Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Unwelcome Blasts from Your Sexual Past

When it comes to exes, there’s always one type you’re almost guaranteed to hear from in the future: the ones you never really dated in the first place.

These are the guys that blew you off. They’re the ones you hooked up with on Halloween, the ones who took you out for a few dinners, the ones who kept canceling plans or forgetting to call you back, and the ones who, when you look back, you can’t quite remember how or why it ended.

They always try to reenter your life at the most inopportune moments. Maybe you’re seeing someone new, having a bad week, or looking for a new job, and suddenly there’s a text, an email, or, in the rarest of cases, a phone call that hijacks all your focus.

First things first: you’re allowed to feel smug. You’re holding proof that he thought about you at least once, and he’s given you the upper hand.

But that’s probably because he’s 99 percent sure you’re going to throw it away.

You can still gloat, but realize that he’s almost certainly not texting you because he’s realized the error of his ways. If he’s left a voicemail apologizing profusely and begging for another chance, that’s one thing, but if you just got a text that said, “what up”, don’t start picking out your wedding dress.

So what should you do?


The temptation is to bitch him out or brag about your new (and potentially nonexistent) boyfriend, but the second you do that, he’s holding the power and you’re feeling like shit.

We know: you don’t want to be rude. But chances are, he probably didn’t bother much with manners with you. And besides, you don’t owe him anything.

As soon as you say, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend,” you’re giving him the chance not to respond. And then you’ll be checking your phone every 5 minutes, making your friends text you to make sure your texts are working, until finally you can’t take the suspense and text him something really eloquent, like “????”.

But if you don’t respond, he’ll be the one squirming, wondering if you got his message, and why you’re not answering.

So let it go.

It’s tempting to use this whole one-sided-on-his-part exchange to help you move on. And chances are, it’ll make you feel at least a little better.

But realize that the most effective path forward shouldn’t involve him. If you can’t get over a guy until he shows a little more interest, you’re going to waste a lot of time waiting for revenge from guys who are updateable to begin with.

The less you can care about the whole thing, the better.

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