FIRST LOVE Going on a date with the person who dumped you via text: it’s not for everyone
Irene, 29, a finance manager from London
With Frank, it was instantaneous. It was July 2008 and we’d both been invited to a mutual college friend’s 20th birthday party, and he made me laugh from across the room. I was hooked. I liked how everyone looked up to him, and I wanted be his girlfriend so everyone would look up to me, too. Later on that evening, he asked if he could have my number. For our first date, we went to get ice cream, and that’s when we shared our first kiss. I didn’t really know what to do, and rushed off afterwards, feeling shy. He told me he loved me two months in, but I didn’t reciprocate until four months later. I didn’t want to rush anything.
I feel lucky that my first relationship was so nice, though. Once, when I was in Italy with my family, he sent me a romantic poem. He would also bring me flowers (he usually picked them from other people’s gardens, but I didn’t mind). However, things started to go downhill when we both headed into our second year of university. Suddenly I realised our values were different and he had no ambition. His mum, his sister and I all tried to help, giving him cash for training courses, but he’d just take it and spend it on something else. Money was a big issue. I could never organise trips or do anything expensive. That caused arguments and pushed us apart. In 2014, after six years, the relationship came to a natural end. We just stopped messaging and seeing each other.
At first it was a little awkward seeing him again, but there was chemistry there. He was reverting to his old role, acting gentlemanly and taking photos. He does have a full-time job now, and I’m pleased for him, but he still has no career aspirations. He hasn’t changed at all.