• Handling Breakups

Moving forward after a hoax

Published: September 10, 2013 | Last Updated: April 2, 2016 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
A woman still feels heartsick about a hoax she perpetrated on a best friend years ago.



As I write this message I’m looking at my ex-best friend’s Twitter account.  Actually, it’s been two years since the last time we talked and I saw her in person. The Ex-BFF that I’m talking about was my high school and early college best friend. We were best friends for about five years when I was in high school and having an “identity crisis.”

Well, I lied to her. It started way back in 2006 when I pretended to be somebody else and sent her text messages and basically became her boyfriend. (I’m a girl and my best friend’s a girl, too.) So, the relationship lasted for a month or so until the character I made up ended the relationship. “He” and my best friend were still talking as friends.

To make a long story short, it took me five years before I told her the truth about the “he” character that showered me with guilt over the past years. When she knew everything, of course, she got mad at me but the outburst of anger and hate I was expecting never really happened.

After a few weeks, she talked to me and we even had the chance to go shopping but I think I blew things off between me and her because I unfriended her on Facebook. I really felt that our friendship needed to end and so she finally ended it.

After the Facebook thing she never talked to me anymore. Before she dumped me, she basically had a new best friend. (We were teens back then, and I knew she wanted me to suffer because she knew how jealous I was.)  Now, it’s 2013. I mean, I miss her like SO MUCH. I’m even having dreams ’bout her and I still feel the heartache that I’ve caused her by lying to her and basically losing her. I have to be honest when I mentioned about the “identity crisis” earlier that I did “fall in love with her” using the “he” character that I made up. I don’t say that I still romantically “love” or “miss” her now but I know this longing is for the bestie part.

I’m engaged to my boyfriend now, we’re getting married next year. Actually, I’m thinking of inviting my ex-bestie to my wedding but I’m ashamed of what I have done to her. I can’t even follow her Twitter account without trying to talk to her. Please help me. What should I do with this feeling? It’s making me really sad.

Signed, Vida


Hi Vida,

I suspect you heard and read the news report about the hoax perpetrated on football player Manti Te’o over social media.  Your story is reminiscent of that one.

When you pretended to be someone you were not, that betrayal of trust had to leave your friend feeling very hurt, humiliated and angry.

After that, I suspect you defriended her on Facebook because you realized, on some level, that after these events the two of you could no longer have an authentic relationship as friends.

The kindest thing you can do now for your once-best friend would be to leave her alone, stop following her on social media, let her heal from this trauma, and allow her to get on with her life.

You also need to move forward with your life. Since you have plans to marry, it is important to put this matter behind you after this many years. To assuage your guilt and resolve any lingering identity confusion, It would be worthwhile for you to speak in confidence to a mental health professional to better understand why this happened and to find a way to forgive yourself.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: Relationships with ex-friends

Comments (5)

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  1. Marisa says:

    Watch the show Catfish on MTV to see what a terrible thing it is to perpetrate a hoax like this. Move on and learn a lesson.

  2. Claire says:

    When you hurt someone so badly, and betray their trust, you cannot expect to be forgiven and to have their trust & friendship again. That is the sad truth…Whatever you do in life, you should always think about the consequences, short-term and long-term. Let this be a lesson for future friendships. And make sure that you will never betray a friend again. Move on with your life.

  3. Sally says:

    I agree with Irene and Amy.

    Ultimately you did something wrong to your former friend and you compromised her trust in you.

    I honestly think you need to move on and leave her alone to get on with her own life, she’s probably moved on happily, made new friends and she most likely doesn’t wish to be reminded of what was essentially a bad friendship.

    You’re getting married soon so concentrate on the wonderful life you’ll be having with your soon to be husband and I agree with the idea of seeing a professional even if it’s just a counsellor to help you understand the situation and move on from it.

    Block her on every form of social media like Facebook, Twitter and any other site you know she uses as that may help you to move on.

  4. Vida says:

    Thank you so much for your advice. For years I never really opened this “part” of my life to anyone. Although, I didn’t tell you my real name or met you in person, I want you to know that I really appreciate everything. Thank you really. Thank you so much.

  5. Amy says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Irene about leaving her alone and about seeking mental health treatment. I don’t think you can address all the issues that caused you to perpetrate such a betrayal on your own. It fakes a lot of courage to admit to the hoax and understanding all your motivations will help you in all of your close relationships and your marriage. You’re still young and you can learn different relationship skills and more honest ways of asking for what you need. I suspect you have a lot of hurt that deserves healing.
    To help you move on from the relationship, you need to stop following her on Twitter, because I think you know in your heart that she wouldn’t want you doing that. In a way, it’s that’s another breach of trust, even though Twitter is a public forum.
    Back when the Internet was relatively new, I knew someone online who used another identity to find out if I’d talk behind her back in a chat room. It took me about a week to figure out she was the same person, and I was angry, not just with this online former friend, but with myself for being so gullible. Even though you were the hoaxer, I would bet part of her anger is also at herself, not to let you off the hook, but to give you a different perspective. In my case I just left the chat room and changed my email. She wasn’t a friend in real time, but I had trusted her.

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