Lorenzo_Lotto_CupidoFor the last few days, my girlfriend has been carrying on a weird kind of affair. She has been exchanging text messages with a guy she found on OkCupid. He has shown great interest in her, sharing some of his most personal details.

For instance, he has let her know that he has been in two threesomes, both MMF. He has declared his love for stimulation of his rectal passage. He has even asked her, “Do you like foot stuff?”

As a guy who has been living with this girl for the last four years, I can confirm for this proactive paramour that yes, indeed, she does like foot stuff – especially if it has the name Jimmy Choo inscribed on the insole. I’m not sure, however, how impressed she has been at his other attempts at courtship.

Probably his first mistake was using my byline photo as his OkCupid profile picture.

We found this out when a friend emailed my girlfriend to say she had been contacted by some guy on OkCupid who looked a lot like me. At first, she didn’t want to say anything, because she thought it might actually be me. He described himself as a straight 33-year-old male living in Arlington, Virginia. Those details are almost close enough to believe the profile was mine. I’m a straight 31-year-old male living just down the road, in Baltimore, Maryland. But I’m not on OkCupid.

Note: This is not my profile.

Note: This is not my profile.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this information. My first instinct was to feel sad for the guy. Here was a lonely soul hoping that, somehow, my tatty-sweatshirt byline pic would help open a few romantic doors. I was flattered, even. Dude obviously thinks I’m bangable.

But then my girlfriend, Steph, started to do some investigating. Our friend let Steph assume her OkCupid identity to see if she could dig up more information about this guy. Steph found out that he – or at least someone with the same username – was on a couple of dating sites, the most interesting of which was called swingerspace.com. (I won’t disclose any details except to say that this guy deserves credit as a creature of adventure. Also, his profile details varied from site to site.) It was only on the OkCupid profile, however, that he saw fit to use my mug as a branding mechanism. Weirdly, it was accompanied by two other photos that looked only vaguely like me – although, because they weren’t close-ups, they were passable likenesses. After contacting the guy through OkCupid, Steph eventually exchanged phone numbers with him, which is when he started lobbing his inquiries about various fetishes (which, you know, is fair play).

I am probably supposed to be outraged about this injustice. It is basically a case of identity theft, and this guy deserves to be called out for his dishonesty. And indeed, the more I think about it, the more discomforting it is. Thanks to my work for PandoDaily, my electrifying brick-wall byline pic is now spread pretty widely across the Internet. It’s not ridiculous to worry that someone who is on OkCupid also knows that that photo is of me and therefore assumes that I am the guy who, according to the profile, is looking for someone with “an amazing sense of humor (sarcasm is a plus), an affinity for the outdoors, an open-mind, intelligence (please know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’) and a decent face.” I mean, we can all agree that anyone who hyphenates “open mind” while demanding that his partner know the difference between “your” and “you’re” is essentially an asshole, right?

But for some reason, I haven’t been able to stir up the passion about this incident. So, rather than go the route of maximum shame – like, say, turning up unannounced on a “date” arranged by my girlfriend, or calling the guy on the phone and berating him – I have decided to call him out the only way I know how: by blogging about it.

There is, of course, a wider, more serious message attached to this narrative, and it’s a pretty simple one: Do not use other people’s photographs as if they were your own, and do not try to pass yourself off as someone else. Apart from being dishonest, borderline criminal, and a deeply flawed romantic strategy, it is also kind of a scumbag move. And as the power of the Internet has proven, there’s a good chance you’ll be found out and then exposed on a tech blog. Let that be a lesson for anyone contemplating the same trick.

Sadly for Steph, her illicit side romance with Dude Who Stole My Face has now come to an end. Sensing, perhaps, that his ruse had been discovered, he has taken down his OkCupid profile.