Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When an Ex Resurfaces ... Blasts from the Past

Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos
She just received a "feeler" from an ex.
Should she respond? 

Men and women both participate in it, but for different reasons and potential outcomes. Some people call them "boomerangers," others call them "blasts from the pasts." They are people that were in your life for a specific period of time in a romantic capacity, but for mutual or not so mutual reasons, have been cut out of your life and then RETURN out of nowhere. Most of the time their texts, emails, or phone calls are unsolicited by you.

In the past month, I have received several "blasts from the past" texts and emails from guys who ranged from people I hooked up with to people I dated briefly.

As someone in a relationship at the time, I ignored the first attempt from one of the guys and out of courtesy, let another guy know that I was in a relationship now. I said, "Although I would love to catch up, it needs to be via Facebook and not face-to-face since I am now in a relationship." I was honest with my boyfriend at the time about these weak attempts from men to get back into my life. He was not threatened, but I think he was appreciative that I was honest about my correspondence with them.


The lastest "boomeranger" was particularly shocking to me, because we ended on such a horrific note. My last text to him explicitly stated, "Feel free to delete my contact information. I clearly have no idea who you are."
I think that most people would probably grant that request, but not JR.* He has cojones or "big balls." He wrote, "Hi Lauren K..." After brief contemplation, my curiosity got the best of me. I felt compelled to find out why after four months of no communication, he decided to reach out.
His answer, "Idk Lauren, I guess to say 'hi', certainly not to fight or argue with you." This was after brief chit chat via texting.
I wrote, "Well, a lot of guys from my past have resurfaced lately. I was wondering if there was a naked video on the internet of me or something."
His response, "Haha, I hope not, but I would definitely watch it. :)" 

A few days later, his secondary reason for getting back into my world becomes readily apparent.
(He temporarily lives in Austin and moved here a month or so ago.)
He writes, "Can you hook me up with J groups so I can play bball and other stuff?"

Inside, I was irate. He has not apologized for his actions from the beginning of the year, and is now asking favors from me. Since the J community is rather tight, I decided to do the right thing and give him a name or two to friend on facebook to get him off my back. He still continued an attempt to engage me in a conversation. Eventually, I decided to ignore his questions. Unless, he wants to apologize for the way things ended, I am not going to continue corresponding with him. DONE!

So, why do guys send out these feelers after months of lack of contact? Kenny G. says one reason a guy might do it is because he is in a dry spell and wants to hedge his bets to see if she will sleep with him. If the response is not so great from the woman, he can always backpeddle and say he saw a mutual friend which made him think of you. With feelers, there is no real loss if she does not respond, because not a lot of energy was spent on the initial outreach.

As a female, I think feelers are pretty cowardly. If a guy wants to get back into my life, because he misses me and realizes he made a mistake, I want him to say that or email it to me. I think it is lame to write a one liner question such as, "How have you been?" Some people might say, well, what if she is in a relationship? My response, "Do your homework through mutual friends first or just take a gamble." She still might choose a second chance with you over her current relationship, but you will never know unless you give a real effort.

So women, we don't always send casual feelers. We are more aggressive or deliberate with our "blast from the past" actions. This was many years ago and I wanted desperately for a second chance with a guy that had dumped me rather suddenly. I sent him a chip poker set for his birthday, even though we had not been in contact for months. It was a small investment in my eyes for the chance to get his attention and possibly see him again. I must have checked on the delivery of that package four times over the course of two days. A couple of days later, he politely called to thank me for my present and we talked for a few minutes. He had a new girlfriend at the time, but I could tell from the conversation she was just a band-aid girl, and not the one he would marry. I did gather from the phone conversation, that although he was appreciative of the gift, he felt it was definitely not necessary. In retrospect, my attempt to get back in his life through a gift was rather lame. I would have been better off emailing him my thoughts and asking him to catch up over the phone or ask to get coffee.

Women can be sentimental and will call on previous anniversary dates, birthdays, or significant times in your past relationship. Guys, it does not always mean she wants you back. Sometimes, she has an emotional "moment" that she believes only you will understand.

Sometimes, it can be construed as extremely selfish for some women and men to resurface after a long period of absence. You should really think about how your text or email might make the other person feel.

Example: Jerry dated Cindy for about two years and they lived together. After a difficult break up initiated by Cindy, Jerry moves out. A year later, Cindy finds a box of Jerry's old tools. Cindy feels the right thing to do is to let Jerry know about his tools, but honestly, does he really miss those tools? Probably not.
If Cindy wants to get back together with Jerry, this might be the perfect opening for her. If she simply wants to clear her conscience and discard the tools, she is better off giving them to a neighbor or good will, than contacting him out of the blue. Some people might disagree with my position, but I am looking out for Jerry’s welfare, which is more important than the $30 toolbox.

Bottom line … Men, go beyond the basic feelers if you miss someone and want to see where things are with an ex. If you just want a booty call, find someone new before you prey on someone who really liked you from your past. Women, be realistic with your attempts to get back with an ex and you may want to do a cleansing of your cell phone address book if you fear you will send a "blast from the past" text to someone that might not be so appreciative of it.

Do you have a “blast from the past” story that you would like to share? Every once in awhile, a couple gets back together from a “feeler” attempt. My call to action is for you to be bold with your resurface attempts and do not make the receiving party guess what your intentions are.

* - All names have been changed to protect the anonymity of all parties involved.

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