12. Neville Lyingbottom

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Number 12 is the standard catfish tale. His opening message was kind of cute. My profile often showcases my vast interest in Disney. Specifically, many photos display my love of going to Disneyland.

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So his proposition of going to one of my favorite places was well-played. But what he didn’t realize is that I am also an avid Harry Potter fan. Something about his photo just stood out to me… Like, for instance, that it portrayed one of the famous characters. Neville Longbottom.

It didn’t take long to find the original photo. Just moments and one Google search later, I came across the stolen image.

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All things considered, it was one of my easier detective moments. So, of course, I asked him about it.

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Excuse me?? He has the audacity to use a photo that is not an accurate depiction of himself AND he has no idea of whom the photo is? If you’re going to catfish, I would at least expect someone to choose a photo with little chance of being recognized. This isn’t the first time I have encountered a catfish profile. Many of the others choose to dig deep into the web to find a photo that is both attractive and difficult to uncover. One guy, who is the star of a separate and upcoming top 16 post, used a photo it took some major digging to uncover the true identity. It’s almost like Neville wasn’t even trying. Plus, I’m a little disappointed with his lack of Harry Potter knowledge in general.

He explained himself though.

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I do understand the military claim. But, it never stopped the guys I have met before. “Been down this road before” is putting it gently. It was a “pass” from me and the military-grade catfish. No thanks, Neville. On to the next…

13. Boring Ryan

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Number thirteen…

Let me introduce you to Boring Ryan. There isn’t much to say about him, honestly. We didn’t get much into the “getting to know you phase.”

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Now let me clarify. From a very early age, I was told that “only boring people get bored.” The lady who said that was one of the most inspiring and influential teachers I know. Boredom can be incredibly productive, mind you. Boredom has a purpose. It puts our minds in a state of desire for new stimuli. Initial boredom can propel people to bring out their creativity and imagination. My only qualm is when people perpetually complain about being bored. Where is their drive for adventure? Why must they always look to someone else to fix their boredom? Why is your boredom only fixed through others entertaining you?

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I’m not above playful banter. But I know nothing about Ryan. I’ve never met him and we haven’t had any conversation of substance. He was not a fan of my observation.

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I grabbed the screen shot moments before he “unmatched” with my profile. Had I not been actively on my phone, I would have never seen his response at all. Honestly, his response doesn’t even deserve to be picked apart piece-by-piece. He does not know me well enough to assert I was “looking for something serious.” He never asked. I never said.

This is a subset of current dating culture, though. The kind where any small amount of possible rejection insights an explosive reaction that puts blame on the other party. I’m not sure whether he would have reacted similarly had this interaction been in person. But the fear that it might happen sits in the back of girls minds every time they get hit on in public, or catcalled, or even just approached by a stranger.

I stand by my original statement. He’s boring.

 

14. Bad Teacher

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In fourteenth place… we have the Bad Teacher story brought to you by Andrew. It started as a normal conversation. Certainly nothing to write home about.

 

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Nothing out of the ordinary. Just regular small talk to wade into conversation intended to get to know someone.

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“Thanks.” I acknowledged the compliment. In general, this is something with which I tend to struggle. I don’t know how to take a compliment and in that regard I’ve always felt socially awkward. Perhaps it’s social programming or widely held societal standards or just my inherent awkwardness at times. But it’s there. So, I acknowledged the compliment and tried to move on.

 

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I wasn’t buying his story, but I wasn’t intending to call him out on it. I had barely started talking to the guy. Back then, when I first started the online dating venture, I wasn’t nearly as bold. Before I could even ask him clarifying details about that particularly ambitious line of work, Andrew once again redirected the conversation.

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It was at this point my sassy side started to shine through. In general, I think this type of conversation is frustrating. There are so many implications with the “hot teacher” archetype. Regardless of my students’ assessment of my appearance (by the way, gross and I don’t want to know), they learn. I am just as vivacious with speech in my classroom as I am online. I really don’t accept any nonsense in my class. But the implication that is perpetuated by the “hot teacher” role, especially when used to flirt here, is that a student may have a chance to be with that teacher. Absolutely unacceptable, unprofessional and uncalled-for. And so icky. My profession is my passion and my livelihood. It is not some sick, twisted fantasy.

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And once again here, accept the compliment and move on. My frustration is building, though. I clearly am not engaging in this line of conversation. So, once again I try to pivot to a more appropriate topic.

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Yes! Okay! Now we have something in common. I love Game of Thrones– a show on which I could spend hours discussing. This will be perfect to expand our conversation.

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Annnnnnnd… there it is. Again. I grew up playing baseball (no, not softball–perhaps a rant for a different post). Three strikes and you’re out, buddy. It’s time to shut this down. Clearly he isn’t picking up the fact that this raunchy teacher-talk isn’t going to happen.

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Thanks, Andrew, for the conversation. Hopefully he learned at least one thing from this teacher: pick up better on social cues. On to the next…

 

15. No Chill Logan

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In 15th place… No Chill Logan.

Logan has this name because he literally has no chill.

Logan, like many others, initiated contact by utilizing my love of mathematics. Typically, my profile always has a math quote from some professor. This accomplishes two tasks: 1) communicates my passion for mathematics and 2) scares away (some of) those who aren’t the brightest bulbs. Logan, however, was not dissuade by my passive assertion of my intellect.

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All things considered, he probably would have been better off to just go for the pick-up line. Clearly there is one from Google buried in his opener. And pointing out that he “isn’t smart enough for it” wasn’t going to be doing him any favors. But, this is not why Logan made the cut in the tournament…

No, Logan made it to the Battle Royale of the top 16 because he has no chill. Note the time stamp on the Tinder message? 10:36pm.

I do not know what made Logan believe that responses to Tinder messages needed to be favorable and immediate. Somewhere in his mind, though, he believed that I should have responded to his message right away. Not even 12 hours later, he sent a follow up message… on a completely different dating app!

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Seriously…? No wonder this lad is single. He has no chill and some control issues to say the least. I don’t appreciate guilt or negative communication being used against me to try to manipulate a conversation. I cannot imagine it works in his favor very often, either.

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He apologized, in case you were wondering. And while I appreciate someone taking some ownership over their actions, I have no interest in associating with someone who instinctively jumps to hateful speech or manipulative tactics.

In fourteenth place is… Bad Teacher.

16. Self-Deprecating Danny

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In 16th place… Self-Deprecating Danny.

When the internet is your venue for meeting people, you get to be anyone you want to be. You set the stage for who you are and what you want to attract neatly wrapped up in a nice little bow. The online profile through which you market yourself is the place to put your best foot forward.

But… unfortunately, not all users understand what is the best way to portray their personalities. Some things for me can be major turn-offs. For example, describing everything you don’t want in a partner publicly on your profile says, “I’m a negative person and I will find ways to be critical of you.” Or posting mostly photos of you cuddled up to various women says, “I want to have my cake and eat it too.”

On Tinder you can tell if someone has “super liked” your profile before making any decisions. It’s a tool Tinder created as a means to pull someone back into the terrifying void of swiping, mostly. But, this feature can be incredibly helpful. Many “super likers” are blatantly weird. Easy to say no. Sometimes, though, I give people the benefit of the doubt when looking at their profiles. Maybe marketing and branding just aren’t their fortes. So occasionally I will overlook the red flags and swipe right just to see what happens. Ignoring small details on a profile happens most often when the party in question has already expressed interest and I don’t have a huge reason to reject.

[Enter Danny].

Danny extended the “super like” gesture. I perused the profile and only saw the above mentioned profile qualms. His profile gave off a negative vibe by describing what his partner should not be. And he had multiple pictures with female friends. All in all, not the biggest reasons to reject someone before giving them a chance. So I said yes.

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Oh Danny… Not your best opening line at all.

You get to be anything you want to be! You can display the utmost confidence upon meeting someone because you don’t have to conduct the interaction face-to-face! And yet, his first point of contact was to inform me that nobody likes him. The lack of confidence is underwhelming to say the least.

The rest of the interaction was him asking me questions on how he should modify his online dating interactions. I also gave him some tips for his profile to potentially draw in a larger audience. (He vehemently defended his profile and rejected all forms of constructive criticism I offered, by the way).

When he asked me out, I made it very clear that I was not interested–though I thought the feedback and dating coaching should have been clear already.

Up next… 15th place.