Real life: Whirlwind romance can work
Lorna Connolly says rushing into a relationship isn’t always a bad thing
Caroline Flack has had quite a rough year when it comes to her love life.
In February 2018, the Love Island presenter began dating
The Apprentice star Andrew Brady, 27. Just two months later they announced they were engaged. But there was barely time to celebrate – by July, it was all over, with Caroline, 38, issuing an emotional statement that the relationship was simply ‘not meant to be’.
Now their romance is reportedly back on and some sceptics aren’t so sure it will last – but Lorna Connolly, 24, isn’t one of them. Here, she explains why whirlwind relationships really can go the distance…
I’ve never been the kind of person who believes in love at first sight. I’m still not entirely sure it’s a real thing, but what I do believe in is an instant connection. In my opinion, when you find that, there’s no point in hanging around.
It was September 2016 and I’d been single for over a year. I thought I was happy, but as I found myself sitting in front of the TV on yet another Saturday night, I couldn’t help but feel lonely.
My friends had been constantly encouraging me to ‘get back in the game’ and were desperate for me to sign up to online dating. I’d kept on saying no, but now, as I flicked through Netflix, I realised I had nothing to lose.
Browsing through the profiles of men in my local area, I found Ben, then 25. His bio didn’t say much, but it mentioned he had a PHD. Intelligence is a massive turn-on for me, and it helped that Ben looked handsome in his photos. So I sent him a message.
‘Hey, how are you?’ I typed. Not the wittiest opener, but Ben replied almost immediately. The next day, messages flew back and forth. By the evening, we’d spoken on the phone.
‘Let’s go on a date tomorrow night,’ said Ben. I didn’t hesitate and we agreed to meet in a local pub after work. Yes, it was moving fast, but I was excited. Ben was even better-looking in real life. As soon as we were sitting down with our drinks, the conversation flowed and when I next looked at my watch, I realised three hours had gone by.
As we said goodbye, Ben promised he’d message me. And by the time I got home, he had. ‘I had such a great time,’ he wrote. Then, ‘Same again tomorrow?’ I’ll admit, I was surprised to hear from him so soon.
To some people, it might have seemed full-on, but to me, it was refreshing. It was nice he knew what he wanted. After that, things moved fast and we saw each other every day.
Less than a month later, Ben needed somewhere to stay while the sale went through on the house he was buying. ‘You can move in with me,’ I said.
‘It’s not forever,’ I told friends when they expressed concern.
But I wasn’t worried – we were spending all our time together anyway – it made sense.
Living together, we got on better than ever. We’d said
‘I love you’ just a couple of days later, then he took me to meet his parents.
But all too soon, Ben’s house sale had gone through and I realised I was dreading him leaving.
‘You could always move in with me?’ he said. I didn’t even have to think about it. ‘Yes!’ I cried, grabbing him for a hug.
‘He moved in within a month’
On again, off again: Caroline and Andrew were engaged after just two months