Listen to the full episode: Breakup Coach Reacts to the Tinder Swindler
Have you watched Netflix's newest docuseries The Tinder Swindler? If you haven't, please check out the full story over here before continuing with this article. There are so many takeaways from this scandalous story, it took me a while to sift through the major ones I felt would help you make sense of what you too might be experiencing if you have or are experiencing a toxic, emotionally destructive relationship; which I will briefly discuss below.
However, at the end of the day we are all on our own sacred journey of recovery and healing after experiencing such a relationship and as a self-love and breakup coach I encourage you to carefully consider what I am going to share with you below and then apply my advice to your breakup or current dating situation only if it resonates with you and whatever doesn't resonate leave it alone for another day.
Breakup Coach Reacts: Netflix's The Tinder Swindler
Firstly, I have always been skeptical of these fringe dating apps, such as Tinder, Bumble, Feeld and probably a dozen others I haven't heard about as yet. Dating online is already a nerve-wracking experience for the inexperienced seeker of romance and love, but throw into the mix shady, sinister individuals, such as Shimon Hayut, AKA Shimon Leviev AKA The Tinder Swindler it makes me wonder if online dating is even worth the hassle anymore.
Conman Shimon Hayut AKA The Tinder Swindler cleverly utilized the dating platform Tinder to lure women into believing that he came from money and was the heir to a billion dollar, diamond dynasty in which his father Lev Leviev owned and would someday inherit (all a complete lie). Shimon's cunning ability to create a fake online identity and lifestyle of jet-setting around the world, spending lavishly on luxury trips and possessions, was part of a more sinister, intricate mind game of deceiving and stealing from his victims thousands of dollars as a way to continue funding his fake luxury lifestyle as Shimon Leviev.
So, how is it possible that Shimon was able to repeatedly con independent, educated and worldly women into believing that he was the real deal; their very own prince charming? Simple, he's what is known as a Somatic Narcissist. Now, I am not a licensed Psychiatrist, but Shimon from years of doing my own independent and formal studies in psychology and research on narcissism does present with common traits and characteristics of a Somatic Narcissist. If you haven't checked out my other articles and podcasts on narcissism and emotional abuse, I encourage you to read them for a better understanding of what it's like to date a narcissist.
Is The Tinder Swindler a Somatic Narcissist?
Somatic Narcissists are all about their appearance; image is everything to them. This also includes their physical body, the people they choose to surround themselves with, and the type of environments in which they feel most comfortable and flourish within. Shimon fits this profile perfectly; why? Because his third, live-in girlfriend Ayleen Charlotte confirmed that while scheming up her own plan to exact revenge on Shimon, which I feel she executed brilliantly, knew the best way to recover some of the money he stole from her was to sell his luxury, designer clothing items because they were worth a fortune and it was also how Shimon was able to create this upper-echelon identity of being wealthy and attracting his victims.
Shimon was also masterful at selectively choosing educated, financially independent, wordly and attractive women to be in his company. How else would he have been able to swindle thousands of dollars out of his prized possessions of on-demand girlfriends platonic or otherwise. That's the masterful, yet sinister magic of narcissists, more specifically somatic narcissist. They are adept at being able to pick out of a crowd, in this case online, who will be their next unsuspecting victim, to feed and stroke their ego, be their arm candy, and also provide a comfortable and luxurious life for them, in this case Shimon?
The type of environments Shimon flourished in was that of upscale, luxury environments which further contributed to his fake online identity of being the heir to a billionaire diamond dynasty. He was meticulous and calculated in where he met his unsuspecting victims, in such notable places as, luxury, high-end hotels, restaurants, and taking exotic vacations around the world, all at the expense of his possessed objects, his 'girlfriends'.
If you're not sufficiently knowledgeable about the anatomy of a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship, then yes, anybody can become easy prey to be taken advantage of by a narcissist. Fortunately, one of my jobs as a breakup coach is to help my clients fine tune their future, narcissistic BS radar before any drama seeps into their lives and destroy their ability to trust another man post-breakup or discourage them from continuing to explore the adventurous world of online dating moving forward after experiencing emotional abuse.
Below are my top five takeaways and breakup coaching advice from The Tinder Swindler. Take what resonates with you and what doesn't leave the rest.
(1.) What's your approach to dating online?
As mentioned before, I personally am not a fan of these fringe dating sites. Before signing up on a dating site such as Tinder, check in with your core values and personality. Are you more of a traditionalist or open-minded, risk taker in how you like to approach dating? If you are leaning more towards traditionalist dating, you might want to check out a slower-paced, traditional dating site, such as eHarmony, Match and Elite Singles, or you can try a professional Matchmaker. Sometimes taking a more conservative dating approach can eliminate shysters such as Shimon, but there are no guarantees in the online dating world, so let's continue with my second takeaway.
(2.) If it's too shiny, it's probably fake...
Also, if it's too good to be true, then it probably is. All that glitters isn't necessarily gold, and if you find that your online match is checking off every box on your list perfectly without a hitch, I would encourage you to slow down, take a step back, and assess whether your date is genuinely connecting with you or if he/she is feeding you BS. I distinctly remember Cecilie Fjellhøy stating that Shimon appeared to be her "prince charming", and that she "felt as though she was in a movie" AKA the Love Bombing phase when dating a narcissist feels like a dream. Check out more about Loving Bombing here.
(3.) Do your investigative homework...
Checking Instagram for background information isn't enough. In this advanced, modern society we live in today, anyone can pronounce themselves as king or queen of XYZ with a glitzy filter, a few designer items and a bottle of Moet or whatever is consider the boogie drink of choice among the ultra-elites within society. My point is do your homework on this individual and no, this doesn't mean invading their privacy or hiring a private investigator, that's a bit extreme, but really get to know this person. Who are their friends? Have you met any of their family members in-person? Where did they go to school and if they did, do they have a yearbook, photos of college friends that you can verify or debate teams they were apart of? You get the point. Do your homework and anything that strikes you as odd, take a step back and ask yourself, why do you feel uncomfortable?
(4) Is this person consistent in their actions?
When you are in the presence of this person, do you feel small, unseen, or as though you are an accessory in their world? If so, this person's personality, character, and overall energy is probably grandiose, overbearing, and arrogant. If you find that you are giving more of yourself within this connection than you are receiving, that's a red flag to step back, assess, and, when necessary address the issue head on. If you are met with anger, hostility or complete disregard for your concerns and feelings, you need to figure out why you are putting up with such toxic, disrespectful behavior. Do the inner work.. the answer usually runs deeper than you think.
(5) True Self vs. False Self...
When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them. I will admit Shimon is definitely easy on the eyes. He is handsome, articulate and presents well, but what struck me was whenever Pernilla, Cecilie and Ayleen confronted him about his scandalous, thieving habits, his true demeanor would crack his narcissistic mask; this is known as the true self vs. the false self. He literally changes from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde with the snap of a finger. Is the person you're dating consistent in their demeanor, personality and how they treat you, this too is another concerning red flag to look out for.
My final thoughts
This is what I know for sure from my past experience of dating a covert narcissist; at some point, once you realize the truth about this person, you will have to make the decision to leave and never look back or stay and try to grit things out with this toxic, tortured soul. However, what happens to most targets and victims of emotional abuse, especially if you are dating a narcissist, is that we choose to protect our hearts from the truth, until one day we look around, and who we have become in the process of dating such a vile, toxic individual is unrecognizable to us. This is evident when Cecilie states "I don't think I'll ever be the same again". This is true. Being in such a toxic, emotionally destructive relationship will shift how you view people and the world around you. However, I know from personal experience that you can bounce back stronger and better than before from a toxic relationship; you may not trust as easily but the journey of recovery and healing is most certainly achievable if you are willing to do the necessary inner work.
Wishing these three brave women all the best moving forward. ♥️
I hope you enjoyed this week's article and have gained some valuable information to help you move forward with confidence! As a Breakup and Wellness Coach, my work in this world is dedicated to supporting and helping women such as yourself to HEAL, RECLAIM and TRANSFORM your life after leaving a toxic relationship. Do reach out if you would like to discuss how I can support you on your journey of recovery, healing, and transformation.
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