Sorting out Fox & Tony | Pretty sure this is going to be a “part one”

I’ve been staring at this screen for a while, unsure what to say. The inability to put words on the page is exacerbated by being preoccupied by texting with Fox and listening to the humorous dialogue of my family playing Monopoly 10 feet away: “Honey, look! I get $25 for my services.” My Mom and I share a feisty sense of humour.

Today I couldn’t see the ocean due to the thick fog that lingered for most of the day. I know the water is there, but I can’t see it. It’s a bit like trying to see my path forward. I know it’s there somewhere, but it’s not clear to me.

There was also a cow that wandered out of her property and ended up on ours. The bull stayed put. I’m sure there’s a correlation there as well, but it’s elusive.

I shouldn’t make a decision about Tony or Fox based on how I feel about the other. It’s not right for me to stick with Fox because I’m bummed about Tony. Nor should I go back to Tony because Fox and I don’t share the same chemistry.

Fundamentally, I think it’s weak of me to do this – I shouldn’t use any man as an emotional crutch. Ever.

So I have to write about them separately…and any comparisons I do are just that…comparisons. For sake of discussion. And they are extraordinarily different men.

::

A few of you suggested Tony is doing a great job with the texting and it shows signs of progress. Well, today is Tuesday and as of this evening, I haven’t heard from him since Saturday afternoon when I texted him the view from the house I rented and made a romantic comment about the “blue” moon. It’s been 72 hours of silence.

I’m not hurt. Just unsurprised. You’d think something romantic would be response-worthy. But no. Seems he has no reason to think he needs to work at keeping me.

Knowing Hy would chastise me (quite rightly) I have notΒ texted him since. I’ve wanted to. Even as I type this it takes all my self-control to not pop over to my messages app and send him a text. Hy suggested I delete all his info and she would do the same for her bad texter, in solidarity.

I admitted to her I am afraid if I deleted everything and never reached out to him, I would never hear from him again. When we were dating and I went quiet, eventually I’d hear from him. But now, despite him saying he thinks of me all the time and has thought of reaching out, he never has. Yes, I’m excluding last week.

I can delete his messages which at least helps me not see him there every time I text someone else. I don’t see his face at the top of my phone. But I haven’t yet. I often screen shot things I want to remember…that’s what I’m telling myself now is the reason. I will do it.

::

Last week, after I saw him for what was supposed to be our sex club date, I felt extremely calm about things with Tony. Not because I saw a path forward, but because I completely internalized the reality that things were unlikely to change.

My therapist said about Tony it would be hard to know which of his characteristics were a result of his situation, and which were a result of his personality.

I truly don’t believe I should consider a relationship with Tony until he’s past one critical thing – an emotional willingness to go forward. I forget if I wrote about it, but at one point I told Tony he wasn’t making a decision for a lifetime. A decision to move forward was just that…going forward. I have no idea whether a relationship would actually work out with him. I just want to give it a try.

In response, he said this is a lifetime decision for him…he thinks of it as long term. Not tomorrow. So no wonder he’s not at the point where he can really try. If I framed this as a lifetime decision I would be paralysed by fear too (maybe).

The image I have in my head is one of a busy street with sidewalks on either side. Tony and I were walking side-by-side along the sidewalk and we came to a curb. I stepped off the curb and realized as I was part way across the street he wasn’t with me anymore. I looked back and saw him smiling at me but not stepping off the curb.

Instead of continuing on my way, I walked back to the edge of the street to be with him. I tried to convince him to step off the curb; that it’s going to be fine.

He distracts me and it’s lovely but I know I need to get to the other side of the street eventually.

Until he decides to step off the curb, I cannot go forward with him.

In the absence of knowing when (or if, I suppose) it is ever going to happen, I need to figure out what to do.

29 thoughts on “Sorting out Fox & Tony | Pretty sure this is going to be a “part one”

  1. Oh Ann! Yes, it’s difficult, isn’t it? I wish our paths were straight forward. But… if everyone’s path was traced already, life would be boring πŸ˜‰
    Let me just send you hugs (it’s a bit selfish, really, I could use them too today πŸ˜‰ ). We need to keep the faith that we will find our way. Sigh!

    • I’m sending hugs right back to you!!

      I think your comment about paths is quite true. And it’s why for me the image of just being willing to start crossing the street has stuck with me – it’s not that I know our path or even know for certain a long term relationship would work with him. I just want and need him to step off that curb and start walking.

      • Ah, yes, start walking… πŸ™‚
        I do understand that if he doesn’t start walking, you can’t make him.
        It’s a bit like what I experienced in my marriage: if he doesn’t want to work at it, you can’t make him. I get it. I wish there was an easy answer!

        • The easy answer is just say goodbye for what could be forever, and that’s what I’m struggling to process.

          I’m at a point where I would be willing to be patient with his stuff if only he could make that mental leap (stepping off the curb with me).

  2. I can’t help but think that Tony has ended up taking you for granted – maybe subconsciously but still. He is just so used that you are there, available, no matter what. And then again, I don’t mean this as a bad thing but in general, human beings do learn the ‘hard way’. When there is not a direct consequence to our actions, we do not make so much effort. – and I am aware you two were apart for three weeks but then again, I don’t think this was enough to give him a sense of ‘loss’. Now, I don’t think you should play games or try to vanish or any of that sort in order to give him that sense of loss – not only because I don’t think it would work but also because I think you should maintain true to yourself. You have done nothing wrong. You followed your heart and were honest about your feelings, there is nothing to regret.
    I do agree, however, with not texting him until you get a reply back.
    I know it’s easier ‘said than done’ but believe me: if / when he wants to call, he will. And that’s probably something he has to learn too: To have some initiative. I also think you’ve come to the point that you shouldn’t need to explain to him again about all the things that upset you. He knows that you appreciate a text , a short call, feel wanted / remembered. He knows that; so if he cares ‘enough’ (and the enough is tricky), he will contact you. Yes, he might have his reasons – but we could spend days trying to analyse his reasons, but ultimately, it’s the result that counts. The result of his actions.

    Tony doesn’t seem a bad guy, Ann. He doesn’t seem to be indifferent towards you either, we know that.
    But your analogy is perfect. You have to move on and do what it feels right for you – and you are right, this has nothing to do between choosing ‘two guys’. This has to do with choosing whatever path feels good for you.

    I think relationships make sense when both expectations are met. Let’s put it this way: Even if for Tony, this type of relationship is fine and his needs are met, yours are not. I know this all sounds terribly selfish and of course, if I was in the situation myself, I would probably be unable to think rationally or even move on myself. This is why I said Easier Said Than Done πŸ™‚

    Best of luck!

    • Thank you for such a thoughtful comment πŸ™‚

      Yes, I do think he’s taking me for granted and agree it’s not malicious. I suspect his ex took care of him and things and he’s definitely not a take charge and take action kind of guy. He’s expressed to me countless times how impressed he is with my ability to move forward and get stuff done.

      I think this is just who he is – and it’s probably exacerbated by his feeling overwhelmed in life right now.

      The two periods of no contact we had certainly made him realize he misses me. He told me he learned how big a part of his life I was, and there were many times he would think “what would Ann do in this situation?” But he has yet to turn that insight into real action. He said once to me he wished I knew that he was thinking about me even when he wasn’t in contact.

      The cynic in me says I’ve given him no reason to really think about whether he wants to do what I need him to do; I’ve kept coming back to him.

      I told him once I could deal with his communication challenges and be patient with him, if only he could tell me he was done with his marriage. At the time, he couldn’t. I think that’s the bottom line for me. Without that, is this really where I should be spending my time and energy?

  3. You know, I understand what you said about not texting him. However, I think I would send him the analogy you just came up with. It’s a powerful one, it may help him understand what you mean.
    I don’t know yet what you’re going to write about Fox, so it doesn’t necessarily relate to him. I just thought… it’s nice to find someone who accepts to walk across the street. But you need to make sure that he’s willing to hold your hand while you walk and look at the clouds (or cars, or shops… whatever counts for you). Not that he needs to lead you, but because you deserve someone who is not only ready to walk *next* to you but *with* you, sharing life’s little things. At least I know that’s something that’s important to me. I’ve done the living side by side, I won’t stand for it any more, I need someone I can exclaim about the things I enjoyed in my day too and who’ll listen with at least some interest…

    • Dawn, I may just send it to him. In an email perhaps; less instantaneous. Perhaps this time I’ll avoid sending it from my ASV account like I did last time πŸ™‚

      But I don’t know that I should send it until I figure out the “so what”… although that’s an in-person conversation I suppose.

      And yes, will definitely write about Fox. There are a lot of awesome things I haven’t taken the time to talk about here. He deserves to be given a lot of words. xo

      • Yes, there’s a lot to be said about email communication… πŸ™‚

        Only you can know when and if to send it… Good luck with figuring *that* out πŸ˜‰
        Looking forward to hearing about Fox πŸ™‚

  4. I know you’re eager to find a steady partner, and I know you’re in love with Tony, but why do you have to decide anything right now, at least in terms of him vs Fox? Clearly it’s on your mind a lot, but you told yourself you’d let it go a while and see what happened, why not stick to that? Reading between the lines it’s clear that you desperately WANT Tony to work out, but you’re not satisfied. Why not just keep things loose for a while longer and see what happens? You don’t want to say goodbye to him, but at the same time you can’t seem to be happy with his lack of communication. You’ve been clear about what you want, and he’s been contradictory about what he wants. Give him a little more time, and stop stressing it. Just enjoy your vacation and try not to think about it so much.

    • YES!!!
      Ann, Ok, I admit, my reaction also has to do with a comment I just read on M’s blog: “I’m a fixer”…
      Do you think that, perhaps, that fixer side of you is trying to step in and take over the rest of Ann? Saying: this has lasted long enough, now make a decision already!
      Just a suggestion of course πŸ˜‰
      But Deepexplorations has put into words something I have thought more than once without managing to find the right words…

      • My fixer nature is about creating order out of chaos, making plans, solving problems. So when faced with someone like Tony my nature is to “fix” it. Come up with plans to help him work through his stuff, systems to make him more efficient at work (he’s said he needs this), hiring a cleaner for his apartment, etc etc….

        What I’ve had to resist is doing these things. He has to do them himself or at least start… if I’m in a relationship with him I would love to help him. But I can’t do it if he a) doesn’t want it, and b) it forces him to a place he’s not ready for.

        Yes, there’s a part of me that wants all of my relationship life sorted out. But that’s not the driving factor. It has more to do with the fact that I’ve started a relationship with a new guy (Fox) who is focussed solely on me. I need to be respectful of him and figure out what I want to do going forward (even if the answer is “nothing different than today) so I can be honest with him about where I’m at.

    • I’m ready for a steady partner and it would be really nice, yes. I’m also not going to do something to my detriment, or that I think is a bad choice, because I’m ready and eager.

      I will write more about Fox and then perhaps it will come clear why I feel I need to figure out my path forward with Tony. Primarily, I don’t think it’s fair for me to be in love with Tony AND keep something simmering. I can’t fall out of love with him, but I can make a decision to really truly walk away for a while.

      I’ve come to realize that a “little more time” won’t make a difference. It’s really months or maybe even a year. Tony hasn’t even gone on another date and it’s been two months since I broke up with him. I had visions of the end of the summer being a time that hopefully some things would have moved forward, but I don’t think that’s reasonable (I knew it was unlikely, but I was hopeful).

      I am having a great time on my vacation and I find the absence of male distraction actually rather helpful to sorting out how I feel. Also the ability to write is helping as well.

      I guess I know what I need to do, but I need to work through the various implications of that decision and come to terms with them…even though I don’t know what the outcome will be.

  5. The timing here is so unfortunate. You have weathered a separation and divorce, adjusted to joint custody and built an independent life for yourself. Tony is in the very early stages of this process and seems stuck and unable to move forward. I could imagine you crossing paths with him 2-3 years down the road and maybe he would be ready to have a relationship. But I agree with you that it’s hard to envision him making substantial changes anytime soon. He’s had plenty of chances to take action and avoid losing you. I’m so sorry.

    • Thank you Holly. I knew from our first date it was a risk he wouldn’t be ready… but I also didn’t expect to fall in love with him despite all the stuff I don’t like.

      My Mom always said that timing is everything. This is an extreme example. The timing could never be right, but it’s definitely not right, now.

      Part of what I will write about next is what I see happening – or fear not happening – if I just let him know and then reach out much much later.

  6. Very good points that Holly S made. Still, I reiterate my comment yesterday – why the need to make decisions about either of them right now? Are you uncomfortable with just going with the flow and enjoying the view? Or is it that you need to make a decision for your own peace of mind?

    • If Fox was approaching things in a different way I’d be willing to just see where things go. I will write about him as well and hopefully then it will be clear. But the short answer is I need to sort out how I’m going to approach Tony so that I can treat Fox with the respect and honesty he deserves.

      • πŸ™‚ Happy to see you say that! I think Fox is totally in and just seems like a good guy. I know you said you will be writing about it, but to this point sort of think you been treating him like you don’t want to be treated. He may not be the one, but do as you want done to you…

  7. Sometimes, the best decision to make is to do nothing – just leave it alone. Your feelings for Tony are strong even though he can be a putz; likewise, you’re feeling a nice vibe about Fox and now you’re beating your head against the wall trying to decide what to do. You want to let Tony go but you can’t but the “rules” says that one of these men has to go… and I say to hell with the rules.

    You don’t need to make a decision so, yeah, I’m agreeing with Taraka. Maybe, as Taraka asks, making a decision is for your “peace of mind” when it’s clear that when you’re not thinking about making a decision about Tony and just going with the flow, your mind is at peace or, at the least, you’re enjoying what these two men bring to your table.

    So you should decide to do nothing and get the hell back to enjoying your vacation…

    • Well, I feel I do need to make a decision because Fox wants to be exclusive (he’s asked to have the conversation again) and I want to be able to be honest with him. If I decide I can’t let Tony go, then I need to ensure Fox knows where my head is at.

      (and I’m enjoying my vacation a lot!)

  8. I want you to find someone else… a man with killer chemistry and who makes it be known he wants to be with you. Wouldn’t that be grand? And while you’re at it, make it happen for me too!

    Actually I have something like that. I think. My uncertainty is that he’s fresh fresh out of a long term relationship. Not even fully out yet, so I think it’s too fast. Sigh.

    I have a hate-love relationship with love.

  9. I agree with Yessica above. I think this Tony dude takes you for granted and in some subconscious way, makes contact only when is convenient for him. This man is like that cheese part of the pizza that when you eat it, it won’t let go and it keeps extending and pulling it down until you break it off with your fingers.

    Now I didn’t mean to compare this man to the melted cheese on a pizza, but I’m kinda hungry now and that’s the first thing that came to my mind. πŸ™‚

What do you think?