‘My first Dubai “relationship” lasted six dates,’ I said, referring to my first experience of dating in Dubai.
‘That’s a record here,’ my Lebanese colleague replied.
I’d been introduced to James by a mutual friend. The first alarm bell rang on the first date.
‘Never trust a man who tells you he loves you on a first date. Ever,’ Craig said, posthumously. The problem is that I like a charmer (which Craig, Tom and most of my male friends have pointed out).
James amended his second suggested date of horse riding in the desert to an afternoon by the pool because he was recovering from the night before. ‘Bring your bikini,’ he messaged, just when I was wondering whether jeans and trainers would work considering I didn’t have jodhpurs and boots. Then a trip to the souks was postponed because of another heavy previous night. I had been here before…
I’d let Daniel, the lawyer, who would be returning in a month’s time, know that I’d met someone. But James was putting off a similar conversation with someone else who had booked a flight. My message – that I was a little down about the situation as it looked like he was keeping his options open so I would be busy until he decided what to do – didn’t go down well. He confirmed that he was avoiding an awkward conversation ‘by kicking it into the long grass’. By the following day I discovered that my message had been interpreted as being accusatory and threatening, which reminded him of dealing with the ex. Ouch. I had pissed him off, no, disappointed him. I lost my cool. ‘I’m disappointed that you were happier to hurt my feelings than someone who will be even more hurt if she arrives expecting more, but perhaps you can give her a sympathy s**g rather than send her a text.’ And it was over. ‘Nice knowing you WLG,’ was the response.
I forwarded screenshots of the conversation to a few friends. ‘James had all the chat and excuses lined up to deflect any responsibility away from him,’ Craig said, sympathetically. ‘I quite like him for that,’ he smiled.
‘Wuss, and to boot, manipulative as he’s tried to twist what you were saying,’ Monique said. ‘If you can bear to ignore him, he’ll come crawling.’
But he didn’t. So if the mutual friend reads this, please note: Only set me up with multimillionaires. At least they send you shopping instead of packing when you don’t behave how they want.
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