Monday, July 25, 2011

A Reader's Dating Site Nightmare (not with a scammer)


I’ve just cancelled my membership to the dating sites I was using, and will never use them again after my free dating site experience lost me my job, and nearly my home. I wanted to tell my story, to try and warn others to be very careful and look for the dangers of people on these sites who have simply no intention of committing themself to a relationship.

I was on a free dating site back in April and met a man named Gareth, who had set up a very nice profile and stated himself as divorced. We got chatting and although he lived 125 miles away, we decided that we got on so well that we would meet up. Gareth said he would travel down to my home, and we had a wonderful weekend together. It was love at first sight, and when he went home Gareth said he was sure that I was the lady for him and that he wanted to live with me. I felt over the moon, and having spent years hearing about other people meeting their soul mates, couldn’t believe this was actually happening at last to me.

The following week though, I noticed that although Gareth had said that he wasn’t on Facebook, when I searched, his profile came up – with a photo of him with a blonde lady. In his list of friends, I also found a profile of the same blonde lady with a picture of him. When he called, I questioned him about it, and he said that this was just an old photo that he’d forgotten to change, and he hadn’t logged on to Facebook for ages. I was still puzzled that he wouldn’t accept my friend request, but because I had fallen so much for him chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. When I asked him if he was still in a relationship, he said that he had split up from this lady before Christmas, and although he was still in occasional touch, they were not an item an more and he lived at his mothers.

Gareth came down for two more long weekends, and we started to plan our new life together. The one thing that did bother me was that every time I got up to go out of the room, Gareth would quickly take his phone out of his pocket and start texting, and I also felt uneasy because he refused to tell any of his family or friends about me with the excuse that he wanted me ‘properly on the scene’ first. Every time I had any worries, Gareth would send me wonderful long emails telling me he was totally committed to me, to trust him and that he wanted to be with me more than anything else. He gave me a holiday for my birthday cruising round the Greek Islands which was scheduled for July, and I just couldn’t believe that I’d been given such a wonderful birthday present as this was the first time for me that I had ever been spoilt so much. Gareth then suggested that I put get my house valued and put it on the market, which I did – with the idea that I’d be moving into his house in Wales that his tenants had just vacated. Gareth had said to me that I would need to invest all of the £70k from the sale of my house into his property and go on a joint mortgage with him, and he arranged a mortgage in principle with the bank. I was very surprised when I got a cash buyer immediately, and called Gareth straight away to ask him if he was still sure about me selling. He said that he had never been more sure of anything and told me to accept the offer, which I did. At the end of May, after agreeing this with Gareth, I gave in my notice at work with the idea that I would then be able to go on the holiday in July, and move to Wales after that.

Then suddenly cracks began to appear, and this is where my trusting nature let me down. I went up to Wales for the weekend to see the house, and noticed that Gareth had become considerably anxious and on edge. I tried to put it down to pressure of his work, but he just wouldn’t relax, and for the first time I realised that me going up to Wales had suddenly made all that was happening very real for him. By the Sunday I was tearful, because something inside was telling me that there was something wrong, but Gareth wouldn’t discuss it.

The following morning I got up to eagerly read an email I’d got from Gareth, expecting his usual loving words, but instead it was just a one line email saying to cancel the house sale and that he was not going to pursue the relationship any further. I just froze to the spot, feeling absolutely sick. My hands were shaking so much with the shock I could hardly type a reply. It turned out that he had never really finished with his previous relationship and he had decided to stick with her as it was what he knew. He had basically just got cold feet and backed out. He even told me later that the holiday he was taking me on, he would now be taking his previous girlfriend instead. His cruelty was just unbelievable. It didn’t take much to work out that he must have gone straight round to her house after dropping me off at the station to see if she would take him back before he ditched me.

I paid a very high price for my trusting nature, and falling in love with a man with commitment phobia. I managed to get my house back as I cancelled the sale, but I couldn’t get my job back as they paid me in lieu of notice. I have now been left on benefits, desperately searching for work to try and pay my mortgage. My mother was forced to give me her life savings to help get my mortgage down to a reasonable level. Gareth not only destroyed me, but caused my family real hardship as well.

My word of warning to anyone using these dating sites is please, don’t rush into any big decisions until the other person shows some concrete commitment by their actions, and not by their words. I have lost almost everything due to trusting this man’s word, while he walked away unscathed and even made sure he had his old girlfriend’s bed to jump straight back into. Look for the warning signs, and if they don’t want you to meet their family or friends question it, and if they start declaring undying love at the first meeting, it’s probably not sincere. Above all, always question any sign that a previous relationship is still hanging around as ‘friends’.

Thank you for reading this, and if writing my story can stop one other person going through the Hell that I’ve been through using dating sites then it will be worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that happened to you, I can understand all too well. If you want to read my story, check out my blog here:
    Scary reading! Hope you're doing better now!



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