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So here I found myself playing a new game.

This is what I call gambling with one’s heart… Something, that until that point, I had refused to do.

I had decided to put all my eggs into one basket, throwing myself heart first into the unknown.

There was absolutely no rational reason for it… and looking back on this all now, I should have put the brakes on.

It all was very new territory for me, and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

So Alex the Architect and I continued to chat over email and I remember being extremely excited that I had made the decision to let Adam the Accountant go and focus purely on my potential romance with Alex.

Alex of course had no idea about any of this.

“So how old are you again?” I asked him over email.

“34,” he replied.

I remembered our conversation when we first met and what struck me most appealing, apart from him being an Architect, was that he was my age – a little older actually – 30 he had told me.

“No you’re not”, I replied, “you told me you were 30.”

“Shit did I?” he wrote back.

“Yep… A 30 year old architect.” I replied.

“Oh… I might have said that so that I would have a chance – is that a problem?”

I was 29 at the time and the adult mid-30s age bracket seemed like a different world I was not yet ready to enter.

The only romantic experience I had had with this age bracket was with, Bob the Copywriter, quite a few years earlier.

And this was not at all a positive experience.

My fling with Bob was difficult for various reasons – one of those being that we were in very different life stages. He was at the peak of his career, his friends settled, married and with children. I had only just stepped into the advertising game, eyes full of wonder, I was only just learning how to keep up with the rat race. I thought he was an amazing talented individual, only to find that he was depressed, verging on alcoholism, and yearning to settle and live the life of domestic normality.

Alex’s baggage of just coming out of a long-term relationship as well as being in the mid- 30s age bracket flipped the game on its head.

Had he also been lying about being an Architect?

I didn’t know how to reply, mainly because I didn’t believe him.

Running late for a work meeting, I didn’t have time to respond either.

Soon I found myself rushing between back-to-back meetings, and Alex finally was out of my head.

I loved being busy at work – free time only made me think of stupid shit. What I didn’t realise then was that work became my priority, work became my world. It was only much later that I realized that work did not make me priority in return.

Finishing up late after my last meeting, it was 7pm when I made my way back to the office. I had a night of dinner in front of the computer screen going through emails to look forward to.

Exhausted and coming down from the adrenalin I had been running on all day, I checked my mobile in the taxi. There was a text message from Alex waiting for me:

Can’t believe how sensitive you are about age! I turned 30 in Jan. You’re so gullible.

Gullible?? Sensitive??? What an assumption to make about someone you didn’t even know!

I couldn’t believe that he would be so quick to insult me purely because of lack of response to an email…. Didn’t he realise I was working?

I immediately texted back… Short and snappy – I didn’t have the time nor the energy for this shit.

In meetings all dayheading back to the office now. Chat to you later.

He didn’t respond. I hope he felt like the dickhead that he obviously was.

In our next email correspondence the days following, I made a point to let him know when I was heading out to a meeting – “just in case you think I’ve gone all sensitive on you again”.

He didn’t respond.

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