Ironically, she was the best friend of a nurse who had looked after me in hospital.On our first date, I confided in Maria about my testicular cancer and how doctors were monitoring me every fortnight with X-rays, blood tests or CT scans to see whether the cancer had returned.
It took me a while to talk about my experience, but now I am very open about it with everyone.
It is a very sensitive topic, but I feel I can laugh and joke about it.
I'm now in remission and have six-monthly check-ups.
Three years ago, I had begun working as a hotel manager when I decided to undergo prosthetic surgery - after initially rejecting the idea. It took a few weeks to get used to the prosthetic testicles.
Then I blurted out that I had little chance of fathering children. At 21, I knew she was too young to really understand.
Still with my ego dented, I spotted her again in the same pub six months later.Once, I pulled off our double-glazed front door from its hinges after a minor row with Maria had escalated.I tried testosterone patches but my skin reacted badly.For months beforehand, I had suspected something wasn't right because I had felt a dull ache, but there was never any serious pain.So I dismissed my fears, convinced it was a sporting injury.When I was first diagnosed at 25, I had never heard or read anything about testicular cancer.