I dated The Egyptian for about 2 months in Hanoi, Vietnam and got out just in time before it deteriorated as a toxic, aggressive relationship. Seriously, I dodged a bullet. I was aware of scores of red flags popping up like spurts of blood in the corner of my mind and am thankful that I was able to take a step back and tell him to fuck off. My last date with him sticks in my mind as much as my first one, so I’ll compare them both. Here’s the first date:
Date of the date: Early February 2017
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
First Impressions of The Egyptian:
Cute in a badboy swaggering kind of way. The Egyptian had twinkly eyes and a nice smile, despite the whole brown-guy-thinks-he’s-black thing going on. He was super keen in his Tinder messages, but not in a sleazy way, so I was flattered. Seemed interesting too, because he used to be into fire-eating and crazy stunts, so I thought that was cool.
It turned out that we lived pretty close by and so met just up my road at the roundabout near the water park and walked to Dockers Pub in Tay Ho, Hanoi. Basically, a foreigner hangout which was on that night pretty empty and close to the lake. I thought it was a 15-minute walk at most. It took a bit longer, but he kept asking how far it was until we got there.
First thing he said was “Wow you’re beautiful” – OK, my ego liked that. He actually seemed genuinely taken aback by my radiant beauty… LOL.
The Egyptian talked about how he had just moved to Hanoi and was going through a lot of culture shock, was living with mates and used to live in Thailand, which he preferred. Complimented my eyes, hair and at one point, body. He then apologized and said it was because he was so honest and just said what was on his mind. I thought fair enough, I’m not complaining. I was very bored and going through a massive dry spell, so in all honesty thought The Egyptian would be good fling material. So, I kissed him first and proceeded to make out with him. Because what did I have to lose? A lot as it turned out later.
Food and Drink:
Nachos and beer. And a laughing gas balloon.
I think a baggy t shirt and jeans.
Tight grey jumper, blue jeans and boots.
7.5/10 – Maybe not the most intelligent guy, but cute, complimentary and overall great for a fling – so I thought.
So, then what happened?
So, after the first date, The Egyptian invited me to his place to meet his friends. I thought OK, that’s very nice of him and went along. Over the course of the next month, I wasn’t completely taken in by his charm offensive, but my ego liked it. It was nice to act comfortable around him and do coupley things. It was nice when he cooked and was at my place to chill and cuddle all the time. It was nice watching movies with him and him telling me I was hot. All very nice.
What wasn’t nice was that he was a bit of a dick in a LOT of other ways. In fact, I can make a list out of them:
1. He had toxic friends and was a toxic friend
The Egyptian called his friends his brothers in front of them, said they had always been there for him and were absolutely amazing. Behind their backs, he constantly bitched about how they took his money and didn’t pay him back. I asked how much and he said £16,000. Um that’s a fucking lot. I asked why he didn’t just tell them to pay him or stop paying their rent for them. He said it wasn’t that simple and he didn’t want to ruin 10 years of friendship. Pretty shitty friendship if you ask me.
2. He thought cash was all Monopoly money
I am not a tight ass with money, but The Egyptian took his spending habits to another level. He was obsessed with designer clothes, because he thought it gave him a sense of style. I took it to be one of his quirks, but quickly grew frustrated trawling malls with him for hours when nothing was good enough for him. When we had a day off together, we’d HAVE to go shopping instead of anything else interesting. We lived in Hanoi, but The Egyptian expected Monaco. He was easily ripped off by people too. When he arrived in Hanoi, he didn’t know how to drive a motorcycle and that’s an essential skill, so I taught him. Before he’d figured it out, he once paid a motorcycle taxi driver 3 million dong (about 132 USD) to be his private chauffeur. Guess what happened? The guy never came back.
3. He didn’t like kissing
He said he didn’t like how it felt. He made it look like he was doing me a favour when he kissed me quickly and without his tongue. And then got annoyed when I told him “Well I like kissing”. The Egyptian should’ve probably read this article on kissing.
4. He didn’t go down
Nope, nothing happening down there. Why did I put up with it? In crude terms, The Egyptian had a big dick and did know what to do with that. Which is great, but it was boring as hell after two months with nothing else he was willing to try.
5. He was rude to strangers
The Egyptian tried to force people to like him. He wanted to be the charming jokester who’s funny and outspoken. Trouble was, that wasn’t him. He was truly insecure and worried that people didn’t like him and so acted aggressively and defensively in between forced humour. It was actually quite painful to watch when he cracked jokes whilst talking down to people. Then complained about them in English to me when he thought they didn’t understand.
6. He was scared of emotions
In his eyes, The Egyptian was a victim who had been hard done by his family, friends and everyone around him. But he never spoke about actual feelings apart from his victim syndrome. He once told me “Crying is for bitches.” Charming.
7. He didn’t want to sort anything out
Abscess in his tooth? No, he’d grim and bear it. Spinal injury after falling off a bike in traffic? It was fine, he just stopped having sex (the only thing going for us at that point). Burst ear drum? It was fine, he’d just man up. The Egyptian told me I was nagging him when I said to go to the doctor. Nagging? That made me feel like his mother. He was fucking dying. He said he didn’t want the hospital’s germs, which brings me to the next point:
8. He was an anal perfectionist about any and everything
I mean, I’m a clean freak, but he started telling me off about leaving clothes outside the wardrobe, cleaning the cooker and keeping everything spotless. If things in general were not perfect for him, he’d get angry.
9. He gaslighted me
Aha, I thought; I’ve read about this shit in Cosmo. It’s hard to pinpoint how, but he always managed to turn situations where he was in the wrong against me and tried to make me think it was my fault. I’d never had that done to me by a guy before and it felt wrong. Once he disappeared with my phone in the middle of the night, (his battery had died) because there was this guy he needed to ‘sort out’… Okaaay. He said he’d be back in ten minutes and after 3 hours, I was still waiting. Phoneless. Angry and scared, I walked to his mate’s place in the dead of night and screamed at him. Later, he blamed me for creating drama and always told me I was a drama queen. When in fact, I know that I am totally not and I hate drama. There are loads more incidents like that.
10. He was awful to exes
So, he made out that in his ‘past life’ he had been a major league player and had screwed up a lot of girls. Excuse me? Yeah. He told me about a girl who he had dated for seven years since she was 15 and had then dumped. Apparently, she then put on loads of weight, started sniffing glue and traveled across countries to find him. He refused to talk to her and never spoke well of her. There were many more like this. Why did he tell me all of this? Maybe he was trying to scare me out of leaving him.
Sooo, things weren’t all peachy. Why did I stay? It got comfortable and The Egyptian told me that I was the most special person in the world and he loved me. Yup he said the L word. I knew it wasn’t true, but I wanted to give it a shot. I also wanted to help him for a short while. Then it started to get a bit fucked and I felt drained out by his constant presence. Our last date was the final nail in the coffin.
Date of the date: 17.03.17
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
The Imax Cinema in the Vincom center. I booked us VIP seats to see Beauty And The Beast. The Egyptian complained that we could just stream it at home, but went along and was so impressed when we got there that he spent about 10 minutes instagramming our seats.
Not much during the film. But that whole day was weird. We had sex in the morning and he was being too aggressive. I told him to stop doing some stuff I wasn’t comfortable with. He told me to shut up and slapped me. Woah. Like, I’m cool with kinky shit, but only if it’s discussed and agreed on and we’re both comfortable. That was way out of order and I knew it.
During the film, I sat there thinking “My God, I’m Belle and he’s fucking Gaston. What the hell am I doing with this prick?” I couldn’t block it out. The rose-tinted glasses I had seen The Egyptian with had fallen away entirely.
After the date, I thought it would be vaguely romantic if we walked to the Hoam Kiem lake in the centre of town. We hadn’t really done anything together apart from bone for ages. But all he did was complain about how he hated walking. Yes, walking. At that point, if he said he hated breathing, I wouldn’t have been surprised. The Egyptian started swearing non-stop and I felt like my soul was being trampled on. I just wanted to run away. Finally, I started crying silently, because I was so tired of him and he said “Why are you being a drama queen?” That did it.
“I can’t do anything more for you.” I said quietly.
“Are you coming home or what?” He snapped.
“No. You go.”
I walked slowly to the lake and sat down. I had the keys and he could fuck off. I felt a bit scared of being lonely, but overall very relieved. It was like a weight had been lifted off my chest and all I needed to do was cry on the phone to my best mate and listen to Beyoncé and I’d be fine. Good fucking riddance.
After a week’s silence, The Egyptian texted and stalked me. I sent him an essay text explaining in a nice way why I couldn’t be with him – we were just incompatible. He persisted to try and act normal. I phoned him to tell him it was over and to stop talking to me. He told me I was selfish. I was exasperated and told him he needed to sort himself out and stop blaming me. When he continued to Like my Instagram posts, I blocked The Egyptian off everything. Then went to Bangkok and had a blast.
My last impression of The Egyptian was of a very confused boy in a man’s body who was unable to make decisions and blamed his life on others. I had come to Hanoi to find my own identity and not to figure someone else’s shit out.
I cannot rate this as a number. I do not regret it, because as an experience I learnt a lot from it. When you date someone truly unsuitable, you see exactly what you DON’T want from a person. It also showed me that I’m strong enough to get out of fucked up situations. I am so glad that I left when I did and trusted my instincts – I am lucky. I think this is a good warning to people not just to settle for someone, because your ego is flattered – look at other signs of compatibility. Date a lot, so that your instincts are sharpened to know when something is wrong. Read dating advice articles to familiarize yourself with ‘gaslighting’ and other toxic behaviour. If someone is draining the life out of you, you’re better off alone. If something is very wrong, leave when you can.