I’m back from my beach vacation with Leo. Despite it being a relaxing time, my brain constantly buzzed. It’s still buzzing, cycling through thoughts of men, needs, past relationships, and what it is I really want.
I planned to write yesterday but instead stayed in bed most of the day catching up on social media and work emails. I spoke to my Mom for an hour and gave her the lowdown. She gave me lots to think about, as always, commiserating on the downside of our shared analytical nature.
Why do I have anything for my brain to be buzzy about? I’m not smitten with Leo.
I’ve sorted the potential reasons into three different categories, as its the only way I can hope to make sense of things.
The first and most obvious question is whether (or how much) it has to do with Tony.
The second relates to having to fight for attention, availability, and affection in some of my past relationships, and how much not being in a similar situation now has me off-balance.
The third is simply, how much of it is Leo, and whether he’s the right person for me.
Back to the first. Tony. Admittedly it was hard to not compare the two vacations. The last time I went on an all-inclusive trip with a man was a year ago in Jamaica with Tony. Even in the midst of all of the heartbreak, we had an amazing time together. I spent almost a week with him and still wanted more.
Tony and I together was never an issue. Unfortunately for anyone else, from a connection, chemistry, and compatibility perspective, Tony set a very high bar. Our time together was usually effortless: it was everything else that was torture.
Leo and I had a pleasant time together on the trip. But it wasn’t effortless, or as romantic or sexual as I’d hoped. Granted, we didn’t have any arguments, and while I had some minor irritations I knew they were just that – minor. More to come on those.
Ultimately, any man I meet will be compared to the others who came before him. I think of the positives and negatives in each of them, weighing what I want most of all, what I prefer, and what I can live with. I don’t expect to meet many (if any) men with whom I will have the same kind of chemistry I had with Tony.
On the other hand, there is a lot I didn’t have with Tony, which is important to me. Honesty, fidelity, emotional availability, to name a few. Leo has those in spades.
So there’s the specter of Tony as my ex-boyfriend, and the high bar he set in certain areas.
Then there’s the unpleasant reality that I’m still not completely “over” him. There was so much pain, for so long a period, and it takes a long time to really heal. Hy and I talk about it regularly – her with The Neighbor, me with Tony – and what it is about these kinds of relationships and breakups that take so long to get over.
I don’t pine for him. I don’t wish we were “back together”. Of course there’s a part of me that wishes he’d do what I think is the right thing, actually move on from his marriage and get divorced, and then with this newly-honest-Tony I could have the relationship with him I always wanted.
But I know that’s a fantasy.
So my state of mind with regard to Tony has more to do with healing than anything else. Getting used to not being in contact, knowing he can’t be in my life even as a friend, reconciling I’m in love with someone I can’t (and shouldn’t) be with. Being angry at being denied what I wanted.
I need to make some space in my heart before anyone else can take up residence.
Leo is knocking at the door, asking to be let in.
I’ve told him in relatively obscure ways about the difficulty I had with Tony. He knows it was a hard breakup. He knows it’s partially why I told him I needed some space late last Fall. Leo asked me when Tony and I had last been intimate and I lied. I saw no reason to hurt this good man with information that made no difference to our current situation. Even my Mom agreed it was the right thing to do.
I’m making progress in clearing out my heart, but it will take a while and I’m not sure it can be sped up.
But then I ask myself – if it was someone else, if it was a different man, would I be writing these same words? Could there not be someone who swept me off my feet so much I say “Tony who?”. I think of Kyle (still, yes, I know…) and suspect it would be different if I was dating him. Or Todd, if he happened to not be married and living in a different city.
But those two men are unavailable to me. Which leads me to wonder if that’s the thing that creates desire for me. Or if perhaps my un-smitten situation is about Leo himself. Both things I will tackle in upcoming posts.
All pictures from the Leo posts are from the 1962 film “Phaedra”