fir months with whether or not I should tell the truth, because things were complicated once my feelings were activated. I was torn between being selfish and doing what was right...

Eventually, I chose the former and confessed to him. At first he seemed like he still was willing to go on with our relationship. I was super apologetic and told him the truth about everything to give him clarity and closure. I didn't expect or hope anything was going to happen between us because I had lied & just wanted to make sure he was okay. But he was doing some of the same little gestures he'd done while we were together, like calling me at night, referring to me as 'babe,' ect... Then one day out of the blue he stopped and things became more casual.

We ended up meeting in person not long after I confessed. He drove over to my house and we went to the park. Things seemed okay. We ended up being intimate and things were fine. He was still mad and upset (understandably). He would have mood shifts and swings... Then out of the blue told me he wanted to continue our friendship. Mind you, he never officially broke up with me and we see each other regularly now.

It's weird because sometimes I feel like he still loves me, or cares about me. On a few occasions he's shown that and even told me... So my question is what should I do? Do I continue with the friendship and let it ride out? Do I call I'm out on his mixed signals, or leave it alone?

I'm not really at a place to decide anything or demand a relationship of more substance considering the betrayal, but I genuinely love him & want him in my life so bad... In a deeper capacity . Either way, I'm grateful he is even granting me friendship...

Any and all advice is welcome. Questions and criticisms too.
This is similar to me in a way. I catfished a mate of mine when i was 15 (but pretended to be a girl). That was just meant as a joke, but then I just did it to make ppl jealous of me having a really fit gf. People did fool for it, i did it because i was so lonely and had a lot of self esteem issues like you. I would never do it deliberately again to someone though because its very wrong imo
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Welshvisitor
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(Original post by Anonymous)
You're absolutely right. When I finally confessed (at the end of June), he was eager to meet the real me. I mean, he wanted the truth and I was compliant because he deserved the truth. I offered him an explanation in person and didn't expect it to go anywhere. I knew everything was going to unravel for the both of us because of the decision I made to lie. But, the odd part of this entire thing is, there is actually very strong physical chemistry on both ends. Although I do not look like the girl whose photo I used, he still finds the real me attractive. And I believe the feelings we had over the phone are definitely present in person for the both of us (although he tries not to allow it most times - which I understand).

And right... Now when this first happened, I told him that I would do everything I can to rectify and make amends for what I've done. I told him I didn't care how long it took, & that I'd respect whatever decision he decided to make. Obviously I didn't want to lose him because (aside from loving him) he became my best friend. I just wish I could have been better to him and I'm currently doing my absolute best to make sure he is okay. Even if it means him being happy with someone else one day. But the point is, all of the control was in his hands at this point. He didn't have to be my friend after the incident or continue speaking to me. At first it was awkward, but now it's starting to feel like when we first started talking to one another.

He's basically known the real me for what is about to be three months. And he has seen me almost every week since July 3rd. So if he didn't want to be around me, he wouldn't come around, I know that for a fact.

I know the decision is ultimately up to him. And I know I'm probably just being overly hopeful for something to happen. But do you think there is even a possibility to mend this relationship with him? Even if it means simply being nothing more than friends in the end?
Without his side of the story I can’t say. But good luck 😉
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by YaliaV)
I think the whole relationship is unhealthy to be honest. I also think you may need some counselling for whatever issues you have. You’re definitely not ready for a relationship and you can’t keep visiting your problems on other people. You’re going to keep doing this if it has been a pattern since you were ten.

I would never be able to trust someone who did that to me and core of the relationship is rotten and tainted. I think you should leave him alone.
I won't disagree with that. It is unhealthy. I've tried letting go and letting him be. But then he will contact me. It's like, I've tried being the one to do no contact. I wouldn't call him or text him first, and he would reach out to me. So I don't know what to do. It's hard to let him go.

And having been a catfish, usually there are not any feelings or strings attached for me. I admit that I used to talk to people and if they were suspicious of me, or started asking too many questions, I could have easily just ghosted them. So like 97% of the people I interacted with do not even know I was lying to them. I've made maybe like three friends through my catfishing because there were actual feelings & those were the times I decided to confess because I genuinely cared.

But like you said, I didn't deal with the core issues that were causing me to want to find an escape in the first place, which is why I believe I continued catfishing on and off throughout the years. I've actually been seeing a therapist and deleted all of the pictures/fake accounts. I'm done lying and hurting other people. I can really only make amends and do my part in ensuring I'm growing and becoming a better person, & actually being honest with myself and others...
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YaliaV
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I won't disagree with that. It is unhealthy. I've tried letting go and letting him be. But then he will contact me. It's like, I've tried being the one to do no contact. I wouldn't call him or text him first, and he would reach out to me. So I don't know what to do. It's hard to let him go.

And having been a catfish, usually there are not any feelings or strings attached for me. I admit that I used to talk to people and if they were suspicious of me, or started asking too many questions, I could have easily just ghosted them. So like 97% of the people I interacted with do not even know I was lying to them. I've made maybe like three friends through my catfishing because there were actual feelings & those were the times I decided to confess because I genuinely cared.

But like you said, I didn't deal with the core issues that were causing me to want to find an escape in the first place, which is why I believe I continued catfishing on and off throughout the years. I've actually been seeing a therapist and deleted all of the pictures/fake accounts. I'm done lying and hurting other people. I can really only make amends and do my part in ensuring I'm growing and becoming a better person, & actually being honest with myself and others...
That’s good. The most important thing is that you learn to accept yourself. You don’t need to pretend to be someone else in order to feel worthy. I can’t imagine how worthless that made you feel and it seems like a compulsion almost.

Are you studying/working? It would be a good idea to do things that promote confidence and self-esteem. Join new social groups or take up new hobbies. Give him space and things will develop or they won’t. Your worthiness never depends on whether someone else likes you, so just remember that. If things don’t work out with him then you can still grow and thrive. I’m glad you’re making progress.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
This is similar to me in a way. I catfished a mate of mine when i was 15 (but pretended to be a girl). That was just meant as a joke, but then I just did it to make ppl jealous of me having a really fit gf. People did fool for it, i did it because i was so lonely and had a lot of self esteem issues like you. I would never do it deliberately again to someone though because its very wrong imo
I never really catfished to play pranks on people though. The only person I played, was myself in the end because I developed some relationships with people that were genuine aside from the lying on my part. Thing is, you can fake details about yourself/life, but feelings tend to be real in most cases. We don't pick and choose who we have a connection with: meaning, just because you are attracted to someone physically, does not ensure chemistry.

But I catfished for different reasons throughout the years. Initially it was innocent and I was just trying to conceal my identity as a child because I was interacting with people much older than me at the time. Then, it developed into an alter-ego of sorts and I began using it as a coping mechanism to escape my real life problems. I had an extremely difficult childhood & I just wanted to get away from the reality of life by any means necessary. I never meant to hurt anybody, but I have. Despite what I was going through, I know I was still wrong to involve other people in my issues.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by YaliaV)
That’s good. The most important thing is that you learn to accept yourself. You don’t need to pretend to be someone else in order to feel worthy. I can’t imagine how worthless that made you feel and it seems like a compulsion almost.

Are you studying/working? It would be a good idea to do things that promote confidence and self-esteem. Join new social groups or take up new hobbies. Give him space and things will develop or they won’t. Your worthiness never depends on whether someone else likes you, so just remember that. If things don’t work out with him then you can still grow and thrive. I’m glad you’re making progress.
Absolutely. It took me awhile to love & accept all facets of me. I used to have bad self-image issues and struggled with not having many friends. I was always different than everyone else and it made me feel alienated. I felt safer and more myself interacting with others as somebody else, as ****ty as that sounds. What's more, I was able to develop a sense of confidence and learn about myself in the process. I wish I could have made better decisions, but if I am being perfectly honest, I think I would have succumbed to my depression without the fake persona. It helped me get through many difficult situations in life. I understand now that it didn't help me to DEAL with the trauma of those situations though, which fueled my actions even when I didn't really need the profile. In a sense, it was like killing off a part of myself. That's what catfishing does to the person pretending. It becomes hard to discern what is really you and what is a product of your imagination.

And I'm planning on going back to college within the next year. I was working, but took some time off to figure out what is going on with my health. I've struggled with some health disorder for years, and pretty much ignored it up until this point. I went through a pretty bad depression that caused me to emotional eat myself to about 277lbs (mind you I'm 5'3)... So I'm now currently 183lbs. I've been putting myself out there more & it's surprising to see how people react to the real me. Im definitely more confident in who I am as a person now.

And thank you for the advice/kind words. I don't think my worthiness depends on someone liking me...it's just I'm emotionally attached and now physically bonded to the man I catfished. Either way, I'm letting things play out how they will. I have no control over what he decides to do. And I'm respectful of whatever he chooses to be healthiest for himself in the end. Regardless, this has been a wake up call for me. I can't avoid my issues anymore and be selfish by hurting others/breaking their hearts & my own in the process.
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