I feel so stupid about this. I went on holiday with three girlfriends and we had an amazing time. But one evening towards the end of the holiday we all got hammered and I ended up spending the night on the beach with one of the reps.
So far no problem, but… I’d imagined that because he was a holiday rep he’d have all the girls he wanted, so it would just be a one-night stand. But it turns out he’s really fallen for me and we carried on seeing each other until I flew home.
Now he keeps ringing, saying how much he misses me and reminding me that we only live half an hour’s drive from each other. He’s a sweet lad, so how can I let him know nicely that it was a holiday fling for me, even if it’s wasn’t for him?
Yes, we can all make assumptions – and your thinking that all holiday reps jump the clients is a key example. But don’t blame yourself. Sleeping with someone on holiday, someone you hardly know, someone you’re likely to never see again, isn’t the usual basis for a deep and meaningful relationshiprelationship and I’m not surprised you thought the whole thing was casual.
That said, as you’ve realised, the most important thing now is to be kind to this guy . He’s probably been quite lonely and stressed – a rep’s life may seem like fun from the outside but it usually involves incredibly long hours, incredibly high levels of sleep deprivation, a working day full of holiday-makers asking the impossible, and no good quality human interaction.
The bad news is this. It probably wasn’t you he fell for but the thought of someone being kind and supportive to him. The good news is that because of that, when the season ends and he’s back in Britain and not feeling quite so lonely and homesick, he’ll probably get over you quite quickly.
The only way forward here is to be honest. Email and tell him you think he’s lovely. But also tell him that now you’re back home, you realise you’re not ready for a relationship and that you are calling time on your connection. Don’t agree to see him when he comes back – that’ll only prolong the agony. Do wish him every good fortune for the future and cut off quickly and cleanly.
And don’t worry. As you say, he’s a nice guy. So he’ll certainly find someone else who will really care for him. And his experience with you will hopefully teach him that though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with casual sex, it takes more than one night on the beach to guarantee a loving relationship.
Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here