“Don’t break my heart”

I met this gentleman in his 40s one and a half year back at a local swimming pool, we exchanged numbers after a casual conversation and we went out a few times. He’s an expat from East Europe, working in finance at Suntec city. Unlike other finance guys, he doesn’t dress according to the dress code. I still remember he wears a pair of sneakers, khaki pants and a patterned T-shirt, he looks very casual and down to earth.

Somehow, I’m drawn to older and mature men, not sexually of course, but rather intellectually and emotionally. I appreciate someone older who knows how to show respect to a teenager, even when they have absolutely no reasons to.

Anyway, I went out with this gentlemen one time at night, we just kept the conversation going while we were having drinks at the cafe, strolling around Orchard area. Most of the time, he was talking. He asked me things, told me about his time in Dubai, some of his unpleasant friendships in the past, his gambling urges and his sexual experience. I told him about the girl I liked from school and how I was unhappy about my height. Things I wouldn’t normally tell other people.

He told me that Singaporeans are reserved and he wasn’t making any local friends. He seemed lonely, and so was I.

At one point while we were walking, he said to me

“Don’t break my heart.”

“If our relationship fails, it means I fail.”

I was puzzled, how can I break someone’s heart when they are more experienced in life and much stronger emotionally? It wasn’t too late before I found out grown men are just as vulnerable as anybody else, especially so because they’ve had negative experiences with people in the past.

I understand him more now than before. It is not an easy thing to find someone to connect to on an emotional level, and it is not an easy thing to open yourself up to another human being.

So he said “Don’t break my heart.”

About two weeks after meeting him at the swimming pool and two nights out together, I broke it up with him through text. Although it was not his intention, he was being too pushy and it made me feel uncomfortable, I wasn’t mature enough to handle our relationship and I chickened out.

I forgot what I said exactly, but I remember I apologized because he is a genuine guy who deserves respect. I expressed that I wished for us to stop keeping in touch.

He replied, said it’s okay and that I’m a nice guy.

I never hear from him again since.

Patrick Wu