Why Your Sort-Of-Boyfriends Come Back To Haunt You

Why Your Sort-Of-Boyfriends Come Back To Haunt You

Among my many talents, ruining the lives of ex-boyfriends is at the top of the list. I’m fully aware of the reasons anyone who’s actually dated me would have for wanting to file a restraining order and leave the state. I’m clinically insane. I’ve always had an issue with the sudden drop-off of not-quite-boyfriends, however. I think we’ve all been there. Things seem to be going great with your new sort-of-boyfriend, and you haven’t played the cray cray card yet because it’s too new. Sure, you’ve gotten drunk and called him 15 times in a row, but at this point, he’s not seeing you as insane, he’s seeing your incessant inebriated phone use as “cute” and “funny.” Everything looks super promising, until one day when he suddenly stops texting you, stops calling you, and seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth altogether.

Not only is this a bitch on your self-esteem, but it leads to some deeply introspective nights of getting wine drunk and asking the age old question, “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME!?” After a few weeks, you start to realize that he’s probably the psycho and you move on, naturally.

The not-boyfriend breakup is devastating because there’s never closure. It’s always sudden and frustrating because you can’t pinpoint where you went wrong or why this guy seemed completely in love with you at the beginning of the week and then ran away without warning before the weekend came around. You’re not actually emotionally invested in the relationship, so the not-quite breakup isn’t heartbreaking, but it does lead to a serious dip in self-esteem when you try to figure out why someone would string you along just to suddenly ignore you. These instances are annoying, but they’re completely manageable because of your lack of actual emotional involvement.

As any normal girl should, you move on to bigger and better (that’s an innuendo) things after a semi-heartbreaking sort-of-breakup with a not-boyfriend. You’ve almost completely forgotten about the loser who dropped off the face of the earth after two short, blissful, promising weeks together because you’ve been so busy spending time with your new guy until something ridiculous happens: he comes back.

Why do not-boyfriends plan their resurgences to coincide with the arrival of actual potential boyfriends? I’ve always heard the saying, “when it rains, it pours” but I always found The Weather Channel boring, and rain inconvenient unless it was an excuse to wear rainboots. I never realized this phrase was actually a description of anyone’s love life. When someone good finally comes around, all of the idiots you mistakenly thought you wanted in the past will come back and attempt to fuck it all up for you.

But WHY?! I’m the most indecisive person ever. If things are going well for me, I’ll ultimately look for a way to fuck them up royally. I don’t need the interjection of past lovers who scorned me to add fuel to the self-combusting fire. I used to think that whenever a not-quite-ex came back it was the universe’s way of ruining my life further, but I’ve recently realized there is a method behind the relationship-ruining madness.

It’s actually pretty simple. Whenever a guy dips out for no reason during the “talking” stages, it’s because he’s more than likely a huge commitment-phobe. If you’ve done nothing wrong and presented yourself as girlfriend material, that probably terrified him. Because he’s a non-committal bitch, it was easier for him to just stop talking to you completely than offer the reasonable, adult explanation, which is that he sees you as more than a hookup, but he isn’t ready for anything serious. Either that or you give really bad blow jobs. Just kidding. Kind of.

It makes total sense that not-quite-boyfriends are terrified of real relationships, because if they weren’t, they would be actual boyfriends. It’s easier for them to come back into the picture once it’s public knowledge that you’re now spoken for. They know the chances they have of finding themselves amid commitment are now slim, since you’re otherwise committed, and the fear of being rejected is totally eradicated, because they can use the “Well, she has a boyfriend” excuse to help their dented egos.

I could never understand why the guys who would never commit when we were together showed a renewed interest in me once I was officially off the market, but it actually makes perfect sense. I hate to use the “you want what you can’t have” card, but I think a lot of guys who liked the idea of having a girlfriend, but don’t want the title realize there is ZERO chance of having anything with a former fling once she’s in a relationship, so they make a last-ditch effort to reconnect once it’s pretty obvious they are out of the picture. They’re only doing this because they know they won’t actually have to commit to anything with you.

Of course, any sort-of-boyfriend you ever had will come out of the woodwork once word on the street is you’re in a relationship; it’s just important to realize that they were terrible human beings when you weren’t even really dating, and there’s no point in making waves in your current relationship for some idiot who stopped texting you mid-week because he’s a child.


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