An extremely wise woman once said, “Set a gal up on a date and she’ll be annoyed with you for the evening. Teach a gal to date, you're off the hook for life.” I am that insanely prophetic woman; in the interest in being off the “hook,” I thought I would impart some wisdom in the most efficient way possible… using fish.
Though men complain about catfishing on their end, here are the most common lures I’ve encountered on the ladies side. Some of these red flags may seem a bit shallow but if you think you're ordering lobster, you'll be disappointed if the waiter shows up with fishsticks. (Unless you ordered the fishsticks) I’m just saying, there are warning signs…
Don’t take the bait or you may find yourself being:
Groupered: This tactic involves a profile with few, if any, solo pictures. Your guy is one of many, smooshed into a group and may be too small to see any features. That’s on purpose. Just know, fellas, we’re matching on the assumption that you’re the one we think is the hottest of the crew, if that’s not you, we will want an introduction.
Rockfished: Also, by design, in this profile your suitor is wearing a hat in 100% of the pictures. Spoiler: he’s 100% bald – like The Rock or… perhaps, a rock. Guys, own it! I’m not sure who you think you’re fooling?
Monkfished: When a guy is wooing you with his zenny vibe. Maybe doing a triangle pose on a beach at sunset and quoting Rumi et al. Often the only self-actualization you have is that too many quotes can get a bit preachy. Or if your date shows up and it’s Tony Shaloub. I’ve been a victim of both variations.
Sturgeoned: OK, I’ll admit. I fall for this one A LOT! You think you're getting a doctor but he’s just a chiropractor! Ughhh. Usually, you can spot this one by the amount of times he mentions he’s a doctor even in his screen name. Hint: more is not good.
Sardined: This trend exploded during the pandemic and has only continued to grow. If you’re on the apps, you have definitely encountered those horny couples looking for a third.
Jellyfished: All of his pics are with beautiful barely clad ladies in the hopes of making him seem more attractive. Or he just wants you to pee on him. Yes, I’ve also run into that net.
Now, for the Catch N Release Warnings: Of course not all baited hooks are obvious from the profile alone. It’s quite common not to realize until you meet in person that you’ve been:
Silverfished: Upon first glance it’s clear that he’s lied about his age… which can be extremely awkward depending on just how big of a lie it is.
Well, unless you’re Oystering, which of course is dating a guy very much your senior in hopes of inheriting his money. Then, it’s truly kismet.
I’m not a fan of silverfishing, but thanks to the MILF craze among Millennials, I don’t mind being guppied.
Shellfished: These are the narcissists of the sea. They are a pretty shell and they know it. You can usually tell beforehand, but sometimes it’s an boost to get shellfished. Though technically, if you know in advance you’re just in it for the eye candy you would be guilty of Swedish Fishing him. Another match for the ages or at least the evening.
If he’s considerably shorter in person than expected, yep, you’ve been Elfished. This is one of the many reasons I hate that trend where guys take pictures in those massive promotional wooden chairs, the ratio is so deceiving that I sometimes confuse it with a tiny guy in a regular chair.
Not to be mistaken for being Shrimped: When said fella sends some pretty impressive dick picks and then you find out he …likes cocktail sauce. What did you think I was going to say?
Parrotfished : When you meet and he just don't stop talking about the same thing “the gym, squawk, protein shake” “crypto, squawk, block-chain, bicoin squawk.” Or it turns out they’re really into pegging. Again, I’ve encountered both.
Dolphined: This is a tough one… you’ve taken the bait and swallowed the hook! He’s intelligent, attractive, fun, great smile, adorable laugh, smooth skin. Frankly everything you’re looking for but he keeps popping up only to disappear again. I’d rather be –
Goldfished : When you get one fun carnival of a date and kaput, gone. No chance of resparking interest or being reminded of what you clearly can’t have.
Hopefully, I've bestowed upon you a tackle box overflowing with "fin-telligence" about the usual suspects in the dating pool, so you can skillfully navigate these murky waters and avoid any "reel-y" awkward encounters.
Finally, remember – don't get Crabbed!
Jenny Baitch is a caffeine addicted, pop culture obsessed, card carrying Gen Xer who writes Nobel prize winning observational humor people for who can't remember what they had for breakfast, but can recall with ease the name of their first Cabbage Patch Kid. Find Jenny doing stand-up comedy or at ReMinted Vintage.