The Guy That Girls Keep Around Just In Case

For those of you that are not die hard bachelorette fans (and to those of you that aren’t, I’m jealous that you never got hooked. I was sucked in many years ago and haven’t been able to stop watching), a few weeks ago Andi our bachelorette took her men to Marseille, France. She decided cooking would be passionate fun for a one on one date , and I would agree. Shopping in a French market and sampling wine, cheeses, breads, and more seems like great foreplay for creating something hot. She thought so too. But her date was far from it.

The dude was awkward, to say the least. He was standoffish. He stayed physically separate from her in the kitchen. He says it’s because he’s uncomfortable cooking. Just say that, dude.

I wish people understood that we are willing to excuse a lot of things if you are willing to be honest and upfront. Feeling uncomfortable? Say it, let’s call out that shit and then move forward. Hate cooking? Ok, say that and maybe find a way to do something special. Offer to do the dishes, give a back massage. There are other ways to make it sexy and fun without making it awkwardly painful.

Just see for yourself:

Would you be surprised to hear that she kept this guy around? I sure was. But in a way I could relate.

Brian has been reliable and every once in a while he surprises Andi with a gesture of masculinity. He’s cute and fit and thoughtful. He’s great on paper. And we all know what that means. He doesn’t have a shot in hell.

I know that I have dated guys just like this. I date the nice, fit, attractive men. Maybe they’re great kissers and really smart. But something just feels off when we’re together. But I keep them around indefinitely.

Why? Why do I keep them on the hook and I don’t move things forward?

Let me list the reasons I say in my head.

  • I met him through a friend, so I don’t want to make things awkward for anyone so I really want to make sure I know how I feel.
  • He’s such a good kisser. The rest of it is probably good too.
  • He’s so cute. Just look at that smile.
  • He responds to text messages quickly, so at least he’s responsive.
  • Maybe I haven’t given him enough time, maybe he will grow on me.
  • He’s reliable.
  • He tries to really get to know me and be interested in what I am interested in.
  • He’s just so nice. I’d hate to crush him.

Ugh. Just looking at this list makes me sad. It feels pathetic how much I am reaching to find reasons to keep a guy around.

No matter how long the list of reasons why I should keep someone around, why can’t I just go with my gut and say “no, thanks” when I am not interested any more?

Rejection is really tough, for both parties. I know when I have rejected guys in the past there has been some unpleasant backlash. I’ve had a guy lash out in anger, demand better reasons, try to convince me that I’m wrong. I guess that I want to be really sure when I tell a guy I’m not interested. I’d almost rather let a guy disappear because we fall out of contact with each other. It’s passive, and non-confrontational. Win-win for everyone, right? Neither of us were really interested, so we just let it go.

But I think it’s more than rejection. It’s a combination of not wanting to hurt someone, not wanting to get an unpleasant reaction, and hope. And pressure.

I’ve been dating since I was fourteen, and sometimes I feel like people are frustrated and confused about why I don’t just settle down already. People meet the nice guy and wonder if he’s the one that will stick around. When I dump him they are confused. He seemed nice enough. Why didn’t I want to keep him long term?

And I doubt my decision and ask myself, yeah why didn’t I keep him around. Just because I felt things were off?

And suddenly that doesn’t feel like a good enough answer. Hence why this poor guy remains on the bench, I have gone through this scenario enough that when it comes up now I second guess everything.

So what’s a girl to do? Keep the guy around in case something develops? Which it likely won’t so you end up dumping him anyway. Or go with your gut and dump him when you realize it’s not going anywhere?

I keep going with the latter, for better or worse. Maybe it’s wrong. Maybe things would develop and I will never know. But I have also experienced enough of what feels really good, and I want more of that! And if it’s not there, I don’t really stick around for long.

what about you?

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7 thoughts on “The Guy That Girls Keep Around Just In Case

  1. I was just talking about this last night, but in the sense of a ‘what if’ guy. That everyone has a boy that they will always wonder ‘what if’ because things never worked out for whatever reason. It’s crazy! x

    • I actually think that is a different guy in my circles of men I date. The back burner guy is someone I never really completely click with but it’s never so bad that I’m repulsed. My what if guy would be someone that I genuinely really liked but maybe something got in the way like bad timing, bad schedules, distance, etc. ooh, that’s an interesting idea!

      • Yes! I guess – they are definitely different men for me too I think.
        I also think I’ll always have feelings for that what if guy too because nothing ever happened and I never knew what it would be. But forever is a long time…

  2. For me, it’s often because I imagine the conversation with my friends “What ever happened to Mr. X?” “He was nice, but it wasn’t going anywhere.” “You’re too picky/See, that’s why you’re single/You want too much.” Even if I’m not literally afraid of that conversation, I want to prove to myself and others that I’ve given nice guys every reasonable opportunity, and that I have an ironclad reason for ending things. Even if it means wasting my time and his.

    I’m working on it. Believe it or not, it’s progress. I used to date only guys I didn’t like, so that I could break up with them without putting my heart on the line. It’s a long, long road.

  3. Keeping a someone around because they are the “Close but no cigar” type is a good idea as long as you keeping this person around does not interfere with their own lives. Please make sure that you allow them (after the breakup) to get on with there lives so they do not keep hoping for the “what if.” This can be hard. Finding the right distance is key and sometimes, due to the personality of the other person, it can be impossible to find a distance that works.

    All in all, a good piece and I wish you luck in trying to stop watching The Bachelorette.

  4. I am doing this now. Dating a guy I like, on paper sounds great, we’ve had some good times, yet in the daily interactions there is no desire, no heat, no ‘I can’t wait to see you’ or ‘I’m so glad you’re here.’ Some dates the hours fly by, others they drag on…
    I guess I keep him around because ‘what if’ those moments that were great come back? ‘What if’ it grows into something over time? ‘What if’ I get to know him better and then we do actually click?
    But for now, we’ll just keep it casual. See what happens (or doesn’t happen)

    • Yeah, I definitely understand that. I’ve had several of those. And there were a few of those guys that just stopped calling and I wasn’t devastated I just wondered why. Why choose to leave at that moment? Why not say “Hey this is been fun but it’s not working”? In the end I do wish you the same that I wish for everyone else- to get the love that you desire and deserve. Your guy is out there.

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