How to let your fall-back guy off the hook

Dear Reid,

This guy I dated casually about 5 years ago popped back into my life the day after my ex of several years and I broke up. We started hanging out, and he told me how he wanted to date me, how he’s more attracted to me than any other girl and how he thought about me all the time. We dated for like 6 weeks, and then he started to get distant. I was getting clingy and seemed confused and insecure because it was so soon after my breakup.  I’d usually start acting over-analytical and confused when we did something sexual…

I told him I needed to be single awhile and take a break from guys, but I wanted one last fling. He turned it down, and said he wanted to date me in the future. That was 3 months ago. I hadn’t heard from him for about 1 month but now he’s poking me on Facebook, called me/texted me once when he was drunk and left a message. I returned the call and never heard back. I text him back and he’ll respond once, but not keep the convo going. Ran into my ex of 3 years, who told me this guy came up to him and introduced himself out of nowhere.

He texted me on my birthday, but then didn’t respond when I said thanks. I’m confused, we really got along and I dont’ know why he doesn’t act like he wants to be friends. Or why he contacts me every so often “just to stay in touch.” Should I be pissed at being the fall-back girl? Or should I be flattered he is waiting for when I’m ready to date him again?  He also went up to my ex and introduced himself at a bar- I don’t know what to make of this behavior.

Signed, Confused & Annoyed

I know how you feel. You’ve kept this guy on the hook for so long that it’s quite a shock to discover that he has finally grown a bit of a backbone. The poor guy has been waiting in the wings for you for years… probably hoping against hope that you’d eventually dump your jerk of a boyfriend and give a nice guy a shot for once. Then, when he finally saw his window and made his move, you told him that you weren’t ready to be with him right now, but you’d sure be happy to have a little fling. Hardly what he was looking for, and it seems to me he was quite clear about that.

Take a good look at the situation here: you’re not his fall-back girl, he’s your fall-back guy. And if you like him at all, you have two humane choices: date him for real, or let him off the hook once and for all. It seems like you’re ready to date again, or you wouldn’t be so confused and annoyed at his recent behavior. So, if he’s a candidate, let him know you’re back on the market and ready to give it a shot. If he’s not for you, and never will be, just let him know so the poor schlep can get on with his life. But please, for the love of Pete, no matter what you do, don’t tell him you just want to be friends.


4 Responses to “How to let your fall-back guy off the hook”

  1. Relationship Breaking Up Says:

    I would have voted for “letting the guy go”…tell him straight…but if you like to take some time to figure things out .. make it quick ..nothing last forever but the earth and sky…thanks for a nice post..

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  3. how can you get an ex back Says:

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