Falling quickly into the easy intimacy with Tony.

I didn’t write about this moment with the man I was dating, but it was a revelation for me. It was after our weekend together, and after I’d told him I wasn’t ready for a relationship or to be exclusive.

He wanted to re-hash the reasons why, so I did. I explained in broad strokes what happened with Tony. He looked at me and asked two very simple questions.

1) Did I want Tony back?

I stumbled over my words, saying something along the lines of no, he wasn’t ever going to be ready and so it was really a moot question.

Terrible answer, but true. I should have lied, but didn’t.

2) Was I still in love with him?

I said I thought there were people in our lives who always had a place in our heart.

He got pissy and made a comment about him not having such a place. It was the kind of comment meant to solicit a specific response – such as me reassuring him how I felt. Which I did.

But in parallel, I realized Tony occupied more real estate in my heart than I’d thought.

::

Given everything that happened with him, it was easy for me to see Tony again. I was still operating under the assumption, based on how I felt after our previous meeting, that I had control over the situation.

We hung out, snacked, watched CNN. Then it was bedtime. This time, it was hard for me to keep my emotional distance during sex. Not a big surprise.

Following up on a prior text exchange, I asked him how he could be okay with my dating someone else. He said it wasn’t that he liked the idea but he understood it. He didn’t have a hold on me right now, couldn’t offer what I wanted, and he ultimately just wanted me to be happy.

I said the thought of him being physical with another woman “gutted” me. When I think about it, it’s more because if he actually decided to move on from his marriage and choose to be with someone else, that would hurt. But I didn’t say that part.

I told him about the man I’d been dating and how he had fallen hard. Tony said “it’s pretty easy to fall in love with you in just a couple of weeks”.

This from the man who has never said he loves me.

I told Tony I believed no matter what I said or didn’t say, no matter what I did or didn’t do, it wouldn’t matter. He was going to make only very slow progress, if any. My only way forward was to give up all hope he’d sort things out.

He didn’t like it and was surprised I would say so. He told me I was a “very motivating factor”, he’d been doing a lot of thinking, and things also weren’t going well with him and Mary.

And just then, just like that, a tiny bit of hope crept in. I’ve been arguing myself out of it ever since. I know the difference between his intentions and his actions. I know nothing has changed. If by some bloody miracle he actually moves forward, then great. Perhaps then I could give this relationship a real chance, all fully out in the open and sunlight. But I know until then, it won’t work.

I’m pretty sure spending time with him will make it worse for me at some point. But right now I’m seeking comfort, I suppose.

Tony told me he would be happy to be with me just as friends, and he doesn’t assume we will be intimate when we see each other. I laughed and suggested it would always be difficult for us to be together without ending up in each others arms.

We likened ourselves to rare earth magnets. Get too close and – snap – they come together.

Indeed.

29 thoughts on “Falling quickly into the easy intimacy with Tony.

  1. I found myself following your story with Tony with great interest because there seemed to be many parallels between your situation and mine. Around the time you finished things with Tony most recently, I finally made peace with the fact that my soon to be divorced man wasn’t able to meet my needs. And he said many of the same things that Tony said to you…it’s eerie to read. But that seems to be where we diverged. I knew that no matter how much I would miss him, and how much his suggestion of being friends sounded great since he couldn’t meet my needs, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    The past couple months have been incredibly hard wondering what I could have done differently to be supportive of his divorce process, or what if I had only been able to be more patient. But then it hit me like a ton of bricks: if he really truly wanted me and not his wife, he would be doing everything in his power to make it happen. He would make it happen. There would be no lame excuses, there would be no heartache. I finally realized that no matter how much I loved him, as long as he had some relationship with his wife, I would only be used to fill whatever he was missing with her. And after a year of watching it progress slower than paint drying, I realized he had to take responsibility for the lack of progress on his divorce and I needed to heal my heart so a man willing to treat me as the first woman in his life would have a place to make his home.

    Thank you for giving me clarity on how this journey would have looked if I had taken the other road. You’re a strong lady…much stronger than me. I wish you peace of mind as you figure everything out.

  2. I disagree – I don’t think you should have lied to Sevag. There is a line between being diplomatically authentic and lying in order to protect (read: “manage”) someone else’s emotions. Sevag’s emotions are his own. I don’t know what the “right” answer is. I might say something like “I don’t know – it’s complicated and I need some time to order my thoughts”, and later something like “I care about Tony and probably always will – I don’t believe that breaking up with someone means that caring must cease. There’s a part of me that isn’t over him yet but it’s a matter of time.”

    Now, this might not have made much difference, because Sevag is/was also showing insecurity and I suspect he was likely to read things negatively as a result.

    You and Tony have a connection. Yes, spending time with him reinforces the connection. But if you’re feeling good rather than driving yourself crazy, what’s the harm? The only way to keep your heart perfectly safe is to wall it up. Only then, you won’t experience joy either.

    • I don’t believe in lying and normally wouldn’t… I’m just saying perhaps I could have avoided some of the shitshow with Sevag. He was already reading my blog at this point, so perhaps not.
      The time with Tony so far has caused more good than harm. It won’t last, I know.

  3. I wouldn’t say you are less strong for not being able to totally walk away from Tony; you’re trying to fight karma, something that seems to be meant to happen no matter how many time you two mess up trying to have a real relationship – so why keep fighting that which keeps drawing you together?

    The one thing I will chide you over is getting bent because he’s screwing some other chick when he doesn’t seem to be upset over your most recent fling; it’s very unbecoming and more so when you can’t put him on exclusive lockdown with you, as much as you want to.

    I’d like to think that you’re a better person than that, my dear Ann…

    • The thing about him with others? Not even an issue right now. I haven’t wasted any time thinking about it, actually. I don’t want him on exclusive lockdown because I don’t want to be locked down.

      • Um, when you’re looking to get someone to commit to you, you’re putting them on lockdown, hon; if you’re trying to get someone to tell you that they love you – and it’s clear to me that he does love you albeit in an “unusual” way – ditto. If you’re trying to get a guy to behave the way you want him to, same thing. And when you keep breaking up with him because he won’t do any of the things I mentioned, well, Ann, what exactly do you think you’re trying to do?

        He’s a great guy and I’m thinking he’s one of the best lovers (if not THE best) you’ve ever experienced; most women would be happy just to be breathing the same air he’s breathing; they’d be happy to have him any way they could get him.

        But not you. He gives you what you need but not all of what you want, you get miffed, then take your ball and go home, date other guys, and wind up right back with him. Do I need to remind you of the definition of insanity again? Perhaps I do…

        • I’m actually not trying to get him to commit to me right now. I’m not trying to get him to tell me he loves me. I don’t expect his behavior to change. I know exactly what I’m getting and not getting with him, and accept him exactly as he is – meaning there’s no relationship, no commitment, no progress that I’m expecting or pushing for.

          He’s actually not the best lover I’ve ever had, he’s not in the top few. What makes it amazing is our emotional connection, but “technically” there is lots of improvement that can happen.

          I’m not miffed. Letting him go in January was a full on recognition of him being exactly who he is… and my recognition that I don’t want to be in a situation where he has another, more important, relationship with a woman – namely his ex-ish wife. I’m not angry at him, I don’t expect more from him (sure, if it happened it would be nice), but I don’t know how to articulate that spending time with him right now isn’t at all about expecting a change.

          • I happily stand corrected but until you block me from your blog, I’m gonna point these things out to you and, if nothing else, make you think.

      • Oh, and that thing you said is a non-issue? Were that true, you wouldn’t have mentioned how you felt about the matter – and you sure didn’t sound pleased about it, so… issue.

        • I mentioned it only because otherwise the conversation would have seemed one sided. It was a cast-off comment in the dialogue with him, nothing more.

          t doesn’t occupy my thoughts (the time I’ve spent writing this has taken more time than I’ve given to thinking about him with others). I say it’s a non issue because he’s not dating anyone else. He’s not seeking anyone else. Etc. So it’s just not something I even need to think about.

          I was using it as the contrast to him seemingly being okay with my being with others – there is another post in the works about the discussion of what he wants from me.

  4. I think along the same lines as Kdaddy… it sounds like no mater how hard you try, there is something between the two of you that doesn’t want to go away.
    And I think the thought of him with another woman hurting is a sign of this. I know you wish you didn’t feel jealousy, because you want him to offer you freedom to explore while he gets his sh*t together. But I think you’re right. What you’re most worried about isn’t so much that he f*cks another woman, it’s that he falls in love with her, not you.
    At least I know that’s what *I* worry about. I couldn’t care less if he f•cks someone else. On the contrary, I’m thinking good for him. But it would be hard to know he’s leaving me for someone else.
    Though I also know that a) the chances of that happening are close to none, considering our recent interactions, and b) there is nothing I could do if it happened. But it doesn’t prevent my crazy heart from doubting.

    I too feel the magnet thing. I mean, when I think about him, all I want is to be with him, sitting next to him sounds like a great time together. But then… I know that when we do, more will happen, as we don’t seem to be able to keep our hands off of one another.

    I want to say, the ties between you and Tony are strong, probably stronger than you care to admit. So don’t worry, there isn’t another woman, even if he were to f*ck around. It would just go to show him exactly how different his relationship and feelings for you are. A little like my Dancer telling me with surprise in his voice that things are always so easy or better with me. At some point, the surprise will fade and he’ll figure out why it is things are different. At least that’s all I can hope for. But deep down, I know he knows. I’m just not sure he’s figured out what to make of it yet.

    And you’re saying Tony never said he loves you… I think this counts as him expressing his feelings. You said yourself once that he probably won’t say it until he knows he can give you what you need. Because he doesn’t want to play the emotional card. I think it makes him a very thoughtful, loving person. Especially in light of the whole Sevag saga 🙂

    All I want to say really Ann is: enjoy the present moment. Don’t try to plan the future. Just take it where it’s leading you. One day at a time. There is no rush. We’re all going to the same place in the end!

    XO

  5. I got up in the middle of the night and checked WordPress. I saw the new title and thought that I must have accidentally arrived at an old post. Then I started to read…I was a surprised…..for a minute…..but I couldn’t think of a comment to post. My only advice:
    Don’t start the Tony III, in earnest, until both your hearts are ready!!!

  6. Magnets or not, here we go again. You know I’ve been #teamtony for most of it.However, I have to disagree with Dawn that there is no other woman. Because there is – his wife. I don’t doubt he has feelings for you, though I’m starting to think he’s happy to have his cake and eat it too. I guess I’m feeling a bit jaded – wondering why in hell he would say he’d be happy just being “friends.” He knows how you feel about him, and he’s more than willing to insert himself into your life if you’ll have him – but that comes with conditions (or lack of commitment).

    No judgement of you here. I do understand the pull of a connection with someone. Hold on to your heart, Ann.

    • He also says a lot of things that qualify as “what you want to hear”… and even the admittance that he’s not able to be all that you want – is a safe thing for him to say because it’s his “refrain.”
      And what about his being okay with you sleeping with others? WTF??? I would never expect any man who should love me to ever be okay with that. Oh, but he did say he wouldn’t like it but could understand it? Because that’s what he’s supposed to say.
      Sorry if I’m being harsh. I haven’t finished my coffee yet.

      • No it’s all good to say it. He’s saying it because he wants me in his life (we can debate if that’s selfish) in whatever amount / way I’m comfortable. He sees me as a strong person who can decide when to see him and what I’m prepared for. it makes sense, when you think about him not being the kind of person to push for what he wants or take action… he’s not doing it with his “ex” wife either.

    • Tara, it’s an excellent point. There’s very much another woman – the only one – and the only one that matters. And it’s not me.
      There’s more to come with him, I’m not up to date yet. He wants me in his life however I’m comfortable, even if it’s just as friends.

  7. I’m glad you posted this, because these extra tidbits confirm that he’s deliberately keeping you hooked on his line out of his own selfishness:

    >He didn’t like it and was surprised I would say so. He told me I was a “very motivating factor”, he’d been doing a lot of thinking, and things also weren’t going well with him and Mary.

    >And just then, just like that, a tiny bit of hope crept in.

    Yup, that’s how it happens. I’ve seen this play out before in my own life. As soon as you tell them you’ve given up completely on them, they feed you a little morsel that in reality means absolutely no change for them, but is enough to make you think there is movement and progress, and therefore keep your hope alive and keep you from detaching completely.

    He’s been doing a lot of thinking? Wow, that’s some serious growth and change (note sarcasm). And him saying things aren’t going well with Mary could mean they had an argument about their kid the other night, if it’s even true at all. Actions say everything, words are cheap.

    His actions have shown you nothing, he’s just using his words to keep you from detaching completely because he wants to have his cake and eat it too. Under the current situation he gets everything he wants and none of what he doesn’t. He gets to have sex with you, and your company and discourse, without having to change a single thing about his life situation.

    Under the current setup, he has NO incentive to change a thing. Which is why you rightly admitted that this will get worse for you in time, and it assuredly will.

  8. Tony’s well-timed flattery gives you hope.

    He’s reckless and careless with it.

    He’s happy to string you along indefinitely. He’s getting something out of doing this to you, being with you.

    Hmm, now what could it be?

What do you think?