Online Relationship or Fraudulent Love

I proudly admit that I am an avid Catfish watcher. I cannot get enough of that show. (Max is hysterical.) The stories of fraudulent love fascinate me. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of falling in love with someone whom one not only has never met, but whose identity one cannot even verify (truly an online relationship)! Television does not get any better than this!

Five minutes into the episode I am yelling at the TV. “Why wouldn’t you use Google Image?!” “Does he really think the girl in that picture is in his league?!” “Does she actually think she’s talking to a celebrity?!” “How is Nev single?!”

MTV makes the issue trendy. The stories are generally innocuous. But, not all “catfish” scenarios have happy, harmless endings. Some stories are just downright sad. The sad stories make me wonder how women as a gender have allowed themselves to become so weak, insecure and irrational that we will send tens of thousands of dollars of our own money overseas to “help” some man we met online.

Last week, Dr. Phil had the saddest of all the fraudulent love stories. Dr. Phil has featured Catfish-like stories for at least the last couple seasons. The majority of the stories presented are financially driven love scams originating in countries such as Nigeria. Women (and likely some men too) are swindled into wiring thousands of dollars to aid their virtual soul mate in obtaining inheritances, obtain lost documents to return to the U.S., legal fees, living expenses or what other expense fits into the scammer’s story. The most recent story had me figuratively speechless (not truly speechless as I was screaming at the television). Here is the segment ICYMI.

To sum it up for you – this sad, delusional woman has sent upwards to $1.5 MILLION dollars to the love of her life in … you guessed it. Nigeria. She has never met him. The details of her fraudulent love are not the center of my outrage.  My outrage is rooted in my complete disbelief that women as a gender have allowed anything in their lives to beat them down so much that they actually believe for one iota of a second that this scenario is an actual honest to God relationship.

Listening to these stories makes me frustrated. All women deserve better! All women deserve to feel strong, independent and confident. The women featured in these talk show segments are anything but. How do we as a female population begin to empower each other to be strong, independent and confident?

Until we can figure that out … Ladies! Wake up! That man on the other side of the ocean that needs your $10,000.00 to get his inheritance so he can get to the states to marry you is not real. Put your checkbook away.

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