I want to be your choice, not your default. | An open letter to Tony, which he'll never read.

I know how easy it is to maintain the status quo.

You met me on your very first, first date.

I’m lovely, funny, and smart. I laugh at your jokes and don’t push you too much to open up. I will f*ck you whenever you ask, eat burgers with you, and watch sports with you. I am understanding of your work schedule and its limitations.

I’m easy. I’m a “cool girl”. 

And you? You are handsome, funny, and smart. Your sensuality turns me on: I like how you smell and how you touch me. You are the actual adventurous soul I want to be with, not the one I thought I married. You want to do new things with me and you talk about it in the future tense. I simply like being with you.

But I know you are not perfect. You have yet to get your shit sorted with your ex and your son. I am often unsatisfied with the sex we have. You don’t share your hopes, fears, and dreams. While you remember every single thing I’ve told you, you don’t ask me anything. You don’t yet realize you can have what you want with someone other than your ex.

I’m with you not only because of how you make me feel – more importantly, I’m with you because of the person you are.

I gave up things to be exclusive with you. I made the conscious choice. I turned my back on real and potential lovers to see what this could be with you.

That choice is not one time only. I decide to be with you every single day. 

Can you say the same?

I do not want to be your default. Because it’s easy, convenient, and I’m already here. Because I f*ck you and do nice things for you.

I spent 15 years being a default. And having a default. I vow to never be that, and do that, again.


Do not stay with me because I make you feel good.

Stay with me because you want to make me feel good, too.

Stay with me because you love the person I am, and the person you know I will be in 20 years.

And if you don’t, then let me go.

77 thoughts on “I want to be your choice, not your default. | An open letter to Tony, which he'll never read.

  1. Ann, this is precisely something Tony needs to read or hear from you directly. It sound as though communication has opened up a little but something as heartfelt as this will be held back by you because you are being sensitive to him…maybe hypersensitive?

    You are doing everything right. You are immensely patient with him, especially in the areas where your need have yet to be fully met.

    I hope that you can share this with him!

    • I don’t know if I’m his default. That’s the thing that starting to knock about in the recesses of my brain. But I don’t know he could answer me right now even if I did ask him.

  2. Hey cool girl, great post. That is why he should be with you and I think even without him reading this that the relationship will get there probably soon, there being knowing that he chooses you die to your sheer awesomeness.

    My Q 4 u, I’d he an expressive man? Sometimes we can be simple creatures and not have the words.

  3. I seem to have missed yesterday’s post. I’ll have to go look later. But for now: this one is heartfelt, and I know very well what you mean by being the default. I was the default for far too long too.
    However, may I point to something that bothers me in what you wrote?
    “I’m with you only because of how you make me feel – more importantly, I’m with you because of the person you are.” This seems inconsistent with what you ask of him: “Do not stay with me because I make you feel good. Stay with me because you want to make me feel good, too.”

    This sounds like you are not holding yourself up to the same standards as him. Or maybe it’s just my over tired brain. I need a nap.
    PS: I agree with Will. You need to talk to him about this. Even though I understand that you don’t want to have deep conversations with him every time you see him πŸ™‚

    • That should have said “NOT only for how you make me feel”… I will
      go check my post!! Because yes, it’s more than that and I don’t have a double standard πŸ™‚

      • Yes, everything in its own time. Just make sure you bring it all up before you start to resent him for things you haven’t discussed with him.
        I know I am guilty of doing that all too often. It’s not something I’d recommend to anyone πŸ˜‰

        • Very good advice as always. I can see that the resentment is starting to creep in, which is definitely not good. So I suppose it’s better for him for me to tell him when I’m in a good headspace than when I’m totally frustrated and about to give up.

          • Exactly! don’t wait until you’re so frustrated that you cannot stand it any more and resentment has started to creep in. That would be setting him up for failure without even giving him a chance to discuss it in a reasonable way. The more you wait, the more you are becoming angry at things not changing. But how could they change, you haven’t told him what really bothered you!
            As usual, it’s always easier to give advice from this side of the screen than when you’re experiencing it first hand. πŸ™‚
            Good luck!

  4. Ann, I have to be honest here. In every post you have about Tony, I have somehow picked up an undercurrent of frustration. Sometimes it’s clearly evident, other times it is insidious. Then let’s put the sex on the table. I am addicted to Dan Savage’s (a sex columnist) weekly podcast. Again and again, week after week, he has callers or he talks about sexual incompatibility. He says again and again that this is a relationship killer. No matter how much you love the person and how great life is outside the bedroom, at the end, the sex will determine the relationship. I realize that every relationship is unique and it’s damn near impossible to find a good guy, but I also am now realizing I can’t compromise on some things and sex is at the top of that list.

    Hugs as you sort through all this.

    • Thank you Maggie, and I do agree with you. But here’s where I stand on that with Tony. He is very sensual and very sexual. The way he moves, takes control, or relinquishes it, is very much what I want. He is open to trying new things, including perhaps involving others and going to sex clubs.

      The frustration comes out probably because, despite all that, he just can’t stay hard in a sex session. It literally comes and goes. I know what is possible, given we are otherwise so compatible, and it can be AMAZING. Now as I learn more knowing at least two things that could make a difference…and I need him to know that it’s important to me.

      It would almost be better if we weren’t so compatible…then at least the carrot wouldn’t be dangling, just so.

  5. There you have it. There is what you are worried about. I get it. You see where this could be wonderful and let’s get to the ‘happily ever after’ part. It’s hard to be patient.

    • I’m not at the ‘happily ever part’ with him yet because there is still lots to learn. But I’m willing to keep going down that path – but it needs to be a conscious choice on his part, in my opinion.

      • I sense you want to be at that part already. I think he is making that choice. I think he is also still wading thru the muck that is a recent divorce, and learning to come to terms with the facts and the emotions. He is lucky to have found you.

        • I don’t want to split hairs so apologies if it comes across this way, but I can honestly say while I would very much like to have him as my boyfriend, to continue to deepen a relationship…there is a big difference in my head between that and knowing that he’s someone that I could be with for a long time. There is potential, or I wouldn’t be dating him. But there are so many things that could break a relationship that you often don’t see for a while – what is someone like when angry, under stress, etc. How they treat their Mother. All that stuff πŸ™‚

  6. Why call this an open letter he will never read? You should tell him this shit. Shouldn’t you?

    What I don’t know, since I haven’t been following you for long enough, is if Tony reads your blog or knows you blog about your life so openly. I don’t even know if Ann is your real name, or a name created to protect your identity.

    But he needs to know this stuff (look at me all brazen and shit when I can barely ever really tell men the truth – especially when it’s at risk of being confrontational). I suck at relations and relaying true emotions…

    • Well Marie… first thing, “open letter” just felt sassy. Perhaps I need to work on my titles a bit more.

      Tony doesn’t know I blog and so certainly doesn’t read it. The advice of many of my readers was to not breathe a word of the blog (http://wp.me/p3SI98-Uv) and given some past relationships I’ve had with bloggers, it seems prudent.

      I should tell him, and I will. But timing is important. The last few dates we’ve had, I’ve busted out some serious, relationshippy questions. I don’t want every conversation to have a heavy component. I only see him once a week. So perhaps the next time, or the time after, I will bring some of this up. I believe in honesty but I also know that my timeline may not align to everyone else’s. So I’m practicing patience.

      And don’t worry about being brazen… it’s often easier to see the path others should take, then ourselves πŸ™‚

      • πŸ™‚

        I’ve had one guy recently change ideas on dating me when he read my blog and directly told me he didn’t want to be another blog post. So yeah… stick to your approach.

        And you have no idea how brazen I can be when I’m in my bed alone at night! You,re right, take your time and don’t rush things.

        • I was broken up with quite publicly and painfully via someone else’s blog, after a six month romance… the aftermath (for both of us) wasn’t pretty. So I don’t care to repeat that again. At least with the guy I’m currently dating, he’s also not a blogger. That was brutal.

          I have the best comebacks and scenarios after the fact!!

  7. Oh sweetie.

    You know, I’m going to parrot what everyone else said.

    Maybe just stick it in an email to him. Or print it out and let him read it over a glass of wine. Or just speak it to him.

    Let him know you’ve been the epitome of patience (you have been, so proud of you over here) and you’ve given him the space and support he’s needed but he’s not supporting you back.

    Relationships are give and take, the fact that he’s being an arse about “labels” would set me off. He’s either in this with you or he’s not. He’s either single or he’s not. It’s not fucking rocket science. And if he’s in this with you then he needs to put in more effort. Into your sex life, into you. Even if it means using the saw on you because he can’t perform.

    Just because a man can’t get it up or keep it up – shouldn’t mean that he isn’t interested in you sexually or at least show you that you’re still desirable. Especially if you’ve had the talk and he is being blatantly honest with you in regards to what and why his erections go walk about. Us wimmin, we’re mostly understanding folk – so long as we’re still getting seen to. Especially in a mono relationship!!!


    I think you guys have a lot to talk about.

    Hugs. <lots of those.

  8. I agree with Sharn.
    I also agree with everyone else who says that you need to bring this up with him, no matter how unsolicited or welcomed this is. Because, after all, it is how you feel.
    I know that you don’t want to ‘scare’ him away, so you are trying to keep a few things to yourself. And yes, I am not going to lie, this might scare him away, if he is in as much of a different place as we all think he is at the moment (we could be wrong, of course). At the same time, even if everyone else will tell you ‘Just be happy, just enjoy the moment’, that won’t make your doubts and feelings vanish (I suppose).
    Let’s think of life in general like sex. We can’t just be focused on pleasing the other person. We have to be pleased as well. I know he is a nice guy and he is not doing anything to purposely hurt you. He probably thinks that what is good for him, right now, is good for you too. Many things can happen from the moment he realizes that you two are actually at different ‘places’ at the moment. And it is better that this happens at this stage than later. I keep thinking about what happened to Andrew: Even if those are completely different situations, you did end up being honest to him about your feelings. Did this scare him away? Yes. Do you regret doing so? I am pretty sure not.

    I hope my comment is not misunderstood as ‘Just go and put a lot of pressure on him’. You are not doing this to put pressure on him or force him to make decisions he is not ready to. You are doing this because you need to express your feelings, even this means being on a different wavelength.

    • Yessica, thank you. Your and Sharn’s comments really helped me solidify my thoughts on the matter. I wrote about it and posted today.

      And no, I don’t regret the outcome with Andrew. It was the right thing for me, although I do know I could have been more patient, it was triggered by things I knew I was feeling as a result of things he was / wasn’t doing.

  9. So I’m here again and had a second read and also based on some of the comments.

    As a dude, I’d suggest, talk to him. Bring it up and talk to him. There will never be just a perfect time to bring the topic up. Sending him a note or an email or whatever other forms of contact tend to be fruitless because we don’t pay much attention to those. They are easier to put under the rug. But if you talk to him, he doesn’t have a choice but to listen and I think it’s only fair that he does. It’s unfair to you to be carrying on the potential for something to become an emotional burden and while he may have issues on the other side of his life, with you is only you and no one else.

    Just adding my two cents.

    • Actually, what worked for me (on a different subject, but it was still an unpleasant talk to have) was asking for a sign, for the right moment to start the talk. For the clarity to know when was the right time. Because that is often the most difficult thing, finding the right time. And having asked for that sign, when the time came, I knew.
      Maybe it would work for you too Ann… πŸ™‚

      • We’ve had a few conversations about his ED (although I’ve not called it that) so I think that door is open now… we texted humorously about his inability to reduce the “self-love and weed”. So I do think I can broach that topic now.

        The other one though…I think as you wisely say, there needs to be the right time. I may just get a sign some day that answers my question, but barring that, I do think I will need to find a way to get some comfort.

        • Everything will come in its right time. I am sure it will be the same for you too.
          Whether you choose the timing or shove it a little to get a discussion going… it will happen when it is the right time.

    • Hi, welcome (again), and thank you. You are very right there is no perfect time and that a discussion is far better than an email. My writing hardly has all the nuances a conversation does.

      Appreciate your support πŸ™‚

  10. Excellent post, little lady.

    Sadly, the subtext at the ending troubles me. You are asking for a commitment, a mutual outlook that isn’t there yet and seem to have decided that if it isn’t forthcoming that you are willing to move on.


    Patience, dammit.

    • Thank you.

      Why should I not move on if my needs are not being met and the person not meeting them is unwilling to make any adjustments? I’m not saying that I would or wouldn’t but I’m curious.

      I’m being patient.

      I’ve written more about this. Curious what you think about the next one.

  11. Wow! I’ve blogged a letter to my future boyfriend, husband, unicorn…but this, this hits home for my past. I gave up a lot, as a default, because of love, comfort and honestly at the time it was much easier to stay unsatisfied, after repeated conversations of trying to “get through” to him. I wasted 10 years, I had hopes, and as they fell to the wayside I finally had the wake up call to say~ It’s my time. I matter and I deserve someone who is willing to give to me all that I am willing to give to them. Possibly different scenarios for you and I, but I can still relate. I say, have the conversation, even the ED one(been there done that as well) and the need for more part. Simply because, yes he may leave, but from experience (my own) it is better in the end to be happier alone than unfulfilled with someone else. I hope you don’t take offense to this. Paula

    • I’m glad it only took you 10 years to realuse that. It took me 20 πŸ™‚
      I also agree with you that it’s better to be alone than unsatisfied with someone else. And I’m sure Ann knows it too πŸ™‚

        • Hey, don’t let my comment fool you! I long to be held and hugged and basically taken into someone’s arms and acknowledged by someone. There are days when I feel awfully alone and sad. Just read last week’s posts and you’ll see. It’s no walk in the park.
          But last week, my ex asked whether I was really happier now that we were separated (is tone was mocking, he meant to point out that I am still depressed and struggling). The thing is, the answer to that question is non-equivocally YES! Yes, I’m bettre off not living with him than when I was living with him.
          We’ll make it. All of us. Some day, we’ll find the perfect person, just right for us, who will love us for who we are, with our qualities and all our faults too.

          • I understand that feeling, trust me I do. It’s those moments where I think hmm could I just deal with it and then I realize no, I’m better off where I am, and eventually things will work out the way they are supposed to. But I do miss those moments, the kiss upon the forehead, the warm embrace.
            Having that insight, that we are happier is so empowering, and much needed. Yes we all struggle, but I think in the end the struggle now is dare I say easier. Love your point of view on this!! πŸ™‚

          • Thank you. See, I’m sleep deprived and don’t know where I replied and wehre I didn’t. :-/
            Oh well. Yes, it’s the fact we can feel the struggle is now easier.
            I don’t necessarily miss those moments, right now he managed to make me cringe at the mere thought of just seeing him, so forget about imagining or remembering the times when he hugged me at night. Because that’s about the only times when he really sought me, when he was asleep.
            I’m glad you were able to see that you are better off where you are. I think the longer we wonder, the longer we suffer for nothing.
            I did most of my wondering while still married… which is probably why it took me so long to make the decision πŸ™‚

        • Yes, it’s the ‘just for a little while’ part that my ex doesn’t seem to get. Or the fact that him starving me willfully may not be most conducive to my emotional well-being. So it’s not because I’m by myself that I suffer, it’s because he does all he can to make me suffer more.
          But he never got me, I don’t see why it would change now we’re apart πŸ™‚
          I’m glad you only question it for just a little. It means it was truly the right decision for you πŸ™‚

    • Hi Paula, and welcome πŸ™‚

      First of all there is no offense taken. I like debate and contrary opinion (as well as support and encouragement!!) and people telling their own stories and all of those things here.

      I didn’t know how common that was but as I’m hearing peoples stories I think it happens so often, for so many reasons. I’m sorry you wasted 10 years. I try not to see my own marriage as a waste… I had some great times and my son was undoubtedly the best result πŸ™‚

      • Thank you, I found your page from Gratuitous Rex, glad I did, I am really enjoying your posts. Yes I kind of thought the same thing ( not many people having the same or similar issues) it’s more common than I thought as well. I don’t see my relationship as a waste (although we never married, and no children) but it was and will be a learning experience for me. It’s taught me, now that I can see the past clearer, what it is that I need/want/desire in a relationship. I need to put myself first, and that’s not being selfish, but in that instance, I can then be more present as well. I look forward to reading more, and I agree, your son is by far the best of your relationship πŸ™‚

        • I made an error in your name and made you a guy…sheesh…what a welcome!! (it’s been edited now)

          Glad you are enjoyed what you are reading. I do think there are things I would do differently if I went back in time, but I don’t think there is any point in regretting the past. As you say, it was a learning experience. Like you, it seems, I’m taking those learnings and applying it to what I’m doing today.

          Sounds like we are in the same place with regard to putting ourselves first. It impacted a serious relationship I had with another blogger (you can find the story under “Johnny Id”) and it was very difficult to make those decisions.

          Look forward to seeing you around! And I will come check out your blog as well.

          • Don’t worry about the name, I saw it and didn’t think twice about it, but thanks for correcting it. πŸ™‚
            That’s really all any of us can do, take what we can from the experience and move forward the best way we know how. It’s a learning curve, and hopefully it gets better as we go along.
            I’ll definitely be reading more of your posts, and thank you for following my blog. Hope you find something you like πŸ™‚

  12. Wow! Somehow I missed this one the first time through. Do you think you can allow yourself to feel this way again…with Tony.

    I’m ready to jump right back onto the Tony bandwagon….if you give us permission.

    Until then…be careful with your heart!!!

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