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When it comes to romance, many of us grew up believing that our love lives would neatly pan out like the fairy tales we read. Sadly, not all relationships resemble those from our childhood dreams. The latest breed of man to emerge from the dating badlands models himself on the Prince Charmings we obsessed over… except he’s not a chivalrous gent (nor does he have a thing for glass slippers).

Say hello to Cinderfella, who, like his female namesake, yearns to be rescued by love and craves a happily ever after. He’s suave, intense and emotional – very much how we’d like our Prince Charming to be – but he’s also “desperate for emotional and physical closeness right away,” says Cindy Leong, founder of relationship consultancy Relationship Studio. Plus, he’s needy, obsessive and insecure, and bounces from partner to partner. In other words, you’re unlikely to have a happy ending with him, so steer clear of this species. Here are five signs you’re dating one.

1. He hasn’t been single for long.

Cinderfellas are often newly single and looking to be rescued. When a relationship ends, a Cinderfella will often rush into a new one in a bid to fill the emotional void left by his ex. “Unfortunately, such relationships aren’t healthy and don’t last the distance,” says Cindy.

2. He’s over-the-top romantic.

Women love the idea of being swept off their feet, and Cinderfellas are big on grand gestures of affection in the very early days. They aren’t just after a whirlwind romance; they want a freaking tornado – but what they don’t realise is that “true love can’t be rushed and isn’t fleeting… it takes time and work to build a real bond,” says Cindy. Two dozen roses delivered to your office after just one date? Cinderfella. Handwritten love poems after the second date? Cinderfella. Talking marriage and baby names on your third date? Definitely Cinderfella!

3. He constantly texts you.

…as evidenced by the numerous Whatsapp messages from him by the time it’s 11am. Aww, how sweet… NOT! The almost non- stop digital contact indicates an unhealthy obsession with you that is characteristic of a Cinderfella, says Cindy. “Flattering as it may feel, it’s a problem if he’s bothering you when he knows you’re at work or a family dinner.”

4. He wants to see you. All. The. Time.

Mr Normal would never suggest you skip your yoga class to meet him. Cinderfella, though, is notoriously needy and possessive. “If he’s expecting crazy amounts

of your time from day one, chances are, he’s a Cinderfella,” says Cindy. A true candidate for The One encourages your independence and interests, and does not crowd in on you.

5. He’s always calling you.

“He really likes me!”… or so you think. The truth is, he’s probably phoning you just to get his attention fix. Think about it: Does he ask about your work or family? Does he listen? Or does he just go on about himself, his needs, his life? A major warning sign that a man’s not interested in you is when he expects you to be part of his life, but isn’t willing to become a real part of yours, says Cindy. If he’s all about fulfilling his needs but not into meeting yours, ditch him, pronto.


This story was originally published in the February 2016 issue of Her World magazine.