Story of Te'o's girlfriend brings term "catfish" to national spo - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Story of Te'o's girlfriend brings term "catfish" to national spotlight


The story of Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend has brought a relatively term "catfish" into water cooler conversations across the country.

The term catfish hit the mainstream after a MTV show. In the show people in an online relationship meet the real person they're dating. And often it's not who they said they were.

Dating website says 1 in 5 new relationships starts on the internet. But as Diane London found out dating online comes with its risks. She became close with a man online several years ago who wasn't who he said he was.

"Well we met and it was very disappointing," said London "And you know I think it shifted how I look at the whole deal."

Despite her bad experience, she says she hasn't given up. In fact she even works as a counselor in Schofield helping couples work through their problems.

"Oh there is a teeny bit of me that's a hopeless romantic," said London. "And what's the harm. Once in a while I go out and meet someone. It might be a good connection."

But as many new people look for their partner online, others say the risk just isn't worth it.

"Because of that whole catfish thing," said Jason Busha. "People say they're one person but they are really somebody else. It just doesn't seem like a straight forward way to be."

London says if you are looking for love online, you need to be cautious.

"I'm always very careful to meet at a neutral place. I usually don't give out my phone number. I block it if I choose to talk to them. I give very little personal details."

Good advice for navigating the risky field of internet romance.

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