With three years’ online dating experience (I’m not proud of this, just thought I’d throw it in yet again!) I’ve developed a feel for whether someone is genuine or not. I don’t always get it right of course, and I’ve learned the hard way at times.
I went out with a man a while ago whose behaviour was so odd I still can’t believe I went back for a second date!
Date Number 1
Ralph was fifteen minutes late and I was already in the restaurant when he phoned to tell me he was running late because he was lost (he lived about 10 miles away). When he arrived he looked flustered but was very apologetic. He said he was 53 but looked much older and he was much shorter than he’d said in his profile.
He asked the barman where the loo was but the barman didn’t hear him. Ralph then shouted “TOILET” at him at the top of his voice, causing the whole restaurant to stop eating and turn around. Although this was Red Light behaviour, I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he seemed so flustered at being late. When he came back from the loo Ralph told me that he was very easy going and didn’t usually behave like that. However, it was enough for me to put the Amber light on so that I could watch and learn.
He was Austrian and had won a rugby scholarship to an English public school.
He spoke with a Cockney accent and there was no trace of an Austrian or public school accent.
He was an orphan and had no surviving family at all. He lived alone and had no children.
“Really? No aunts, uncles, distant relatives?”
“No, they’re all dead”.
He had a very important job which took him all over the world and he had worked previously for the secret service.
I watched Spooks avidly and even I know that agents’ close friends and family thought they were estate or insurance agents, not secret agents.
He didn’t seem to have any knowledge of the countries. He couldn’t tell me where he’d lived in Morocco but told me in graphic detail (just as I tucked into my patatas bravas!) about the public beheading he had witnessed. He had left one country because he had been shot at and listed several where he would no longer be welcome! Totting up the number of places he’d lived in and the amount of time spent there, he should have been 103, not 53!
He used to live in a £1million house but his ex-wife had sold it while he was on a world rugby tour (oh yes, he was also an ex-world-class-rugby-player, diver and golfer).
I asked him if the house had been in her name then, since she wouldn’t be able to sell it without his signature and he told me that she had told everyone he had died.
My spidey senses were tingling by now though and I had a gut feeling that Ralph wasn’t all that he said he was.
I must say that aside from shouting at the barman and his unconvincing stories, he was very charming and good company. This must have been why I agreed to a second date!
Date Number 2
We’d agreed to meet at another restaurant and Ralph rang me an hour before we were due to meet, telling me that he was already there and could I get there earlier. I told him that would be impossible so he said he’d wait for me in the bar.
When I arrived he was looking agitated and was sitting drinking a glass of red wine. It was obvious that he’d had several others while he’d waited for me.
He’d had a dreadful row with his landlady, apparently because she hates him. He wouldn’t elaborate about why she hates him but he did tell me that he spent most of his time in his room. Room??? On our previous he’d told me he lived in his own house! More alarm bells began to ring…if he was a successful businessman/secret agent/international man of mystery, why was he living in a bedsit?
He told me that he was looking for somewhere new to live and could I contact some estate agents for him so he could find another room?
Yes of course I will. Better still, why don’t you just move in with me…….NOT!
He was getting drunker and drunker and louder and louder. He was dribbling a bit, his speech was slurred and he kept repeating his story about his landlady hating him. I asked him several times to change the subject but he kept on and on about it.
By now he’d had five more glasses of wine and was so drunk that I could barely understand what he was saying. When he went to the loo I thought about making a run for it but I was concerned that he’d get angry and that I wouldn’t get far enough away and he’d see me and follow me.
When he came back I made my excuses about “an early start tomorrow”. We left the restaurant and he was barely able to walk. There was a police car parked outside and he said “fuck, now I’ll have to sit in my car for an hour”. An hour? More like all night to sober up! He certainly wasn’t coming home with me!
I made my escape but kept looking over my shoulder as I walked home in case he’d followed me. It was the first time I’d had a date where I felt scared and vulnerable. I mean, I’ve been out with some idiots but at least they were harmless/misguided/brain-stuck-in-the-willy idiots!
The next day I texted him, saying that I thought it best if we didn’t see each other again. His reply said “OK”.
A guy can tell you anything he wants, and will sometimes tell you what he thinks you want to hear, but it’s your choice whether or not to believe him.
Don’t just listen to what he says, watch his behaviour!