Blast From the Past: Why Do Men Try to Come Back?
Why do guys I dated ages ago try to make their way back into my life now?
Whoa, I haven’t seen that name pop up on my phone in a long time. In fact, it took me a minute to remember who it was that was texting me around 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, “Hey, I hope New York is treating you better than I did.”
Then it hit me: he was a guy I dated briefly when I was looking for a new apartment last summer. He shared his love of travel and photography with me, took me to fancy dinners, and would spontaneously (and somewhat inappropriately) grab me to kiss me passionately in the middle of a crowded sidewalk.
I was interested in him, but his peculiar changes in mood made me keep my distance. And, since he really loved to travel, he was gone pretty much every other week on some crazy exotic trip. After he left for another one, I realized I didn’t want to pursue the relationship any further, and we never reconnected after he returned.
That is, until this random text message… a year later. I stared blankly at my glowing phone with just one thought: why?
A week later, as if like clockwork, I received an email from the other guy I dated for a short time last summer. We had a very memorable first date where everything that could’ve gone wrong did, but we still had a great time. He seemed like a nice guy with an adorable obsession with Superman, but he behaved strangely as well. Every date, he was meaner and meaner to me for no apparent reason. After I’d had enough, I blew him off with a bitchy text message and never heard from him again.
But now, an email sits in my inbox that reads like an apology for his bad behavior. He says I was beautiful, smart and funny and that he regrets blowing it with me, but he’s in a much better place now than he was last summer. Now, the question of “Why?” in my head is just too loud to ignore.
While I appreciate an apology no matter if it’s a day or a year late, I’m puzzled as to why both of these guys felt the need to reach out to me now. It’s been 12 months since either of them has been in my life — any type of relationship we had is now just a distant, emotionless memory.
Personally, I find it a bit selfish of them to try to insert themselves into my present and remind me of my past dating fails and the men who didn’t treat me right. What makes them think that I would want to hear from them again?
My father always says that he doesn’t like the idea of “going back,” and that you should always be focused on the future instead of your past. This is why I’ve never visited my High School since the day I graduated, never returned to the pizzeria or coffee shop I used to work in, and have never tried to contact my first boyfriend. I don’t like the idea of going back either.
I appreciate these guys’ attempts to reconcile what happened between us a year ago. But, whether they are looking for forgiveness or a second chance with me, they need to understand that they will always be kept in my past. My future is reserved for the one who will treat me right.
Tell us: has a guy from your dating past ever tried to reconnect with you? How did it go?
Faye Brennan is senior editor at BettyConfidential.