Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those Oedipus Complexes that would make Sigmund Freud turn in his grave, twiddling his moustache quizically. It is the tale of another dating woe, from when I had recently moved to London.
There I was, a single man salivating at the thought of what seemed like an endless line of available women, all just a Tube ride away. The world, it seemed, was my oyster. I just had to search amongst the sea of opportunity and grab a shining pearl, whilst obviously avoiding the perils of any non-jewellery producing molluscs, if you catch my drift. But enough of the analogies…
Not knowing where to start, I signed up to Match.com and started the whole ‘getting to know you’ process with London’s finest. With little success. What was wrong with these career girls? Maybe they didn’t actually believe that I was a millionaire playboy with a very big house in the country, his own horse and an interest in polo. It wasn’t too big a lie, I thought. Well, I did sometimes eat mint flavoured polos.
But then finally… a message. And she seemed really nice. She took pity on my ridiculous efforts at flirting and agreed to meet me for a date. In a crowded public setting, just to be safe. Fair enough, I would do the same if meeting me. When the night came I arrived on time and a few minutes later she appeared. And wow, was she hot! I couldn’t believe my luck. I was on a date with a Spanish ex-model! Why was she on a dating site?
We hit it off straight away and had a fantastic night, aided by alcohol and dimly lit bars – my natural habitat and where I look at my most attractive. I even had a deep and meaningful conversation with my taxi driver on the way home, and he let me off some of the fare. The night couldn’t have gone better. She even invited me out to meet her friends the next evening. Well, we got on famously, so why wait?
Over the coming days and then weeks, things seemed to be moving fast. My friends patted me on the back for my almighty score and her constant text messages, calls and emails to my office were a new experience for me. It was great that such an attractive and pleasant girl was so keen on me. She was happy that she had met a ‘normal’ guy. She usually only had socially inadequate obsessive types or arrogant ‘players’ approach her.
But then she complained that my return emails were too short. Well, I was at work. Working. People do that. And then she invited herself on my trip to Australia with my best friend, after only 4 weeks together. Oh no you don’t, three’s a crowd. That wouldn’t be fair on my friend. We can go away another time – what’s the rush?
After some sulking, and my friend taking all of the blame naturally (“Of course I want you to come with us, but Reg is against it… sorry!), she resigned herself to missing the trip. But then the messages increased. I felt smothered. Things came to a head one time when she bear hugged me, whilst kissing me repeatedly on the head. Like people do to young children that are just so precious. And then I shuddered as it hit me like a speeding train. My own mother used to do that! I couldn’t look at her without feeling as though I had regressed back to being 5 years old. I recoiled every time that she came near me with her puppy dog eyes.
Needless to say, the relationship was doomed from that point. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the affection. But dating a woman who is the likeness of my own mother was just too freaky. And her behaviour became increasingly obsessive. What was wrong with her? It seemed that she had been badly treated in previous relationships which led to her slightly unhinged behaviour. The more distant I became, the more she over-compensated by smothering me with affection. It was just too much to bear. Damn oysters promising pearls.