READER RANT – Why Can’t Some Guys Totally Let Go?

Why do men get back in contact with you when they are in a serious, established relationship?  I dated a guy about 4 years ago, and it was serious.  We dated for 6 months, and he seemed to have some concerns about the relationship but did not voice them clearly to me.  At the time he said “something is missing” but that he wasn’t sure what it was.  We ended things amicably and I defriended him on Facebook at that time.  I was disappointed, but life moved on.   Two months after we ended things, he attempted to surprise me at my place, saying that he wanted to talk to me.  I politely declined as I am not one for surprises in that capacity but wished him well.  This upset him at that time, and we have not spoken since then.  In January of this year, one day he sent me a FB friend request.  I accepted, out of mild curiosity and a bit of nosiness.   I know that on my end, there will never be any future interest in him, and that is why I was indifferent to the idea of FB friendship.  So upon seeing his page, he has a serious girlfriend, and they are happy together.  It’s clear that their families are entertwined, and that they are a very established couple.  Cool beans. 
At the time he added me, he began to comment on my page pretty consistently, to the point that one of my friends asked me whether or not the guy and I were rekindling things.  I advised that we weren’t, and I continued to be polite, generic, and friendly as I would be to anyone on my page.  It never crossed into flirtation on either part.  I’ve never commented on his page otherwise or made any attempts to initiate conversation with him.  Through FB updates and the like,  I found out that he bought his first home this summer and proposed to his then girlfriend.  I’m glad that he is so happy.  He inboxed me on my birthday, and I left a generic message on his wall for his birthday, returning the favor.  Recently he defriended me just as randomly as he added me in the first place. 
But still…why on earth would he reach out to me after so long?  What was he expecting to see / hear from me?  My page is very generic, as I’m a very private person.  He knows this, so if the point was to dig for information, nothing substantial would be found.  I mean, you’re happy with your life.  Why reach back to the long ago past?
I had a similar situation a few months ago. A guy I had dated about 3 years ago would send me emails to say hello and catch up. One night this past spring, he sent me a text message wanting to get together. “My curiosity has gotten the better of me” he said. (We had never slept together.)  The man I was dating at the time was there and an awkward situation followed. The next day I replied to the guy and told him he was never to contact me like that again. I went on to say that he should think twice before sending a woman a text like that on a weekend night as he might be creating an uncomfortable situation for her. He apologized profusely. A couple months later he sent an email telling me how much he liked my new Facebook profile photo. (We had become FB friends around the time we had dated.) The other day, he appeared in my FB timeline. It was a photo of him with his new bride right after their wedding a few weeks ago. I wasn’t mad or bothered in any way. But then, doing what I do, I see and hear a lot of things. It doesn’t surprise me to hear that a man about to be married or engaged is still creeping around the Facebook page/Blog/Twitter feed of someone he dated.

A certain someone needs to read less of my blog (behind his wife’s back) & maybe, I don’t know, focus on his marriage? #ForShitsSake


Last summer I discovered another guy I had been involved with also snooping around my social media profiles. I made it clear to him privately that I didn’t appreciate his presence and asked him to stop. Instead of just saying he understood and would retreat, he said I was “ascribing a deep psychology” to why he was popping by. “I added you to my blog roll because I enjoy your perspectives” he said.  I made sure he got as much out of my perspectives as he possibly could from that point on. Nobody likes feeling monitored. Especially by people who, for the most part,  treated you like dirt under their fingernails.

Why do they do it? I think there are different reasons.

1. They want to be sure that they’ve got everything out of their system - I think the guy who sent me a text probably wanted to slide in one last go round before he popped the question. We never get that stuff out of our system. We will always be looking or lusting. Commitment doesn’t temper that.

2.They want to see if they’re still on your mind- In the case of Mr. Ascribe a Deep Psychology, he also mentioned in our email conversation that he was currently up to up to speed on what was going on with not only his most recent ex-girlfriend but high school girlfriends. Meanwhile, he had a new girlfriend at the time. Why was he so plugged in to the lives of Exes? My guess is he didn’t want to be totally forgotten by any of us.

3. Something is prevent them from moving on – Maybe it’s guilt. Maybe it’s a sexual attraction. Maybe it’s genuine feelings. Whatever it is, these guys are having a difficult time detaching. Staying connected through social media is a way to safely maintain any connection at all without crossing lines. I wrote a long time ago that Facebook and Twitter make break ups that much harder to let go. This is why.

4. They hate being thought of as “the bad guy” or wondering “what if?” - Mr Ascribe a Deep Psychology had sent me a 2,000 apology letter last May. Several weeks later I ended up unblocking him on Facebook. A week later, he blocked me even though we hadn’t spoken since his apology and despite me wishing him well in his new relationship. Had I not foolishly checked his page, I wouldn’t even have known. Phony apologies and Wall Flirting are empty gestures extended for self-serving purposes. These guys are trying to alleviate a guilty conscience. OP, your guy only friended you to see what was going on with you. When his curiosity was sated and he realized you wouldn’t give him what he wanted, he left.

5. They want to keep a door open in case things don’t work out – Never before was it easier to maintain a harem, cheat or keep your options open. At any given moment we can find that ex that we had great sex with and inbox them. Men and women both cultivate a Back Up roster. These people are Break In Case of Break Up Lays.

I’ve said this before. I bet most men and women would be shocked to know what their partners are doing behind their backs. Even the most solid, upstanding of men and women are prone to engage in a little extra-curricular social media activity.



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10 Responses to “READER RANT – Why Can’t Some Guys Totally Let Go?”

  1. Selena Says:

    I’m not a big FB person. I like looking at updated family photos, but I’m totally uninterested in the politician bashing ads, what you had for dinner last night, and your fight with the cable company.

    I have looked up ex’s in a “I wonder where they are now” type curiousity. And left it at that. Perhaps that was the motivation of the OP’s ex initially. She said there wasn’t any flirting, or “let’s get together” type postings on his part. The consisent commenting on her page might have been something he did when he was bored to many of his FB “friends”.

    As far as him defriending her without provocation: when he and his girlfriend got engaged they may have had a talk about “not keeping in contact with ex’s”. Because sometimes that does lead to cheating, even moreso, misunderstandings.

  2. Marshmallow Says:

    Moxie, I’ve got to ask. Is “ascribing a deep psychology” guy Don Draper???

  3. Amanda Says:

    Men that have been rejected (even in early stages of dating) LOVE to throw it your face that they have someone else. Been there, done that, so no contact with exes for me.

  4. AJ Says:

    A trick I use the get rid of those types is “the psychotic ex” phone call. LOL. Works everytime!

  5. mixitup Says:

    As a male, I would explain that it is ALWAYS about sex. Since most men think with a body part below the waist, the ex is attempting to get one last piece of action. Like the proverbial dog chasing the car, the ex is all about the chase. Even though the male is in a new relationship, or even engaged, most males can not give up the chase, just like the dog keeps running after the car. At some point though, the dog eventually tires and stops the chase, just like when the ex defriends his old flame.

    Therefore, the answer is to be just like the car – just keep moving forward. The past is history, and the worst thing one can do is to repeat it all over again.

  6. The D-man Says:

    Man, people are fucked up.

    Me too, sometimes.

  7. D'Alias Says:

    Sorry for your loss

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