In my time on dating apps, I’ve had to do some skillful Nancy Drew type detective work into the possible intentions of those super-liking, gif-sending dudes in my inbox. However, I’ve definitely misread some situations, resulting in an awkward dick pic swerve or two.
This specific anecdote starts after a particularly messy break up that occurred midway through my first year at University. After dating this person for the majority of my teenage life, I felt like I had to make up for lost time in the ‘swooning over the older, bad boy’ department. I downloaded tinder at this point, and much to the delight of my friends, I began swiping right on fools exclusively around 28 years old with full beards and alt-y tattoos. Fortunately, Auckland is overrun by these dudes, in the form of DJ’s, bass players and baristas (ooooh, foreshadowing…), so I was in luck.
I found myself perusing some of my tinder matches one night in first year, and came across a Johnny Depp lookalike, with the most rugged and troubled aesthetic, holding a spatula up manically in all of his profile pictures. Johnny (we’ll call him Johnny for the stories’ sake) was so very charming, whilst letting on very little about his own life.
After a few days of chatting he wanted to add me on snapchat, reluctantly I gave him my username hoping unsolicited crotch pics weren’t imminent. His username was in the realms of ‘ASSLOVER69’. Chill. You’d think that would be an immediate red flag for me, however I was genuinely manipulated into believing is explanation: ‘Oh my friends set up my account like 5 years ago and they made this the username, I can’t change it!’ Blatant bullshite.
Strangely enough, we talked for a few weeks but never managed to find a time where we could both meet; he was always ‘busy’. I moved back home for the summer, and we continued to stay in contact to the point where I really felt like I knew him as well as you could know someone you’d never met in person. He also let slip that his band was opening for a concert that I had just bought tickets to, and I felt like I’d really met a truly cultured, suave and rockin’ dude. However, I realise now he was playing the long game with me, in the hopes I’d become a groomed bang-ee.
When he learned I’d be in Auckland with a friend for the weekend, Johnny was interested in finally meeting up. I was out having lunch with said friend, when I received excited messages from him saying he had finally finished work (as a barista, called it) with only had 30 minutes free before he had to go to band practice.
With no time to get nervous, he rocked up at my lunch date with a seedy grin and open arms. As I got up to give him a hug, he gripped at my waist and whispered in my ear ‘you totally should touch my abs’. Uncomfortable, I just giggled and sat back down warily. After some very intense conversation and prolonged eye contact with him, he announced, ‘Wow I feel like I’m in love with you already’ and asked, ‘can I take a photo with you to show my friends?’ Entirely shook, I blushed and nodded, but my brain was repeating: ‘What the hell is going on!?’
Almost as quickly as he arrived, he was leaving again, and clearly trying to plant one on me in front of my friend; I was not having a bar of it. We hastily made our exit, and I was so thoroughly flustered, that when he texted me ‘I hate seeing you leave, but I love watching you walk away’, I was laughing and crying. It was clear at this point that this man was clearly an ‘experienced’ courter, wanting me as putty in his hands.
Eventually, when I moved back to Auckland for second year, Johnny and I were still talking a little. I ended up going to one of his gigs with a friend and met some of Johnny’s friends. They all warned me that Johnny was a raving sex addict and would say anything to get in your pants. After this, I cut contact with him and eventually blocked him on snapchat after he kept sending me requests for threesomes and lewd pictures.
Horrifically, Johnny popped back into my life in the cruelest way possible: as the full-time barista at my go-to Uni café. This made getting an almond croissant or even walking to classes a ridiculous taunt of getting cat called or run after by Johnny. Fortunately, he’s no longer working there, so I can croissant freely. However, reflecting on the entire situation had me thinking about ways I could avoid being bamboozled like this in the future…
Here are some tinder lessons I learned from this creepy encounter: