What is catfishing in online dating?

When you try dating platforms like Dating.com, you should be aware of people who do catfishing in online dating, meaning faking their identity. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty common thing right now - and that’s why you should be warned.

In this short article, we’re going to talk about the definition of catfishing when online dating and why it happens. Knowing that, you’ll find it way easier to identify lies and cope with that.

What is it?

Now, it’s time to find out what is catfishing in online dating. Catfishing is a notorious and deceptive trend in online dating where an individual creates a fake persona or identity. This involves using false information, such as fake names, photos, and personal details, to make it seem like they are a different person than they really are.

The term "catfishing" was popularized by a documentary film called "Catfish," released in 2010, and later turned into a reality TV series. In the documentary, a man named Nev Schulman discovered that the woman he had been communicating with online was not the individual she claimed to be. She had used someone else's photos and fabricated an entirely false identity.

The term "catfish" comes from a metaphor used in the documentary. In the film, one of the characters explains how catfish are used in the fishing industry to keep other fish alert and active. In the context of Internet dating, a "catfish" is someone who stirs up deceptive and misleading info to hide their true identity, much like a catfish stirring up the water to confuse and catch its prey.

Catfishing can actually be emotionally harmful, as it involves dishonesty and can lead to people forming emotional connections with someone who isn't genuine. It's important to be pretty cautious when dating someone online and to look for signs of catfishing to protect yourself from potential deception.

Why do people even do that?

You already know that it’s all about lying - but why would people even do that, knowing that their online partners will know the truth the moment they meet in real life? Let’s find out the most common reasons why people lie about who they are online.

Seeking Attention

Some individuals feel unnoticed or unappreciated in their real lives, so they create fake personas to get attention, compliments, and validation from other individuals. Catfishing also allows them to experience a sense of importance and admiration they may not otherwise receive.


Loneliness can drive people to create fake online identities as a way to connect with others. They might feel that their true selves are uninteresting or unattractive, so they adopt a more appealing persona to find companionship.

Deception and Fraud

For some, catfishing is a means to deceive and exploit others. They create fake profiles to manipulate people emotionally, trick them into sending money, or steal personal information for nefarious purposes.

Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem

People with low self-esteem may try catfishing as a coping mechanism. By adopting a false identity, they can temporarily escape their own insecurities and create a persona that they perceive as more desirable.

Curiosity or Experimentation

In some cases, individuals engage in catfishing out of curiosity or a desire to experiment with different identities. They may not intend to cause harm but are exploring how others react to various personas.

Revenge or Harm

Unfortunately, catfishing can also be driven by malicious intent. Some individuals use it as a means to seek revenge on someone, tarnish their reputation, or cause emotional harm.

It's crucial to be aware of catfishing and take precautions when interacting with singles online. Verifying someone's identity and being cautious about sharing personal information can help protect against falling victim to deceptive online practices.