It all started so well, with the man who brought a smile to my heart again, who enveloped me in bear hugs and told me that he believed in my abilities.
But sadly the relationship with Mr Red Sports Car is now little more than a car wreck, a part of my life that I wish to forget. I am writing about it here partly to vent but also, in part, as a cautionary tale. One to remind you, especially if you are a woman, to value yourself and your financial future.
So I met Mr Red Sports Car on Tinder. Yes, Tinder. He told me that he had strong family values and that he was big on integrity. He was working in IT, and later I found out that he had worked closely with my father on a work project. My dad thought highly of him. He met my friends and everyone seemed to like him. He took me out to some amazing dinners, listened to me and was a real gentleman. He told me on our first date that I gave him butterflies in his stomach and that no-one had ever done that before. I thought, I really did, that it was the real thing and that it was mutual.
And yes, he told me he loved me. Often. Including on a fabulous trip to Taiwan over Christmas and the New Year that included seeing in the year on a rooftop watching fireworks.
So, what went wrong?
Cracks started to appear later that January. Hard to say really, but he became busy with work, so very busy. And busy and distracted with finalising his divorce. He never had time – he said he wouldn’t be able to take a day or two of leave to go away together until August. He still hadn’t told his family he was ‘dating someone’, let alone dating me. He rarely said he loved me, and he became quite self-absorbed. It was always me cooking for him, giving him massages, listening to his troubles, caring for him, soothing his pain. He had once promised to treat me like a queen, but I was feeling like Cinderella.
Things really were noticeable in early March when he asked me to attend a wedding with him. He was cold and distant, with his back turned to me during the ceremony. He made comments about other woman’s cleavage. He didn’t introduce me to people, or offer to get something to drink for me after I trudged off in search of the table for bridal gifts (yep, Cinderella doing the duty for this one). When I went and sat next to him at one point, he got up and left me alone while he spent 15 minutes talking to an attractive blonde woman. Yes, she was a friend. But yes, I noticed.
I should have left. I should have got up and walked home. But I stayed. I smiled. “I do love you, you know,” he said to me later that night. That was the last time I heard that.
I called it. I realised that for whatever reason he was no longer into me. All those promises, all those words, they meant nothing without action. When we broke up after 14 months of dating I didn’t so much as have a toothbrush at his house. When I went to collect a few things he didn’t even make proper time to speak to me to say goodbye. He was so cold and distant. “I’m sorry you are really wonderful, but I just can’t say those word to you at the moment,” he texted as we were breaking up. “I never wanted to hurt you.”