In the world of dating apps, we find that it is not as creepy to meet up with someone as it once was. Often now, you have to be verified on an app, or people can report you if you are not who you say you are.
Before apps existed, people often met in chat rooms or online games. There was no telling who you were really talking to. You could easily have been a 14 year old talking to a 45 year old man claiming to be equally your age. But back in these times, you really had to be careful. Even if you think you know someone after talking for years, you may know far less about them than you think.
I’m sure many females can relate to this story, I know I can. Fortunately, I trusted my gut and only met up with someone I knew for certain was safe. Unfortunately for this girl, she looks back and in hindsight says she should have trusted her gut.
“This story has a lot of buildup. So I met this friend online the summer before my junior year of high school. I was 16 and he was 19. His name was Flip. We clicked pretty instantly. Our senses of humor matched up and I felt like we were excellent friends. He was a guy (I’m a girl) but I never really held romantic feelings. Also, I was in a relationship. I could tell he had romantic feelings, and he let me know 6 months into our friendship that he loved me. We didn’t really have a stable friendship as he flipped out a lot and would go extended amounts of time without talking to me. He told me it was because ‘he couldn’t bear to talk to me knowing we can’t be together because I was dating someone else’ but I now know that it was more of a control thing, and he wanted to stop talking to me to make me feel like I’m missing something.”
“He really hated women. Really, really disliked women and felt like most are just liars and cheaters. He told me he felt like I was different, that I was the only true woman he’s ever met. I was young and didn’t really think much of it. Our friendship was only online — imessaging and FaceTiming. Now when he went on these tangents where he would abruptly stop talking to me, he would go on twitter and make offensive demonizing tweets about me to people. Like awful stuff. When he came back, I just ignored that stuff because he would go back to being funny and nice.”
“He also had a habit of lashing out at people, taking revenge on people, and just making people feel bad for fun. (Another red flag) but I thought I was special and that he really cared about me and would never do anything like that to me. I remember leading up to my 18th birthday (him being 21 now) he said, ‘When you’re 18, you’re sending me racy pictures. You don’t get to say no.’ I brushed it off because I knew I wouldn’t. But there’s just this element of him wanting to dominate.”
“Fast-forward 2 years later. I’m now 18, freshman in college. In October, I broke up with my boyfriend (same guy as age 16), and Flip took that as an opportunity. He would tell me he couldn’t bear not seeing me, and that basically we have to meet or it’s all over. Now I didn’t really have romantic feelings for him, my love for him was platonic but I figured I’ll try the romance. I’ll try to love him romantically. I couldn’t lose him. So I impulsively bought a plane ticket to where he lives in December. My parents had no idea, and to this day still don’t. I was going to go away on a Friday, come back on a Monday. The college I go to school at is in a city with an airport so it was easy to just Uber to the airport. This romance that I’m trying to project feels real and I genuinely felt like I loved him romantically. I was finally going to meet the guy I loved. Now leading up to the flight (about 1-2 weeks before), I started getting cold feet. I was questioning the legitimacy of my feelings, and started getting on with a guy in a neighboring uni. I started catching feelings for him, and kissed him a day before my flight. At that point I had already decided I didn’t want to pursue Flip romantically, and I figured, ‘Hey, we’ve been friends for 2 years. When I get there I’ll tell him I only want to stay friends. Yeah he’ll be upset but I’m sure our friendship is worth more than that, and we’ll be able to have a nice enjoyable time together!’ How naive I was. I decided to go on the trip anyway thinking that maybe seeing him would reignite that fire.”
“So it’s time for the flight. It’s very early. I remember sitting on the plane contemplating walking out. I really just wanted to leave and not return. I should’ve listened to my gut. I arrive, and I go outside of the terminal. I see him, sitting in his car just staring at me. Like a very malicious piercing stare. After a few moments he gets out of the car. He looks…different. It’s strange because we have FaceTimed and I have seen pictures of him, but he just looks…different. Kind of creepier. We hug and sit in the car. It’s awkward, I feel awkward. We make small talk and awkward jokes and at that moment I wanted to be back in my dorm.”
“We go back to his apartment, and we go up to his room. We smoke, and I lay down on his bed to sleep. When I wake up he’s spooning me, and trying to fondle me. I take his hands off and tell him to stop, then I sit up and basically unload about how I don’t want him romantically, only as a friend. He just started crying, and begging me to tell him I love him. I tell him I can’t do that. He then stands up, drops crying, goes to the bathroom and starts lighting stuff on fire. It smells like burning paper in the bedroom now. He comes out normally and just sits on his computer and plays games without talking to me. Now the rest of the trip is just like a combination of him being kind and normal to him being completely evil.”
“Here’re some things he’s done / said throughout the 3 days:
He told me he almost sent a snapchat of me to my mom with the geotag of his town so that I would get in trouble.
He made jokes about me dying.
He would pretend to hit me, like lunge at me and get close enough and watch as I flinched.
He told me he was going to make me miss my flight home. Said he was planning to drive in the opposite direction of the airport and dropping me off in the middle of nowhere.
He served me spaghetti and told me he purposely used the moldy spaghetti sauce hoping that I would get sick.
I would ask questions and he would just respond by calling me an idiot.
He was trying to feel me up in bed and I kept pushing his hands away and he would keep trying and would say things like, ‘I know you want it you’re just holding back.’
He kept telling me to ‘shut the eff up’ when I would speak or ask questions. He did it multiple times in front of his roommates, too.
He told me that one night while I was sleeping he walked over to me and started farting on me.
He told me he almost made me sleep in the car one night.
So basically I kept my cool, and when he would tell me these things I would nod and agree and laugh with him. I was scared, and I wanted nothing more than to leave. So I kinda keep it cool and I spend my time trying not to upset him.”
Monday rolls around, and my flight isn’t until 8 pm. Around 11 am, he goes downstairs to leave, and in that time I pack my bag, and leave without him knowing. My plan of action is to run to the nearest shopping plaza & Uber to the airport from there. I wasn’t about to Uber from his house. I’m almost to the end of the street, feeling free, when I feel 2 arms come up from behind and wrap around me.
He’s hugging me, mumbles something into my ear and then turns around and dead on sprints back down the street to his apartment. I ran to the shopping plaza, called an Uber and got it. I felt so much relief in that moment. I felt like I was free. I waited at the airport with nothing to do for 8 hours but it was better than being in there.
“I look back and I feel like an idiot. Like I should’ve gone to a hotel and I should’ve probably left but I’m a broke college kid and I was already scared being here without my parents’ knowledge. After I left I blocked him on every social media outlet I have, including LinkedIn. He still has tried to contact me regularly for 4 months but luckily I never ever told him my address or anything. So, online friend of 2 years, I don’t want to meet you again.”