Deadspin's reporting on the life and death of Lennay Kekua, the girlfriend of Notre Dame star Manti Te'o, revealed some interesting facts. Namely, that she's not dead, wasn't Te'o's girlfriend and has never existed. The two did not meet in Hawaii. They did not speak to each other every night on the telephone. Kekua did not suffer a car accident in California, nor did she die of leukemia.
In simpler times, this story never would have emerged and we'd have one less dead fictional girl on our consciences. Imaginary Kekua would live forever, just another my-girlfriend-who-lives-Canada who retreats to rural British Columbia whenever a boy works up the courage to ask a real girl out on a date.
But in today's world, this story has real victims. Think of all the people in actual long-distance relationships. How are they ever going to convince their friends and colleagues they're not pulling an elaborate Manti Te'o style hoax? With this guide, that's how.
Verify, that you are in fact, in a real relationship. This is important. Online relationships may be no less authentic for being Internet-based, but you're going to have to meet your significant other before convincing your co-workers you're not the victim or perpetrator of an elaborate Catfish scheme. At the very least, Skype and Facetime are your friends.
If the media reports on your relationship, pray it's not the sports media. No one is going to trust sports journalists for a while. CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated and ESPN all covered the life and death of Te'o's girlfriend without uncovering the crucial detail of her nonexistence. If you're a big enough deal to have your relationships covered by the press, ask for the city desk.
Have verifiers. This is the hardest part, but someone among your friends or co-workers should meet this mystery boyfriend or girlfriend of yours. He or she can assure the rest of your gang that you're for real. Important: don't let this verifier be Clint Eastwood. He's got an unreliable track record dealing with invisible people.
Most importantly, don't care so much about what people think. Even if your relationship happens to be as fake as Te'o's, you'll still be happier than half the couples out there.
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Tags: Football, Manti Teo, Media, Men and Women, Sports