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This Is Why You Shouldn’t Catfish Your Boyfriend

In this week’s Hola Papi!, the advice column by writer, Twitterer, and prolific Grindr user John Paul Brammer, a reader writes in with quite a tale: he’s catfishing his boyfriend.

The two recently met and he fell hard, but one day he decided to get back on the apps…and that has now led him down a long and tangled road that leads us to here: Hola Papi! giving some tough advice. And you’re not ready.

If you want his advice, just email him at [email protected] with your question. Just be sure to include SPECIFICS, and don’t forget to start out your letter with Hola Papi!

Hola Papi!

I’ve been having trouble in my relationship. I’m in my early twenties, and I met this guy 40 years older than me on Grindr. I’m really glad I did.

The first time we met, it was just about sex. But we ended up falling for each other and started a “relationship.” It was, and is, a long-distance relationship. We met when I was on vacay at the beach (we live kind of near). We’ve found a way to see each other and work it through. So we had been dating for a month, and I hadn’t been using Grindr. But I hadn’t deleted it yet either. I opened it to delete it one day, just to free up space on my phone. I opened the app, but then I found out he was still active on there and he had been online three hours earlier. I opened another gay dating app we both had. Same story.

On our first three dates, he told me he wanted a real “thing” with me, that he was deeply in love with me, that we would find a way to be together, and that he really hadn’t expected this. There was lots of sweet talk, Papi. I thought I was his one and only. When I confronted him about why he still had the app, he told me: “Just to make contacts.” He said he had friends on there and he just wanted to talk with them, and that he would not and had not had sex with another guy.

I really believed him, even though I know Grindr is usually for other purposes. We kept dating two more months, and then I had a peek through his phone one day and he had another profile on another app with suggestive pics, and he still had Grindr and two other apps.

I decided to make a fake profile on one of them and put some pics from an attractive guy the same age as me, and we began chatting there. He sent me nudes and told me he wanted to have bareback sex, and I, as the fake guy, told him the same.

To add more drama, I began using my older phone with another number, and we’ve been chatting and sexting there. He even told the fake me to go visit him. We’ve agreed I will “visit” him. I tried to arrange my “visit” on the dates the real me is supposed to visit him, but he told the fake me that I could visit him a week earlier. He has also said there is a possibility “we” (he and the fake me) could fall in love.

I think we can all agree that I’ve lost it. It’s all I do or think about all day. It’s been difficult lately trying to focus on college. I tried to break up with him, but he is such a sweet talker. He keeps swearing I’m his one and only, and that we can work things out. Last time we met, he refused to have sex with me because I wanted to use a condom and he didn’t. He told me I have trust issues, and that I don’t trust him.

I’ve heard that older guys have more experience, that they know how to play the game. I really thought having a relationship with an older guy would be good for me.It was all a fantasy, I guess.When I try to be mature and cut him off, he always finds the right words to say. I feel he has a lot of control in the relationship.

I kind of think he is a player and I’ve been tricked and fooled.

I really don’t want to break up with him. He is so handsome, and besides sex and drama, we’ve shared wonderful moments together and deep conversations.

I’m so caught up in this!

I just really don’t know what to do, or maybe I just don’t want to do what I know I should do.

Please help!!

Love,
Miss Catfish

Hello, Miss Catfish! Break up with him.

I want to make that loud and clear. You need to break up with this guy. The issue isn’t whether or not you should break up with him, because the answer is you should. The issue is gathering the strength to do so and then sticking to that decision.

You know what’s wrong here and what needs to be done, but allow me to help you crystallize it.

Because this handsome man is older, you think on some level he might know best because he is more experienced. He knows you think this, and he is using that as leverage to get you to question your moral compass that is trying to point you in the direction of “NOPE.”

Age does not always mean maturity, as evidenced by the fact he has lied to you multiple times and is exchanging nudes with fake profiles on Grindr behind your back.

A healthy relationship isn’t one without mistakes, Miss Catfish. It’s one where there are open channels, like candid dialogue and check-ins, to address issues like adults. When one or both parties lose faith in these channels, they become corrupted, and the issues are allowed to fester. The dynamic turns toxic.

You creating a fake profile on a dating app to catfish your boyfriend is a toxic action that I can’t condone, as is sexting him on your other number. But you selected it as a channel because the healthy ones are closed and unreliable. They are unreliable because your boyfriend has lied to your face and continues to lie to your face, and you are lying back.

I want it put in no uncertain terms that this relationship is at the very least manipulative and at the very worst abusive, particularly the part where he shamed you for not wanting to participate in bareback sex and made it about you having trust issues.

This isn’t me saying he’s evil. This is me saying he’s bad for you and you need to pack up, block him, and move on for the sake of your own health. If that upsets him, then I look forward to responding to his letter.

Papi.


JP Brammer

John Paul Brammer writes the Hola Papi! advice column at INTO. His work has appeared in NBC News, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, and more. He is working on his first novel.

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