How I Met And Lost The Perfect Guy in 48 Hours

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‘Whatever you do, don’t fall in love Alice. It brings nothing but confusion, mood swings and a complicated path ahead of you’. As I left my good friend in Tainan, who has always openly talked about the perils of infatuation with me, I agreed with her completely. I told myself that no independent woman travelling solo needs a man to cause upheaval on the road ahead. Yet, two days and 48 hours later, here I am, finding myself trying to get back down to more stable ground after experiencing an unexpected ride on the nauseating roller coaster of love.

How I met Optimized


When I was younger I used to fall in love all the time, most likely due to my fresh innocence and an addiction to the chemicals love produces. I salivated on feeling as powerful as a rhino, full of energising bubbles in my tummy that rocketed my mind and heart into a utopia of bliss, passion and ecstasy. As I’ve got older, that feeling has severely diminished because a) that innocence has been torched and b) I travel.

Innocent Girl

One to seven hours

I raced down the highway as the sun began to grow weary and slowly sink into the sea. As its energy flowed into the waves, I soaked up every drop of it. My mind was focused on adventure and opportunity but not this. I entered my accommodation and the 48 hour stopwatch began. I saw him and was unknowingly instantly hooked. Resistant to becoming attached to anyone for years for self-preservation, I was oblivious to the chemicals beginning to bubble.

We discovered we’d been on the same journey of countries for the last couple of years, even in the same city, yet we had never crossed paths. Being the only two in our dorm room, we discussed everything, looking at each other across the room through the slits in our bunks until our energy slowly started to sink into the air and we sank into sleep.

Paths in Love

Seven to sixteen hours

Throughout the night, I dreamt about him continuously. Within seven hours, my mind had reached forgotten levels of vulnerability and lust. I woke up feeling bewildered and mentally scolding myself.

Sixteen to thirty eight hours

I went to get breakfast. I ate, I planned, I told myself to be Teacake and do some blog work and get back to the real world. Thirty minutes in and reality was thrown out the window as he appeared in front of me. ‘Say you’re going surfing with me today’ he said, nodding his head up and down. I snapped the laptop shut, grabbed my bikini and ran out the door with him.

Surfing in Dulan Taiwan

We drove through mountains, hung out with monkeys, ate fresh pineapple and succulent BBQ. We got tipsy with the locals, surfed all afternoon and listened and danced to random tracks in our room. Over dinner he passed every hurdle potential partners have fallen flat on their faces with. He ate everything: even bugs like me. He loved spicy food, disliked Shanghai, didn’t want children, reminisced about his experiences in South Korea and got off on doing things that others wouldn’t have the guts to do. We accidentally hung out with the local gangsters at Seven Eleven. We went skinny dipping in the middle of the night under the stars. We discussed how science had made us meet at this point and the possibility that it could have happened already in another dimension. We made out till sunrise and slept in peacefully.

Happily Ever After

Thirty eight to forty eight hours

With his flight back home looming and my schedule to go to Thailand fixed, the euphoria and delightful dizziness quickly turned sour and nauseating. I slept a lot that day. I felt heavy and numb, frustrated with having fallen so hard and not being able to do anything about it. I wanted to distance myself from him so I didn’t turn mad. I felt stupid for bringing such an intense feeling upon myself in such a short time and with others coming to stay and no ‘happily ever after’ ending in sight, I knew the ride was over.

The hangover

His plan was to surf early the next morning when we both had to leave. I was grateful for that because I just wanted to wake up and not have to struggle with him being there. Out of sight, out of mind. He never woke up in time for that surf, so I awkwardly had to say goodbye and left. I drove through the mountains and cried, feeling like an idiot for falling in love.

Mountains on Highway 23 Taiwan

The comforting warrior in me says ‘Screw beating yourself up. You’re allowed to fall in love, even if it is unexplainable, inconvenient and distressing. If anything, you’ve learnt that tough girls do cry and it is healthy to have a taste of your own medicine: you may have just have left some boys feeling just as bad as you do in the past’.

The future

The sad truth is that I will probably never see him again. The sad truth is, I’ll have to politely erase him on social media so I don’t turn into a psychotic stalking lunatic. The sad truth is that I know deep down, what I feel, he doesn’t. The sad truth is that I would jump at the opportunity to relive the 48 hours all over again.

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How I met and lost the perfect guy in 48 hours

59 thoughts on “How I Met And Lost The Perfect Guy in 48 Hours”

  1. I love this. It doesn’t happen often but when you stumble across someone like that, the 48 hours you spend with them ends up being a memory you don’t really ever let go of. I spent a week at the beach with friends. My bf and I were on and off constantly and this week we were “off”. So i blocked him for the week and ventured out to the bars, with the intention of enjoying my friends and allowing myself much needed happiness. And then my 48 hour man showed up. He was charming, witty, polite, and funny. I didn’t stand a chance. We talked for a while and when he pushed the flirtation line, I told him I had a boyfriend. He then spent the next hour venturing around the bar, talking to pretty girls, just close enough that I could watch. He came back after an hour and told me that the girls there couldn’t compare to me and that I needed to dance with him for one song. Naturally I swooned, said yes, and spent the next few days enjoying his company on my vacation. I even, dreadfully, confessed issues with my sort of boyfriend and he said something to me I’ll never forget,”Don’t ever settle for anything less than what you deserve, because you deserve the world.”

    A memory like this is worth having though, so sometimes I think it’s okay to let yourself fall. You never know what you’ll learn about yourself from it.
    xxcheers, Meag

  2. TEARS IN MY EYES! this is so perfect, so beautifully written. I’ve felt exactly this more often than I’m proud to admit, Even if it hurts, I guess it adds emotional depth to life.

  3. Such a wonderful piece! Love and heartache in 48 hours. That is the essence of life we all need every now and then. The reminder that we are capable of incerdible connections even if they are meant to go no where.

  4. Loved this post – it is so honest, romantic, nostalgic and beautiful at the same time. Falling in love while travelling does happen and there is nothing wrong or bad about it. I think it is in those short moments that we connect with someone we really get and give the best. I mean look at how exciting and fun your time with this guy sounds! Seems like you have had some amazing conversations, too. Just one thing – 48 hours of loveliness do not make him the “right guy”. So there is nothing to regret! Be happy about the unique experience you had, cherish your memories and never look back on it :)


  5. Alice,I hear you more strongly than anyone else..Indian women.not being very liberal you will hardly find much solo woman traveller.

    You have been so expressive and wish I could have been too in past experience..My talking in love stories are so crazy that I have travelled another 3000km to hunt the man out and spend only 20 mins with him..

    I have to talk to you on this when we meet :)

    • And this is why I have a lot of love for you. I feel it is fate that we will be sharing our Thailand experience together! I’m desperate to make that step towards travelling solo in India and you’re rocking it girl! I’m looking forward to hearing the 3000km story: That’s gonna be a good one!

  6. Is it too awful, old-auntie like if I say the only thing that comes to my mind (the mind of a 40-something-one-time-divorced-who-left-a-husband-to-cross-the-Atlantic-for-a-guy-met-online sincere gal)??
    Ok, I say it, you have the right to hate me then.
    Shit happens Just move on

  7. I loved reading this article. You write with such passion, for a second I almost fell in love with him. Looking forward to reading more of your posts! :)

    Don’t stop falling in love!

  8. It sounds wonderful! I am sorry it ended so quickly. It is an impossible task, one that I have quit a few times. I try to enjoy our time and not think about the inevitible, fast approaching end. Usually right before someone is leaving the country. What do you get, a day, two weeks? You can’t change everything to chase someone you just met around the world. Maybe one day it will be worth it. Some things are also better left in the past.

  9. You have literally taken the words right out of my mouth. I worked abroad for a year and completely closed myself off from men. Taking a much needed break. I went solo backpacking and met someone where we 2 days together also. In ways it made me vulnerable and sad but also made me feel alive again. People should never regret time they spent or connections they made with someone as even something so fleeting can leave an impact. Especially as a traveler you need these moments because who knows when they might happen again.

  10. A lovely heartfelt read. It reminds me a little of that film with Ethan Hawke – ‘Before Sunrise’ ? Sometimes I wonder if being in an exotic place makes moments feel more special and significant than they are. Given more time you might have realised he wasn’t right for you afterall. But then again, who says you can’t see him again?? I spent 10 days with a guy while travelling in Canada, and 3 years later, we reconnected and now another year later we’re together! Either way, it sounds like you have many exciting things going on in your life to distract you from thinking about him :)

    • I am truly grateful for my adventures! There is always something wonderful happening to keep me entertained, happy and in awe of this planet! I love your personal story. It’s a lovely one :) Thank you for sharing

  11. I’m sorry that it was such a short whirlwind, but perhaps that’s better for your broken heart. I’ve totally been there! We can’t really explain attraction or help what we feel so I applaud you for at least making the most of the experience with him rather than pushing him away from the start. Better to have lost and loved than never loved at all! At least that’s what some say :P

  12. Naw, I feel for you I hope you’re okay now, love can be a kick in the guts… But wow that sounded amazing. I’m excited for you…. I’m sure it means their is just more to come in the near future x

  13. It’s really tough meeting someone like that, who you click with so instantly and thoroughly and wish it could have been more. It’s probably the worst part of traveling, saying goodbye to amazing people you will never see again. I have had a similar thing before, and have just met a really nice guy as I’m starting to plan to leave New Zealand. I already know how tough it is so say goodbye, because It’s happened before, but not seeing him…? or just being friends? sometimes that’s not possible either.

  14. Very touching Alice. if I ended up alone in a dorm with the love of my life, I can tell you I would not let him sleep alone in his bed! But more, seriously, what makes you think the feeling was not reciprocal? There is probably a blog post somewhere on the internet about his experience with you ;-)

  15. Loved this post and just found your blog through your “Journalist on the run” nomination!! Congratulations and you have a new excited follower!! :-D Keep up the interesting posts, love your style!

  16. Beautifully written! I had the same experience, except for me it was 2 weeks long (a relationship that started even though I had flights booked back to my “real life” in Canada after 14 months of being in Korea). It broke my heart, but I’ll never forget it and I definitely would never change it.

  17. Thank you for writing this!! I have had a very similar experience on the road and I always wanted to write about it but couldn’t quite bring myself to do so. Nice to know I’m not crazy and others have gone through the same thing ;) Here’s to the travel life and spontaneous love.

  18. You have a way with words Alice. This love and lust is a tricky business I tell you but don’t worry. You’re not the only to go through these crazy emotions when you meet someone and feel them in such a short time. Thank you for making me feel less like an idiot when it comes to matters of the heart. Look forward to more stories and travel tales from you my dear teacake :)

  19. I truly resonate with this….met someone coming down Kilimanjaro, TZ. We were both tired but stayed up all night talking….hung out couple of times when we both got back home in Nairobi and then he had to go back to Dubai….. I have stopped beating myself over what might have been but isn’t!

  20. You brought tears to my eyes with this post. I have just got back from a trip. I met a man during the trip and I felt like we had an instant connection. He arrived when the trip had started already, so we only got to spend 9 days together. It took me a while to finally let go and stop resisting the attraction. We are both back now, each in our own countries, and I can’t help wandering if it was just all in my mind, in my heart. I ask myself if he feels and felt the same. Because I never told him what I felt, what was going through my mind and my heart. I stopped myself from doing that, for fear of acting ridiculous, for fear of opening up and being totally overwhelmed by my emotions. I wonder what would have been of us if I did. I tell myself it is for the best that we both went our own ways, but I miss him, and I long for a word that would encourage me to keep fantasizing that maybe it could be, if we only wanted that. I wonder if I ever was more than just a diversion for him, as he was for me. And now… I have to stop myself so as not to turn into a stalker!

    I am glad to have read this post. I feel less alone now.

    • Hello Claudia. Thank you so much for sharing your story too. I feel every woman asks herself this: ‘Is it just me? Am I thinking straight? Am I completely morphing this into something it’s not?” If you feel you can do it and you’re prepared for what may be, maybe go ahead and contact him – however, there may be a can of worms at the end of that rainbow eh? ><

  21. I know that feeling .. As many others do. Meeting someone, having an amazing and unforgettable time and then leaving them: thinking you’ll never see them again. Don’t give up. You never know what the universe has in store for you. The universe brought my love back to me . And he moved 3600 miles to be with me and now we are happily living in Toronto.

  22. Dear Alice Hi,

    It is a beautiful post you’ve written. I myself have been there just recently and I did not know how to get over this feeling. But hey! I found meditation as it’s cure. Also, I heard my guru stating that if you want to get over someone, just wait till you find the next one ;). So, as you said in one of the comments earlier, never stop falling in love <3.

  23. Such an honest and beautifully written post. I can relate, I met my “48 hour man” (in my case it turned out to be a one week man) when I least expected to meet someone. Lying in my dorm bed talking to my roommates he came walking in, with lots of energy. We started talking and instantly clicked. You know, when you meet someone and you just feel so comfortable in his company you let your guard down. Usually I try to hold my distance, mostly because I know I can’t control my feelings and I have in my past been let down. And also because I travel to find myself, and just have an amazing time, which I wouldn’t be able to if I catch unruly feelings for someone. My focus gets disrupted and I just put everything aside. Thinking this might be it. Somehow this could work out. But it’s just too hard. Too many questions to answer, and so much confusion. As a hopeless romantic I tend to make up fantasies about how the two of us would tackle the world, and rarely I ever believe that would ever happen. But I still do.
    The man I met was funny, intelligent, a bit dorky and just everything I wanted in someone. Had the best week together, stayed longer than expected just to be with him. Because in my head I had made up so many scenarios of how this could work out. Suppressing any negative thoughts, too caught up in the love movie I’d daydreamed of. The end of the story is, I left because I had plans to meet up with my family I hadn’t seen for months. I left without expressing my feelings. I cried when the bus left and I saw him walk back to the hostel. Just like you I know will never see him again, and deep deep down I knew he didn’t share the feelings I felt. Even though it’s hurtful to think of it now, I still would do it all over. It’s funny how someone for such a short time can mean the world to you and then just be a fading memory of something that made you feel really great.

    • Hello Aumarin. Thank you so much for sharing your story and showing me I’m not just the only one >< Sounds like you have the same mindset as me. I think as a way to self-preservation, our mind blocks out what once was. How else would we recover?

  24. Just wrote a comment at one of your other posts when I came across this one. I met a guy like that in South Africa. It was hard saying goodbye, but we had to. But we were both from the same country and even the same city. So when I returned home a few months later we had a date. But it was not the same. We were no longer at the same spot in life. He had just opened his first business and wanted to settle down and I just wanted to travel more before starting uni. I was so confused when it didn’t work out. At first I couldn’t see why, he was so funny, intelligent, sweet and everything I wanted, but I couldn’t understand why it couldn’t work, but I see why today. But still, the time we spent together was fantastic and I will never forget. I hope to find someone similar one day, someone who is easy to talk to and someone who will sweep me away and someone it will work with for longer :)

    • Hi Tine! Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your experience! The same country and city?! Damn girl. I think this just shows that it’s all about the right time for people. You clearly had different agendas when you met again but I’m sending out positive cupid vibes for your next encounter!

      • I know it was crazy, I never expected to find a guy from the same city while travelling., but yeah it was not ment to be with such different agendas. Thank you sending you positive vibes as well! Thank you for a cool blog. I definitely enjoy reading along :) and I am glad I came across this page :) Happy travels!

  25. I volunteered in Spain for one week teaching English. One of the volunteers who was much older than me took a shining to me and I felt something for him too. However, I had a boyfriend at the time and when this fellow expressed his interest I felt I should be honest and mention my boyfriend. He was disappointed but we still continued to flirt harmlessly and even shared a closed mouth kiss. At the end of the week we parted ways. I had no regrets in telling him the truth but I also felt sad that I had missed out on something and was internally mad at my boyfriend for not enabling me to have anything with this fellow. This fellow and I exchanged a few emails and then he did not respond and I was hurt at first but talked to myself and understood where he was coming from. He obviously did not want to interfere with my relationship. With my boyfriend my anger came out and we were arguing a lot so I told him about the fellow and he understood. It took me a few months to get over this but when I started a job a few months later it distracted me from this situation.

    • Hi Maida :( LOVE is so DIFFICULT! I believe we actually have a number of soulmates in our life. It’s just about timing…and that timing has to be perfect for the both of you. Thank you for sharing <3

  26. I found your post looking for comfort after experiencing just what you’ve described! Thanks for sharing it — even though I can’t say I feel “better” I feel less alone. I am just hoping I don’t have to wait forever for love to find me again……

  27. Fantastic experience after reading your outstanding blog. My dream is to travel the best and famous place in the world.
    And I am really glad I have found your blog. Thanks dear for sharing this awesome and informative article with us.
    Keep it up.

  28. I had a 48-hour experience as well..
    I booked my first solo trip to London for 3 days, 2 nights. I met this guy at the hostel’s bar (clink78) on a Friday night. He came up to me, and we instantly had a connection. We got tipsy and quickly decided to get away from the crowd, just the 2 of us and explore the magical night in London. We bought a bottle of wine and wandered around for 4-5 hours talking and laughing, getting to know each other’s culture, and world. He had the most gorgeous blue eyes and blonde hair. He was a kid’s rugby coach in South- Africa, and he came with his team to travel around Europe. I thought that was fascinating.
    We set next to this little river near King’s Cross station and talked the night away. As we got back to the hostel he invited me to meet him and his group the next day and that we should spend the whole day together. I was so excited and happy to spend the next day with him! He walked me up to my floor and I kissed him. It was the most intense feeling I have ever experienced in my life. I had my fair sare of kisses but this was somehing I have never experiencd before. We were standing and making out for atleast 40 minutes before we could finally go back to our room and we promised eachother we would meet up in the afternoon. I slept in till 12 , and the next day I totally forgot what time we were supposed to meet up…. It was like a train went trough me with dissapointment! I went to the bar at night to see if he was there and there he was waiting in the middle of the bar. I was so embarrassed that I let him down and excited to see him , that I wasn’t making any sense while talking to him. He stayed for 1 hour and left saying he didn’t sleep properly for 4 days. I never asked for his contact cause frankly I was processing that I wasted this opportunity and I will never see him again. He gave me a hug, we gazed for a while and there he went. . one of the biggest regret of my life.

  29. Oh gosh, love this story! So touching and honest! In the end, I think life and emotions, life and falling in love cannot and should not be separated from each other!

    Keep up the great work, Lynn Julie


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