dating

'After 3 amazing dates, Charlie ghosted me. Then I discovered his secret fiancé.'

It was the kind of bar you would never walk into sober.

Dark, dingy, sticky floor.

I’d been to a semi-civilised birthday party that night, but a few of us had been keen to kick on. So we’d ended up here.

The Twins: Jessie and Clare Stephens translate modern dating. Post continues after. 

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At the bar, I accidentally ordered one shot too many so I turned and offered it to the guy next to me.

Dressed in a slick suit having ended up there after a day at the races, he had an Irish accent and cheeky smile. I told him he reminded me of the UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

He offered to take a selfie with me so I could tell my friends I’d met the champ.

“You don’t look that much like him,” I laughed.

We chatted some more. He told me his name was Charlie and he ordered another round of drinks.

Soon, he was on his way to another party, but grabbed my number before he left and texted me the very next day.

We arranged to meet for a drink one night after work. I was fresh out of a serious relationship and it had been a hideous breakup, so as I walked into the underground bar near my office, I was nervous.

Charlie immediately put me at ease, though. He was a good laugh – and after a couple of drinks, we both broke one of the cardinal first date rules – talking about previous relationships.

He told me he was newly single and had felt nervous about meeting up.

“I felt exactly the same!” I smiled.

Neither of us was nervous now, though. At the end of the night, we kissed and there was a definite crackle of electricity.

I beamed the whole cab ride home.

Two more dates followed in quick succession, both involving drinking, talking and kissing. All of the kissing.

For our fourth date, Charlie suggested something more chilled.

I’d been talking about the movie Get Out, and Charlie suggested we go to see it that Saturday night.

“I’ll book Gold Class seats,” he said.

On the Saturday morning, I walked into the city to buy something new to wear. Sure, we’d just be sitting in the dark, but I was excited and wanted to look nice.

On my way home with a cute wrap dress I planned to wear with ankle boots, my phone pinged with a message from Charlie.

SO hungover, it read. Mind if we do Tuesday instead?

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I didn’t mind, not really. I’d been looking forward to it but I didn’t want to force him out if he felt rotten. The movie and my new dress could wait until Tuesday.

Only for the rest of the weekend and all of Monday, my phone stayed silent.

Instinct told me something was wrong. Before that, the texts had been coming thick and fast. We’d shared jokes as well as mundane things about our days in between planning our dates.

On Tuesday, I fired off a text: Still on for tonight? 

Nothing.

I was utterly baffled. I thought back to our last date, our most recent exchange of messages. Had I said or done something wrong? I couldn’t put my finger on anything.

I stared at my phone for the next few days, willing a valid explanation to pop into my inbox.

“Call him!” my friend suggested.

But I was reluctant to, feeling certain it would ring out, leaving me even more confused and angry. Because that’s the thing: anger had really set in now. If he didn’t want to see me again, that was fine.

But why not just tell me?

I sent one final text message: Must be a really a bad hangover!

No reply.

I felt humiliated. In the midst of my breakup, I’d been feeling fragile as it was. Now my confidence was on the floor.

And it was about to take another hit.

A couple of weeks later, I was on Facebook. I’d never added Charlie has a friend as I didn’t really use it very often. But as I scrolled, I was surprised to see a photo of him. It was listed under “people you may know” – only while his first name was listed as Charlie, his surname definitely wasn’t the one he had given me.

I clicked on his profile – and gasped.

The very first photo – dated just a week earlier – was of him snuggling up to a girl, a heart emoji the only caption.

More scrolling revealed the girl in the first photo was his girlfriend – no, wait. His fiancée! Three months earlier – not that long before Charlie and I met in that dingy pub – he’d asked this girl to marry him, and she’s said yes.

There was a picture of her with a glinting diamond on her finger to prove it.

What kind of man would do this?

I was hurt, for sure. But at least I knew the truth. What about his poor fiancée? She was going to marry him!

I thought about sending Charlie a message, urging him to tell her the truth. But what would be the point? He was hardly likely to start with the honesty now.

I also thought about messaging his fianceé. But what if she didn’t believe me when I said I’d truly believed he was single?

So instead, I decided to block his profile – for my own sanity, not because I expected to ever hear from him again.

Then I moved on with my life.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia and has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The image used is a stock photo.

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