I had a thought reading: I'm not sure if there's something to it or not, feel free to discard it if it doesn't fit.
You were sexual with Paul, and hoped something more would evolve. But the sex was unsatisfying, and he didn't want more of a connection with you. I don't remember how much you've described how this made you feel. Sad? Ashamed? Disappointed? Rejected? Worthless? Maybe like your worst beliefs about yourself were confirmed (that you're not hot enough or lovable enough etc.)?
I was just wondering, if part of the reason you didn't tell these things to Podunk was that you feared that the fact that Paul rejected you (or you felt like he did) would make him see that you're not really worthy of his love and attraction (like you believe/fear you aren't?).
Maybe something to think about.
Living with my partner Mya
and metamour Hank. Seeing Lily.