After the intense yet calming overnight with Leo, I could start to feel… well… to be perfectly honest, the sheer fact I felt anything other than frustration or sadness was wonderful.
There are various men whose presence I was graced with this year, and the emotions I associate with my time with them aren’t overwhelmingly good. Tony was certainly comfortable, but unfortunately most of my energy with him was angry or sad.
The reality is, some the new men elicited brief excitement. HWSNBN was exciting at first, then quickly overwhelming, then was all about fear.
I was excited about Ian and Kyle. Really excited about Kyle – then equally frustrated and hurt.
Then there were a few who were simply fine. My time with Jake was never exciting but he was a good occasional sexual companion. We just faded away, by the way. I stopped texting and so did he. Drew had the potential to be fun, but not much more.
Alan never managed to get me all that excited about anything.
And to avoid creating my own revisionist history, I wasn’t terribly excited about Leo at first, either.
Two people have now told me perhaps the silver lining of my injury is it allowed some space in my life to spend more time with Leo and see him for who he is.
All that to say, I was surprised and stoked to feel a little romantic fire within (see what I did there?) Typically analytical, I spent time (but not too much) wondering whether it is just the volume of time we’ve spent together, or a counter reaction to shit with Tony, or perhaps the number of nice things Leo has done for me.
And I ruled all of it out. I simply like him.
Since previously, I’d told him I didn’t have the emotional space for a relationship, I thought I’d better tell him it was changing.
On the phone a few nights ago, after small talk catch up, I took a deep breath and said:
I just wanted to tell you, I can feel the walls of the fortress around my heart coming down. It’s a really nice feeling. It means I’m allowing myself to feel more, and hope, and be excited.
I’m also rather expressive and I suppose I’m very cognizant of intellectually wanting to take things slowly, but knowing I will at times perhaps be a bit more…open about my feelings than perhaps you’re used to?
It doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into one of those women who calls you four times a day. I like my space and definitely don’t want to be with someone who wants to consume all of me, all the time.
Here are the highlights of what he said to me.
Ann, I’m so glad to hear that. I like you too. I get butterflies every time I go up your stairs, and get chills every time I touch you.
Yeah, he said that.
I like you and like spending time with you.
I know there are other men in your life and I’m okay with it.
I joked with him that on one hand, I didn’t want someone who was too possessive, and I wanted to take it slow, but on the other when I heard him say that a part of me said (laughing) “why doesn’t he want me all to himself?” He said:
I don’t want to get hurt. I too have moved too quickly in the past and gotten hurt. I don’t want to put parameters on what we are doing. I like spending time with you, I want to take it day by day and just enjoy each other.
Earlier that day, in a fit of nervousness in a moment where I realized my feelings were stronger for him than I knew, I told him while it allowed me to see him for the great guy he was, conversely I’d turfed “two of his competitors”. I was embarrassed about it, so apologized if it was too blunt or transparent.
I told him there was nobody else in my life who I thought of the same way, who I may want a relationship with. I wanted him to know my intentions were good.
I have no one else either, Ann. I’m not actively out there looking, I’m not talking to anyone else. You know what my schedule is like. It’s you and my kids.
I want you to know – when I’m sitting my desk and get hammered with requests, I think of you and I smile. You’re easy to talk to. I like the open communication. You’ll always know how I feel.
I told him I may get more romantic than he’s used to from me so far, and I didn’t want him to think I was going from cool girl to stage five clinger: I was simply happy to be excited about him. He said as long as I don’t bust out the “L” word in the next three weeks, he was going to be fine.
I said he didn’t have to worry about it.
I went to sleep with a smile on my face.