“I never suspected anything was wrong with Leon*. We knew each other through work and got together after hitting it off. 

At the start of our relationship, he was nothing but a gentleman. Leon was attentive, caring, and never once asked me for a cent on our dates.

Things unraveled after a few months. In a fit of impulse, he resigned after some unhappiness at work. Thereafter, he remained unemployed for seven months. When I persuaded him to find a job, he claimed that he could not due to his low educational qualifications, the fact that he was a non-Singaporean (he was born and raised abroad), and that he couldn’t do business here without “contacts”. 

For the next few months, he was moody and distant, and even ignored my calls. When I finally confronted him, he bemoaned that he was having a hard time making ends meet.  

He told me that he was depressed ever since leaving his job and that he was entertaining suicide. He then asked if I could spare him $12,000. 

I was earning just $3,500 at the time, so that sum represented a significant chunk of my savings. He reassured me that he would sell off his house to pay me back.  To be honest, I didn’t question him on the specifics including what he wanted the money for. He merely said that he needed it to service his “loans”. He seemed so depressed that I didn’t dare probe. I was also spooked that he would harm himself so I agreed.

This incident sparked off other requests for money. He had a standard pattern of operating. He would begin with a sob story, like saying how he felt like ending his life. Or he would lament how he had lent money to a friend who had failed to pay him back. I always felt compelled to help out. He asked me for $6,000 over the course of a few months. 

I finally grew tired after one too many suicide threats. There were also the lies. To convince me to give him more money, he lied that he had found a job opportunity and just needed a little extra to tide him over (I later found out there was no job). He even claimed that robbers had broken into his house and stolen all the money in a safe that had been meant for me. It was utterly far-fetched! 

Another warning sign was his tendency to fault others for his problems. He blamed his ex-boss for forcing him to leave. He blamed his mother for being unsupportive and nagging him for being unemployed.  He even blamed his ex-girlfriend; he rambled on about how she had cast “black magic” on him causing his life’s misfortunes!

I eventually cut off contact and have never looked back. My advice: Be wary if a man comes with too many “hard luck” stories and to never take responsibility for his own issues. Run away ASAP!”   

*Names have been changed.

This story was originally published in the January 2017 issue of Her World magazine.