A perfect relationship he always wanted

This is the relationship he always wanted.

I was driving this morning from my hotel to the airport to go home. I’m beyond exhausted, due to a late night rendezvous with a former blogger (the second post will come soon).

I love to drive – not in city traffic, but on winding tree-lined highways where I can exceed the speed limit, if there is one. I listen to music and sing along and think.

Despite my addled sleep deprived state, or perhaps because of it, I had a moment of clarity.

Tony finally has the relationship with me he always wanted.

I wasn’t able to give it to him when we first met, now almost 18 months ago.

There are no labels, which made him uncomfortable. It took a long time for him to genuinely embrace using the term boyfriend and girlfriend. Well, the more honest way to say that is he became comfortable with my use of the term, since he used it sparingly. Now he gets to simply call me a friend, which might mean our relationship can be more in the open –  after all, we’re just friends, right?

There are few demands on his time. He can be a bit of a recluse, and his work schedule means it’s hard for him to make plans. In Chapter One, I got frustrated when he wasn’t available or communicative.

It changed in Chapter Two, and now ironically, we’ve been in contact pretty much every single day and whenever I comment I know he has other priorities, he’s quick to tell me I am a priority in his life, no matter our status.

He certainly showed me how much I matter recently, when he put my needs first, despite being inconvenient. A friend said his willingness to help me in the aftermath of my last relationship spoke volumes about how he felt about me. She was right. It was pretty awesome.

There is no pressure of being in a committed relationship. While he was committed to me in Chapter Two, he knew the more he promised, the more in conflict he would potentially be if he decided to go back to his ex-wife. He couldn’t have two committed relationships.

We are not exclusive. This isn’t an issue for him anyway – he’s said time and time again he can barely handle me and his ex-wife. He shut down his long-stagnant POF profile months ago. We joke he wouldn’t know when someone was flirting with him anyway.

I haven’t pushed for exclusivity because I don’t want it. I want to be free to do what (and who) I want. I learned the hard way I used to push for things like this because I wanted someone to want to be exclusive, even if it wasn’t really what I wanted.

So I don’t do that anymore.

While I’m not so naive to think there won’t be a time when he ends up being physical with someone else, I know the chance is remote. So in practical terms, he’s closed and I’m open. I chuckle to think it’s sort of what I’ve always wanted, anyway.

I don’t push him to make a decision about his ex-wife. I’m actively avoiding asking him about the family time he spends with her and their son – although sometimes “oh, are you going to that kids birthday party alone?” pops out before I can stop it. It’s a force of habit more than anything else – I know things aren’t different. It isn’t information I need to have, it doesn’t help me in any way.

I don’t ask him to talk about his feelings.

Okay, this is only partially true. I don’t ask him to talk about his feelings, much. We’ve had a few discussions here and there. One night on the phone I was on a roll, asking him questions about how he felt and commenting on my take on things, and he said he wished he’d just come over because in person, he’d be able to shut me up by kissing me.

Tony has me in his life. Above all, that’s what he wants. He didn’t like it when I withdrew myself from him. He will take me in whatever form I’m willing to give.

And here’s the rub. While Tony resisted labels and exclusivity and commitment at times, he let me – us – go there. He didn’t want to have the conflict, so he went with it. Its a peacekeeper and passive approach. It’s not different from how he’s managing his relationship with his ex. While I don’t delve into their inner workings, I know enough to say with confidence he’s letting the situation continue, instead of making it what he wants.

It’s exactly opposite of how I’m living my life. Bull by the horns and all that. Being my authentic self yadda yadda. I want someone who is going to help clear the path ahead with me, side by side. Not following the path even if it may not lead to their destination. Or worse, perhaps…following in the absence of having their own destination.

Maybe I should experience sleep deprivation more often.

26 thoughts on “This is the relationship he always wanted.

    • What I find interesting is I don’t need to label this right now. It’s felt good to be with him, and like exactly what I’ve needed. And I don’t particularly want to be tied down to any one person right now, even him. I know this could change, but I’m so clear on what he can and can’t give me, I’m really over the yearning for more. At least today 🙂

          • Your lives, and The decisions Tony has (and hasn’t) made are so far from my experience that I don’t think I’ll ever be able make my own conclusions. I think I’ll have to trust your sleep deprived clarity, and agree that, “This is the relationship he has always wanted.”…and you’re ok with that…FOR NOW.

          • I know you’ve said before how different our lives are, but would you not agree that people are people and relationships / motivations and the like can be consistent despite different situations?
            Okay for now is absolutely right. I’m not fooling myself, I’m looking VERY deep within, and still coming up feeling okay. Which surprises me, but it’s true 🙂

          • I agree that people are alike in many ways but when it comes to our relationships / motivations we are products of our upbringing, and experiences. I struggle to understand my own motivations, I’ll have to differ to you for Tony’s.
            I hope you continue to be OK (or better), and make the choices that lead to your happiness for the long term.
            ….but not so happy that you don’t need to blog!

          • Don’t worry, I don’t blog just because I’m not happy. In fact, I’m usually pretty happy 🙂
            I blog because it’s cathartic and helps me process everything I’m going through. I will be here for a while!!

          • I started journaling in December after learning that you started with journaling for those reasons and started the blog only later. I will never be ready to share my writing, even anonymously, but the therapeutic value has been great.

  1. This clearly is the relationship Tony has always wanted, but I also think it’s evolved into the relationship that you need right now. After everything you’ve been through since Chapter 1 with Tony ended, you need safety, comfort, friendship and great sex. For now Tony meets your needs and when that changes, you will re-evaluate. I think that when you are ready to open yourself up to finding a serious relationship, you will have to end things with Tony. And it sounds like you’ve figured out that Tony is way too passive for you as a long-term partner. But for now, he’s your safe place.

    • Very well said Holly, thank you. You’re right about the end of Chapter 1 (after which I dated Fox) and Chapter 2 (after which I dated the man who shall not be named) and now just feeling like I want to avoid drama and just have some nice comfortable and sexy times with someone I trust and who doesn’t ask much of me at all. Perhaps that’s the other thing… He really is low maintenance. And that is very appealing at the moment!!
      If Tony told me next week he was divorcing his wife, I would still want to try an actual relationship with him, but I guess I’ve realized it’s not a guarantee that it will work. And frankly I don’t see anything changing in his situation with his ex any time soon. And I’m not going to wait for something that may never come!
      But for now, exactly as you say, he’s my safe place.

  2. It’s impressive when these cathartic moments strike us, isn’t it? Often when we least expect them. Possibly because we then allow our soul to come through rather than try to reason with it?

    I’m glad to read that this is the relationship that makes you happy at the moment. I’m glad to know you feel safe in the aftermath of what happened with what’s-his-face (sorry, but even he-who-shall-not-be-named seems too nice, to much of a name for him).

    I’m glad you realise that asking certain questions is only going to hurt you and you don’t need an answer to them.

    There is one thing I may not agree with you on. This may not be Tony’s dream relationship with you. Yes, he finally has a stress free relationship, no questions, or rather no demands on him, and maybe he’s willing to open up more because he doesn’t feel he *has to*. It doesn’t mean that he’d prefer the status quo over anything else, it may simply mean that he doesn’t know how else to proceed and feels stuck.

    Him feeling stuck has nothing to do with you, everything to do with him and who his ex-not-so-ex wife is. I know I never saw what my ex was really like until I finally realised I need to get out AND DID IT. It’s only when I tried to explain to friends why I needed the out that it started to become clear to me. And it took another 6 months for me to accept the truth.

    What I mean to say is that maybe Tony hasn’t realised yet why it is important for him to get out from his marriage. What is bothering him so much that he should. If I’m honest, I’ve known it even before I married that I shouldn’t. And many many times during my marriage, I’ve had thoughts of leaving him. But doing so was just too scary then. I needed to grow and become stronger for myself. Then and only then could I imagine surviving a divorce. Before then, the only I envisioned leaving the marriage was suicide. And I didn’t know it was the marriage I wanted to leave, I thought it was my life.

    Maybe Tony needs time to realise he is strong enough to move on, and there are other options. And maybe having you nearby, even if not too close, knowing he can provide support and safety, that will help him figure out what he needs to do.

    I was very passive before. Now I’m leading my life. There is hope. The only difficulty is… how long will it take him to realise that. Will he realise it faster if you’re around (like I suspect may happen) or if you’re not (like you think is the case, as in ‘if I give him comfort, then he’ll be complacent and wont want to change things’)… only time will tell.

    The important thing is that you do what feels right for you at the moment. And enjoy the good times when you have them. But do it for you, not because you want to teach him a lesson (if you don’t change, I’m withdrawing myself). If you go away, do it for you.

    Those are the thoughts that arose this morning reading your post and comments. I guess I was finally able to articulate them better than I ever was. Epiphany of sorts on this end too 😉


  3. It is pretty crazy to read he is back where he was and felt conflicted. Sure no labels or anything of that sort, but that makes it sound only worse.

    Either way you both want each other. I mean clearly the feelings are real. While you take to his, good I say nonchalant thinking, he has no intention of that bull you want to grab. For me that leaves me wondering how long it will last if no conclusion is made.

    Still I rather read this and your smiles than the hardship a single dude can create.

    Live life the way you see fit. XX

    • Thanks hon. I have no idea how long it will last that I’m okay with this. Maybe I will meet someone else and some things will shift, or maybe I will just get tired of being partly in a relationship. I don’t know, and I’m actually okay with not knowing.

  4. Ann, you have addressed a wonderful positive fact in your life now. I would agree with Holly that this is what you need now, someone to share all with relative safety and lots of sex. You have expressed the results of your strong resolve and found good results for now.

    • Thank you Forester. It does feel like exactly what I need right now. I’m truly not worried about tomorrow or next week or next month. I don’t think I’ve reached some personal grown pinnacle or anything like that, but believe it’s maybe a little growth, but more about the work and relationship stress I recently found myself in.

What do you think?