'The first thing he said was, 'So I guess I have a little bit of explaining to do.' And then he put this little, like, half-laugh emoji.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 6, 2022. It has since been updated.
Just weeks before she was due to leave for her 30th birthday trip to Costa Rica with her boyfriend, Faith Bistline received a Facebook message that knocked the wind out of her. "Is he your boyfriend?" the message asked, referring to a photo Bistline had posted with her boyfriend of 18 months. "Because he's been dating my friend for the past 10 months." As shocked as she was, Bistline believed the sender might have been mistaken. She took a screenshot of their message and forwarded it to her boyfriend hoping to clear everything up. However, his response was far from comforting. Despite seeing her message, Bistline told The Washington Post, the man she'd dated for a year and a half chose not to reply.
Not long after, Bistline got a text from the whistleblower's friend and co-worker, Emely Ortiz, who had been dating the guy for nearly a year and believed they were exclusive. "I just want to know how long you guys have been dating for," the 22-year-old said. "Did he ever mention me to you or you had no clue." Bistline replied: "I had no idea. This is sorta freaking me out. We've been dating for almost a year and a half. I'm trying to give him the opportunity to explain himself to me but he's not responding to me right now."
The women—both of whom work in healthcare and live in Las Vegas like their now-ex-boyfriend—sent each other photos of the man to confirm that it was the same guy and exchanged notes on where they left their toothbrushes in his bathroom when they slept over, the gray fuzzy robe he wore around the apartment and how he met their families. Slowly, the missing pieces fell into place. While Bistline, who is a nurse, began dating him in April 2021 after meeting through friends a year before that, Ortiz met him at the clinic she works as a medical assistant and where the boyfriend—a doctor—had his residency. He asked her out on a date in October 2021, without giving her the slightest hint that he already had a girlfriend, she said.
When the boyfriend (who has not been named for privacy reasons) finally got back to Bistline's message after two days, he was far from remorseful for what he had done. "The first thing he said was, 'So I guess I have a little bit of explaining to do.' And then he put this little, like, half-laugh emoji," she recalled. "That really rubbed me the wrong way. I'm like, 'Is this funny to you?'" Meanwhile, Ortiz did not wait for a response. She went straight to his house the day she found out. Although she waited for hours outside, she revealed, he never showed up. "I think I called him, like, a hundred times," she said. Ortiz went back to his apartment the next evening and found him there. "I confronted him," she shared. "He said, 'What are you talking about? Are you crazy?' And then I pulled up the messages, and he was like, 'Oh... yeah..'" When he apologized, she said, he told her: "I never should have let it get out of hand."
Over the next few days, Bistline and Ortiz dumped their boyfriend and focused on mending their broken hearts. This was when Bistline told Ortiz about her upcoming birthday trip to Costa Rica. She had paid for it all, but no longer wanted to take her cheating ex as she had planned. Instead, she asked Ortiz to accompany her. "If you're serious about Costa Rica, let me know. I'm dead serious about bringing you instead of him lol," Bistline wrote. "Yes I'm serious about Costa Rica we need a vacation after this," Ortiz replied. On September 16, 2022, three weeks after finding out about their boyfriend’s duplicity, the women boarded a plane to Costa Rica together.
"I didn't want to go alone," Bistline explained. "I was thinking it would probably help us both to go on a trip like this. We deserve this after what we've gone through." Ortiz admitted she initially hesitated when Bistline invited her. "At first I was like, this girl is crazy," she said. "But I just thought, it might be good for us to heal together because we're the only two people who know what we went through." Bistline and Ortiz spent four days healing and working through their feelings of betrayal while exploring the jungle and waterfalls. Now, about a month after their breakups and back from their travel adventure, the women are good friends. According to Ortiz, in addition to a new friend, she has also gained a lesson from the experience. "Always listen to your intuition," she said.