‘I fell in love with a narcissist and it nearly destroyed me’

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At 65-plus years old, I’d consider myself to be a level-headed female. I feel I am a well-educated, well-travelled, intelligent, thoughtful, sensible mother and grandmother who always thought her stoic character-filled DNA impenetrable and indestructible. Who knew I needed a late-life lesson that saw me meet narcissism head on and question every value I hold dear.

Six years ago my 34-year marriage broke down and I found myself living alone but happy enough. Two years ago I found myself longing for companionship, some hand-holding and maybe in need of a ‘cuddle’ or two. I might be over 60, but I’m not dead!

Picking someone up at the local RSL didn’t appeal to me so, buoyed by friend’s success stories, I — very bravely, I might add — decided to give online dating a go.

One night stands are not for me (more’s the pity) and I am not easily sexually attracted until there’s a mental and/or spiritual connection. It’s bloody tough being single with ‘needs’ plus having standards and morals; it’s a b***h.

I messaged, phoned and met many a suitor but there was ‘nothing there’. I had absolutely no longing to or intentions of ‘falling in love’; I just recognised a need for male interaction.

Countless offers and date after date saw me dissolve into the abyss of a ‘not for me’ conclusion, even when I dumbed myself down. Nothing. No spark, no connection.

Then, when I was about to give up, he and I connected online and we began talking.

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