My fiance took romance to a whole new level, but was Steve hiding something? By Emma-Louise Turner, 41

I smiled as Steve took my hand and led me to the edge of the water. ‘Now close your eyes, the dolphin is shy,’ he said softly.

I was puzzled, but I obliged. Moments later, as I blinked into the sunshine, the dolphin we’d been swimming with earlier on our Turkish holiday was bobbing next to me, with a glittering ring in its mouth.

It took a while for my brain to process what was going on but when Steve got down on one knee, it clicked.

Through tears, I nodded as Steve proposed. It was all I could do to show him it was a ‘yes’, words just failed me.

Steve slid the 14 carat white gold diamond ring onto my finger as the dolphin team at the beach applauded.

It was the most romantic proposal I could have ever dreamed of. How could you top that?

It was all the more remarkable because, as a 41-year-old single mum, with a bad record of internet dating, I had almost given up on love.

I’d been on the Plenty of Fish website for years, and all the ‘nice’ guys I’d met online, turned out to be creeps, or worse.

So, when Steve’s message had first popped up, I barely batted an eyelid. ‘Do you fancy a chat?’ he typed.

As we got talking online, Steve did seem different to other guys I’d spoken to. But I’d been there before, and I was wary.

But after we exchanged numbers and chatted on the phone for hours, late into the night, I felt myself falling for him.

I explained I was a single mum to two teenagers but it didn’t put him off and he was still keen to meet me.

‘Are you free tomorrow?’ he suggested.

When we met in the flesh the next night, for a meal in town, Steve was even more handsome than his profile picture.

Charming and gorgeous, he swept me off my feet. I didn’t want the night to end and although it wasn’t like me on a first date, I stayed over at his place.

After that first date, we were inseparable and just two days later, Steve changed his relationship status on Facebook.

So sweet.

I couldn’t have been happier, so when Steve invited me to go on holiday with him to Turkey, I jumped at the chance.

Two weeks later we pulled up outside a five-star hotel in a beautiful Turkish resort. The hotel even had its own jewellers, filled with sparkling diamonds.

‘It’s amazing,’ I gasped, looking round the stunning building.

I knew Steve was doing ok for himself but he’d gone all out and was really flashing the cash. He was obviously out to impress me.

Nothing was too much trouble for him. We ate at the best restaurants, and sunbathed on private beaches.

‘This is the life,’ I grinned, telling Steve I was more accustomed to the windswept Kent coastline. ‘I could get used to this!’

Then one morning, Steve had another surprise in store for me. We arrived at a waterpark and as I got changed, Steve revealed we were swimming with dolphins.

‘No way! I don’t believe it,’ I gasped, clasping my hand over my mouth.

It was incredible and I couldn’t take the smile off my face all day. So when Steve proposed after our amazing swimming experience, it was the icing on the cake.

I felt like a fairytale princess, like I’d been transported into a Disney film.

When we arrived back in the UK, I gathered my family around and showed them the video of Steve’s proposal, as I showed off the huge rock on my finger.

Everyone was so excited - except for my mum.

‘Are you sure you’re not rushing into this, Emma?’ she frowned. ‘You’ve only just met him.’

But I wasn’t fazed. ‘I’m 41-years-old, Mum. I’m not a kid anymore. It just feels so right with Steve,’ I told her firmly.

I was so excited when I announced our engagement on Facebook, until a notification popped up amongst all the messages of congratulations from a girl I didn’t recognise.

I didn’t know her but she seemed to know Steve… very well indeed.

She told me she’d been dating Steve after meeting him on Plenty of Fish. What’s the big deal? I thought. I knew he’d dated a few girls from the site, just as I had.

But then she went on to explain that they hadn’t stopped seeing each other when we got together. They were still dating… even now.

I felt my heart hammer in my chest. Steve had just proposed in paradise with a huge, romantic gesture. It just didn’t stack up.

When I showed Steve the messages and he dismissed her as a girl he had dated before he met me, I breathed a sigh of relief.

‘She’s just jealous of what we have,’ he soothed, giving me a hug.

As well as being relieved, I was also secretly flattered. Steve was a catch - why wouldn’t this girl be clinging onto the dream, the dream that was now my reality?

We brushed it aside and set about making plans for our big day. We didn’t want to hang around and had set a date for September 2018, just 16 weeks away.

I’d paid the £4,000 deposit on the beautiful hotel venue and after trying on hundreds of dresses, I finally found the perfect gown.

Meanwhile, I’d still get the odd message from girls claiming to be dating Steve, but he reassured me the women were from his past.

‘They’re just obsessed with me - and jealous of you,’ he insisted.

I didn't think too much of it until I heard from one of Steve’s oldest friends. We’d invited her to the wedding, but she was pulling out.

‘I feel it’s best I don’t come,’ she wrote. ‘Steve has made it impossible… he told me he loves me and that he’d leave you if I asked him to,’ she admitted.

I felt a nervous knot tighten in my stomach then. When I sent Steve the messages he claimed she was crazy, like the other girls, and that she just fancied him.

I’d heard it all before but this woman was set to be a guest at our wedding. It felt different and I wanted to confront the woman and get to the truth.

‘Leave it,’ Steve soothed. ‘I’ll block her on Facebook and never speak to her again. She’s obviously just trying to cause trouble.’

Although I desperately wanted to believe Steve, the cracks were beginning to show.

So a few weeks later, when another girl came forward to say Steve had contacted her on Plenty of Fish, it was the final straw.

She’d seen me gushing about my upcoming wedding on Facebook and wanted to warn me off my rat of a groom, before it was too late.

This time, when I confronted Steve, he had the nerve to take my engagement ring back, and dump me!

I felt like such a fool. He made me feel like I was The One… but it turned out I was just one of many.

I’d lost £4,000 on our wedding but it was my pride that took the biggest hit. I had to explain to all my friends and family that my dream wedding was just that… a dream.

After proposing with a dolphin, Steve had clearly been having a whale of a time with a string of other woman.

I fell hook, line and sinker for his lies but now I’m moving on - and there are plenty of fish in the sea!

Steve says: “I’ve split up with her and once I was single, I went back on Plenty of Fish. If I’m free and single, I can do what I want on Plenty of Fish. Before I got with her, I was on Plenty of Fish and dating, just like she was. I had about 17 different dates with people. And then we got together and I didn’t lie or cheat or do anything wrong. Kirsty was from before I was with Emma. She was a stalker and didn’t stop harassing me. Eventually Emma told her to bugger off. I’m actually friends with (another) Kirsty. Emma didn’t like me being friends with her. I don’t know why she’s doing this. She’s just hurt I left her. Or things that may have some truth to them, but she’s twisting them around and lying about the dates or whatever.”

Emma-Louise was devastated when her wedding dreams were shattered by her groom's lies. If you've been betrayed, telling your story could be a way of turning the situation into something positive. Contact Sell My Story to find out how our team can help you.


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