Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader who we’ll call “Janine.”
It started back in Dec. 08, I was on an online dating site and came across a profile, his picture was nice, my type, dark hair, nice face, normal handsome looking. Brief description, saying his likes dislikes etc, so I messaged him.
From there is went to msn chat and then we exchanged numbers, when he rang me he said sorry if you don’t like my voice, I had an operation when I was younger and it has changed it. Didn’t think anything of it.
We clicked straight away, got on like a house on fire, had the same sense of humour and talked for hours about nothing. We texted and talked every day all day, he suggested we meet up and being nervous as I liked him I suggested we wait, he said yeah that is cool, so after about a month I suggested we meet … he stood me up … now he had also brought his friend Tom into the equation, who was gay (I lived with a gay friend) who we could double date with, neither of them turned up.
Stood me up again
He was apparently in a car crash, so of course I forgave him, we chatted on again, another month went by, arranged again, he stood me up again, this time his grandad had died, so I forgave him as I couldn’t really be cross about that. He sent me presents and flowers and everything else was perfect and although I hadn’t met I fell for him, he said he felt the same, our phone relationship continued.
He constantly made plans with me, trips away, gigs, but of course nothing came of it, he was jealous, hated my friends, but our relationship, apart from the not meeting him, was great.
We had phone sex, exchanged pictures and were as close as you could be without actually meeting. I lost my mum four years ago and he told me he had lost his dad ten years ago so that bonded us too, he told me all about his family, things from his past, funny stories about his friends, colleagues, even spoke to me on the phone when his mum and friends were there. We talked babies and marriage and he still continued to stand me up, he then broke down and said that he was having panic attacks and that is why he was standing me up as he loved me so much. So he said he would get therapy, and promised me that this time with therapy it would be different.
Met his friend
In the meantime, in August he asked if he could get a friend over to drop my birthday present over. So I said okay, I met her, she seemed nice and we got on, and so arranged to go to the cinema. She talked about Matt, saying how silly she thought he was but how much he thought of me, how much he talked about me and constantly said he was in love with me. She said she had never seen him like that over a girl before. They grew up together.
This friend of his and I went out once a week, texted every now and then. Matt said how much this girl liked me and how much he was jealous that she had met me.
Our relationship continued, me seeing this girl every now and then, nothing major, me and Matt making plans, getting excited about seeing each other, him telling me he couldn’t wait to see me and kiss me.
This girl then came out a couple of times, both time with me getting so upset about my situation, one time resulting in her saying she didn’t know what Matt had been telling me but that she needed to take step back from us both.
Paranoia set in
By this point I had been waiting to meet him about 10 months, my dad had got involved and Matt had called them to explain the situation, spoke on the phone to my step mum for about 20 minutes.
My paranoia had set in by this point, I loved him and wanted to be with him so I accused him of seeing someone else etc., then I started noticing little things about his friend, she laughed liked him and said things like him, when I mentioned this to Matt he was like really? Oh probably because we grew up together.
So the date for us to meet came, he had phoned me that morning saying that this girl had text him saying you had better meet her, we chatted had a laugh, said how excited we were, we both went shopping he said he had bought me presents, texted me all day, even up until ten minutess before we were due to meet saying he was leaving, then nothing. Again.
He emailed me (I changed my number) saying he panicked again and that his heart ached and he would never be with anyone else and that he hated himself and that his dad would be disappointed in him, and that he loved me so much.
Googled his friend
So I decided to do some Googling, I Googled his friend, I found her profile on match.com, I remember her telling me she had one and so Googled her username, I found out that she had used other names on various websites over the years, ranging back to two or three years ago, I then found a video of her getting a tattoo on her wrist, which was the tattoo Matt showed me that he had on his wrist. And whenever I saw her she had a sweat band on that wrist, covering it, and I remember asking why and she saying oh it’s a support.
So I emailed him, quoting the username, and he deleted his email and phone number, so I emailed his other account telling him if he didn’t tell me what was going on i was going to the police.
He emailed me back, saying I am who I say I am but I made my home life up, I have a disorder where I make things up, but how I felt for you was real.
Don’t know what to believe
I then kept on at him, saying that is not true, what is the truth, I then got a message saying that he was the girl, that it had been her all along and that it started out as fun but then she started to like me which confused her as she isn’t gay and then she couldn’t stop, she said she wanted to tell me so many times, and that she was sorry and that she was a sociopath.
I don’t really know what to believe as the person I spoke to was a man, but all the numbers I had for Matt and his “friend” have been cancelled so it has to be true?
I feel used and dirty, and betrayed and hurt and I’m also mourning this man that I thought I was talking to. He was my life for 11 months, I know I probably sound pathetic but i really don’t know how to get over this. He was snatched from me, even though he wasn’t real and I don’t know how to grieve.
He was my best friend, i spoke to him daily and now I don’t know what to do.