Avoid Getting Catfished While Dating After Divorce

Here fishy fishy fishy! Catfishing may seem like a silly word, but if you’ve been a victim of this dating phenomenon, you know it’s anything but. Catfishing, by definition, is the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. Those just divorced are particularly at risk of falling prey to catfishers because they may be lonely and quite vulnerable. Here are some valuable tips on how to avoid getting catfished while dating after divorce.

Signs of Catfishing

So, you’ve met this great person online. They’re attractive, funny, and say all the right things. But there’s one problem- they don’t want to video chat. Huge red flag! They also may refuse to talk on the phone. If they do agree to talk on the phone, they may disguise their voice or have someone else do the talking for them. A few other signs to look out for include:

  • They avoid meeting in person
  • They refuse to send you any pictures beyond what’s on their dating profile
  • Their social media accounts have very few friends or interactions
  • Their life seems perfect- maybe too perfect (elaborate vacations, high-paying job, famous friends, wealthy family)
  • They say they love you quickly, or they love bomb you in other ways
  • They ask you for money

These are just a few of the common signs a catfisher may show. If something feels off, trust your gut. It probably is.

Avoiding Catfishing

There’s always a chance you’ll be catfished if you’re dating online, but there are some very important steps you can take to protect yourself.

  1. Don’t give out your personal information too soon. Not even your last name. You definitely don’t want to share your specific location, financial information, employer, or other personal information until you have met in person and have established a relationship.
  2. Ask specific questions. General questions are easy for a catfisher to answer, but if you ask them their favorite pizza spot in their town and they struggle to come up with an answer, it’s worth doing a quick Google search to see if the place they told you actually exists. Make it look less obvious by stating it as a question like, “If you were to take me to your favorite local pizza place for our first date, where would it be?”.
  3. Do some investigating. It’s amazing what you can find out by doing a quick reverse image search or reverse phone number search online. You will easily see if they are using someone else’s photos, or if their phone number is registered to someone other than who they say they are. If you aren’t sure how to do all of this, don’t be afraid to hire a private investigator. It’s worth it for your safety, especially if something seems off.

Coping with Catfishing

So, you fell head over heels with someone you never even met and now you’ve found out they lied to you about everything. First, don’t be too hard on yourself. Catfishing can happen to the best of us, especially when we are at our most vulnerable like after a divorce. Second, take some time to heal. Don’t be afraid to express how hurt you are to the catfisher. If they aren’t stopped, they will continue to do the same thing to others. It might bring you a sense of peace to know you have saved the next person from the same kind of pain.

Lastly, take your time going forward. It’s very easy to get swept up in the excitement of online dating. Likes, messages, and a sea of eligible suitors can look very enticing when you’re lonely and your self-esteem is low. Take some time to focus on you and your own healing journey before you add someone else into the mix. If you’re in the right state of mind upon entering the dating scene, you’ll be less likely to fall victim to a catfisher.

More Split.fyi Resources:

Are you are ready to join our online Split.fyi Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our  Split.fyi Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

Split.fyi Resources
Split.fyi Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


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