I had some decisions to make. Did I believe him? Mostly. I knew there was a chance he was telling me what he thought I wanted to hear, but seeing how uncomfortable he was, and the way he told me, led me to believe there was far more truth to his words than lies.
I didn’t write it all out, but I did challenge him on a number of things during our conversation. The most important for me was how it was possible he didn’t feel comfortable with me, given how open I’d been with him about my own sexuality.
We talked about his attitudes toward women. How he made the transition from looking for casual to meeting me and wanting more. Why he said he wasn’t sure he could be exclusive. Whether it was true I surprised him on our trip by asking about exclusivity (which I thought was a load of BS).
I explained how disappointed I was to have served up lots of opportunity for us to be more sexually adventurous, and he never took me up on it. That I needed to have a more interesting sexual relationship. That I needed him to sort out his weight and associated ED issues. That I needed to be with someone who could be open and honest with me. That I needed him to tell me when he thinks I’m beautiful and to whisper encouraging and dirty things in my ear when we were intimate.
We had a frank discussion of my liking being told to “cum for me” but “are you my dirty slut” is too much. There was quite a lot of laughter at that point.
I verbally pushed and prodded and looked for holes in his logic and what he was telling me. I asked him a lot of questions. We covered a lot of ground. I didn’t simply accept what he said, and I told him what I needed.
Bottom line? I believed him enough to try again – to a point. I was (and still am) cynical about his ability to follow through on his intentions. After all, if Tony taught me anything, it’s that I am far too patient with intentions unsupported by actions. However, after what was a heartfelt and seemingly honest opening up, I couldn’t stay broken up.
I no longer remember how we verbally got there, but when he said he hoped I’d be willing to keep seeing him, I agreed. Then I told him I wasn’t ready to be exclusive with him just yet. He said that was fine, and I challenged him. “Why Leo? Why are you okay with being with me but not exclusively, when you told me before you didn’t think you could knowingly share me?”
He didn’t really know how to explain it but he said he knew it would be fine. He said he doesn’t know what the future holds for us, but he wants a chance to be with me. He asked why I thought I’d be okay with it. I said “well, to be honest I’m not sure you’ll be able to act on the things you are telling me, so I want to take it a bit slower to see how we progress, but I also want to continue to see you to give us a chance.”
He said “Ann, you’re able to put into words what I think but can’t say myself. Thank you.”
He crossed my living room to my couch to kiss me, hard. He pulled away and said “I don’t want to start what I can’t finish”.
Incredulous, I said “I’m sorry, what? You came to my house to tell me all of this and now you’re going to leave?”
He texted his ex to see if she could cover the pick up one of their children needed. He was back kissing me in 2 minutes.
We went upstairs, where I was eager to see whether I would see, hear, or feel a difference. He was a bit more verbal, but he had hydraulics issues which limited my research opportunity. I wasn’t disappointed, nor was I elated.
But there had been a buzzing thought in my brain for a couple of hours by then. A thought which acknowledged how much he had opened up to me, and laid himself bare. A thought which kept repeating like a broken record: “Ann, you have a secret.”
I’d pushed it to the side but laying in my bed with him, I could no longer ignore it. I took a deep breath and said
“Leo, there’s something I need to tell you.”
Image from the 1955 movie “Stella”