Editor’s note: Lovefraud received this e-mail from a reader whom we’ll call “Lara.”
About three months ago, I met a 34-year-old German banker from Munich online (he added me on Facebook), after being very hesitant to speak to him, I gave into his persistence and we started a whirlwind romance over the phone for two months. He asked me to meet him in Paris and I did a few weeks ago, only to be dumped the day after we had sex together. I have been asking myself for answers but it was only recently that my friend brought to my attention that Y (German banker) exhibited the key traits of a sociopath.
Y added me randomly on Facebook and we had one mutual friend (A fellow Korean Uni student at my university in New York). I messaged him asking if we had met, only for him to say that he “met another Lara in NY who looks like me.” I believed him but then later found out he also added my friend and a few other girls (some of them my friends) randomly on Facebook. I thought this was very weird behaviour as I do not understand why a grown man would add random younger girls on his Facebook all of whom he does not know.
After further investigation, I found out he was messaging a few of these girls too asking to “speak on the phone as he was curious about their voice,” which is exactly what he said to me. I found this very unnerving—a grown man messaging a plethora of younger girls on the Internet asking to “hear their voice on the phone.” I confronted him about this and he got incredibly defensive and sent me an incredibly long and eloquent email explaining why he added us on Facebook as a “social experiment.” He also called me paranoid and asked me how I could be concerned about Internet predators when I had more than a 1000 friends on my Facebook.
Talked on the phone
After saying no many times to a phone conversation, my curiosity took over me and one day I agreed to a brief conversation. I thought that if he turned out to be a creep, I would just block his number on my phone. Our phone conversation turned out to be alright—he was a decent and pleasant guy. However, he continued to call me every single day from then on, along with numerous text messaging.
Soon, he told me he had grown incredibly fond of me and was using affectionate terms like “baby.” I asked him why he was interested in me, as I am a 21-year-old university student in New York, who he has never met before. He told me I underestimated myself and that he liked me because I am “well traveled, educated and down to earth.” I just could not grasp how a 30+ year old banker from Munich with good looks would stoop so low as to find a romantic interest with much younger women on the Internet.
Soon after we started talking on the phone, he started to be very inappropriate with me, asking personal and intimate questions. He knew I was very uncomfortable with this but he still persisted. He would tell me to “think of falling asleep in his arms,” “our kiss,” and then he would ask me to “fantasize having sex with him.”
I don’t know how he found the confidence to talk to me in this manner, as I never reciprocated his affection or romantic interest. I was uncomfortable, so I messaged a friend of his, which I found through his Facebook list, and asked her whether I should trust him. She responded immediately with glowing reviews about Y, saying she was good friends with him when he lived in London and that he was incredibly charming, successful, social and that a lot of women fancied him. However, despite all his inappropriate behaviour, I was so completely charmed by his looks, intelligence and wit that my judgment was practically impaired.
Fly to meet him
A few weeks after this, Y asked me when my next university break was, as he wanted to see me. I had one coming up in a month, in middle March. He insisted that I fly to Munich to see him. I told him “absolutely not.” I would never stoop so low as to fly to Munich to stay with a stranger I have never met before (as a girl I need to maintain a level of dignity and self-respect). He was very persistent and said I could stay with him and that we would drive to the mountains and the outskirts of Munich to ski. I told him I would not do that, and if he really wanted to see me, he could come to New York. He told me he could not take time off work to fly to New York and so I had to go to Munich.
Anyway, I ended up deciding to go to London to visit my friends during my university break. I told him he could come to London to see me but he was not satisfied with that as “London is not a romantic city and I would be around all my friends and not spend time with him.” He said he was willing to compromise and that we should spend a “romantic weekend in paris—just him and I.”
I was very hesitant and all my close girlfriends told me not to do it, as they felt he was trying to isolate me to a place where I do not know people or speak the language. However at this point I had already fallen for him so I agreed to it. I told him I wanted to have my separate room from him but he was completely and utterly adamant that we share a hotel room together. During this point of our phone conversations, he was already telling me that he felt like he could fall in love with me, that he had told his mother about me and that I should move to Munich next year after I graduate from Uni. I couldn’t help but believe and fall for his words.
Going to Paris
Two weeks before Paris, Y and I had started talking considerably less as his company was working on a major buy-out and I was occupied with exams. He said it was good for our relationship, as it would make us miss each other more. However, as days went by, he completely stopped texting me or calling me. Before Paris, we spoke once on the phone and it was a very brief conversation … he asked me about my week and I told him “it was very stressful along with hormonal problems due to my period.” He responded by saying, “Wow perfect timing that your period is over in time for Paris.” I was very disturbed by his comment—out of everything I told him about my stressful week, he was only concerned and delighted to know that I had just ended my period in time for Paris. I started to question what exactly he wants from me. All our phone conversations were heavily intimate where he would try dig hard to get intimate information about me, and he would force me to say things to him that I was not comfortable with.
I flew to London three Thursdays ago on a red eye and then took the Eurostar to Paris. Cut to the chase, when I first saw Y opening the hotel door for him, I thought he was incredibly good looking and tall in person. Three minutes into our meeting, he pretty much threw me on the bed and tried to undress me. I told him to stop it as I was uncomfortable and that I wanted to spend time talking to him first. He seemed visibly annoyed and agreed to go have a drink with me near the Trocodero. During our drink he was very cold, distant and aloof. He was NOT affectionate with me at all.
We went back to the hotel room and I did sleep with him and then the next day at brunch in Paris, he told me “it was over and that he could not see a future with me as I was too young for him.” I was so stunned and confused. Where did this sudden realisation come about? Months after telling me he was completely “obsessed” with me? He said that he became “rational and decided it would never work for him.”
Kicked me out
I started acting irrationally and even told him that it was unfair that he did not give us a chance and that he made me feel so vulnerable by coming all the way to Paris only to sleep with him and get dumped. He became incredibly defensive and angry and told me to go back to London that same night. I was resistant as I was so confused but he pretty much kicked me out and booked me a train ticket.
During the painful last few hours with him, he acted like a complete chauvinist—making me feel bad that he wasted his weekend coming to Paris and that he could have been so many other things in Munich. He started calling his Paris friends on his mobile phone while I was next to him asking if they would have “dinner with him that night,” and while we were walking back to the hotel, he even used his knuckles and pushed me from behind as he complained that “I was walking too slowly.” He even said I should be grateful as he has so many “women on Facebook who are interested in connecting with him.” It is almost like he forgot that HE was the one who connected with me on Facebook and pursued me RELENTLESSLY.
Y did not even send me off to the train station—he asked me to drop him off at Gallerie Lafayette (a shopping mall) because it was on the way to Gare Du Nord (the train station). During this whole time, I was still so numb and confused about the situation that I did not even act disappointed or hurt by him. I even suggested we try to stay friends.
Numb and confused
I went back to London that Saturday night completely numb, confused and shocked by the situation. I gave my heart to this stranger I met on Facebook who convinced me that he was obsessed and was falling in love with me—only to fly to Paris and be used for sex and dumped the next day.
It has been a few weeks since the situation occurred and I have become more rational and objective. My friends are all very disgusted by Y’s behaviour and have been trying to let me realise that what he did was “unkind and unacceptable” and that he was basically an “Internet predator casting a wide net for young girls on Facebook.” I still have trouble seeing it that way, as I keep remembering the person I spoke to on the phone for months. I want to believe that everything he said to me was real.
However, the anger now has set in a little and I cannot believe he did that to me. We have not spoken since. Many times I feel like talking to him as I want answers—but I know this is wrong. I recently found out that Y asked another girl out on a date (one that he also added randomly on Facebook). Initially I was enraged and jealous that he moved on so fast. However, my friends try to tell me that as a sociopath, he has basically found his “next victim.”
There’s still a part of me that believes I was not good enough for him and did not meet his standards, which is why he discarded me. I also feel that perhaps I “deceived” him on Facebook, because he felt I was not as pretty in real life as I was online. I am trying to rid myself of those thoughts that are only self-destructive. I am taking it day by day … seeing a counselor. I cannot let this situation make me crumble in despair for it will be letting him win. I need to become stronger from this and move on with my life knowing that I learnt an invaluable lesson.