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Sam* was the love of my life. We were university sweethearts who dated for 12 years. Naturally, we spoke about marriage but wanted to stash some cash aside for our future home– and hopefully, kids, too – so we put our wedding plans on hold. Those were good times; I was in my early 30s and couldn't possibly have been happier.

My world came crumbling down when I discovered that Sam was cheating on me. He met the other woman at a work conference across the causeway and had been seeing each other for almost four months when I found out.

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I was devastated, to say the least. I couldn't imagine being without Sam but, most importantly, I couldn't believe his betrayal of my trust. We had what I thought was an exciting sex life so I was flummoxed that he would ever think of sleeping with someone else – over and over again!

It was hard to get over Sam as our lives had become so entwined over the years; we knew each other's families and friends so well, and always hung out with them as a couple. It seemed like I couldn't find solace anywhere in Singapore as everywhere I went reminded me of Sam and the things we did together. Also, my family kept pleading with me to patch things up and let bygones be bygones, but as far as I was concerned, he was dead to me.

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An Ego Boost

I soon spiralled out of control and started going out to bars every weekend. I didn't drink too much – I restricted myself to three or four a night – but enjoyed the buzz that came with being somewhere noisy and packed with people.

I'll admit that I enjoyed the male attention, too. And on more than one occasion, guys would come up to me and try to pick me up. My ego enjoyed it – I hadn’t lost it – and it was nice to talk to strangers who knew nothing about my past.

Of course, some of these men wanted to take it further and asked me to spend the night with them. The first few weeks, I would decline, but then I got a bit bolder when I finally stumbled upon a man who intrigued me. Dave*, who was in town for a two-week work trip, asked me back to his hotel and, with full knowledge of what his intentions were, I said yes.

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The next morning, I left his hotel and never heard from him again (we didn't even exchange numbers). I had a spring in my step from then on and felt so rejuvenated. Sam, who? That's what I felt at that point.

The thrill of a one-night stand with a man who knew nothing about me and who I would never see again was something I couldn't get enough of. It was the freedom of being with someone without having to reveal much about myself. Plus, I knew I wouldn't be let down either, as neither of us asked for anything else from the other. It helped that the sex was good but it was the concept of the quick – and very precise – rendezvous that got me hooked.

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No Strings Attached

From then on, I hooked up with strangers at least thrice a month. I'd go to a bar, flirt with whoever caught my eye, end up at his hotel (if he wasn't local), have sex, then go back to my own home the next morning (or sometimes even in the middle of the night). And yes, safe sex was the only way I was going to do it, so condoms were mandatory.

A couple of these men asked to see me again but I always said no. I made it a point to not give anyone my contact details; I never gave anyone my last name and also lied about what I did for a living, just in case they tracked me down through Facebook (or worse, my LinkedIn profile).

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I went to these bars with a close colleague. She had never met Sam and had recently been through a divorce herself, so she understood my need to let off steam, so to speak. While she didn't have one-night stands herself, she didn't stop me from doing so, either.

This went on for almost six months before I ‘woke up’ and realised that I couldn't do this forever and that I had to get my head – and life – together. While I wasn't ready to get into another relationship just yet, I knew that I couldn't go on having one-night stands with complete strangers.

At the same time, I can’t say I regret them, either. The pure physical pleasure I got from these men was just what I needed to get over the emotional hurt that Sam caused me. It might not have been the 'right' way to get over a break-up but it did me – and my confidence – a lot more good than sitting at home and crying.

*Names have been changed.