This is Nora

Do you see how beautiful she is?

She is smart and kind and nice and funny and her heart is so big. She also is an amazingly talented singer.

Can you believe she is single? Well, she is. Crazy right?

Nora is newly attempting to navigate the (miserable) world of app dating but given her cultural background it is not surprising that she is inexperienced and innocent.

Nora grew up in Saudi Arabia until her family moved to Jordan when she was sixteen. She left Jordan at 28 when she accepted a position in the United States and has lived here for the past three years. My friends and I were her first American friends but she only met us a year ago.

Nora is my closest best friend. By closest, I mean that out of all my best friends, she is the closest in proximity. She is my neighbor. We spend a LOT of time together and I am so so so grateful to know her.

It didn't start out that way though. I met Nora last year, at the pool. The week before we met, I had seen her there looking stunning in her bikini, so naturally I obviously had to hate her immediately.

In my defense, I didn't really hate her because she was gorgeous, I "hated" her because she was breaking the rules. She and her friend were standing in the pool talking in the swim lane. While someone in the swim lane was trying to swim.

It got on my nerves so much that I had to tattle on her to the lifeguard and tell him to tell her to get out of the swim lane.

I realize telling you this story makes me look ridiculous, but oh well. That is how it happened. And I can be ridiculous sometimes. At least I am aware of it!

The next week, when I was standing in the appropriate section of the pool talking with one of my friends,  Nora came over and joined our conversation and well... I couldn't hate her anymore because she was AWESOME. We have been kind of inseparable ever since. And, well, being that she is foreign, she didn't know the rule about not standing in the swim lane.

Anyway, the other night Nora came over and told me that she was really heartbroken. On top of that, she felt really stupid about it because it was over someone she had never even met.

She had been non-stop texting for two weeks with a "really handsome" guy. She was supposed to meet him the day before but he cancelled at the last minute.

Welcome to the misery of Dating App World.

Given that I have been down this road myself before, I told her, "Nora, I think he was a catfish."

Eyes wide, she looked at me. "How do you know?"

"Nora! Didn't you read my Ode to Catfish Part 1?! Jeez!"

I explained, "Well, he was super responsive, he said all the right things and then he bailed with some lame excuse. That sounds like a catfish to me."

Nora was beating herself up about not being "strong enough" to not feel bad this happened and for developing feelings for someone she didn't even know.

It made me mad that someone did that to my friend, especially because she is one of the kindest people I have ever met. I told her that she should not feel bad - he had manipulated her. The one who should feel bad is him. But that wasn't really helping.

When I feel down about something, I try to change my perspective so that I can turn a negative situation into one I feel good about. When someone hurts me, I choose to feel sorry for them that they are not a nicer person rather than feel angry. Pity is a much less unpleasant emotion than anger.

I told Nora to imagine who this person really is who would do that to her, to anyone. I know for a fact that there are plenty of people on these dating apps who get NO matches. Imagine how bad that must feel? How lonely? What does someone do who yearns to interact and have intimate conversation with someone yet has no way to do that with their own actual face?

I told her, "Nora, you are so beautiful, you can have 1,000 matches and will never not have someone who wants to talk to you. Think about this person - probably overweight and unattractive. There is no excuse for what he (or she?) did but maybe instead of feeling bad, be grateful that for two weeks someone made you feel special and feel sympathy that he is probably actually dying to meet you and be the person he was pretending to be."

The next day Nora sent me a screenshot of his profile pic to show me how handsome the guy was.

Um, Nora? That is Al Pacino.

See? I told you she was innocent. And clearly from another part of the world.

And, all she really needed to know about him was written right on the photo. Those three things are totally negative. I would have swiped left immediately.

We had a big laugh though. That was funny. Poor Nora. 

After we talked she told him this: 

Yeah, that is pretty much catfish confirmation if I ever saw one.

But after processing the situation and our conversation more, the next day Nora sent him this:

See? I told you she had a big heart.

And then she told me:

Hmmm... sounds like something I would say.

God I love that girl. She is moving back to Jordan in September. I don't know what I am going to do without her. 

Hopefully dating there is less painful. 

What advice would you have given Nora? What would you have done if you were in her shoes? Can we ever sympathize with catfish? What if it is to make ourselves feel better? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. Can I bypass answering your questions and simply ask Nora out on a date? :)
    I'd be a perfect gentleman and she seems like such a warm, kind person. I'd love to meet her and realize her time here is short.

    1. I'll take that as a no then :(

    2. Send me a picture and your contact info and I'll forward it to her.

  2. I'd tell her to delete the app and join a gym or a Meetup group to meet authentic, REAL people with similar interests, good intentions, and no hidden agendas. Why remain inside the drama and trauma of dating app hell?

  3. Nora is way too beautiful to be online dating, and I mean it in this way; the majority of guys who will be writing to her will be trying to bag a trophy and won't care about her at all as a person. I actually took all my "beautiful" pics off my app because i could tell that was the attitude of the majority of responders. Anonymous is spot-on about Meetup, though it matters little to Nora now, as she's leaving soon.

    1. I was sure "Anonymous" was you!!! Wow! You have a twin!


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