He wined and dined me while we stayed in five-star hotels but didn't want a commitment – and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The one word anyone who has ever met Robert* would use to describe him is 'charming'. It's no surprise then that I fell under his spell within a few minutes of meeting him. I was at a friend's birthday party at a swanky bar and Robert was at a table near us, with his friends.
It was soon clear that Robert only had eyes for me. From the moment we started talking, he hardly left my side. Sure, he spoke to his friends too but always came back to me after a few minutes. He was funny and came across as very intelligent and it didn't hurt that he was extremely good-looking too.
As the night came to an end, Robert asked if I wanted to go for a walk along the nearby river. We ended up spending the next few hours sitting on a bench by the river, talking about anything and everything. I didn't want the night to end.
We left as the sun came up and he invited me out to lunch. So I went home, got a couple of hours of sleep, then went to meet him. He took me to a very expensive restaurant and we indulged in oysters and sipped champagne.
Robert and I spent the next few days together. He was travelling the following week so we tried to squeeze in as much time as we could before that. Although I really enjoyed his company, I was a bit hesitant to get too involved as I thought he was a bit old for me. I was 25 at the time and he was 42; the age gap was too big for my liking.
Before he went away, Robert told me that he really liked me but that he wasn't interested in getting involved in a relationship and wanted me to know that, in case that was what I was looking for. He said that he travels a lot for work and didn't have time for a commitment and, frankly, wasn't even looking for one. But he also told me that he enjoyed my company and wanted to see me again if I was still interested.
So, while he was away, I took that time to decide if I was okay with what he was proposing. I had been in a couple of relationships before this and, although I did want to eventually get married and have kids, I was in no rush to make it happen. So why not have a bit of fun with an extremely interesting man?
Robert then became my 'sugar daddy'. He paid for every meal we ate and bought me expensive gifts such as jewellery and designer handbags. We did have a sexual relationship too but I never ever felt that he was buying me things in exchange for that.
Robert treated me like a princess and never once disrespected me. He even took me to his company functions and always introduced me to his colleagues and business partners at such events. I sometimes wondered if he took me along to boost his own ego and his profile as I'm a fairly attractive woman and get along with people easily so perhaps I was a 'pawn' in his plan all along. I'll never know the truth but a big part of me doesn't want to find out because I genuinely enjoyed his company and never felt like he was using me in any way.
Robert travelled often for work and sometimes went away for three months at a time; there was even a period where he was posted to London for six months. He also whisked me away for luxurious holidays and whether it was the Maldives or Melbourne that we visited, we always lived it up, staying in five-star hotels, eating at the best restaurants and shopping at designer boutiques.
I sometimes wondered if he had women in other cities too as he did travel to some of them often. But he gave me a key to his flat and I often stayed there when he went away so I felt I must be somewhat 'special' to him.
After having an amazing time together for almost three years, Robert suddenly got a bit cold towards me after one of his long business trips. I decided I had to confront him after a few days because I didn't want to 'waste' my time if he wasn't getting any joy out of being with me.
I appreciated his honesty when he told me that what we had was turning a bit 'stale' and he wasn't as excited about it anymore. I agreed with him though; it might seem like a dream come true but all that wining and dining and being with someone on a 'shallow' level took its toll on me after a while. So we agreed to end it and bore no hard feelings towards each other.
I don't regret spending three years of my life with Robert. Some of my friends told me over the years to end it with him because it would 'lead nowhere'. Some also warned me that I'll get hurt in the end as it would be natural for me to develop feelings for him, which will never be reciprocated. I also had some friends who told me to seize the day and not worry about what others said, as long as I was having fun and not hurting anyone – or myself.
I won't lie, I did 'love' Robert in my own way. But I think I was mature and smart enough to know that it wasn't a proper relationship and that we would never have a 'happy ever after'. It was fun while it lasted and I only have happy memories of being with him. Every time I watch a programme or read an article about someone living the high life, it makes me smile as it reminds me of the time I spent with Robert. I wouldn't do it again now as I'm looking for a long-term relationship at the moment but I believe everything in life has a season and my time in the sun with Robert was special.