Exclusive but not serious.

A reader commented that my post about exclusivity with Tony sounded “serious”.

I hadn’t really thought about it that way, but it got me thinking – is this serious? Why did I want exclusivity and is it good for me right now?

First things first. I don’t have a lot of time or emotional energy to spend on multiple men right now.Β I have written about this before.

I need some space to focus on other things in my life. My son, my friends, and work, namely. Taking all this time to find men to date, then actually date them, is exhausting and distracting from other things that matter more. Mentally and emotionally it’s a good thing for me to be able to focus on one person.

And who am I kidding…so many of the men I engaged with caused more emotional pain than pleasure (Andrew, NIM, Shenanigans… the list goes on). It was difficult to find ones who were a good match for me. Since I found one who on the surface is a great match, why would I bother with anyone else?

Second, there are issues that need to be sorted, and doing it in the safe(r) space of exclusivity is important.

I didn’t feel like I could bring up his erectile dysfunction until I knew if we were exclusive. While I recognize it could be flawed logic, I figured if he was banging other women then it means he’s not completely into me and may not be in a place where he wants to talk to me about it. Never mind that he can’t perform at all with a condom and I’m not going to have sex with him without one, if he’s doing the same with others.

Third, I needed some security in how he feels about me, and reassurance of the time and effort I will put into him.

I can’t see him as much as I would like: once a week at best for a real date where I don’t have my child. And that assumes I am not doing anything with other friends on Friday nights. Perhaps we can see each other occasionally for a visit after my son’s bedtime.

This is not an optimal situation. But it’s much easier for me to feel comfortable in this situation when I’m not worrying about whether he’s seeing someone else. Not worrying about whether his silence is because he’s gotten distracted by some new shiny object.

Don’t get me wrong…it could happen to either of us. I could meet someone completely by accident who takes me by surprise. But that could happen any time, even if we were married. Goodness knows, I’ve been there. But to know that neither of us are seeking it out is the big difference.

So it’s a good thing for me. But it doesn’t mean we are suddenly serious. In fact, when I broached the subject with him, we agreed that while we’d like to see each other more than we are today, neither of us want something suffocating. I tried to explain this before, and it’s not the easiest, but we are on the same page. I like the idea of having a boyfriend but would be uncomfortable if someone suddenly wanted to spend all their time with me and were pondering moving in together. That kind of thing.

He said he hasn’t been interested in anyone else since he met me. Although I’m his first first date, he doesn’t feel a need to have other first dates (of course, if I start to think about this, I worry at some point he will want it – but there is nothing I can do about that). He’s excited to do more things with me – we even talked about taking our sons to some sporting events together this summer.

He understands that meeting my child is no small thing, but also that meeting him means we have some more flexibility with seeing each other. It won’t be as much of a big deal if he’s there for coffee in the morning. Yes, I recognize it could be a big deal for my son (oedipal stage and all that) but it’s all relative. It would be great to be able to spend time with him even with his child.

The child aspect of things is really important. On a conversation with a girlfriend on the weekend, she told me that someone she dated off and on had no interest in her as a Mom. No interest in her children. Ultimately, it means there is no potential with that person. As I said to Tony, I am a package deal at the end of the day. You have to love me as a fierce sexy creature AND a mother. (By the way, the Dog Trainer had this right – he said once that I was a sexy insatiable slut and a mom and an executive and he loved that I had all those aspects to me).

Tony said he likes hanging out with me, likes having sex with me, is looking forward to my shoe closet, seeing me in suits (with fun surprises underneath), and my two drawers of toys.

He wants to take it one day at a time. As do I. Yet we are both excited about what could be.

I’m excited in a way I haven’t been in a long long time.

0 thoughts on “Exclusive but not serious.

  1. Ann for some reason I feel you are trying too hard to justify being exclusive. You don’t need to. Go with it. Follow your heart. See how it feels. Just be unapologetically happy. You can always change your mind if it isn’t working for you.

    • Oh honey that’s very sweet of you to say. I can see how this post may seem that way, but I really just wanted to give a sense of how and why I made the decision I did.

      My logical mind actually matches my heart on this one. It’s no small thing at all for me to be exclusive with someone – but it’s only my mind that wonders if I can do it.

      I simply really like him.

  2. TotallyCaroline, there be the problem: her heart is fragile and scared. She’s in passive-defensive mode, waiting for him to say or do one wrong thing and she’s off. It’s totally in keeping with the Grey Knight’s First Law of Physics: for every male action there is a disproportionate female over-reaction.

    Ann, don’t you just love being spoken of in the third-person while being present? πŸ™‚

  3. You are right, there is some comfort knowing that he is not actively seeking someone else. And it opens horizons that were closed before.
    Enjoy the “getting to know him” phase πŸ™‚

    • Thank you. This post was about me explaining it, which I think is different from trying to justify it… it feels right to be which is why I did it in the first place. Despite what my hyper logical brain might worry about πŸ™‚

      I did rationalize it because that’s just what I do…and I needed to know that it made sense to me and wasn’t doing something just because I could. I needed to know that it was about HIM, not necessarily the situation I found myself in.

  4. I sincerely appreciate the thoughts you’ve shared in this post. It’s hard to move into the dating world when you have a little person that is so much a part of your life. Finding someone that respects that and takes it as seriously as you do is no small feat. As for Tony’s hydraulics issues, I would caution to not put too much thought into it, subconsciously planting a seed for destruction before the two of you can bloom. I do agree that it should be talked about, but don’t assume the issue is directly related to you. Not saying you are outright assuming, just offering advice before it’s too late.

  5. Where you both are in life helps the stars to align…live in this moment and enjoy it. Personally, from my own experience, I do think the hydraulics issue needs to be addressed before it turns to frustration

  6. I dunno… exclusivity can be just as problematic as having multiple partners because there’s so much that has to be learned, understood, accepted, etc.. Yep, it’s easier to keep up with one guy than it is several guys… but if you’re timid about it, that doesn’t make being exclusive any easier and more so if it’s not “serious” because you still wind up having to manage things

    Being exclusive/monogamous isn’t always as simple as people say it should be and more so if one is concerned about their exclusive partner being into them as is required; you want to “own” them (not literally, of course) but in a situation where you might not be able to garner all of their attention when you need it… or give them your undivided attention as they need or as you’d want to.

    If you know he has, um, hydraulic issues, try to be understanding about it – it happens to us and, no, it doesn’t make us happy at all and if you make it an “issue,” you could do more harm than good.

    I do hope that this works out for you; be fearless in this… but be careful, too.

  7. I’m happy to see you’re excited Ann. It’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it? Add to that your “grown up” view that anything can distract at any time for either of you. Meeting/introducing the kids is kind of a big step. Yes, it makes things easier, but it also can complicate if things don’t work out. I dated a guy who told me straight up he didn’t want anyone to meet his daughter till he had a solid idea on the relationship. It is hard on all involved if you break up, but have grown to love the children (and they love you back). Does that make sense or am I trying to express myself too quickly? In any event, I am hoping the best for you Ann!

    • I completely understand where you are coming from. My son has only ever met the Giant (for an hour, and was introduced as a friend), Johnny Id (and my son knew he was a “special friend”, although they didn’t both sleep over in the house together), and now Tony.

      So I don’t do it lightly. It would be different if I was still week-on week-off with my son, because I could have lots of time with someone and they wouldn’t have to meet. But now it’s a bit different for me.

      Andrew told me it was a minimum of 6 months before he would introduce anyone to his son. Which seemed extreme to me. Because what if that person doesn’t get along with your child?

      It’s not an easy call to make, ever. And I’m not a fan of either extreme.

What do you think?