I had an account on a site called MyYearBook.com (now MeetMe.com), where I used to play games that had been transferred from Facebook. Randomly, on September 25th 2010, he requested me as a friend so I accepted. I had decided not to accept anyone under the age of 30; I was 34; he was 22, just shy of his 23rd birthday. Somehow, this one seemed different. He had “dead eyes” and told me how he was alone and that his heart had been broken a year earlier. He also had a daughter that he missed dearly but could not see, due to being enlisted in the Army. I felt sorry for him, but liked his openness in our conversations. He was more than willing to tell me everything, or so it seemed. Contrary to what he told people, which was that he met me in a bar in Germany and smacked my butt(!), it is definitely not how we met. He was a US soldier, stationed in Germany and chased me for little over a month online. During this period, we would Skype and email – a lot.
One day, during a conversation, I told him I needed a break from London and my usual environment. He suggested I kill two birds with one stone – go to Germany to get away and to see him. After much thought, I decided why not? We would meet in public that way I wouldn’t be at risk. So, I agreed. I made sure I paid for the hotel, flights and cab myself, in case we didn’t like each other, he wouldn’t be able to tell me he paid for this and that. I even paid for all our drinks and food without even realising he hadn’t put his hand in his pockets once. It was a lovely long weekend. Just what I needed. We met for the first time on October 29th 2010. We got on well so agreed to date.
Within a few days of returning to London on November 1st, during a conversation on Skype, he invited me to go see him for Thanks Giving (even though it isn’t something I celebrate as I am British), the Military Christmas Ball and to go see his family in Tennessee – all before the end of the year and it was the beginning of November! I told him I couldn’t afford all 3 trips as I’d just gotten back from seeing him a few days ago. He said it was OK and that he would pay for my flights and the hotel for me to attend the Military ball. I was over the moon!
Well, it didn’t go quite as planned… I paid for the Thanks Giving trip in full (November 25th – 28th), to include all meals and drinks for both of us. Not once did he offer. We’d go to restaurants and he’d order steak each time. He’d order non-stop at the bars and I had to pick up the tabs to save myself embarrassment. He even had the audacity to say to me that when we met up for the long weekend at the end of October, he felt bad as he didn’t pay for anything. I was glad he had pointed it out, not I, as so early in a relationship, the topic of money is awkward, to say the least. But still, he did not make an effort to pay for anything. I felt I should wait to see what happens as there were two more trips coming up. The Military Ball and Tennessee. There was also a distraction. Even though he had not presented a ring, he proposed to me just four weeks after we met. In the snow, on one knee, in front of a Gothic Church, in Germany. It was a beautiful night.
Having purchased my new dress for the Ball, I waited for him to email the itinerary to me. It did not come. Instead, he asked me to put it on my credit card and told me he would pay me back. Not wanting to put a damper on anything, and armed with the knowledge that he was working so he’d pay me back as he told me he would, I put the hotel and my flights on my credit card (December 9th – 12th). With the booking in my name and my card details at the front desk, he drank everything out of the mini-bar. Once refilled, he did the same again. We ate, I paid. We drank, I paid. The same thing was happening again for the third time! We even went to McDonald’s for breakfast one morning, whereby I just wanted a coffee, but he wanted breakfast. There were two queues – one for food; the other for drinks. I told him I’d queue for the coffees and he should queue for the food. He wanted me to queue for both, but I had already cottoned on to what he was trying to do. He wanted me to pay for his breakfast and the coffees. In the end, I refused and he spent 3 euros of his own money on three cheeseburgers. If I had paid, his order would have been way bigger than that!
The Ball itself was a wonderful experience. He showed me off like I was some sort of trophy which I was uncomfortable with. His colleagues seemed impressed that he was actually in a relationship, as well as surprised that we were together. I was asked what I was doing with him! He paid for the photos, which I must admit, came as a surprise, as he hadn’t paid for anything up to this point. I paid for the drinks all night. I was sad when the night came to an end. I really had a lovely time. The long weekend ended much to soon.
Three things bothered me at the end of the trip though. Firstly, some money (euros) I had brought with me went missing. I ask him whether or not he had taken it, he said he hadn’t. Secondly, he left me to pay the mini-bar bill. Thirdly, he still hadn’t paid me back to clear my credit card like he said he would…