You watch your phone after every text you send, patiently waiting for those three small dots, giving you a glimmer of hope he might respond. They appear for a second then stop. “Maybe he’s just busy,” you think, scrolling up to reread his sweet texts from last week for your own mental clarification that he’s interested.
Introducing: The One Who Won’t Go Away. He makes you feel special enough, but you still don’t feel like you have his full attention. He’s stayed in your life long enough to give you that pinch of hope that your hookup routine will turn into an actual relationship. Your friends ask you why you’ve kept this guy in your life for so long. Between daydreams of meeting his family and the moment he says his first “I love you,” a small demon in the back of your head named “Logic” reminds you it will never happen. Maybe it’s time to start listening to it.
Katy Perry sings the anthem, ‘The One That Got Away,’ a personal favorite of mine. It’s about that one special guy who slipped from your freshly manicured fingertips. It feels like an unclosed chapter — that your life could have taken a completely different turn with him. But sadly, the relationship has come and gone, and Katy accepts that it is time to move on.
However, The One Who Won’t Go Away doesn’t make it quite as easy as Katy made it seem. Just as you start to realize it’s time to move on, you start to confuse fate with coincidence. Because a week after you swear you won’t contact him anymore, your phone vibrates and his name flashes on your screen. You think to yourself it’s the universe’s sign telling you not to give up. “This is it. He’s finally coming around,” as you smile to yourself like an idiot for an hour because he finally sent a “hey, what’s up?” The daydreams begin again. You try to predict how many Facebook likes your changed relationship status is going to get. You’re delusional and I don’t blame you — it’s the same, vicious cycle.
You’ve clutched onto him harder than a brand new sticky bra. He’s always been a comfort, and you figure it’s just SO close to happening. However, the reality of the situation is this “potential” relationship was going to happen, it would’ve happened already. You know with time, a few random hookups, and a couple pints of Ben & Jerry’s, you can easily get over him.
The problem with The One Who Won’t Go Away is he’s never been enough of an asshole for you to completely cut him out of your life. In fact, he is a nice guy, and you can’t precisely pinpoint what it is that’s so horrible about him. After all, it’s just the small mistreatments — not answering a text here and there, canceling on the Netflix date last minute, and hiding behind the mask of “I’m busy.” While it may seem as though he hasn’t done anything douchey enough to qualify him as an asshole, you’ve been avoiding the fact that you’re actually unhappy with this treatment. And yes, you do deserve better.
As much as we thought waiting an hour before answering his texts would somehow make him “like us more,” that same demon Logic is telling us the only thing to do — cut him out completely.
By now, you’ve probably made it known that you aren’t getting what you want out of this failure of a relationship (if you haven’t done that by now, grow a pair). Whether you want commitment, more attention, or whatever — the bottom line is, you’re not actually happy and it’s time for him to go. Stop answering. The next “hey, what’s up?” might seem so innocent, and you’ll be tempted to fall right back into the cycle by thinking he’s finally come around. But next time, think of this… You’ve given him how many weeks? — Months? Years? — to lock you down. If he really wanted you, he would’ve taken the opportunity. He snoozed, so now he’s going to fucking lose.
A good friend once told me “The worst part of the we-almost-dated relationships is not the fact that the person is out of your life. It’s the fact that you’re missing what you IMAGINED to be an opportunity at love.” Step back for a second and reflect: was the opportunity actually there? Or was it just you being human and wanting what you can’t have? That “connection” could be the result of the mind game he’s playing.
Think about it: how many times has your good friend Logic has already informed you he has commitment issues? Several, even though you pushed them away to think about planning your one year anniversary Instagram caption.
Go on the 21st century quest to erase him: delete him off Snapchat so you can’t see his stories, unfollow him on Instagram, block him from your Facebook newsfeed, delete the old texts you reread to give you butterflies. If he won’t go away on his own, make him go away. You know it’s not going to happen, so stop wasting your time by trying. You deserve better.