Daily Mail - - Confidential -

ABOUT 20 years ago, my heart was smashed to smithereens when my fi­ance broke off our re­la­tion­ship about nine weeks be­fore our wed­ding.

I grew up in care. He was the one per­son in the world I trusted and counted on, and his be­trayal al­most de­stroyed my faith in hu­man­ity.

To this day, I have no idea why he did it and vowed never to let it hap­pen again.

Over the past two decades I have not had any ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships, part from a cou­ple of brief, op­por­tunis­tic flings. I have been very fo­cused on my work, which I find sat­is­fy­ing. In my per­sonal life I’m happy with my friends and hob­bies, but I would be ly­ing if I didn’t ad­mit I some­times feel lonely.

A few months ago, a for­mer col­league con­tacted me on so­cial me­dia and we have since es­tab­lished a close email friend­ship, which I am en­joy­ing im­mensely.

Re­cently, he ad­mit­ted he had al­ways liked me and would like to pur­sue a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship, if I was will­ing.

He is a gen­tle soul who has never mar­ried (we are both in our 50s, by the way) and I’m fond of him. As far as I know him, I trust him.

I’m cer­tain he would never do any­thing in­ten­tion­ally to hurt me — but, then again, I be­lieved that of my fi­ance and look what hap­pened.

I’m deeply torn be­tween want­ing to get closer to this man and want­ing to pro­tect my heart — which feels as though it is cov­ered with barbed wire and ‘Keep out’ signs. Please give me your per­spec­tive. MIMI

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