Leo and I figure things out.

The trip with Leo had my head spinning. I sat on the plane, watching the sunset, listening to music, and turning things over and over. What was it I really wanted, why wasn’t I content, could anything be done about it. What did I say to him, if anything.

Sometimes things are clear for me in dating and I only need to figure out what I want to say.

But with Leo it wasn’t as straightforward. On the plus side, I knew he was trying. He is a solid family man, a good dad, and has close friends. He’s self-confident and kind. He was chill about my blog and seemed to have no issues with my sexual history or even my current ask to be non-exclusive. None of these are qualities to be taken lightly. 

On the negative, there are big problems with sex. His weight is an issue for me, mostly because of what it limits – and while I hate to admit it, it’s also an issue aesthetically. I am not slim but can put athletes to shame in bed (and have done so over and over).

He’s not as smart as me – his words, not mine. And this is one of the few times ever I will say this, but if I need someone to be as intelligent as me, it’s similar to trying to find someone over 6′ with my salary. I don’t say it to boast – because I never want to make someone feel bad for something neither they nor I can help. All that to say I don’t particularly care about needing someone to be as smart, but I need someone to keep me intellectually interested. That can happen when they have varied interests, is well-read, thinks differently from me, and likes to banter and debate.

And while Leo is a voracious reader, he doesn’t bring up topics for us to talk about. We don’t have the quick verbal sparring or banter I love. Interestingly, my Mom doesn’t have it with her second husband, but he has other qualities she wanted. She misses it, but it’s not everything. And if that was the only thing with Leo I think I’d make the same decision as she.

He makes promises he doesn’t follow through on – right now what he wants to change remains theory not practice. He’s trying, and I know these things can take a while, but he was keen for me to give it a chance, so I did.

I tossed all these things around in my head and kept coming back to how irritated I’d been in his presence and how I knew at this point in a relationship I should be over the moon with a romantic getaway, yet wasn’t.

We got back to the city and got in his car – he had insisted he would stay with me that night. I didn’t want him there, and couldn’t help but compare it to when I got back from vacation with Tony and we spent another couple of days together. I also had been with people non-stop for days and being “on” as a work leader is exhausting after a while, but with the right person I don’t think I’d care.

I needed to sleep and had no desire for sex. I told him as much. Yes, you read that right. I didn’t want to have sex. Which again reinforced things for me.

The next morning after waking up, we lay in bed for a while and I debating whether to say anything. I didn’t really know what outcome I wanted, but I knew I didn’t want things to continue as they were.

I said “Leo, I still don’t feel like we are in sync.”

And off we went down the conversational path. We discussed my frustration at the lack of significant progress on the sexual front. I told him where I’d seen some slight improvements but where I didn’t feel we were in the right place. I explained my frustration with his lack of spontaneity, using being on the pier in the car as an example.

He concurred he wasn’t where he wanted to be. He asked me to give it another month, and if things weren’t better, we’d call off the relationship and continue as friends.

And that’s when things became clear to me. I didn’t want to be in a situation where we tried for another month, just to continue to feel frustrated and break up afterwards. I didn’t want things to be so one-sided where he is the only being told he needed to change. I didn’t want to get stuck in measuring success by how much weight he’d lost or how many times we had good sex. I didn’t want to sit across from him at every meal and judge him for ordering crap food because somehow that would signal a lack of commitment to his health.

I simply didn’t want to continue giving it a try. I wanted him to make those changes because they are good and right for him, and not about me and any arbitrary deadline. I wanted to see whether he would do it on his own – because change is damn hard – and not worry it was just for me.

I told him all of those things. He told me it’s okay to change for someone when you really care about them. He told me that some of what he promised was bravado, but most of it was a sincere desire to change – for him. He shared that he thought we were more in sync, but could sense my frustration at certain situations. He knew he wasn’t being spontaneous enough, but couldn’t fully articulate what was stopping him from doing the things he said he wanted to do sexually.

He told me he thought we were soul mates.

I was incredulous and hope I masked it. I said simply, “well, if that were true, then why do you think we are out of sync?”

He said “Not sure, Ann, that’s a good point.”

I explained I didn’t want to date him, and wanted to see whether he could sort out his shit on his own. I suggested we didn’t have to cease all contact, but I did need a bit more space than before. We agreed to still go to a sporting event together the following week. He was concerned about wanting to “jump my bones” after the event and not being able to do so. I told him if for some reason we ended up having sex it wasn’t the end of the world.

He told me no matter what I would win, because I’d either have him in my life as a friend or a life partner.

We shall see.


Image from the 1960 film “Never on Sunday”

16 thoughts on “Leo and I figure things out.

  1. Congratulations for making a clean break of it. I could take a lesson or two from you! This was just one of the issues, It seems to be that getting emotionally invested in someone’s weight loss when they aren’t at a point of being fully committed to it is tricky business. He wants it, as well, but that doesn’t mean that he is at a place to be fully committed to it, and even if he was, he might have the kind of genes where it is really hard to see any progress. As with people who drink too much, or are chronically late, or can’t ever say no, it isn’t uncommon for all of these people to really truly want to change these habits, but until that most internal part of their brain has had enough of dealing with the negative repercussions of their behaviors, they may not be able to really change. It may take more of a life or death situation, or hitting rock bottom, for real change to happen. Until then, the two sides of them (the side that wants change, and the side that can’t let go of the old habits) are going to be at a deeply internalized war with each other, and anyone who is invested on the outside will just get drafted into that battle. It’s a harsh way of looking at it, but to cease your relationship (and cease the favors that come with) sends a clearer message of what the consequences are if he can’t rise to the challenge of better self-care.

    • You’re quite right, and the weight loss is just of my issues with the relationship. If he is truly committed to the things he says, then I have no issue potentially revisiting my decision down the road. The intellectual stuff isn’t a show stopper if we had the other things click.
      I’m not convinced there will be another chance but there’s also no harm in staying in touch as long as he can accept our friend-only status.

  2. OMG, he has a warped sense of reality if he thinks you’re soul mates (I was shaking my head reading that as, I’m sure others were, too) and will be in each others’ lives forever!!

  3. After re-reading I have an observation to add. I think you’ve mistitled this post. I doesn’t seem as though Leo has figured out much. “I Figured Things Out” might have been more accurate…..but it’s your blog….

  4. The smart thing tho… SAME. Same importance, same difficulty finding it. NOT a question of education, degrees, titles, etc. But open-mindedness, curiosity, ability to reason, logic and debate, problem solve, mitigate confirmation bias, etc. Not to sound too cocky, but it is rare that I run into someone that I recognize is smarter than me – more experienced and knowledgeable? of course. but smarter?? not frequently. #thatiswhyIdidntbotherwithproperpunctuationorcapitalizationofmywords

    Its a total dealbreaker for me. It negates any and all physical attraction. It is extremely frustrating because it limits my pool of guys significantly. Yet I cant help it, nor can the guys help themselves.

What do you think?