I went on a date in Belgium

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
I went on a date in Belgium
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 6:34pm

I briefly mentioned a man I met online many months ago. That was when we discussed meeting each other in person in September.

Well, the much awaited September meeting came...I got home last night...so sad now.

He wrote to me in April, all the way from  (you guessed it) Belgium. I told him what an impossibility. He suggested I kept an open mind. He told me he is 57. (I'm 45). This man is amazing intellectually and I found myself so infatuated and even in love.  The correspondence was not without a hitch. He is somewhat eccentric and difficult, but I figured I had to wade through it just to see what he is like in person. He sent me two pics: a close up shot (he looked OK in this one), and a distant shot with his dog. This one he looked old but still OK.  during the correspondence, he made reference to something he did professionally in 1971, which I found impossible, because he would have been only 16 yrs old. I asked how old he really was. He didn't answer.

He told me he would pay for airfare and hotel. He ended up only sending me 500 euro, and only after I reminded him. After some time, told me he would give me 300 euro more when I get there. But he changed his mind too and came up with some lame excuse that I didn't deserve to get the rest of the money. It's not much considering everything else but still it's the principle.

OK, long story short, fastforward. I arrived in Brussel. He came and we rode the train together to  Antwerp where he lives (35 miles away). As I already suspected, he's much older and looks it. But I didn't let on any disappointment. I found out later he's really 69 (as I have suspected).

He is bad-looking for a 69 years old. He's heavy with a pot belly, sparse white hair. I kept a nice attitude. After all, I've traveled 4000 miles. We've made deep connections in the five months. He's still the same person inside. This indeed was true, after the brief initial awarkness, the conversations quickly picked up. Everything else seemed to check out. I went to his house and was quite impressed with his open and spacious house, sparsely furnished except for the books. He struck me as a an eccentric intellectual without much regard for outward appearances.

A very major problem, besides the appearance is his difficult personality. He got upset very easily and would ignore me as a punishment. I can elaborate more, if you need to know, but in order to keep it short, I would only say, we planned to take short trips and do some sight seeing but because I "forgot" to call him, the plans was canceled. I was in Belgium 8 days but could only count a total of 2 1/2 full days when he actually had fun together. When we get along, it's nice. There's definately romance. The rest of the time, I was left alone in a strange city and worst of all, not knowing whether I would hear from him again.  Had to apologize for doing this wrong and that wrong.

I took off two days to go to Germany to visit my cousin, which took away from our time together but on the other hand this occurred after he got upset and ignored me for an entire day.

The last day, which was tuesday, we got along well, but even though his house was only about 6 miles (and the hotel where I stayed was in the midpoint) from the airport express busline he didn't want to drive me to the bus (which I would take to go to the airport).

I found this very strange and can't understand it myself. While I'm embarrassed to be seen with him, there's an attraction physically and emotionally. I kept running over scenerios in my mind how embarrassed I would be to introduce him to my family and colleagues.

But in the end, I think it would not work out, because of his age and at least as important his personality. I'm tired of being ignored and blamed. Constanly walking on eggshell because this man has big ego and he's never wrong.

I'm so sad now. I kept trying and trying and nothing works. Might as well give up.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 9:35pm

I have been wondering where you been. I remember you did mention this a while ago.

See it as this way, at least you got to see Belgium.

Long distance seldom works out. I went to the Peoria, IL once because I was in long distance relationship with a guy there.

Before we met, everything was so wonderful but when we met, there was no spark on his end. I was interested. Hence I was very sad when I came back home.

I vowed that I would never do a long distance again.

Take some time to rest and don't think about dating for now.

Give yourself credit for at least trying. I think the age age is too big and given his personality, it would be very difficult to live with someone like that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 9:47pm

That's quite the adventure.  At least you were smart & stayed in a hotel.  I guess you have to chalk up the experience to at least you got to see Belgium, which otherwise you wouldn't have gone to.  I really wouldn't have the tolerance to put up with someone who was being difficult esp. when you came so far to be with him.  And that's more than a little lying about his age--I can see that some people figure they can get away with fudging a few years, but 12 years? 

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 10:00pm

Twenty-five years is a lot when you factor in the bad personality and not-so-good-looks.  At least you got to see some of Belgium and were able to visit your cousin in Germany.  Did he ever pay you back the other 300 Euro? 

I had a guy visit from the UK several years ago.  We spoke on the phone for several months before his visit and I too thought I was in love.  Whatever we had over the phone did not translate face to face.  We enjoyed the first day together and the rest was almost unbearable. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2011
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 10:41pm

Nice account. Marina ('memba her?) had stories like these coming out the wazoo.

 Keep in mind though that in a few short years he will start queing up outside death's door - especially given his physical condition. Sounds harsh but it's an unfortunate reality of life. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 1:03am

Haha, I thought this story would be very suggestive of Marina but unlike her, I only know one foreign guy. Remember when Marina mentioned her Dutch guy, I asked to make sure it wasn't 'my' Dutch guy?

It was quite an adventure. He certainly is quite an interesting character. Assuming he didn't lie about his marital history, he's never been married and he's not gay. He's is quite well-versed intellectually. Volumes of books at advanced levels. He learned things and learned them well. Speaks six languages. Certainly English fluently and quite elequently. He strikes me as someone who's more interested in knowledge than women. Never really had deep relationships with women. In simplistic terms: a commitmentphobe. Now tells me he's ready for a commitment.  At the 11th hour of his life maybe realizes he needs someone younger to take care of him.

So sad, I saw some pictures of him when he was younger. Even then was not thin but certainly not like now , much less wrinkles and more hair, attractive in an intelligent way. I believed him that many women were interested in him. I doubt it now but he tells me there are still women showing interest in him. He can talk about many things and very observant. If only we had met 20 years earlier...(sigh).



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 2:05am

Hi Musiclover,

It was good that I stayed in the hotel. 1) He booked it for me b/c of the precise fear that we might not get along. For me it was more of a safety precaution. Ironically he booked a very nice chateau in France for us the first day I arrived, but that got canceled right before because according to him, his car was in the shop. I got to thinking maybe he got cheap at the last minute.

You are right to hit the main point which is I came so far to be with him and most of that time was spent feeling miserable. Because the chateau was canceled, I spent the first night at his house. I feel a bit silly but I blocked the door at night even though in all appearances, there was nothing threatening.  The next day moved to the hotel in town about 4 miles from his house easily assessible by city train.

Come to think of it, had I stayed at his house the entire time, the unfortunate series of misunderstanding would not have happened. I arrived on Wednesday. We got along fine that day and thursday. According to him, he had told me to come to his house early Friday morning because his sister was coming over. We would then discuss a day trip to the coast and Brugge on Saturday with family. The rest of friday we would spend doing things together in town which would have been fine because there were plently to do in Antwerp.

I did not recall any of that, wondered on thursday night, what to do on friday, but I figured he had a plan. Because of Jetlag ended up sleeping until noon on Friday.  When I woke up, to my horror, saw a few emails from him wondering why I had not come or call. Then I proceeded to call him multiple times to no avail because he purposely ignored me the rest of friday. I then came over to his house anyway, he would not let me in. It was friday early evening. I came back to the hotel so upset. A friend from the states called me, I ended up staying in and talking to my friend.

Late friday night, he called, and told me he'll let me know on Saturday how he feels. Saturday, he finally called around 10 AM then questioned why I hadn't called  him Saturday morning when I woke up. I told him I thought he wanted time to make up his mind he then criticize me for not trying to make up with him.  Then told me to come to his house in 45 minutes. Then we would go to a flower store and gift store. I arrived 1 1/2 hours later because I had to buy a ticket to germany for the nex tday (sunday), and even though the train station was close by I got lost.

When I arrived at his house, again, because I was late, no flower and gift shop. We just went out to eat (the only redeeming thing was it was at a nice restaurant). I could do nothing right. We got along well. He put on a pitty party on Saturday because while things were going well, I was running away for two days. Ran a guilt trip on me for taking off when he had reserved that time for me.

That's the kind of aggrevating games the guy was doing to me. Even on Tuesday, the day before I left, he took me to a very nice restaurant in a grand, historic building. But then he walked out b/c I was not attentive to his needs. Later on Tuesday he called and told me what I did wrong in the restaurant, told me to come over Tuesday evening. We did meet Tuesday evening. I had to apologize for that.

All this time never apologized for lying about his age.

Six days in Antwerp and we spent a total of 2 1/2 full days together. He told me he loves me but his action spoke otherwise. How can someone be so harsh and punitive to someone he claims to love?


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 2:20am

No, he jiffed for the 300 euro. When I asked him for it, told me he didn't want me to come over. This occurred two days before I was suppose to fly out. He sent me urgent emails about the chateau he booked for us in France, maybe we could not make it b/c his car was in the shop. I didn't get the email because, you know why, he complained because my email name started with a common letter of the alphabet, he accidently sent out a response intended for me, to a business acquaintance.

So, instead of him getting a separate email account for his private correspondence, I had to create another email account with preceeded with an 'x' in front of the name. Because of the cross communication, I didn't get the urgent email about the chateau.

Because of this he wanted me to cancel the trip. This really threw me for a loop. I then urgently called my cousin. Here I was scheduled to fly to Belgium but I won't see him, what to do. Just take another bus to Germany and stay with my cousin instead. But then the next day, the psycho changed his mind when I explained to him what happened with the email, now went back to the original plan for us to get together.

Still blame me for the problem and didn't pay the 300 euro. Even threatened to cancel my hotel when I went to Germany a few days later.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 2:29am

yes MissLynn, I'm sad because I miss the connections we had, the same feelings are there. Unfortunately the age difference, the distance, the unpredictable, nasty, contentious behavior was a big hindrance. I did get a taste of this before the face-to-face meeting, but I put up with it in the hope of seeing this person to remove all doubts.  

Sometime when we want something so bady, we focus on what is good and ignore the bad. But looking back, of the eight days together, only 2 1/2 were  good, the rest was miserable. When you meet someone after intense correspondence of five months, all you would expect is joy and excited anticipation. Instead, i got jerked around, constantly doing wrong, causing him distress and problems. How was I supposed to feel good with all those things he accused me of?

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 8:57am

Don't give up. This guy is just really odd. Not only did he lie about his age (and probably other things you don't even know about) but he's totally dysfunctional. No wonder he has to import women from other countries.

Just be glad you're rid of him. But I know it's sad. 

If there is another man who contacts you from another country, make him travel to you and pay for everything himself.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 9:02am

I've never flown to meet a man on his dime before, but I have a girlfriend who has on a few occasions.  I wonder if his attitude would have been any better had you paid for your fare.  Although, it sounds as if you paid for almost half. 

This story sounds nightmarish(and eerily similar to some of my friends experiences when men have flown her out to meet them - right down to the silent treatment).  I'm glad you made it back in one piece!