Plenty of (cat)fish! Divorcée who was duped by 25 men she met on the dating app including one posing as a model and an ‘undercover swinger’ turns her diary into a tell-all book
- Samantha Thorne, 42, from Dartford, Kent, wanted to find love after her divorce
- Joined dating app but was catfished by men whose profiles didn’t match looks
- The mum finally found love with David Tyson, 55, after a year of dating disasters
- Has since turned her old ‘dating diary’ into a new book about internet dating
A mother who was catfished 25 times in one year through an online dating app has told of her disastrous dating experiences in a new book.
Samantha Thorne, 42, from Dartford, Kent, joined Plenty of Fish after her second divorce, but quickly realised that several of her matches weren’t who they appeared to be on their profiles.
The beautician went for a drink with a man whose photos were so heavily edited she didn’t realise she’d actually already dated him in the past and stumbled across one profile one using a male model’s pictures.
After a year of online disasters, the mother-of-two met her current partner David Tyson, 55, during lockdown, and turned her old dating diary into a book about internet dating.
Samantha Thorne, 42, from Dartford, Kent, joined Plenty of Fish after her second divorce, but quickly realised that several of her matches weren’t who they appeared to be on their profiles
After a year of dating disasters, the mum-of-two met her current partner David Tyson, 55, during lockdown
Speaking of joining the app, Samantha said: ‘I decided I’d give it a go. I was looking seriously because I wanted to find someone to settle down with.
‘When I first started, I trusted everyone would be who they said they were. But the more people I spoke to, the more I learned people are not always who they say they are.
‘It was a strange time in my life. It was fun at times, but you definitely need a thick skin. But I’ve got my happy ending now with my new man so I won’t be using dating websites again.’
The mother turned her old dating diary into a book about internet dating titled A Year in the Life of Internet Dating
The bizarre year of internet dating began after Samantha’s second marriage came to an end in 2017, with the mother eager to find a new partner online.
Samantha, who has son Owen, 17, and daughter Daisy, 15, was quickly inundated with messages – but soon realised several people weren’t who they appeared to be online.
She said one of her most memorable truth-bending experiences was meeting up with an undercover swinger.
After a ‘really good’ first date for drinks in a local pub, where he appeared ‘normal, kind and interesting’, she was excited for their second date.
But things took a bizarre turn when he suggested they attend a sex club for ‘swingers’ to swap partners with other members.
Samantha said: ‘When he said there was somewhere he wanted to take me, I envisioned a nice restaurant but he told me he “wanted to get other people involved”.
‘I thought it was a joke at first because he’d never even hinted. If that’s your interest it’s the kind of thing you should mention on your profile!
‘I was pretty disappointed because we got on so well at first.’
Over lockdown Samantha wrote A Year in the Life of Internet Dating about her experiences as well as children’s book Barney Rubble
Samantha said her most unusual date was meeting up with someone who looked so different to his profile that she didn’t realise she’d already dated him in the past
Samantha’s second online dating disaster happened just a couple of months later when she began chatting with a man who claimed to be a rich model.
After speaking every day for more than a week, she was convinced he was genuine and they were planning to meet for drinks.
But a suspicious friend had some questions and began some behind-the-scenes detective work.
Samantha’s dating disasters
Undercover swinger – Samantha dated one man who suggested they attend a sex club for ‘swingers’ to swap partners with other members.
Stolen pictures – Samantha began chatting with a man who claimed to be a rich model but soon discovered he had stolen the images from a real model online.
Date with an ex – the mum met up with someone who looked so different to his profile that she didn’t realise she’d already dated him in the past.
Reverse image searches revealed the so-called model’s photos had been stolen from an American online modelling portfolio, and Samantha had no idea who she’d really been speaking to for a week.
She said: ‘I had been sucked in – but it became clear his story was fake after we began digging.
‘He sensed I’d figured it out and blocked me straight away – so I have no idea who I was speaking to for a week of my life!’
But Samantha said her most unusual date was meeting up with someone who looked so different to his profile that she didn’t realise she’d already dated him in the past.
Samantha said his pictures obscured his appearance so much – using clever angles and good lighting – that he looked much slimmer and younger than in reality.
She said: ‘I walked into the bar to meet him and as soon as I saw him, even with his back to me, I knew I’d met him for a date about seven years earlier.
‘I was adamant we’d met before – but when I pointed it out, he argued against me and accused me of lying!’
She sat through the date awkwardly, waiting to leave – exactly the same way as she had done seven years earlier.
She said: ‘There had been no initial attraction or chemistry back then, and there still wasn’t the second time round.
‘Plus, he clearly didn’t remember me from the last time, which made it very awkward.’
Now, Samantha has been happily in a relationship for a year with partner David, a railway engineer after meeting last March
Now, Samantha has been happily in a relationship for a year with partner David, a railway engineer after meeting last March – and she says she ‘finally got a happy ending’.
Initially meeting for socially-distanced walks throughout lockdown, and even teaming up to deliver care packages for staff at their local hospital, the two clicked immediately, and moved in together in September.
She said: ‘It’s such a calm and happy relationship and we get on so well – we even built a bar at the bottom of the garden together.’
Over lockdown she wrote a book – ‘A Year in the Life of Internet Dating’ – about her experiences.
She said: ‘I’ve definitely found my happy ending – but I’m pleased I will never need to use internet dating sites any more. It’s been enough for a lifetime!’
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