After just over a week, I decided to pay the £45 rail fare to go to London to meet him. We were both so excited and were counting the days until the weekend. We met at Waterloo station, and the instant I met him I felt that something wasn't quite right - he was shifty and a bit uneasy with me. I put this down to first date nerves, but as the day went on I became unhappy with the fact that he was so unattentive towards me, considering he had been so desperate to meet me.
During the conversation, facts began to come out that I had not been aware of before, there was an 'ex' girlfriend who, although she had supposedly moved out of his house, had still left most of her belongings behind. There was also the fact that his youngest daughter who had been living with her mother before he met me, was suddenly moving in with him full time. This I was particularly uncomfortable with, as having no children of my own, I did not want to live with anyone who had children full time.
Then he suddenly kept mentioning this business he was going into. He was buying the franchise of a well known coffee shop and told me that he was taking out a loan against one of the two properties that he owned. He then said that he was hoping he wouldn't have a problem getting his ex girlfriend to sign over her half of this property as he would need her to do this in order to put this up as collateral for the loan. I began to feel quite upset that he did not seem interested in talking about our relationship, only this business and the loan. He showed me all the architects plans and the business plan he had drawn up for the bank. I tried again and again to turn the conversation to us, but it seemed he did not want to know.
During the day, he asked me several times if I would consider moving to London should things work out, and I told him that we would have to get to know each other better, it was impossible to make a decision after only knowing him a couple of weeks. He seemed unhappy with this and by the end of the afternoon seemed not to be able to get rid of me quick enough.
On the train home, I was so disappointed. I just felt that there was something strange about this that I couldn't put my finger on. Well, a couple of days later I found out what it was. On Monday and Tuesday I was surprised because he was suddenly totally unavailable on Skype, and on Wednesday morning the text I had been dreading came through. He said that he could not get his 'ex' to sign over her half of the second property and he wanted me to take out a loan in my name for £10,000 secured against half his house.
I was stunned. He texted me and called me constantly begging for help, saying that the deadline for the franchise was Friday. It appeared that the only person who could help him get this franchise was me and if I really loved him I would trust him and take out the loan. It was emotional blackmail and I was devastated. I told him there was no way I could do this after such a short time of knowing him - the whole thing to me was ridiculous, but I knew that my relationship with him was over. He was just a con man.
Looking back, I don't think the 'ex' girlfriend was 'ex'. Her stuff was all over his house, and I couldn't see how she would move out and leave all her personal possessions behind. I have a feeling that they were both in this together and she had just arranged to be out for the day when I went round. The minute he knew he wasn't getting the money he dropped me like a stone. He didn't answer my texts, phonecalls or appear on Skype again. I felt so used and I am telling my story in the hope that it might stop this heartbreak happening to someone else. Be aware, and remember that even if you get to meet someone in person, it dosen't necessarily mean that they won't try to con you.