I met a guy online while I was living abroad for a few years. I can only speak English, and as I was living in a non-English speaking country, my dating prospects were slimmer. Most people could speak English well. However, I found that not having the same first language could be quite a barrier, particularly for online dating. So I was pretty excited when I met this guy who seemed great and had lived for a time in my home country. It meant that not only could we communicate better but also that he understood a bit about my culture and my sense of humour. He was also super hot! I so wanted him to be a good egg. I prayed to any kind of positive force out there to please let him be normal for once in my online dating history!

If I hadn’t been so keen on it working out with him, I would have reacted sooner to some warning signs. First was the fact he didn’t really drink. Nothing against non-drinkers but I enjoy my social drinking, and it can be a bit off-putting when I start to feel self-conscious about the fact I’m on drink number three and feeling a little tipsy.

When we got to the stage that I was meeting his friends. I realised that his ‘friends’ were all his rather large sibling group. I found this out when he took me to a ‘party’, which was in fact, a non-drinking book club involving his many brothers and sisters; this was a vast leap from how I would typically spend my nights out. I then find out that he was recently separated from his wife and has three children. Apparently, he and his wife were deeply religious, and they separated when she became more devout than he. I think I was the product of him having some kind of life/ spiritual crisis.

I was still trying to convince myself that it/he could work and was telling some friends all about it one evening over a few wines. When, as all kind friends do, they laughed and said he sounded like he was in a cult.

He and I did not make it far past this conversation. I wised up to reality…and he decided his crisis was over and returned to his wife.