A couple of weeks after I met Rachel, I had an email from her saying she would like me to meet a French man named Nathan. She won’t mind me saying that she was very pushy, insisting I must meet this man. I was confused. The agency must have thousands of men – why is it so important I meet this one?

Rachel convinced me that he was really special and that I should be open to him calling me. I was pleased to learn that he would be calling me. I am old fashioned that way!

So, call he did. He left a message on my answering machine. He used “vous”, which I liked. And I really liked his voice.

Eventually we got to speak and we agreed to go out. A long conversation ensued about where and when. Indian food? Portuguese food? A date was made. I was honest with him about being nervous…

The first date

I climbed in to his car. There was no coup de foudre. He didn’t look like I had pictured. His voice was younger than his face and at first I didn’t think he was my type. However, he was very nice. We talked and talked and, to be honest, I quizzed him. We spoke about our lives, pasts, loves, losses… He was attentive, gallant.

Rachel called the next day. I said he was nice but I wasn’t convinced. He was decent –sure – but I was worried about the chemistry, the spark. She was adamant that was not a reason to say no. She said again what a lovely guy he was, how special, how good for me.

The start of something?

We slowly began a relationship. I was very defensive – a prickly hedgehog. I did not want more disappointment. I wanted to take things very slowly. But Nathan was patient. This went on for weeks; then I had to go away for work. While I was away we stayed in touch with Skype. At this stage, I realised that maybe this relationship had some potential.

We agreed to go on a short break together…