It’s increasingly common for people to try to find love through internet dating, but this can still be a risky business. Not everyone is who they say there are, for instance – and there’s one woman who knows this better than most. However, her story has a truly remarkable ending.
Emma Perrier has not always been so lucky in love. In 2015 Perrier – who was born and raised in France – was living in the London suburb of Twickenham. But that summer she found herself brokenhearted and single after a relationship had ended.
Still, the 33-year-old Perrier wasn’t willing to mope around for too long. After she spent a while getting over her failed romance, she decided to take a proactive approach when looking for a new one. And this led her into the sometimes-murky world of online dating.
Perrier’s app of choice was Zoosk, and after uploading some photos of herself, she was ready to go. Having found it difficult to meet men in person while working extended hours in a coffeehouse, Perrier looked to the app as a way of finding her perfect match.
It didn’t take long before Perrier’s profile received some attention from potential suitors, either. One such admirer who particularly caught her eye was a handsome-looking man named “Ronnie,” and the two of them began exchanging messages. Soon, their conversation then graduated to WhatsApp.
Perrier in fact spent months messaging her new love interest. She thought he was a total heartthrob, too – particularly based on a photo that appeared to show him dressed in a leather jacket. However, she was never able to verify his attractiveness in real life.
That’s because “Ronnie” kept making excuses as to why he couldn’t go on a date with Perrier. He told her that his work as a decorator required him to travel around Europe, leaving him with very little spare time.
Perrier’s family therefore started to become suspicious, and she too thought something was up. So, she decided to do some detective work to get to the bottom of things. First, she downloaded an app that would help her to find out where “Ronnie’s” profile pictures originated from.
And her heart almost stopped when the results came back. “Ronnie’s” photographs were fake. You see, the man in the images was a model from Turkey who goes by the name of Adem Guzel; it wasn’t “Ronnie” in the pictures at all. She had been catfished.
Then, after doing some more digging, Perrier discovered that some other photographs which her online love interest had sent her had also been uploaded to TripAdvisor. And, what’s more, she could see that the person who uploaded them to the travel website was in fact a 55-year-old man called Alan Stanley.
Having thereby come to the realization that she’d actually been speaking to a random middle-aged man rather than the hunk in the photos, Perrier decided that she had to do something. Specifically, she felt like she needed to warn the Turkish model that someone had been pretending to be him.
So Perrier messaged Guzel on Facebook to tell him what Stanley had done. Upon receiving the news, the model was angry that his identity had been stolen and used to trick Perrier. And, although they were strangers to each other, Guzel video-called Perrier from Istanbul.
However, while the pair chatted for a while, the conversation didn’t continue in the following weeks, as Guzel was visiting a tiny Turkish village with limited phone signal. In the meantime, Perrier met up with the man who had tricked her online. She wanted answers.
The two of them in fact had dinner in London, and Perrier found out why Stanley had stolen Guzel’s photographs. Perrier subsequently told the Sunday People that Stanley had said he was “bored and lonely” and didn’t think that women would be interested in him if he uploaded his own photos.
Then, after Perrier had seen Stanley face-to-face, her conversation with Guzel started up again. Indeed, at the beginning of 2017 she began speaking to the Turkish model more and more regularly. And against all odds, they struck up a long-distance romantic relationship.
Perrier soon invited Guzel to meet her in London, and on April 1, 2017, the couple finally met. What’s more, there was an instant connection, and Guzel subsequently told The Atlantic that “the spark was undeniable.” It wasn’t long, in fact, before the model had a key to Perrier’s apartment.
So it was that by September 2017 the couple had spent half a year living together, and things seemed to be going very well between them. “He’s a lovely man,” Perrier told The Atlantic, although she has had to keep reminding herself that the guy living with her is not “Ronnie.”
As for the catfish, Stanley, he apparently claims to have found love with another woman. He’s also conceded that he acted badly in his dealings with Perrier and has reportedly sent his regards to the loved-up couple.
As for the lovebirds – who have made their nest in Richmond, London – they no longer feel any anger towards Stanley. “There’s no point holding grudges,” said Perrier – before adding, “I hope Alan meets someone nice, too, who will love him for who he really is.”
Guzel has also said that he’s glad it all worked out in the end. “Sometimes, what [Stanley] did makes me angry, but sometimes I feel grateful to him because I would never have met Emma,” he told The Sun. So, if you didn’t believe in fate before reading this story, there’s a decent chance that you do now.