I got on the Tony ride and turns out, it's going somewhere.

~Previous Post~

I called Tony the next morning to make arrangements. Keenly aware he was doing me a big favor, I was tripping over myself to make sure it was okay. He said “Lady, just tell me the plan and I’ll do it.”

He met me at the car place; I hopped in his car and we drove to a local deli he’d researched.

On the drive there, when I told him my car wouldn’t be ready until late that afternoon, he told me his plan was to take me back to his place, have lots of sex, maybe get me stoned, have more sex. He was affectionate and upbeat. Fun.

As we consumed a latke, pickles, and smoked meat sandwiches, he noticed the very dark bruise on my upper arm, just below my shoulder, where he’d bit me multiple times on the weekend. He said it couldn’t possibly be from him and I retorted it indeed was.

He said it was beautiful work he’d done.

(I forgot to mention he also left a small mark on my neck from a nibble during sex; I had to hide it with makeup the morning I returned Fox’s stuff.)

Tony talked about his shitty weekend that led to him cancelling coming over that Sunday. He’d fought with his ex (verbally), his brother (physically; he had a black eye), and almost got into trouble with the police (unrelated to either).

He paid and led me back to his car. On the way he grabbed me and kissed me, his hands roaming at the bottom of my skirt and over my ass. I confess I love it that he’s that way with me.

Back in the car, I wish I could remember exactly how the conversation went. After seeing one advertised, we joked about going to an “erotic massage parlor” together, and the next thing I know, he says:

“Ann, there is NOTHING like the physical connection we have. It’s the best sex of my life, ever, and I don’t think it will be better with anyone else.

The thing holding me back from a relationship with you is I don’t want to think about having sex with only one person ever, for the rest of my life. I had that for far too long.

Hearing you and Hyacinth joke and talk on the weekend it was obvious you’ve both experienced so much more than I have. You’ve experimented.Β 

I don’t think I’ve even had a one night stand, ever. I don’t think I want one…it would make me worry about performance and how to be, but it’s something I’ve never done.”

I told him I understood completely; I was like that after my marriage to Will.

I reassured him I wasn’t angry and I was happy he could be honest with me.

But then – of course – my brain was trying to quickly process what I was hearing. Was he saying he wanted to be in a relationship with me but be open? Or just fuck on occasion and he was going to date and seek out others?

So I asked him whether he wanted to date multiple people and pursue sexual relationships with them. In other words, on his own.

He said he had no interest in dating anyone else but me. He said he’d not met anyone else but me in the time we were apart.

So I told him I was willing – and wanted to – explore others with him. But I didn’t want to be in an open relationship. I didn’t want to be polyamorous. Nor could I date him knowing he was dating others (because honestly, it would be torture to have not much time with him and think someone else was taking up what little time he made for people).

I said I was more inclined to be a swinger, but it was all still a theory for me.

He said he didn’t want to be a swinger; he wanted to be with just me, but perhaps together we could play with others once in a while. Like a birthday gift. Maybe a few times a year.

I told him I didn’t want to only have sex with just one person for the rest of my life, either.

At that point, despite wanting to get everything nailed down precisely as is my nature (did I put words in his mouth or did he for sure not want to date others, did that mean he was my boyfriend, were we then exclusive, etc.), I changed the subject. I also realized I can’t lose sight of what I want and need from a relationship; some care and feeding.

::

Part of me was singing from the rooftops with excitement and the other part felt nothing but fear and hesitation. That tightrope walk just got even more difficult.

We arrived at his place, he lifted my ass to the edge of his couch and was on me right away. We got stoned as he stripped me naked and fooled around on his couch until he decided his king sized bed was where he wanted to play.

I remembered the last time I got high with him, I got super chatty and romantic. I reminded him; he said he could deal with it. I did, for the record, have another orgasm from nipple stimulation.

In the midst of sex (which seemed to last for hours), I asked him whether he was actually ready to be a boyfriend.

He paused ever so briefly so I jumped in: “it doesn’t mean you have to see me three times a week”.

“Oh Ann” he said, “I know it does.”

It was a fair point.

More thrusting, another orgasm for me, and then he said “I don’t want to date anyone else, or have sex with anyone else. Maybe just once in a while. With you. But I’m not ready for Christmas dinners or family reunions.”

My gut added that statement to its ledger and started processing.

Later, wrapped in his arms, I told him he’ll need to have a reliable SLA (Service Level Agreement) for responding to my texts. Thinking about his Christmas comment, I told him it was okay if he was a little behind me, but I needed him to be on the same path.

He was quiet. I didn’t press it.

After he dropped me off, stuck in traffic on my way home, I had time to think about what he’d said.

I was excited, but even more so, cautious. I don’t know whether he can be all I need. Obviously he’s not in a place yet where we are going to be integrating into each others lives. Maybe this is just about the physical connection and this is his way of getting the fun we have, but the first hot chick that shows interest in him, he’ll wander down her path.

I can’t expect full boyfriend things from someone who’s not in that place. With Fox, I had the opposite, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I learned something from that. Maybe Tony’s distance will give me the freedom I need, and maybe it will be too lonely. Chemistry can’t overcome all issues.

I had way more questions than I had answers.

But one thing I knew; given how much I enjoy being with him, I’d be stupid not to give it a try.

Right??

~Next Post~

62 thoughts on “I got on the Tony ride and turns out, it's going somewhere.

  1. I think u have to keep an aloofness about you for the time being, even if it’s not really being true to yourself if you want the outcome of a real relationship. Tony needs to decide that he’s made this decision by himself and for himself. And you, my dear, as hard as it is to do, need to temper your emotions for now — which kind of sucks, but unfortunately this is how u play the game. I want u to win.

    • Caroline, I love that you think I can do aloof!

      I do know what you are saying. I need to be patient and just chill. I know what path I need to take and honestly it’s a matter of determining whether I can take it.

  2. It’s never easy for you Ann. You seem like you are finding some common ground though. I do know that being a couple and having a bit of fun with others now and again together is something that’s very special and far better that doing it as a single. Let’s hope you can both develop those thoughts and give us voyeurs some good reads. All the best.

    • I wouldn’t want to be with him again if everything is exactly the same.

      But it’s not, exactly. There have been some shifts in what he’s saying. And he’s been more present. It’s small but important to me. It might not be enough for a while, but it’s enough for right now for me to see what happens.

  3. Basically from what I’m reading, it all still adds up to “he’s not ready, and might never be.” To recap:

    -He wants to see you and have lots of sex with you..
    But he doesn’t want to integrate your lives in any meaningful way.
    -He doesn’t want to have sex with anyone else..
    Except when he thinks maybe he does. Which he’s never done.

    To me, it sounds like a stew of him not really knowing what he wants, seasoned with a fear of commitment and a dash of having his cake and eating it too (did anyone else just get hungry?).

    The idea that you dated for what was it, 6 months(?), and yet he still doesn’t want to or is ready to integrate into your life tells me he’s still pretty much in the same place as before–see you when it’s convenient, have sex, and otherwise go back to leading your own respective lives.

    All that said, you’re clearly not ready to be done with this ride, so at this point all you can do is just hang on and see where you end up.

    • He has a huge fear of commitment, you are absolutely correct. He told me a long time ago that he doesn’t see things the way I do – which is that we were making a decision to see where things go. He sees it as far more permanent.

      So yeah, this may be all the same stuff. But as I’ve said to some others, there have been some shifts in his attitudes. Whether that amounts to a change in behaviors, we shall see.

  4. I believe he makes you happy. I think it isn’t realistic to expect instant perfection/happiness. Just as it is unrealistic to expect perpetual happiness. Relationships aren’t static, they grow, they evolve. Patience Ann. Tony knows what he wants. Maybe he’s a little “gun shy” but clearly the basics are there for both of you. I really want your happily ever after. I think it could be with Tony.

  5. Josh (comment above) may be right about Tony being a stew of thoughts/desires etc. That’s the way I think he was before, but it definitely sounds like he “gets” it at least this time. Whether he’ll keep going, or if he’s ready to go where you want is the question.

    He doesn’t want to date or have sex with anyone else randomly, but he doesn’t want to be monogamous the rest of his life. I totally get that and it sounds like a good compromise to me. You’re probably on the right track by keeping it loose and easy, as long as you keep it clear with him that you want more than FWB.

    • I’ve been clear with what I want and need… but I also put up with not getting that for a long time, so perhaps my words didn’t mean much.

      But, this *is* a guy who cried when I told him I couldn’t see him anymore. I do think he missed me in my absence. He’s the one that came back… I have to believe those things mean something.

  6. I don’t have time to read all comments, but…
    this is exactly where I’ve been for the past 9 months. We’re dating. Exclusivity is not an issue for us, so that’s a little different. But… I don’t think either of us is really ready for Xmas dinners and integrating into each other’s lives. But we are serious about one another. We don’t hide from one another, nothing we don’t hide from ourselves. Well… maybe one tiny detail πŸ˜‰
    And I totally understand your wanting to sing from rooftops. I felt this just last week πŸ™‚
    What I mean is: it’s possible to enjoy it, if you don’t have expectations as to a particular time frame. As you said, as long as you are on the same path (and I’d say, from experience, even when you aren’t)…
    Maybe you’ll like the freedom and free time. Maybe you won’t. But then you can always talk about it and find solutions. Because he will move forward too. This is not a fixed thing and you have to accept what he is giving you now in another 10 months or 10 years. This is a journey where two people evolve into a couple, and within themselves.
    It’s a beautiful journey, and it’s worth undertaking πŸ™‚
    All the best Ann!

    • Beautiful comment Dawn, thank you. I agree we should be moving forward together. If it doesn’t happen, then I will reconsider what I’m doing with him. Because as much as we have lovely chemistry and fun times together, it doesn’t outweigh all the bad stuff, if it’s there.

  7. What is the sitch with the ex wife and child? I wonder if some of this hesitation is about that. He isn’t ready to consider building a life with a new person and his child. Im a year and a half into my divorce and that has been a huge stumbling block.

    In the first 2 yrs after I divorce it feels like:
    You want the comfort of the relationship you had before
    You want the freedom to explore the new “you”
    You are excited about the future and terrified by it at the same time.
    You want someone who is available to hold your hand in the emotional times
    You do NOT want to pick the wrong person again
    You dont want to add more drama or pain into your relationship with your ex or child.

    Cut the guy some slack. This is big big emotional and psychological stuff

  8. This sounds Awesome…. but, here are the fears that I would haven, having fallen time and time again for Avoidant guys. When you were with Fox, you were the closest to getting away from Tony that you were in the year or so that I have followed your blog. As much as it would terrify Tony to be the totally-present and integrated boyfriend that you want, it also terrifies him to lose you. Up until Fox, you never kicked him out for being not-enough. You never set clear boundaries with him. But, Fox (and more importantly, the boundaries you set while you were giving your all to Fox) may have scared him. As a result, he may unconsciously be stepping up to win you back, and only to win you back, but keep watch on what happens once things get comfortable again.

    So, I support you in having the kinds of conversations you are having right now. One way that Tony is stepping up in the right way is he is willing to talk and willing to be honest.

    Be careful if he makes statements like, “X would be hard for me to do now, but with time, I could try to change.” I would caution you against putting your bets on future-Tony, and ask yourself to just take him or leave him as he is now.

    • Fox and Tony were 180 degrees different, that’s for sure.

      But this is very wise advice. One thing Tony has never done is made false promises. He may go silent and I fill in the blanks with something I believe, but to his credit he’s been open about what he can and cannot do.

  9. Eh, roll with it. It’s life. I could write out a long, long winded thing but really there is something worth discovering so discover it and be more open with your needs and if it doesn’t work, you tried twice, and not all is lost because you do have amazing sex.

  10. it might be,, generally people are our ex’s for a reason. I think that in order for this to work between both of you, you’ll both have to change a bit to meet in the middle for a happy compromise. At least from what I’ve seen through what you’ve shared. Tony seems, based on the recent sharing’s, open to the prospect of change.

    I hope that both of you are able to get to a happy place. *hugs*

    • Thanks for the hugs; much welcome.

      I agree that I will need to make some adjustments in order to go forward and if this will work. And while I can hopefully be patient with him, I am also not going to accept what I think are some basic things I need.

  11. I don’t understand how or why you think this is any different from before. It’s exactly the same thing wrapped up in different paper with a different coloured bow on it so somehow you don’t recognise it (you will though, once you unwrap it) (wow that metaphor totally worked right through to the end there… :P).

    Think about *what wasn’t working* for you before and whether he’s addressing any of those (hint to the wise: he’s not). He’s not wanting to change his level of commitment, his place in your life, his lack of communication, the time he can give you, his unreliability, the relationship… etc.

    You haven’t even fully got onto the roundabout and you are ALREADY wanting to negotiate the things that you couldn’t fix before when you went through all that (over and over). And this even though that’s not a thing he offered you. So you DO see it. You are just emotionally going ‘nah, not the same thing!’

    He likes you and he wants to hang out when he can and have lots of great sex with you and he’s trying to be honest with you about it. If you can take that and run with it there’s clearly a LOT of fun and awesomeness in it for you, probably for as long as you want it. But if your heart keeps grabbing onto these titbits and trying to force them into something they aren’t, you’re really just getting back on the exact same roundabout.

    Ferns

    • With all due respect (and I do respect your point of view and advice, because it is mostly very sound), I disagree…
      Tony hasn’t changed deep down, and it’s for the better, because that’s the guy she fell in love with! The question is: have his ways changed enough that she can be satisfied with the newer version.

      From what I read, it’s not that he isn’t willing to see her 3 times a week if he can (he’s proven as much over the weekend), it’s more that he doesn’t want to make promises because he doesn’t want Ann to be disappointed.
      He has said that he is more than interested, since he said he didn’t want anyone else.
      And he knows he still has stuff to deal with and doesn’t want to be introduced to her family right away. You seem to think it’s because he’s afraid of commitment. I think it’s more because he’s not ready for that stress in his life or on this relationship.

      You seem to assume that he’s not willing to grow, but it doesn’t fit in with what Ann is telling us. What I hear is that he’s not ready for it now, not that he never wants it.
      He has proved that he’s willing to change his level of communication already.

      I may be looking at it with rose coloured glasses, but you certainly seem to see mostly the empty portion of the glass.

      The thing is, Ann may have changed too since she broke up with him. She has since had the nice guy who wanted to integrate her in her life, only to realise that he was also breaking her trust in ways that I think are worse than anything Tony ever did. So now… he was in her life and isn’t any more. Great! It must feel so much better than what Tony ever offered (I’m being a bit sarcastic here πŸ˜‰ ).
      Maybe her expectations have changed too?
      And if not… it will always be time to figure it out when she gets there, discuss it with him, and move on, then, if things can’t be resolved in a way that suits them both πŸ™‚

      • No worries about any disagreement. I know Ann appreciates hearing different points of views, and I think it’s great that she gets them.

        I read (mostly) women’s blogs and I get frustrated that they (and most of their commenters) have this magic ability to pull a rose coloured veil over obvious patterns of behaviour.

        They excuse and justify and rationalise this stuff a million different ways, and honestly, it’s never that complicated.

        When I get frustrated enough, I comment :).

        Could I be wrong? Absolutely.

        But I’m not :).

        Ferns

        • I also think that we attract what we look for. Looking at life from too cynical a point of view can only bring disappointment. A sort of self fulfilling prophecy. So if she is going into it thinking it’s going to fail, then I’m also almost 100% certain it will.
          Now, if she is going into it thinking it may work, and so does Tony… it just may πŸ™‚
          I have seen self fulfilling prophecies at work. It’s a sad thing.
          I have also seen people who don’t want to see what the reality is, what’s staring them in the face. And it’s sad.
          But… I don’t think that’s what Ann’s doing. I think she sees what is there, what isn’t, and still, the pros outweigh the cons and she’s willing to give it another go.
          I’ll admit that I’ve always been of the ‘give people a second chance’ kind. Has it come to bite me in the arse? Sure it has. Do I regret doing it still? No, I learnt from it, it made me who I am today πŸ™‚
          Do I have all the answers? No, I certainly don’t.
          But as I wrote recently to someone dear to my heart… Some things in life are magical. There is some connections that cannot be explained. And maybe it’s best not to try to explain them. Just take them as they come and enjoy them, hoping the magic is felt by the other too…

          I think the connection between Ann and Tony is of this kind. And I believe it’s worth giving it a try πŸ™‚

        • I’m honest to god not putting on those silly glasses right now. But I’m also trying to be open to the possibilities. Basically, I’m trying to be both Ferns and Dawn at the moment πŸ˜€

    • I really appreciate this comment Ferns. Keeps me honest and gives me lots to ponder.

      I am not going to go through all the things I see (or hope I see, to your point) that could counter your argument. Because as you assert, I’m wrong. The way I see it, I could be wrong.

      The things I feel and see that are slightly different may or may not translate into things being better for me. The communication and availability he’s demonstrated may not last – it could be work related, for example.

      But. I do want to try. Keeping my expectations in check is on me, as is ensuring I don’t make them so low I’m miserable.

      I can say with certainty I am not going to spend the next 6 months wallowing about not getting what I want from him. I can promise you that.

      xx

  12. OK. I have to agree with many of the comments above.

    Thing is, you have only one life, and mistakes are part of the learning experience. On the way you get good things and things that are not so good. If you don’t try, you don’t get anything…

    So my take is, go ahead, but protect yourself, don’t put too much pressure to get something you may never get. Just take it easy, enjoy what you can get as long as you can get it. Life is short, no need to build a house of cards…

    Just be careful with this: “He’d fought with his ex (verbally), his brother (physically; he had a black eye), and almost got into trouble with the police (unrelated to either).”. That’s the part that scared me most. The rest is relationships as usual…

    • Thanks 50g; I appreciate the advice.

      And yes, I hear you on that. I actually didn’t get into more details about the brother and police because of anonymity. But he’s not a fighter (he used to do it professionally and this was his first physical altercation, and his brother threw the first punch), and the police thing had to do with a border they had crossed together.

  13. From what I gather he isn’t offering you anything different.

    A lot of what everyone else has said I totally agree with.

    If you can keep your heart out of it I think he would be happy giving you great sex, failing at communication & regularity of visits.

    You’ll be back at square one.

    However, this choice is entirely yours. I’ll send some bubble wrap for that heart of yours if you decide you want to do this all over again. Xox

  14. I think you have no other choice than to give it a go. Some things seem to have changed, while others have not. Nevertheless, I don’t know how you could not try. #stillonteamTony.
    Wishing you the best!

  15. I have not gotten to read all the comments yet, but I have one question if you have the time to answer…What is his deal with pot? I am one that is totally for it in general. Can you just explain what role that plays in his life? Cause it seems pretty important to him, and what do you think about his want/need for it? Just trying to get a better idea about him as a whole…

      • Why yes, yes I have! And still do whenever I can! πŸ˜‰ Like I said, I am totally for it, so it is not a looking down at this at all. But as a person that also was a total “pot head” that smoked everyday and incorporated it into everything. I understand what it can do and the affects it can have on daily life. It sounds like for him, it is part of his life in a major way. I wonder how much of his decision making and patterns are based on this influence. In the bigger scheme, since you are not comfortable with it, (And I have no clue what you say about it when you are with him) if it is a factor in everything. To me, from past postings, it definitely sounds like there have been times that he would rather veg on a couch @ home high & numb, than venture out or deal/get serious with issues. It seems like work is the only thing that trumps it. I might might be relating this little bit to how I was, but like they always say, it takes one to know one!

    • He’s a regular user and has been for many years. But from what I can tell it doesn’t impact his day to day life at all. It’s not at all what I’m comfortable with, but I’m trying not to judge.

      • It is not about judging, as you can see from my response right above. I am not judging, to each there own. I am more curious if it (smoking pot), plays such a major role in his life, if it is something that you can handle in the long run, especially since you are not comfortable with it?

  16. Right; you’d be stupid not to explore the possibilities. Everything is negotiable; everything is doable until it’s proven, beyond any doubt, that it can’t be done. And, really, as I learned way back in 1969, you never know what you can do until you try… but if you don’t try, you never learn anything.

    Take what you can get and make the best of it; it may not be perfect or the ideal situation (read that as what everyone else thinks you should be doing, no offense meant), but you create your own happiness and in whatever way will work.

    If you and Tony are finding common ground, build on it, own it, and make it work to the best of your combined abilities – it’s all anyone can do, right?

    • I think some would say it’s already been proven. But I’m an optimist πŸ™‚

      And yes, if this doesn’t make me happy then I won’t continue; I promise myself that. Or at least, I won’t continue the way I did before. I suspect if I told him I could no longer be exclusive but I’ll see him whenever it works for him, he’d be okay with that – despite him saying he doesn’t like to share and is willing to fight for me.

      I appreciate your support KD and did get your email; am thinking about what you said.

      xo

      • Ann, for some folks, making this transition is easy and no so much for others. Many years ago, I would have told you that I would never share for any reason – and that’s exactly how I felt. But I know differently today – I can share and it’s a better thing to do and more so when I can have some exclusivity in that my relationship is intact… but if it’s time to have fun with others, sure, no problem: Whatever makes you happy, baby.

        Can Tony learn to share? Because he said something about it, yeah, he has the potential to learn but it might not be easy and you can and will play an important part in this, mainly, the assurance that no matter what goes on, it’s still you and him.

        I learned… and I was once rabidly and dangerously monogamous. But, again, you do whatever has to be done to make any relationship the best it can be… and even if that calls for some out-of-the-box thinking and actions. Let’s say it’s me and you; if I tell you that I love you and will do anything to make and keep you happy, shouldn’t I be prepared to put up or shut up? And if I shut up, didn’t I just tell you a major lie, that I’m not willing to do what has to be done because I love you?

        Lord, don’t get me started…

  17. Having your cake and eating comes to mind.

    Just remember:

    1) Every relationship has a senior and a junior partner. Choose.
    2) People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. The latter is rare.

    • Yes, that could be true about the cake. But he’s yummy so as someone else said, worst case scenario at least I’ve had some good sex?

      I do know the latter is rare. Perhaps Tony is here for a couple seasons. Or just my winters and springs?

  18. Hello Ann,

    There are so many things I could say, but I’ll try and keep this brief.

    It seems very clear to me that you are in love with Tony. Maybe you don’t want call it that yet. Fine, put whatever label on it you would like. It’s a scary place when your that emotionally connected with someone else.

    It’s my most basic thought that you need to share your blog with him. He’s given you an opening. He wants to “experiment”. I am thoroughly convinced that the cornerstone of any good relationship is lots and lots of very open communication. The seeds of that type of communication is communicating about your shared sex life, what you want, what you need, what are your fantasies, what are your pasts, etc etc.

    I’m fairly convinced that you won’t share your blog with tony. So, maybe this is an idea for you. Read Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” sex advice column aloud to one another. Then take turns answering the letter writers questions before reading Dan’s response. It’s a great way to open up communication about sex, in a low risk fashion. Because, it’s not either one of you that you are talking about. It’s some anymous letter writers question your answering.

    Fair winds and following seas sister
    Chris K

    P.S. If your having sex with other people besides your primary partner and your primary partner knows, participates. Isn’t that swinging? The number of times you do it per year / month is immaterial.

    P.P.S. My partner and myself are swingers (hate that label, but it is what we have to work with). We got to swinging because we had the communication skills to be able to admit to each other that we were interested in trying it. And, we were able to talk about our rules prior to ever trying it.

    • Thanks Chris!!

      Yeah, I’m in love with him. Which is crazy because he’s just not someone I thought I’d fall in love with. But it happened.

      I’m not sure I can share my blog with him at this point. Given what happened with Fox (not sure you know that story) it makes me very nervous. It’s all fine when things are good, but if I’m writing about bad stuff then it gets pretty awkward. And I need this to be my safe and anonymous space.

      But I like your idea of the Dan Savage column and opening up the dialogue.

      Yes, I guess it is swinging; it’s the closest description. But it would be rather infrequent which I do know is irrelevant to the label. I definitely don’t want open or polyamory. But it’s all still a theory for me.

What do you think?