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. 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.