Sometimes this kind of thing happens. There are plenty of
people in the same area on dating apps, so there’s bound to be an overlap at
some point. I know I have matched with guys who have matched with my friends,
and vice versa. I’ve seen my family friends on there, I’ve seen people I work
with, I’ve even seen my friends’ boyfriends’ and ex boyfriends’ (yikes.) But this story takes place
across a couple of months during 2017, I was on 2 apps at the time and not
really enjoying either of them. Tinder was proving to be a bit boring, and Happn
wasn’t big enough at the time to find anyone I had thought I’d find (cute
strangers on the train, guys I walked past in the city, etc.) Instead I met
Jason from The One Where I Had to be the
Bitch, and decided Happn wasn’t for me.
I matched with Tim, and while we did get on and have some decent conversation, we never planned to meet. Our brief chat on Tinder and a few days of sending random, stupid snaps back and fourth on Snapchat and that was it. He seemed to have an underlying mental health concern as sometimes, late at night there would be the odd story that sounded like a cry for help, but then he would be right back to his normal self. Tim and I faded away, as my own mental health concerns felt a little triggered by him and his strange up and down moods, so I left some distance between us to try and deal with my own concerns (as I hoped he would, too, as it is hard seeing someone struggle so much.) Not one to delete someone off social media unless they intentionally hurt me, though, I did keep Tim on Snapchat.
Then about a week after we stopped talking, I matched with
Lucas on Happn. Lucas was one of 3 boys I matched with on Happn before I
deleted the app, and was someone with whom I had a similar experience to Tim.
Lucas was perfectly lovely, had a good job, had a good head on his shoulders, it
just didn’t seem to work out because of the timing of the next series of events
anda difference in our personalities. There did seem to be something a bit
weird about Lucas, he was too nice, a little too charming and he said “his” instead of “he’s” and “your” instead
of “you’re” – it all just became a bit much after trying (and failing) to
coordinate plans with him. Not to throw any shade at someone I’ve never
actually met but his personality begged a few questions… Cue Carl from The 40-year-old virgin now. So, needless
to say, Lucas and I kind of faded into the background, but I kept him around on
Snapchat just in case he turned out to be a serial killer (I wanted to be
questioned on a true crime podcast about my limited knowledge of the boy.)
For some context, my radius on Tinder is 20kms, and with Happn you only need to walk past someone else with the app to see them, so the radius doesn’t really exist. Tim lived about 3 suburbs away from me, while Lucas was only a few streets away from me at the time. About a week apart, both boys posted a story with a girls’ hands in the background (a classic table shot of them out to dinner and drinks respectively, with a girls’ hands on a glass or holding a knife and fork.) It’s not uncommon that guys post about dates and that’s when I delete them, not because I’m upset but just because that’s when I realize they serve me no purpose, they spark no joy.
Back to the story. This is where things started getting weird. I noticed in Tim’s snap (which was posted first) that the girl was wearing a ring I really liked, and in turn I made a mental note to try and find that ring. The following Saturday night I saw Lucas’ snap about being out with a girl, but noticed a weird detail – there was that same ring. Different nail colour, a tan, different bracelets, same ring. Odd but also another reminder that I really wanted that dang ring. (Sidebar – I did end up buying the ring; I found it and now wear it every day, but every time I see it I think of this story.)
So, more time passes and both boys keep posting stories with a girl in them. A girl (facing away from the camera) standing on a pier looking out to sea, a video taken from a bed of a cat bouncing around with a girl giggling in the background, more photos of hands holding things at a table, and then the worst (and best) thing to possibly happen. After about 2 months of watching them post these things, then came the selfies… With the same girl – enter Wendy. Wendy was dating these 2 boys simultaneously – which I wouldn’t have seen as a bad thing if it weren’t for the fact that it looked like things were starting to heat up between her and both guys. I briefly stalked them both on Facebook, finding that she was in both their profile pictures, and that neither of them were in hers. Ok, maybe they were both aware that she was dating both of them, I know I’ve dated two boys at once, maybe there was no issue! But then started coming the more disgusting snaps. Tim was obviously starting to fall in love with this girl, and Lucas was starting to make grand gestures. I kept both boys on Snapchat purely for the comedy – it was almost like Rear Window but a little less voyeuristic. There was something lightly concerning about the stories that started appearing. Tim would post stories about how much he loved Wendy and how she had saved him and made him a better person; how she changed his life and he loved her so much (Oh Tim, no…) The posts kept coming about how she meant the world to him and how she had changed everything for him. They started taking a turn, though, when he started posting about how glad he was that he had met her and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and no one else… Yikes…
Then were Lucas’ posts. Lucas took Wendy on mini-breaks to the Peninsula Hot Springs, to the beach, to a music festival. They went on a road trip, they were going to nice restaurants and fancy looking bars. He bought her big bouquets of flowers and would spend time with her friends and family (don’t you love people who put their entire lives on Snapchat?) but in his own special way, Lucas showed a deep affection for Wendy. While he wasn’t as vocal about how much Wendy meant to him, seeing him do all these extravagant and kind things really showed that he cared, and the lack of other females and openness about sharing his dates with Wendy seemed to show he had nothing to hide.
These posts would all be about a week or more apart, as if she saw Tim every second week of the month and Lucas every other week, alternating like clockwork she would appear in my Story feed with each of the boys. Curiosity eventually got the better of me, so one day I harmlessly sent a snap to Tim, after seeing a particularly lovely story about his night in at home with Wendy watching TV. I sent him a DM saying that I know it was probably weird, but that it was so nice to see him so happy (because, in all honesty, it was. It was nice to see him happy, but difficult being in the position I was in, because I knew she wasn’t as serious about him as he clearly was about her.)
Tim responded and thanked me, telling me how lucky he was to have met her, and as only a low end meddler, I simply told him to be careful of himself. People on the internet can be a little shady (and while I was also a person from the internet, I wanted him to be careful.) Tim almost laughed it off, told me he hoped I, too, was doing well, and then disappeared. The snaps from both boys briefly stopped including Wendy, and while it did initially seem a little bit suspicious, life gets busy and it looked like both boys were consumed by hobbies and the other facets of their lives that they had since forgotten as their relationships with Wendy took over.
A month after I had last messaged Tim, I received another message from him, following up on this situation. Tim was messaging me to thank me for telling him to be careful. It turns out, the following day at breakfast with Wendy, he had asked her to be his girlfriend officially. He wanted to make things real, put it on Facebook, meet her friends and family, the whole shebang. Wendy had frozen up a bit and said she needed to take care of some things before she could give him an answer. Upon pressing a little more, Wendy had gotten up to go to the bathroom and Tim had seen a message flash on her screen. He wasn’t proud of it, but curiosity got the better of him, so he took a look. It was a message from someone whose name was apparently a series of emojis (a rose, a sparkly love heart, a kiss face, the heart eyes, you get the gist.) And the opening line told him everything he needed to know. Lucas had apparently texted her saying “Hey baby, My mum said yes to dinner with your family, we’ll be there. Tuesday, right? Speak soon xx”
Tim was apparently shattered, but did the natural thing and walked out as she came back, leaving her stuck with the bill. After a few hours of desperate calls and texts, Wendy gave up. She said she had been set on Lucas for a while and couldn’t work out how to end things with Tim. I apologised to Tim telling him that I hoped he was ok and could work through it all, and with that I decided not to tell him I’d known, instead leaving him to heal in peace. I blocked him not long after that when his mental state lead him to send some questionable things to me, but I do still hope he found happiness whatever that may be.