Hot, normal girls do not have to resort to online relationships with men they’ve never met.
That’s what many people think. Breaking that big misconception was why, more than its happy ending, this week’s Catfish was a powerful experience. Internet love is not some ghetto for misshapen and/or damaged goods, but it feels like almost every week, there’s a catch with the catfishee in the form of some major baggage driving them to the delusion. This week, when Nev and Max got on the webcam with Lauren, it was clear even they were taken aback by her giant smile and outgoing personality. They commented, veiled or otherwise, on her utter sparkle no fewer than five times. There was an underlying tone there that Lauren was above the treatment she was receiving from her online beau of eight years, Derek.
And yeah, it kinda seemed like it had something to do with the fact that she appeared to have not a single thing wrong with her, unless you’re going to hold it against her that she has a young son (and some men certainly would). So shame on Nev and Max — but damn if Catfish’s first-ever happy ending didn’t steal the show. It probably didn’t help that MTV hammed it up with a live after-show, in which we learned precisely nothing except that the happy couples supposedly did not bang the first time they met IRL (props on the self-control, eight years during your teen years and early twenties is brutal).
There was no way this guy was about to be who he claimed to be, but sure enough, he stepped onto his front porch with the same dumb facial hair and the sort of dude-bro necklaces that are almost mandatory at DMB concerts, two staples from nearly all his online pics. At that exact moment, Twitter erupted with some all-caps variation on “wait what the actual fuck.” It was a nice reminder that not everyone on the Internet is a creep looking to deceive, and that sometimes, it all works out. The method of communication should never automatically invalidate the emotions.
Still, there were reasons for even online love’s most ardent apologists to be skeptical. Lauren, 21, and Derek, 23, had been in communication via social networking sites (Myspace then Facebook), chat, and phone for eight years. This time period included the birth of Lauren’s son, Mason, and her engagement to another man, which she broke off in part because of her feelings for Derek. During the engagement, Derek had unfriended Lauren, but the two started talking again once she left her fiancé. They never webcammed, though; he wouldn’t buy one, even after Lauren offered to pay for it.( Collapse )Vulture