Not long after signing up to a dating app, I matched with a man that I clicked with.
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I had made this online connection that we all search for - one where you open up and feel comfortable to tell a stranger everything about yourself. We exchanged messages for hours at a time and I looked forward to meeting this man in real life. After several months of talking and one excuse leading to another on why he was not available to meet, I started to wonder if this person was even real.
Disheartened, I decided to move on and get back into the online dating world. I met another man straight away that had so many similar interests to me and just seemed to match everything I was looking for.
We started dating exclusively a month later, and we ended up buying a house and moving in together after about six months. I was attracted to his intelligence and how well we connected on every level.
A few months after we began living together, I thought something was odd and felt perhaps he was cheating on me. He was always very secretive about his phone.
One night, he passed out after a few drinks and my suspicions got the better of me: I decided to look through his phone, and later his computer. I was shocked and confused by what I found.
I found several fake online profiles on a range of different platforms. Some of these profiles were him pretending to be a straight man, some a gay man, a woman or even a couple.
One of the conversations that stood out to me was from a profile of him pretending to be a couple. This was a profile with two attractive people - and the girl he was impersonating was a friend of a friend of mine. The conversation read that he was making phone calls as the male, but the woman was too shy to talk on the phone, so only exchanged messages on the app.
The conversations were about the two women meeting up to shop for lingerie together to impress the male for when they would all have fun together. He had created a fake KIK account and this woman had sent intimate photos of herself that he had saved, and was later using to create other fake profiles - a common thing he seemed to do.