My last two months has been unusual. A broken leg, being in a cast, mostly house-bound is not what I’m used to.
Before Leo came to see me in the hospital, I hadn’t seen him for six weeks. We’d had three dates and then things went quiet as I dealt with the realization I hadn’t fully detached from Tony. I was crazy busy with work.
I needed some emotional and physical space.
Since my injury, while friends have been visiting, my child has been with me every other week, and I’ve been working at home, my life isn’t the same. It occurred to me, perhaps my situation is heightening my feelings for Leo.
A few nights ago, we were talking about how long it had been since our first date (mid-October; I checked afterwards). He told me he wasn’t sure he would ever see me again, after I had told him I needed space. He was surprised when I kept in touch, and was happy I did. “If it wasn’t for your injury” he said, “I don’t think we would be in this place today.”
He’s probably right.
Would the space have been made in my life for me to see how much of a solid guy he was? The kind who makes hospital visits and brings flowers and makes dinners? Would his behavior have stood out in comparison to Alan (failed), Kyle (ultra fail), Lewis (barely passed)? Maybe not, because it wasn’t tested. It’s hard to know someone won’t be there for you, until you need them to be and they aren’t.
Would I have had the time for the numerous visits we’ve had? Definitely not. He drives a lot for his job and has the ability to stop by. I have more time in my days. The combination has meant we’ve simply had more time together. More time to get to know each other, more time for intimacy, more time for a relationship to take hold. Would I feel the same about him anyway, even if it took longer for me to get there?
I wonder (inevitably) whether the shit-show known as my dating life in the last year has made him even more appealing. It’s really lovely when someone dotes on you. He’s been attentive and caring and kind. He’s seen me close to my worst – in pain, on drugs, frustrated, wearing no makeup, leggings, and granny panties. I can’t sashay up my stairs nor can I get on my knees to give a blow job.
When a fair amount of my dating energy has been spent trying to get emotionally or practically unavailable men to treat me well, Leo is buckets of spring water to this dehydrated woman.
I spoke to Hy on the phone, trying in vain to articulate my vague unease. But with each point I tried to make, I could see the counterpoint.
Might I just be filling time with him? Yes, except I have plenty of other people to keep me occupied and I’m choosing to spend time with him.
Might I just need someone to be kind to me? Yes, except I turfed Alan from my life and he was plenty interested in doing so. (On that note, he’s sent me multiple texts after I said goodbye, asking if I would see him. I’ve stopped replying.)
Might I just be worried because he hasn’t yet met my friends or integrated into my life? Yes, but it’s a reasonable pace. It’s perfectly normal for us to have just been in our little bubble so far. There is time for integration, if it’s right.
I suspect my unease is because this is unfamiliar and as humans, we crave familiarity. The hallmarks of my prior relationships have been a yearning for more than what the other can give, or being suffocated by the other’s attentions, or rapid intensity. This is none of those things. Leo is emotionally available, stable, and mature enough to know the value of pacing oneself. What a concept, and a pleasant change.