Hello dear readers, welcome or welcome back to my blog!
Today’s post is something a bit more personal, and more of a storytime than a guide or a self-help post full of tips and tricks.
I took a poll on my social media pages (follow me on Instagram I am humorous and take semi-aesthetic photos!), and most of you wanted me to write a post about my catfish story.
And before someone asks, yes catfishes still exist despite it being the year BLOODY-TWENTY – DAMN- EIGHTEEN.
However, my story happened in 2011.
So to give a quick background to my story, I was fresh out of university and was a working 20-year-old. During this time, I wasn’t actively looking to get married, I was pretty content with my life and I focused on progressing in my career and hobbies, but I was open to the idea of getting to know someone to see if in the future we could be suitable for marriage. Because let’s face it, finding decent men is hard enough and takes time anyways.
One day I come home after work, and my father has a friend whom he knew for decades. He tells me that his friend has three sons, and the eldest one is the same age as me and is looking to get married and is interested in me, so he asked his father to ask my dad. (Let us call this guy Maher please note this name is not his real name).
My dad then tells me about Maher, what he knows about him and shows me a photo of him (I’ve never seen him before, but he’s seen me at some family events so he already knew what I looked like).
So I like how he looked in the photo, and he sounded like a decent guy. He is a practicing Muslim, he works out, has a beard, is a serious martial artist, studies computing at university and already had a good job lined up at a big computing company after he graduated, and he was culturally similar to us being half African and half Arab and the family didn’t live to far away from us.
When I thought about all the points I got from my father, there seemed to be more positives than negatives so I thought why not, let’s give this guy a try. I told my dad that I want to communicate with him and that I am interested.
My father thought this was a good idea too, and contacted his friend to tell him the news. Straight away I get his number and he got mine and we started to talk on the phone a few times a week, and we both found that we have some common interests. So in my head, things seemed to be so far going well.
After a few weeks of talking like this, he tells me that he got a six-month work experience placement with an IT company in Singapore, which was organised the by university because he was the top performing student in his course. I was happy for him, but then that meant we would see each other (in real life) and go on chaperoned “dates” six months later. Anyways Maher said he would still like to keep in contact with me, and after he comes back he wants to visit me and my family and do activities together, which I was happy about.
Within the first month that he was in Singapore, contact became radio silence. All I got from him was one text saying that he arrived in Singapore and then after that nothing!
I did try to call and text him, but my calls were not returned so I thought he wasn’t interested and changed his mind about me, which I thought ok, that is choice and I respect that. Over the next days I slowly start to forget about him.
A month into his work experience, I get a call from him, Im like, “ what happened?! I thought you wasn’t interested in me anymore, why didn’t you return my calls?!”
He said that he is still much interested in me, but that he was busy Singapore, and had a tough time getting settled in, sorting out all the paperwork, getting the internet sorted in his flat etc, but he always thought of me, so from that, I thought that it sounded like a plausible reason.
However the first thing I noticed with the phone call, was that his voice was sounding a bit different than before he left, when we used to talk he says he got a cold and that’s why he sounds a bit different.
As the weeks go on he calls everyday and has so many questions to ask, and he tells me about himself. He just seemed to be more and more interested in me as the days went by. I did notice that he always called late in the night, but I of course assumed because of the time difference between singapore and the UK and didn’t think too much of it.
As we keep talking, I notice that what my dad told me about him and what he is saying about himself now is different. Such as I knew before that he did martial arts, and when he was talking to me he talked alot about cricket instead, and how he is playing that often. To me it sounded weird but I thought that maybe it’s a new hobby? Also before he left for Singapore he sounded so mature to me with his thoughtful words, intelligence and deep accented voice. (Don’t be raising your eyebrows at me dear reader, I know you know, that most women are weak for men with maturity and a nice deep/accented voice). But I noticed since he moved to Singapore he sounded like a young man to me, as in less mature and more into pop culture than before, I wasn’t sure why I noticed this change, or if that is his true way of talking and character coming out now or the mature tone from before was all an act? Either way, my waste man senses were switching on and blinking on the confused settings.
Also when I asked him to give me more detail about his work experience job, he changes the conversation quickly or gives me really basic answers that I wasn’t satisfied with.
He talks about growing out his beard and how he is struggling, but from the photos I had of him he had a pretty full, nice beard not these struggle connect the dot beards that some man children have, so I was confused and asked him why is he struggling to grow out when he already had a full beard? Like how can someone go from a full thick bush to struggle city in a few weeks?! Is beard baldness a thing? So I questioned him Is it because he cut it? And he says, “Oh yeah it’s hot in singapore so I cut it and its taking awhile to grow back”.
As this weird feeling builds in my gut, I pick up the phone less and less or just ignore his calls or give lame text replies to his text messages like I am busy.
Two months later my dad comes to me and asks if everything is going well between me and the guy, I say it’s ok but I’ve started to lose interest. My dad says that he heard from his friend (Maher’s dad) that his son is so upset that I have had no contact with him at all since he moved to Singapore. I say what, no we used to talk every day, but the last month I’ve just had a bad feeling and don’t pick up his calls, we only talk maybe once every two weeks.
And my dad said well going from talking every day to five minutes once every two weeks is like nothing to men who are really into you.
And my dad said not to waste his time, he is in a foreign country away from his family, if I am no longer interested just tell him clearly and move on. I thought about my dad’s words and thought that it is the right thing to do. So I call him, as I am calling him I think it may be too late in the night for him in Singapore, but as I was going to end the call, I hear him pick up, and he sounded so surprised I called him. AND straight away I noticed the background noise of what sounded like to me London buses, and people chatting with an accent and saying words like “innit” and “mate”. As he was talking to happily to me, all I could think of was I think I am being catfished and who is this man? Do I need to call Nev and Max? Do they even do international Catfish stories? Am I going to be internet famous? How will that affect my career? Is this what I get from laughing at people who got catfished?! All these thoughts were going through my head, so I put the phone down. I straight away went to the kitchen to get a comfort doughnut (or two, actually twelve) and I tell my dad that we need to go to their house next day because there is something very wrong going on.
The next morning, my dad calls his dad and says we need to talk there is an emergency. As we are about to leave, I SEE IN my junk email folder, loads of emails from Maher (but from a different email to one he gave me, saying things like, why did I stop contacting him, is it his phone? He tried my email but he was blocked everywhere. etc etc
So I was already feeling nervous, and seeing these emails which from his words and how he wrote seemed like it was the legit guy, now my stress was through the roof, but on the outside, I was keeping it calm and collected.
So we go to his house, and we tell his dad everything, and he tells us that his son said just in his first month in singapore he told him that I had blocked him everywhere from viber, tango, whatsapp, phone to email! And he got sad, confused and thought that I hated him. I said no I was talking to what I thought was him weekly then I had a bad feeling because he did not seem like the guy I was interested in and I stopped contact.
Then I showed them the texts I would get from him, and his dad said the spelling and way of typing looks like his youngest son (let us call him Sayed), he calls him on his phone and tells him to come home as soon as possible there is an emergency and he needs his help. After about an hour, the youngest son comes through the door, huffing and puffing like he ran, he thought his dad was sick or something, but when his eyes landed on me and my father immediately he became so pale and said he had to go toilet, but his dad stopped him and said we all need to talk. At this point in the story, we were all sat in the living room, recounting all our stories. After Sayed heard what his dad, my dad and myself had to say, he just came out and admitted that it was him who was texting, calling and emailing me.
Before I get on with the rest of the story, let me quickly describe this guy to you, he was a young boy, about sixteen years old, still in school doing his GCSEs, no beard and round. I was so shocked, to me he was like a baby, I mean no wonder I felt like the guy I was talking to was immature, this guy still couldn’t draw a graph properly or drive a car!
Then Sayed tells us that he heard of his older brother asking their dad to match make between him and me. And that when he heard that he was so upset, because he always liked me, but he was too young, so he thought he could wait until he was a “man” to talk to me about marriage. But now his brother is ruining his chance. So before his brother told him he had a work experience opportunity in Singapore and that he was going to be away for months. This gave Sayed the idea to get between us and make it seem that I was not interested in him, he did this by asking his brother to show him his email and phone because he had some important documents saved on there, and when his brother was not around he blocked me on all of his older brothers accounts and saved my number to his phone.
He also figured out the time difference between the UK and Singapore and used that to only call me at a certain time, to make it seem like he is in that country and get this, he got a dodgy sim card from one of his friends who sells mobile phones to make it seem like his phone is calling from Singapore, so when I saw his calls it had that calling code on my screen.
However, he did tell us that as we kept in contact, he liked me more and more but could feel that I was getting less interested. He was hoping that as I talked to him that I would grow to like him, and when he decided to meet up he would reveal who he truly was and that I would still like him and wait until he is older to get married to him and not his brother. Now that everything is out, he said that he was sad that everything became revealed in this way and that he is angry at his brother because lots of girls are interested in him and he always declines their interests. And that the only girl he wanted to communicate with was me and how that is not fair, that he gets everything he wants and everyone forgets about him. So that because of how he was being ignored by females and by his family, it was not really his fault, that he did all of this, it was his older brother’s fault.
After the whole big meeting, the father apologises to me and my dad, and he has a long talk with his younger son about honesty, and that he is not ready for marriage and how to properly present himself to women that he is interested in.
To shorten this long story, Maher (the real one) finished his work experience placement in Singapore, he came back to UK and was still interested in me and wanted to continue where we left off.
I just plainly said that I was put off by this whole crazy catfish experience, even though he was an innocent member of it all. That I just wanted time to myself, and that due to my paranoid nature I can’t continue talking with him and possibly getting married to him and having his super jealous little brother planning weirder things in the future, plus who knows what other strange family members are in his family. So I said sorry its a no from me, and that I wish him all the best.
So that was my catfish story, and just to be clear, that was my first AND ONLY Catfish experience. Looking back at my story, if you took out the weird underaged kid it sounds like one of those cheesy Hollywood teen films with one girl in between the interests of two cool guys.
As with any bad experiences, it is an opportunity to grow and learn from it, so even though it was such a waste of time and super awkward, I did learn even more about reading the signs of dodgy people and recognising a catfish faster than before.
If you have any Catfish stories, I would love to read them, so share them down below in the comments!