I took Tony to his first symphony last night. With a meeting cancelled at the last minute, I met him early at a local pub to watch a sporting event. He’d never seen me in work wear before and when I strolled in with skirt suit and 3.5″ heels, he commented on how good I looked. As usual he smelled amazing and gave me the best appreciative looks and I soaked it all in. I was only one of two women patrons in the entire bar.
We watched the game and he taught me some rules and we had a couple of drinks and in between plays we chatted. He thinks I’m good luck for his team and I teased appropriately for this opinion (of course I also joked that two years now he would be saying “omg she drives me insane but she’s good for the team”).
The guy sitting next to us at the bar looked like a corporate version of Ariel. It was disconcerting and I had to look really closely to make sure it wasn’t him. He so pathetically flirted with the female bartender when he sat down, but that’s a whole other post.
Among other things, Tony said he would “totally” do the “36 questions to love” study that the New York Times wrote about recently. He had even heard about it. I was impressed.
He also talked about my upcoming party and said he was looking forward to meeting my friends. That he’s curious whether the mental images match up.
We talked about going for dinner to a favorite restaurant with two of my friends.
Future plans. Near-term future, but still.
These are all reasons I feel comfortable that he likes me. There is a contemplated future. This is such a massive difference from the vast majority of men I’ve dated since my split. Most could barely make a plan a week in advance. They didn’t ever speak of anything in the future. And no, I’m not suggesting that there is some end in mind with Tony. We don’t know what will come. But it’s a mindset, more than anything. Sometimes its subtle and sometimes its obvious, but either way, it feels good.
Prior to my joining him at the bar he had playfully joked about where that evening we could make out: in his car, or anywhere else, as evidenced by our first date. There were some logistics to sort out about getting to the concert (He said in no uncertain terms would he let me walk anywhere that night). We finished our drinks and nachos (not quite the meal we intended to have) and walked to his car.
He started to pull out of the spot. Then he realized his make out promise and stopped the car, saying “oh we were going to make out” and of course I concurred. He parked the car again. We kissed. It lasted a few minutes and then he pulled away and started to talk.
There’s no way I can give a full and accurate play by play of our conversation, but here are the key points he made:
- He feels guilty.
- Guilty because he misses his child, his child wants him around more and is always asking him why he can’t stay with him.
- He misses the family time, the three of them together. [He had told me before that when it’s the three of them it’s good, but just him and his ex it’s unpleasant].
- His wife WANTS THEM TO GET BACK TOGETHER.
- They aren’t having sex.
- He likes his life that he’s building, his apartment, etcetera.
- He doesn’t know what he wants to do.
- I am making it difficult for him to make a decision. He enjoys the time we are spending together and the things we do together.
- If it wasn’t for me, he would probably have made the decision to try again with his wife.
- This isn’t about him wanting to date others. He doesn’t regret us becoming exclusive when we did.
- I’m the only person he can talk to like this.
I obviously had some things to say, interspersed with his comments to me. I told him some of the things I’d written about:
- He is a choice for me, I make a choice every day to continue with him. And I want to know it was the same. He said absolutely I was. And given what he told me, I believe him.
- I gave up other relationships, and potential relationships, to focus on him. I don’t regret it for a second.
- He has characteristics I haven’t found in anyone else I’ve met. They matter to me, and I think we are compatible on many levels. (He agreed)
- I need to know we are on the same path together, even though I know he’s in a different place. And that path isn’t a conclusion – I don’t know where the path leads. I told him I’m not saying he’s my one and only, forever…there are things we need to continue to get to know about each other. You need to see someone angry, stressed, trying to negotiate…and how they treat their Mother.
And I also told him that he shouldn’t compare me to his ex (even though I know he will) – that he and I have never fought about children or the dishes. There’s no comparison to someone you’ve been with for 15 years. But that I also believed people don’t fundamentally change.
There it is. I don’t even know that I can write all the things that are rattling around in my brain right now. My “choice” question was answered before I even asked it, and in a way I never would have dreamed. On the one hand, I’m happy that he likes me that much. On the other hand, knowing that he’s thinking about getting back together with his ex fills me with anxiety. There’s no competing with that – and yes, I know “competing” isn’t the best word…but it’s all I got right now.
Some of my unspoken questions got answered – it makes sense he doesn’t like the “girlfriend” label. Why perhaps he can’t verbalize some of the things I want to hear. Heck, I suspect guilt is also a factor in the ED.
No matter what, I will not stay in this limbo forever. I do need someone to be emotionally available to me. My current thought is to give it a month for him to sort it out. I’m not passing on this deadline to him, but it’s important to me for two reasons:
1) I tend to lose track of time when I’m impatient or busy. I don’t want to get all worked up and demand an answer from him and it’s only been a week. So saying to myself “I’m going to be patient with him and not really address this again until the second week of April” will help me with that. I want to be fair to him. Patience has paid off well so far.
2) I need to be fair to me. Despite his best intentions, this could drag out for a while. I don’t know if he’s a fast decision maker (I don’t think so) and I will not be in limbo. The cynic in me says he could easily enjoy our time and string his wife along and have the best of both worlds. I don’t want to let that happen, so setting a time frame I think is wise.
I would love to know what you all think. About what he said, and what I should do next.