Signing up for online dating was a big deal for me.
Coming out of an abusive relationship had left me too scared to be intimate with anyone and so I remained single for many years. But, after a decade, I finally felt ready to dip my toe back into the dating pond again.
Setting up a profile on a couple of dating sites, I went on a few boring dates.
There was, however, one guy who seemed different. His messages were almost poetic. He seemed thoughtful, considerate, and gentle.
After a month of messaging, we arranged a date, agreeing to meet on my way home the day after a Coldplay concert. I’d have been away for the night and I thought that it would be a good excuse to plead tiredness and leave early if I felt the need.
We swapped numbers and on my way to the concert, he sent me friendly messages, asking how my journey was going and if I was looking forward to the gig.
But, as the day went on, they became more intense. He started sending me Coldplay lyrics alongside personal messages: ‘Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you. You make me shine, I would do anything for you.’
We didn’t know each other. How on earth could he ‘shine’ for me?!
But although I was tempted to cancel, being the people pleaser I was, I felt bad about letting him down. So I ignored the overly-familiar comments and tried to keep the conversation on a more normal track.
And, initially, when he met me off the coach, I was glad I hadn’t called the date off – he was the tall, dark and handsome type, dressed smartly in chinos and a shirt. Maybe there was some hope there after all…
But when we went to a pub, the intensity ramped up even more. I tried to tell him about the gig, ask about his work as a scientist, but he was more intent on gazing into my eyes and stroking my hands.
As he told me how beautiful and perfect I was and all of the things – picnics, shows, tourist hotspots – he wanted us to do. I wanted to curl up and hide somewhere.
He told me there was something important he had to say and he got on his knees in front of me
Instead, I said I was tired and needed to go home. He offered to walk me and, put on the spot, I couldn’t think of a reason for him not to.
When we got to mine, he asked to come in to use the loo, promising not to make a move unless I wanted him to. I didn’t feel I could say no.
I made us a cup of tea and we sat on the sofa, chatting. When he wasn’t coming on so strong, he really did seem like a nice guy.
Then he moved closer and asked to kiss me. It had been a very long time since I’d kissed anyone and curiosity made me say yes. It felt good.
Breaking away, he told me there was something important he had to say and he got on his knees in front of me. With his intensity of the weekend, I thought, ‘Flipping ‘eck! (or words to that effect) He’s going to propose!’
Taking my hands, he looked at me earnestly.
‘I have something to tell you.’
Tell, not ask. That was a relief – no proposals.
‘I want you to know, before we have sex, I have genital HPV.’
I have to admit, I knew very little about HPV (Human Papillomavirus) but before I could ask him anything, he continued speaking.
‘I would always wear a condom, until you loved me enough to risk catching it.’
‘I don’t really know much about it,’ I stammered, appreciating, at least, his honesty. ‘I don’t think we should have sex until I’ve looked into it.’
He nodded, said he understood.
‘But,’ he said, ‘Until you let me make love to you, can I do something else?’
‘What do you mean?’ I replied nervously.
He gazed at me longingly, then said, ‘I want to lick you clean.’
‘What do you mean?’ I repeated, not having a clue what he meant.
‘After you’ve used the toilet, I want to lick you clean. Both front and back.’
Suddenly, my voice became high-pitched, exceedingly posh.
‘Um, well, yes. Umm. Thank you so much for the offer. It’s very kind of you. I shall ponder on it and get back to you.’
I then said I needed to sleep on his very kind offer and asked him to leave. He obliged.
He text me the next day and I said I still needed time to think.
I’m someone who believes that everyone has the right to do what makes them happy as long as no-one gets hurt, so I didn’t want to tell him anything that would make him feel like I thought badly of him, but, well, this wasn’t a fetish I had any interest in!
When I eventually explained I wasn’t ready for what he wanted, he told me he wanted to stay friends – that he wanted to be around when I changed my mind (that wasn’t going to happen but bless his optimism!) – and so we kept in touch over email.
I liked him as a person and he was, fundamentally, a good guy, so I encouraged him to look for someone else.
Later in the year, he emailed again. He’d met someone and had told her all about me. She was wondering if I could join their relationship. They wanted us to be a threesome.
I thanked them kindly for the offer, said I was very flattered and never emailed again.
So, How Did It Go?