Here’s How To Avoid Dating A Con Artist #atwys

So, this article appeared on xoJane today.

You know how I always say that a lot of people don’t really care if someone is lying as long as they’re hot or rich or otherwise impressive? Yeah. That’s what this article is all about.

I wanted to like him, I really did. I was just not attracted to him, and that’s hard to get past. As a result, I always engaged with Brian on my terms. I never asked to meet his friends, and I found that he was always up for meeting me out with my friends. Also he had a real job, with papers and a desk and everything, so it was fun to bring him around my comedian friends. I knew Brian had a crush on me but I felt that since I was honest with him and since I wasn’t holding a gun to his head, it was his choice to stay friends with me. OK, sometimes we’d get drunk and kiss, but whatever.

By “whatever” I think she means she totally knew she was leading him on.

Because he brought it up, one thing I did know about him was that he came from a lot of money. He put it like this, “My family is like ‘Downton Abbey’ without the unfortunate liquidity issues.” He talked about private flights to Paris and houses in Hawaii. After living in Los Angeles for nine years it was nice to be around someone who was comfortable with his life and who didn’t feel the need to brag or apologize.

Yeah, what impressed her most was how comfortable he was telling people his family was loaded. That’s a true sign of character.

One day Brian asked me if I’d like to go with him to London for a Skull and Bones reunion. Brian was in Skull and Bones at Yale. He was also on the golf team and belonged to the Beverly Hills Country Club. He was as privileged a white boy as they came. I said I’d go but only as his quirky and charming comedian friend, not as his date. He agreed.

I’ll cut to the chase. Turns out Brian was a big ‘ol fraud. It was interesting to me that, in an age where we Google who has the best buffalo wings on The Upper East Side, the author never appeared to do any kind of recon work about this guy. Like, none. Never met his friends. Never met his family. He constantly cancelled trips. Hello? Is this thing on?

She never challenged anything he said because she wanted him to be the impressive, rich, Beverly Hills home owning finance dude he said he was. What she reveals by telling this humiliating story is that she’s ridiculously shallow and probably a tad bat shit crazy herself. She doesn’t date for character. She dates for status. Those are typically the type of folks that dishonest people like Brian end up with. They settle down with people willing to look the other way.

This is another example of of that adorable false narrative people perpetuate all over the internet about how desired and pursued they are.People use this narrative because it’s a lot more flattering than, “I was always attracted to them but I had sex with them and then they blew me off so…” or “I thought he/she was really unattractive and simpish, but then I learned they had money/power/status.”

Someone in the comments asked how the author could go from not being attracted to this guy to falling in love with him. Easy peasy. She wasn’t attracted to him, she was attracted to the lifestyle he claimed to have. She didn’t want to do any fact checking because she didn’t want to find out he wasn’t rich and successful and, oh, so totally totally in love with her. What would she write about on the internet or tell her frenemies at the next baby shower she’s loathed to attend?

Again I will say that this is why doing all kinds of background checking and Googling your dates is pointless unless you plan on heeding whatever warnings you uncover. If you’re just going to believe what ever fable the person tells you, don’t bother looking them up.  I can assure you, if they’re that brazen about lying, they already have an explanation down pat. One that they’ve tested and know works. This guy blatantly lied, and this woman knew that on some level. Nobody – and I mean NOBODY – could possibly be this stupid. She didn’t want to know the truth in the off chance he was who he said he was.

I’d probably feel bad for her if it weren’t pretty obvious she was only with the guy because of his pretend money. This is what happens when you’re shallow and seek status over substance or just want to have a story to tell. You fall for duplicitous people and, the more you get invested and brag, the further you back yourself so far into a corner that you will never be able to get out of it without looking completely foolish. Which is why, I think, many people stick around and turn a blind eye. They’d sooner chew their own arm off than admit to their own critical personality flaws.

FEATURED POST:

http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/iliza-shlesinger-dating-sociopath

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22 Responses to “Here’s How To Avoid Dating A Con Artist #atwys”

  1. The D-man Says:

    This is pretty hilarious now that I made the connection. I happened to see her comedy act a couple months ago. In her act she had a pretty funny bit about how she plans from the very first date what she will get offended about so she can throw it in his face during the inevitable breakup. “You don’t even know my middle name!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. C Says:

    Oh wow! This girl does brag much, and stalks, and is vindictive enough to drag an ex-boyfriends mother into her revenge tactic. Good grief!

    “On a weekly basis I’m annoyed at media outlets and clubs who insist on using old credits of mine. I’ve had a Netflix special and won a major television reality show and they’re still using “Myspace’s Funniest Comic” as a credit. So I completely understood.”

    And is she comedian…oh excuse me, headliner comedian who graduated from Emerson? I think she only mentioned it like 10 times.

    No one deserves to be suckered in by a sociopath, but hard to feel sorry for a woman who suckered herself in on the promise of status climbing. “Oh I’m so not into money, I just really dig guys who casually mention their IVY league education EVERY DAY.” Please.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      I picked up on the Emerson thing, too. And of course I got shit on for it in the xoJane comments. She’s bragging, much like she’s bragging about dating this lunatic. And since pretty much everybody over at xoJane has that story about how that one time at band camp they dated a sociopath too and wanted to share it, people didn’t care that the author was a total asshole.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

      • C Says:

        I can’t believe everyone didnt smell the reek of arogance and narcissism.

        The whole blog post sounded like one final act of revenge against Brian. She didnt succeed in vilifying Brian and getting the reaction she wanted out of his former roommate and mom (who stalks an exes mom anyway?!), so she took her tale of woe to the internet posting some seemingly detailed information about the guy. Theres something wrong with this woman.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. bbdawg Says:

    Weird that she was that dumb to think anyone who was on Skull and Bones would just tell random people that “hi I am going to a Skull and Bones reunion, wanna join us???”, they’d just met on an airplane. Flying coach for no reason. Wow how lucky!

    “Brian” was right, if it wasn’t for the name-dropping she would not have given him a second look, so yeah in the end, he got the girl out of his league for a while. She is dumb enough to fall for it so they were a good match.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  4. Noquay Says:

    I would agree, this chick got what she deserved. For the rest of us, any signs of inconsistent behavior, trying too hard to impress, means run like hell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  5. fuzzilla Says:

    Good golly, Miss Molly. Textbook example of why you DO NOT ENGAGE with crazy, or promptly disengage once you’ve got the whiff of crazy. My God, she sounded 16 with all the dramz shenanigans and justifications. “Oh sure, it totally makes sense that he has a house in Beverly Hills but lives in a scuzzy apartment with a roommate.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. SickOFBashing Says:

    So i get the point of the article and agree. However, I don’t think the point of the person sharing her story is to look for sympathy. We can’t all allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough share an embarrassing story that not only we, but others can learn from. We are all human and the bashing of others who make ‘mistakes’ is a lame act in itself, no matter HOW educated or ‘refined’ one might consider themselves. I know everything in the world can’t be friendly and nice but if you’re going somewhere for advise on a tough phenomenon such as dating, you don’t want to see others being bashed for their experiences. Nor do I wish to hear condescending tones from others on how if someone did make a mistake, they deserve no sense of understanding. After all, I didn’t hear the girl asking for a hand-holding session – she lived thru the situation, grew from it after having moved on and then shared it. What’s so bad about that!? Shouldn’t the focus be on the horrid character of the man who did all he could to lie and how to avoid ‘those’ type of people. Not put why a person chooses to date a certain type of person on blast. Just my opinion. It’s rough dating out there. I would like to be able to see daters support each other thru the trials rather than bash each other for even trying!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      This woman did not make a mistake, nor was she a victim. When I say that NOBODY could possibly be this stupid, I mean it. She knew the guy was probably lying. She didn’t want to confirm that suspicion because either she didn’t want to be embarrassed or because she was hoping against hope that he actually was who he said he was. Or..she didn’t care, because she never cared all that much about him anyway.

      That she would accept a fake trip to London that he would pay for knowing he had feelings for her and knowing she didn’t have feelings for him makes her a spectacularly shitty person.

      Nobody with even a modest amount of self-awareness would tell this story so publicly and so glibly.

      I share these stories not just to point out what assholes these people are but to encourage people not to take everything they read and hear about dating at face value and question things that don’t add up or seem off. THAT’S how you avoid dating a con artist.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

      • SickOFBashing Says:

        I understand your viewpoint but don’t see where the person was playing the victim. She wasn’t interested in him in the beginning, then his mother became sick and it seemed that became the ‘bonding’ experience that caused her to get closer to him. Then they started actually dating and during that time she began the true investigation of the person’s history and whereabouts over a few weeks time which caused her to find out the truth. She stated in her article that he made himself available to her (using his own resources) and took time to be with her which is what every woman generally wants – especially when you have a busy schedule for work or otherwise. Just because she wanted to believe his lies doesn’t make her a bad person but if you’re going to date someone you at least want them to have some of the qualities that they described. Seems to me she heard all of these ‘tall tales’ about his education and money because she questioned these things in the beginning of meeting him which is a perfectly appropriate time. Thereafter they were simply friends. In her article she also drops lots of jokes so it couldn’t have been that bad a fall as she did not become ‘hopelessly’ in love with the guy and unable to move on. Some people hang on to bad relationships and manipulative or lying people for a lot longer. Does showing the truth of a matter really require proving that another person involved in the situation is a bad person to get the point across? This is my question. I try to learn from my experiences and take my own full responsibility in my part of where I went wrong but it is just an uncomfortable feeling knowing that if you share those mistakes you make with others, for any reason, they can focus more on everything you did wrong and literally call you ‘stupid’. Again, I completely respect where you are coming from but I can’t agree with calling someone stupid for falling for a guy who lied so much and then walking away and sharing the experience with others.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          Somebody who would not just allow but encourage another person’s feelings for them when they know they don’t share them is a bad person. Period. Full stop. Somebody who would allow someone to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on them to fly them to London to be their date to a party knowing that person had feelings for them and they didn’t return them is a BAD PERSON. How is this even a question?

          In a time where literally everything can be cross checked and confirmed, it makes absolutely no sense that she never looked in to him as the lies began to pile up. But, hey, he bought her $600 sneakers, so who would want to stop that gravy train? Where you and I disagree is that she actually cared about this guy. I don’t think she did. I think she liked dating a guy she could brag about and who bought her things.

          It’s not stupid to share your story with a friend or two. It is decidedly stupid to share this story publicly and on the internet where it will exist FOREVER. Share it anonymously if you must. Don’t attach your name to it. She’s a comedian. She’s looking for attention. She doesn’t care if she looks stupid. This is the very thing I’m railing against. This confessional style of writing is so much more harmful than people realize until it’s too late.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

          • SickOFBashing Says:

            Now that, I clearly agree with you on an understand. I, in some way, did believe that she might have truly had feelings for the guy which is basically the role he played – reaching out for sympathy. In her case, perhaps she did let it go that far hoping all his lies were true and if her mom didn’t care for her enough to push the background checks and verification of the details, she probably would have been with him a lot longer!! I also do not agree with people ‘using’ other people for any reason and then crying foul when they have to ‘pay the piper’. So you are absolutely right and thanks for taking the time to rebut and clarify your perspective so that I could understand your point of view which I now agree with! Much respect!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

          • E-B Says:

            Agree with Moxie 100%, especially about how the author encouraged encouraging the guy. In fact, she flat out said it:

            “It wasn’t about money, it was about time and devotion. He was always there, always on my side.”

            That statement captures the other part of this story- the author loved having a beta-orbiter, and she totally loved having this wealthy WASP follow her like a lap dog.

            And don’t forget about that picture of her friend John:

            “Was I showing off how hot John’s chest was? Absolutely. Am I a bit of a pig? Yeah.”

            So the author is a drama-loving attention whore who likes to show off. The boyfriend was a liar who played into that. That doesn’t make her a “victim”; she merely got beat at her own game.

            Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

            • SickOFBashing Says:

              Touche’ E-B, you’re absolutely right! I agree with you and Moxie now that I see those details more clearly. He obviously figured her out very quickly and pushed all of that back on to her and THAT’S what she fell in love with and paid for it in the end.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

            • Gabi Says:

              This. Exactly.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. fuzzilla Says:

    So I’m really not a fan of the PUA movement, but occasionally their bits about confidence and human nature are on target. As such, a reading through the PUA lens – he was a “beta orbiter” who catapulted out of the “friend zone” by taking notes on what kind of person she was and telling her what she wanted to hear.

    Yes, giving mixed messages and making out with/accepting expensive gifts from someone you’re not attracted to makes you shitty. They’re not a person to you but self-esteem balm. I think she magically “fell in love” with him when he amped things up with the cancer mom story and she feared losing his attention/access to his money.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    • BostonRobin Says:

      Yeah, that was a classic manipulative attention whore move: when they see their target retreating, they amp things up. She went from those mixed signals to “omg! he canceled a trip? you mean he saw that pic and called me on my shit? FULL STEAM AHEAD!”

      Basically, they were both playing games and I think he outplayed her in the end. More and more I’m convinced that in dating, we all get pretty much what we deserve when we lose our moral/ethical compass.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

      • BTownGirl Says:

        “More and more I’m convinced that in dating, we all get pretty much what we deserve when we lose our moral/ethical compass.”

        I would really like to plaster this on the Goodyear blimp and let it hover over every major metropolitan area for at least a week. Well said!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • ShawninCo Says:

      Very interesting! That was the only part of this crazy story that really threw me for a loop. While I kept suspecting that there was a “need to be needed” or a need to be the “fixer” or heroine. From what I read, she offered a lot of her time to this guy and his mother. She also made a lot of excuses for his lies and her behavior. So I was totally sold on her wanting to rescue a wounded bird. But, when all of this obsessing over his address and gifts came up, I was totally lost. (For the record, I was shocked that she was still hung up on the bracelet after mentioning his $160k in debt). So while I can see how the cancer card is his way of grabbing her attention, I was confused about how that would keep her around. Who knew that drama queens would go to such great length to cling to status (and then abandon all forms of responsibility when it didn’t pan out)?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. SadStar Says:

    Yeah I don’t know about that. I have a friend in the exact situation. Its so obvious that he spinning lies..and she’s a smarty. She’s one of the sanest, most practical, nicest, people I know…except when it comes to love. I’m sure the fact that this author’s “Brian” was a “rich hedge fund guy” helped her get attracted to him, but I wouldn’t say towards the end all she was doing was using him.

    The whole “how stupid can you be to believe these lies.” The person definitely knows deep down there’s something wrong, but there’s a HUGE element of self denial. My friend told me “Even if he is lying to me, I just want this fantasy to continue a little longer.” That was in the beginning part of the r/s. I’m at a lost what to do, I’m considering hiring a private investigator but I don’t want to be so nosy. I’m not someone’s mother who is given more leeway in matters like this, and I don’t want to break up my friendship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  9. bbdawg Says:

    “My friend told me “Even if he is lying to me, I just want this fantasy to continue a little longer.” ”

    Is that dating or delusion? You can’t blame the other person if you are purposefully looking for a fantasy. Please. It’s so obvious that the woman in that article only wants the pseudo-pedigree…the only thing we know about “Brian” as a person is that he is unattractive. And that he lies. We know about the hedge fund, YALE, Skull & Bones, Beverly Hills, cancer, his mother, but all this “brian” is, is a fantasy prop for a lifestyle. There is NO interest in the actual person behind the façade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. Bree Says:

    There’s a saying: “You can’t cheat an honest (hu)man.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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