I Almost Catfished a Married Man
I thought my intentions were as bad as his. They weren’t.
On paper he looked perfect. High paying, well respected job. Solid hobbies. Cute dog. Ivy league education. There was one blank not filled in. One box not checked.
I’ve been burned before by men who sound great on paper. They are a dime a dozen. A charming bunch. Because of this, I’ve learned to do my research.
Call it paranoia. Call it skepticism. Call it realism. Call it not wanting my body to be found in a dumpster.
After a couple weeks of talking back and forth he gave me his number. One would think someone with his level of intelligence would know what I would do next. Maybe I’m far less trusting than others.
I reverse searched his number and found his name.
The first search result made my heart race. It was a wedding registry site. The wedding would have been a few months ago. How tragic, I thought. Someone got left at the alter.
A social media search let me know I was wrong. There was a wedding. A smiling bride. Photos. A recently changed profile picture.
It all happened. He was married.
I was confused. Pissed off. Offended. I wasn’t even all that into this guy to begin with. Why on Earth would I not just curse his name under my breath and be done with it? I felt something else. Curiosity. Morbid curiosity.
Before I go on, I want to be absolutely clear on one thing. It was never my intention to go out with a married man. The moment I saw his wedding photos all bets were off the table. Game was over. I was not interested.
But, the curiosity was so strong.
At first, I couldn’t place why. Why did I feel so compelled to stay in contact and eventually meet this man face to face? Part of it was just to be mean. Clearly, a married man with an online profile deserves to have someone mess with him a little. But, really, that wasn’t what it turned out to be.
I never initiated contact. I never flirted. Our exchanges were almost professional. It was like being nice to him would be disrespectful to his wife. So, I was detached.
He kept making mention of meeting up. Every time my morbid curiosity grew. What the hell is this man thinking?!?
More than wondering what was legitimately going on in this man’s brain, I started to wonder why on God’s green Earth I was some damn curious.
I was feigning interest with the intention of eventually seeing him face to face. It is, without a doubt, one of the strangest things I’ve ever done. Rest assured, my therapist and I will be having a long conversation about this…
I never wanted to cause him harm. I wasn’t out to entrap him. I wasn’t setting him up. There would be no documents sent to a wife.
I just wanted to see a truly bad guy up close and personal. Intercept the ball before the quarterback knew I had the playbook. No it’s not fair. But, once you create a profile on a dating site as a married man, “fair” flies out the window with your dignity.
You see, I’ve been a horrible judge of character in other peoples’ benefit in the past. I have glossed over flaws and accepted imperfections that really ended up being deal breakers. Red flags just looked like pretty kites in the wind.
There was a crazy story in the news recently about a woman who went to a wildlife park and wanted to take a selfie with a jaguar. She got a little too close to the barrier and leaned in to take the picture and, unsurprisingly, got attacked by the jaguar.
I wanted to see a bad guy up close. I wanted to look him in the eyes. More than anything, I think I really wanted to see if I would have been seen it coming. Understanding he was married, I could get close to a bad guy and still have a safe barrier between us called knowledge. This was my Jaguar selfie for the right side of the enclosure.
I was not getting attacked by the jaguar.
We made plans to meet for coffee after work. Married men don’t ask you on real dates. They sniff you out over coffee.
He was impeccably dressed. The way a guy might look who has a really important job and drives a fancy car and was educated at an exclusive private university.
I first checked his hand to see if there was a ring he would be explaining in person. No such ring. But, if you knew what you were looking for you could see an indentation on his finger. There was a high end sedan in the parking lot than made for a nice jewelry box.
He bought me a coffee and we sat down to talk.
I can tell you it is a weird thing to sit down for coffee with a man you know is married. That you know is lying to you. That you know is lying to other people. It’s even weirder when he doesn’t know you know.
It was like taking single one of my trust issues and sitting them in a chair next to me and have a damn conversation with them while drinking an iced coffee.
If this man had no online line presence, no social media accounts, I would never have known he was married. I probably would have liked him. He was charming and smart and easy going. He seemed completely put together.
He would have passed through all my bullshit detectors. I would have wanted a non-coffee date that involved wine and food. We would have talked about books and movies and I would have been smitten.
I would have missed it completely and gotten hurt. And that really, really freaking bothers me.
I don’t know if I’m better or worse for having intentionally gone out for coffee with a married man I never had any intention of dating.
I do know that he was deleted from my phone, blocked on the site on which I found him and banished from my life. I need to figure out how to get through a trust problem. What I’m thankful for in all of this? He’s not my problem.