Alyson and Dylan met when she was working at a retreat. He immediately caught her eye, and the two soon became close friends. But for Alyson, it was more than just a friendship.
She had feelings for Dylan and wanted to be in a relationship with him. Yet, he only saw her as a friend.
So, in an attempt to make him jealous, she created a fake profile using a stranger’s photos and told everyone he was her new boyfriend.
Everything was going according to the plan until the man whose photos she used found out about the fake profile she had created.
“Pull up a chair, and buckle up for a wild, bizarre, hilarious story,” journalist Guy Benson wrote on Twitter. He had just uncovered the most bizarre story of a catfish profile.
Guy Benson was used to receiving messages from people asking him to share their stories. After working as a journalist for years, he thought nothing could surprise him anymore. Well, he was in for a big surprise when he saw a new message in his inbox.
Once Benson opened the message and began reading, he quickly realized that this would be the most epic story ever.
“I’m not typically inclined to entertain such requests from strangers,” he wrote, “But the backstory was irresistible.”
It all started in 2010 when Alyson was working at a retreat. There, she met Dylan, and the two became good friends.
Soon, they started hanging out outside of the retreat and meeting each other’s families. In Alyson’s eyes, Dylan was perfect. But there was only one problem.
While they were clearly just friends, others couldn’t help but wonder if it could ever evolve into something more. And it wasn’t long before Alyson started to develop feelings for Dylan.
But she couldn’t tell if he liked her back or only saw her as a friend.
Alyson started to like Dylan and hoped he would eventually ask her out. ”Dylan and I have always been friends, and he wasn’t making a move,” she explained in an interview.
It seemed like Dylan was happy with the way things were.
He cherished their friendship and wasn’t even thinking of the possibility of being in a relationship with Alyson. But she couldn’t keep waiting for him to make a move.
Life is short. So Alyson decided to test his feelings with the help of her cousin.
“I liked Dylan, and everybody knew I liked Dylan,” Alyson said. “Dylan knew I liked Dylan.”
But as the time went by, Alyson started to worry she would never make it out of the friend zone. That was when her cousin came up with a plan that would impact not only her life but also the life of a stranger.
Alyson was becoming more and more frustrated. Why wasn’t Dylan making a move?
Since she was an only child, her cousins were like siblings to her. So, she told them everything about her and Dylan, and they all wanted to help. That was when her cousin Michael shared his crazy idea.
Michael immediately knew what she could do to test Dylan’s feelings. He knew it was a little risky, but it would work.
When he told Alyson about his idea, she immediately shut him down. “I was dead against this,” she said.
“I told Michael I was not going along with this, we are not going to do this,” But Michael wasn’t giving up and kept convincing her to do it.
Alyson knew his plan could work, but she couldn’t risk losing Dylan if he ever found out about it.
Michael told Alyson they could create a fake profile using a stranger’s photos and pretend he was her new boyfriend.
Then, all they would have to do was tell her mutual friends about it and wait until the news got to Dylan. And if he liked her, he would be so jealous!
Alyson didn’t like her cousin’s idea in the slightest. Creating a fake profile using someone’s photos? And hoping Dylan would be jealous of her “boyfriend”?
“Dylan was my best friend,” she said. “He would think I’m crazy if he knew I went along with this.” It was only a few weeks later that Alyson decided to go forward with her cousin’s plan.
A few weeks later, Alyson and Michael got to talking about his idea again while watching her other cousin’s graduation. ”We were just so bored,” she recalled.
“I just went along with it, and we just kind of ran with it,” she continued. Together with Michael, she hopped on Google, searched “generic white man,” and found the perfect profile picture.
Then, Alyson came up with a back story. She and her boyfriend Ryan Stevens met at his college, and he was a few years older than her.
“We came up with the whole story, and it spread around to my family,” Alyson recalled. No one besides Michael knew that Ryan was a catfish. It was their little secret. And so, they waited for Dylan to hear the news.
One day, Alyson’s cousin Mark broke the news to Dylan while they were working out. They were catching up on how everyone was doing when Mark told him Alyson had started dating someone.
Like everyone else, Mark thought Ryan Stevens was totally real. “So when I was talking to Mark at the gym, I didn’t really know much,” Dylan said in an interview.
“I mean, I knew my friendship with Alyson inevitably would end in either one way — she was going to find someone, and we weren’t going to be able to be this close of friends forever, or we were going to end up together,” he continued.
Dylan thought his friendship with Alyson would end, but then something odd happened.
“I was like, ‘OK, well, maybe Alyson’s time has come, and our friendship was going to fade out,'” Dylan recalled.
It wasn’t until he saw a picture of Ryan Stevens that he exploded with anger. ”I saw the picture of Ryan Stevens, and all Hell broke loose,” he said.
It was at that moment Dylan knew he was in love with Alyson. But it was too late now. She wasn’t single anymore.
However, Dylan wasn’t going just to give up. ”I made my move,” he said. ”I couldn’t control myself anymore.” But what would Alyson say?
Michael’s plan had worked. Dylan felt jealous. “The weekend where it did occur to me like “yeah, I do have strong feelings for Alyson,” I didn’t even ask her out, I just kissed her,” “he recalled.
The two became a couple after that day, and things were going well between them. Still, Alyson knew she had to tell Dylan the truth about her “ex-boyfriend.”
The question about Alyson’s past relationship came up while the two were sitting on the couch. ”I brought up like yeah, I don’t really know what it was or how many times you saw him, but Mark mentioned you were seeing someone in the spring,” Dylan recalled.
“And then Alyson’s face just kinda contorted a little.”
Until that day, Alyson had never mentioned Ryan Stevens to Dylan before. They were in a healthy, happy relationship, and her cousin’s crazy plan could have ruined it.
“We had to face that really interesting conversation,” Dylan said. Was he upset that she lied to him?
Dylan said that he wasn’t upset or angry when Alyson told him the truth about Ryan Stevens, aka her ex-boyfriend. Instead, he laughed when he heard that her cousin helped her make a catfish profile.
This funny story only brought them closer, and in July 2019, Dylan proposed to Alyson. They had forgotten all about Ryan Stevens, but soon he would enter the picture again. But this time, as a real person.
Alyson and Dylan were struggling to plan their wedding due to COVID-19. But despite all the challenges, they remained optimistic. And they even made a mock newscast where they talked about the challenges of planning a wedding during a lockdown.
Their video went viral, and even The Boston Globe noticed it. The couple wanted to share their story, not suspecting that a stranger miles away would find himself involved in this strange situation.
One day, Michael was watching TV when he saw an oddly familiar face discussing the news of the day. As he stared at his face, his jaw nearly dropped.
He quickly typed something in the Google search bar and found himself staring at a photo he had seen many times before. The guy he was looking at was Guy Benson, a news commenter and political journalist. And then it hit him. It was the guy whose photos they used for the fake profile!
While scrolling through Benson’s photos, he came across an old headshot from 9 years ago. In the photo, he was wearing the same sports jacket as in the picture that he and Alyson found years ago.
This was the real Ryan Stevens. He immediately contacted Guy Benson on Instagram and also to his very own radio show, The Guy Benson Show. He explained to him how they had used his photos to create a catfish profile and make another guy jealous. Michael finished his letter with a simple favor.
Michael asked Benson if he could record a short video congratulating the couple. To his surprise, Benson was so amazed by this story that he agreed to do it right away.
When Michael received his video, he invited everyone over to watch it. Of course, no one had any idea what was happening until Benson suddenly appeared on the screen.
Benson found the entire story to be pretty hilarious. After he made the congratulation video, he thought his involvement in this love story was finished, but as he soon learned, this would only be the beginning.
After Michael played his Ryan Stevens prank, Alyson wanted revenge. So, she contacted Benson and asked him to help her pull her prank off.
“She had good-natured revenge in mind, wanting to pay Michael back,” Benson wrote about Alyson on Twitter.
“She invited me to the wedding as a surprise guest. I made 100 percent sure that the bride actually wanted this before trying to make it work.” With that said, Benson flew to Boston to attend their wedding.
“There were a few logistical obstacles to overcome in order to fulfill my various work duties, to make this happen in a safe way, and to maintain the element of surprise,” he wrote.
When Benson appeared on TV that day, he asked the technicians to use a different backdrop that didn’t include the Boston skyline. He had no idea if Michael would be watching the news that day.
While Benson was getting ready to attend the wedding, he got an unexpected text message from one of the groomsmen. “On the wedding day, I was already in Boston when Michael messaged me a photo of the groomsman gift,” he wrote.
The gift was a mug with the famous Ryan Stevens headshot.
“I played it off as if I’d forgotten the wedding was happening that day. I thanked him for the reminder to wish the couple well on my show,” he continued.
When he finally arrived at the venue, he was asked to hide in a special room and wait there for further instructions.
“When the big moment arrived…a bridesmaid brought me down to the lake where the photos were being taken,” Benson recalls. They had assembled the whole group that had been present for the ‘Ryan Stevens’ video reveal.”
As the families waited to take photos, Alyson looked around and said, “She said, ‘Wait, we’re missing someone!’”
“The family looked around, confused. Wasn’t everyone accounted for?” Benson recalls. And a few seconds later, the real person behind the catfish profile appeared.
Michael was shocked to see the real Ryan Stevens right there in front of him.
“I was, in fact, wearing the exact same shirt from the 9-year-old headshot that triggered the series of events leading to that day,” Benson wrote.
He also documented this moment and uploaded the video to his Twitter account. After the ceremony was over, Benson joined the couple at the wedding reception.
“The wedding was lovely,” he wrote. ”Everyone was so welcoming and kind.” Alyson’s prank will be remembered for a long time, but this wasn’t the only surprise she had prepared for her guests.
Soon, everyone at the wedding learned the background story of Ryan. Even Benson’s place card included the name, Ryan Stevens.
Despite having Alyson’s “ex-boyfriend” at their wedding, “Dylan was a great sport about everything,” Benson wrote.
“I even got a shout-out in the matron of honor’s speech (I pretended to wipe away tears and jokingly shook my fist at Dylan).” Then, Benson asked a couple to do him one favor.
When the couple appeared on his podcast and radio show, Benson had joked about crashing their wedding.
But while Alyson knew that this would happen, Dylan had no idea that he would be there on their wedding day. And Benson had a request of his own.
Benson told the couple they should name their first child Guy. And if not Guy, then Ryan.
Benson is happy he could be a part of this epic love story and is flattered that Alyson chose his photo for her catfish profile. “Epic and unforgettable,” he wrote.