I hope it's okay that I'm posting here, I read this forum regularly and I need some advice.
In July I visited Turkey with a friend and her family, I'd been before but nearly 10 years ago now. My friend has been going every year since she was young, we are very aware of the reputation Turkish resort workers have, so I went on this holiday with no intention of getting involved with anyone. Well that didn't last lol.
Our group became close with one of the workers at the hotel - J. He wanted more than friendship with me, but from the beginning I made it clear that I wasn't going to sleep with him but it would be nice to get to know each other as friends. He speaks very good English so I know he understood. He was very respectful of this and did not pressure me for more at all. As the holiday went on and we spent a lot of time with each other (he would sit with me during his shift when it was quiet, and after his shift we would go for walks around the village), I realised I had feelings for him and things developed. (I thought he was different I guess due to him still wanting to spend time getting to know me, despite me making it clear nothing would happen, and there being plenty of other girls who seemed to like him in the resort who he paid no attention to.)
Leaving Turkey I was really upset, but I thought it was just a holiday romance and didn't expect to ever see him again. He insisted he would call and message me but I took that with a pinch of salt. But he kept to his word - for the next two months he called me every night after work, which meant a lot to me considering he was working 14 hour days 7 days a week and was exhausted. He always remembered things I had said to him when I was out there and things that were important to me, and if his internet ran out he'd stay at work for an extra hour to use their wifi to call me.
At the beginning of August, about a month after we met, I found out from a mutual friend that he had been messaging another customer. Nothing had happened but he had been flirting with her. I confronted him about this and explained that it was best we were just friends as I could no longer trust him. He still called me every night, crying, begging for another chance, and after a lot of going back and forth I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, as we weren't actually in a relationship and he seemed genuinely sorry.
Me and my friend who I had originally gone away with then booked a holiday in September to go back to that resort, she had also met a guy out there who was J's friend, so it was the perfect situation for us to get to know them both better. Just before I left for the airport, he called me and said he had told the whole hotel including customers that his girlfriend was coming to visit, which was the first time he called me his girlfriend (he had originally said he didn't want to rush things and become girlfriend and boyfriend before getting to know each other better, but after two months of talking every day and becoming so close, it felt like the right time).
That holiday was perfect, during the day when he was working he was very open about his relationship with me, introducing me to customers he was friends with, giving me a kiss whenever he walked past me, and generally being very affectionate. During his break we would go for walks or he would buy me lunch, and after his shift finished we would stay in a hotel which we took it in turns to pay for (he wanted to pay every night and never asked me to, but knowing how little he earns I wouldn't let him). One night I was very sick and and he called my apartment and said he would use the tips he had earned that night to pay for a taxi (i couldn't walk) and a hotel room for us because he wanted to look after me. On the last night he told me he was in love with me and asked if I would visit him when the season finished so that we could spend proper time together before he started his winter job, so I booked to visit for 5 days at the beginning of November.
Being apart this time was really hard for me, and resulted in some tension and arguments between us, we are both very stubborn so we clash sometimes. But we would always sort things out very quickly and it made us stronger as a couple.
November came around and we spent five very lovely days in the village. He paid for an apartment for us and we took it in turns paying for lunch and groceries for dinner. He cooked for me every night, took me to the dog kennels because he knows I love dogs (even though he's terrified of them), introduced me to his cousins and friends, and generally was very thoughtful and generous (he would always try to buy me things and made a lot of effort to make sure I was always happy and having the best time possible).
However, whilst I was there, something happened which has made me doubt him, and I'm so upset about it as despite what had happened in August, I had trusted him 100%. We were using his phone to put songs on YouTube, and a message from a customer I knew about (she was always tagging him and his friends in pictures on Facebook) came up, saying something along the lines of "why cant we just be together". I was pretty drunk and feeling brave (lol) so against my better judgement I opened and read the conversation, and it was along the lines of her telling him she loved him and him asking her why she was saying that and getting annoyed at her. It also showed he had borrowed money off of her. !!! Red flag !!!
Immediately, I asked him about her. It turns out they had a short fling (two days) last year and she had never gotten over it and was in love with him, always asking him to go on dates and getting angry when he spoke to other female customers, even though he had made it clear to her that they were just friends. I asked if she knew about me and he said no, and explained that his boss had asked him to keep me a secret so that she would keep coming back to the resort restaurant every night to spend money. I asked him why he asked her for money, and he explained that he knew she would lend him money and he didn't want to ask me because I'm his girlfriend. I was really hurt that this was all kept a secret. I understand it's all part of their job, however I wish he had explained the situation to me instead of keeping it a secret. His reasoning was that although he kept wanting to tell me, he was scared he would lose me.
I do understand his reasoning and I believe him that nothing happened between them, as while she was out there he was still calling me every night after work and falling asleep on the phone to me, and from her messages it's clear he was rejecting her. But, keeping secrets from me made me question whether I could trust him or not. I explained this to him and said, once again, that I can't be in a relationship with him if I can't trust him, and he has insisted that he will do everything possible to prove himself to me etc.
Basically, I'm just so stuck. The time we spent together in September and November was perfect until I found out about the girl. In my heart, I feel like I can trust him. I think he lied to me because he was scared of what would happen (not an excuse but in all fairness I don't know if I would've reacted well), and although he could have told her about me, this would get him in a lot of trouble at work. He still calls me everyday and I want to be with him, however, my friends say he is using me, either for money or a visa, and that he has proved himself to be a liar. And due to him knocking my trust for him, it's put doubt into my head. The friend that has met him and seen us together thinks he is genuine but that it's not worth the stress he's caused me, but obviously I think he is worth it.. I do have a temper on me, if he does something that bothers me I will happily call him out on it, which has caused arguments. This other girl would do anything for him, and I get the impression he would have a very easy relationship with her. Surely if he just wanted a visa or money, he would be with her instead, and wouldn't have stuck with me through our issues and arguments. I know there is nothing between them anymore as he made that clear in the messages I saw, and he regularly uploads pictures of me and him on his social media which she follows/is friends with him on. He has hundreds of customers on these accounts, they definitely aren't secret accounts he uses just for me (I know that's a common thing).
We had a long chat recently about how both of us have made mistakes and that we both need to be more understanding of each others needs, and I know we can be very happy together, but I'm hesitant.
I guess my question is - do you guys think I'm being naive? My gut says I can trust him, but due to his actions and the words of others, I'm worried I'm falling into the same trap as other girls have..
Also - I would love to meet some more people with partners who live in Turkey. It would be great to chat to people who have been or still are dealing with the long distance or dating a resort worker etc!
Thank you in advance and thank you if you managed to read the whole thing!,