So okay, even though my fiancé makes fun of me for this, I own what I’m about to say next.
I got way into watching Catfish recently.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, say what you want, but I swear I see stuff like this less as entertainment and more as a chance to study people. My buddy Chakktor once told me I’m like an alien because I don’t understand things that are common to other people. This stuck with me and at some point I started, in a way, studying people.
If I sound like a weirdo, it’s cool; I own that too, sucka.
Anyway, one of the things I couldn’t buy as being real is the idea of being a catfish victim. It screams fake, but people seem to buy into it. After watching a number of episodes, a handful felt like BS to me, but there are a lot of genuine moments. Reality TV edits to, y’know, create the best reality possible. However, if you know how to read people, you can tell which stories are real. As such, I began realizing something about myself: I could never be catfished.
This is funny coming from me because I lucked out and happened to meet the love of my life online. But that could have easily gone awry, right?
I’ll break it down like this: For most people, being alone sucks. You can have all the friends in the world and tons of family, but that’s just a close approximation of having someone you can share everything with. That’s essentially what makes love such a powerful thing; it’s a cure for the loneliness we’re all born with.
I wasn’t a guy who started dating at a young age. The fact that I was classified as a dork once my peers and I hit puberty coupled with an inability to really go out much made sure of that. Truth be told, I didn’t date until college and even then I did very little of it.
Now that could have gone really badly. Truthfully, it did at times because loneliness is a mofo. And this is coming from a guy who likes to be alone! Way to contradict yourself, Dre.
I dated much more after college, but nothing ever stuck. At first, it was my own inexperience with women that made me flounder potential relationships, but as I got older I began realizing I sabotaged many of my relationships and potential relationships because of a particular characteristic of mine: I don’t put up with BS.
Every woman I made some progress with before my fiancé came bundled with some BS that I just didn’t have the patience to deal with. On top of that, I felt like none of them really understood me at some level. Because I wasn’t the guy who was just all about sex without the substance…
I’m well aware of the sappiness.
…I often ended things early. Some people I knew thought it was a confidence issue. Early on, sure. But really I just needed that magical combination of relatability…
Totally not a word, but I’m making it a thing. Shakespeare did the same, right?
…and a significant lack of BS. Or at least minimal BS.
The people being catfished, conversely, put up with a significant amount of BS. They do it because they found someone that became their cure for loneliness. Call it what you will, but that’s love. And that cure? It comes with a side effect: a high probability of putting up with some BS because you’re secretly afraid you may not find it again.
i.e. emotional investment.
The people doing the catfishing make up excuses and lies that would be painfully obvious to anyone else outside of the situation. The catfishee…
…indulges in the connection, ignoring what’s right in front of their computer screens.
Because I can’t deal with BS in a relationship, I had to be okay with being alone. I actually eventually accepted in my mind that I may never meet my other half. Luckily that wasn’t the case, but I didn’t know that at the time.
Accepting being alone means accepting oneself. This is the primary reason why people put up with unreasonable BS in relationships. That’s why people get catfished. They’re not okay with themselves at some level. They aren’t okay with the possibility of being alone for whatever duration of time that makes them put up with BS from their significant other. On the other end of the spectrum, a number catfishers disguise who they are because they don’t accept themselves enough to trust their “victim” will.
Or sometimes you just run into a jerk. That said, even jerks have a reason why they became who they are.
Anyway, I became the cure for my own loneliness. Since I took on that mindset, it wasn’t difficult to separate from women who didn’t feel right. I was also able to easily recognize who was right for me. All because I accepted who I am and didn’t accept anything that would affect my own happiness. As such, I love my fiancé as much as I love myself. Not more. Not less. She’s my equal.
This is why I could never be catfished. That said, I get why this is actually a thing. It’s easy to feel small and alone in this big bad universe. The possibility of having a bond with someone is a tempting gamble in a world where people expect you to be… something. But maybe if more people learn to love themselves, they’d know when something was right for them rather than clinging to the hope for a possibility of having a companion.
Just a thought.