I’ve been in the dating scene long enough to know that when dudes tell you they’re single, they’re not always being honest about it. While cheaters have always been able to find a way to betray their partners, social media has made it so much easier for these people — yes, both men and women (but mostly men, not gonna lie) — to get away with it.
A few months ago, I got chatting to a local guy on Instagram who hit up my DMs and immediately started in with the flattery and compliments and telling me how much he liked me. I was skeptical all along but figured I’d go along with it. Turns out, I had every right to be suspicious. Only a day or two after he told me he could see me as his future wife (among other over-the-top nonsense), he suddenly blocked me and started proclaiming all over his Instagram how much he loves the long-term girlfriend he swore to me he didn’t have.
- He said all the right things. Like many seasoned liars, this guy knew all the right things to say to allay any concerns I had and to cover his tracks. He always found the time to send me a text here and there so that we were never out of contact for long — it obviously would have raised suspicions if he went AWOL for days on end. If he could only grab a minute, he’d say he was just between work meetings but he’d message me later. He gave me a sob story about how his heart had been broken and told me not to be offended if he was a bit standoffish because of it, thereby excusing the times when he seemed a little more distant.
- He had no pictures of her on his social media. While he had an Instagram account and posted pics of his dogs sometimes or a few random gym selfies (which he regularly captioned with “getting it in lol” — awful, I know), there was never any other woman featured on his account besides his mom. Generally speaking, women love couple selfies, so this sorta made his story more believable.
- No random women were commenting on his pics either. Okay, so even if she didn’t love couple selfies, a hot guy’s girlfriend generally likes to mark her territory by letting everyone else know that they’re together, right? I checked the comment section of his posts and there was never anything from anyone who seemed like a girlfriend, nor did any of his friends mention another woman. Again, it seemed like he was in the clear.
- Our conversations pretty much always took place via Instagram DM. Every once in a while we’d send each other a Snap, but that was rare. We never moved over to text and to be honest, I didn’t really think anything of it. Now I realize that he kept me compartmentalized in Instagram since that meant that messages I sent him were less likely to be seen by his girlfriend.
- Things were going pretty well. We’d been chatting for about two months at this point and things were going well enough. I’m not one for just having internet relationships and am actually looking for a real-life partner, but both of our schedules were pretty hectic with work and family obligations at the time and he lived about 45 minutes away from me so we were still trying to nail down a date to meet up in person (or so I thought). In the meantime, we chatted pretty much every day and I didn’t notice any immediate red flags. Stupid me.
- I thought we were on our way to a relationship. The night before the truth came out, we had a serious talk in which he told me how much he cared about me and that, while he wanted to wait until we were physically in the same place to make things official, he saw me as his girlfriend and couldn’t wait to be together. While I’m a bit more cautious in my approach, especially since we haven’t even met before (though we did FaceTime a few times), I was pretty much on the same page.
- The next morning, I found I couldn’t message him. The conversation was blanked out in my inbox and I couldn’t click on his profile to see his feed anymore. Huh. I checked on my Finsta (shut up, we all have one) and he was still there clear as day. I could see all his photos and comments and everything… only now there was something different: another woman in a shot with him.
- His girlfriend had just joined Instagram. In the caption to the cute couple selfie, the guy mentioned that he was so happy his long-term girlfriend had finally gotten with the times and signed up for Instagram. He tagged her for their mutual friends to follow, and she even came in the comments saying how much she loves him and he replied saying he loves her more. Uh, WTF?
- He obviously just decided to block me. Rather than coming clean about his deception, he thought the easiest way to get rid of me was to block me altogether and just disappear from my life. Of course, his account was public and he didn’t realize I could still see what he was up to from my other account that he didn’t know about. Over the coming week or two, he continued to post photos of them together, and when he did post solo shots like the old times, she was always leaving him cute comments. In one of the photos of them out to dinner one night, he mentioned it was their four-year anniversary. FOUR YEARS! I was gobsmacked.
- I eventually decided to DM his girlfriend. I sent her a message to let her know what her boyfriend had been up to. I even included screenshots of some of our conversations and apologized for my part in the situation even though I was none the wiser and had no idea she existed. She never did message me back, but a few days after I sent the message, they both made their profiles private. Whatever. I give up!