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He claimed to have realized where he was going wrong.

He said that he’d had an epiphany, that “a cloud had been lifted,” and he was now seeing things clearly.

I was looking around and enjoying the view, people watching, when he became withdrawn and quiet. It’s easy tell yourself that he’s just acting a little over the top because he cares so much.

He later said that he’d noticed I was watching a male waiter walk around the restaurant. The fact that John was acting jealous and insecure seems obvious now as I write this down, but it was less obvious then. Over time, though, these red flags became empty promises. He backed off for a couple of days, but within a week or two we were right back to the same old patterns. I tried conveying every way possible of my feelings for him—which were still strong.

I live in London, but I met John (not his real name) online last year after being separated from my husband for 9 months.

John lived in the USA, and he and I seemed to click straight away.

I would dread being unobtainable by phone for any amount of time as I knew he would become anxious and the questioning would start again.

And in the spirit of giving him the benefit of the doubt, I agreed for him to come and visit me in England. We visited a great restaurant in London with fantastic views over the Thames. When you’re in the exciting early stages of a new relationship it can be really hard to see these warning signs for what they are—serious issues with insecurity and controlling behavior.

I visit the USA a few times a year to see friends, and he lived in their state, so I thought I had a good idea of his culture and what he would be like in general.

I sensed a real chemistry between us, and thought the relationship had enough potential to give it a chance, even though we lived in different countries.

So he would ask who I was texting, and if I was free then why wasn’t it him I was talking to?

When I went for a coffee with a male friend at work to discuss something business related, John asked why I couldn’t stay at work and discuss the issue there instead of going out for coffee.

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