Why is it that we continue to hang out with men even when we know there is no feasible way that a relationship will work long-term? Sometimes it’s an ex, who even though you dumped their butt months ago for valuable reasons, you are suddenly drawn to again. Sometimes it’s a current boyfriend, who you are seeing all sorts of red flags for, but are actively ignoring them. And then there are the times where it is someone you’ve never gotten anywhere with, and you know you never will. No matter the situation, common sense would dictate that we just ignore these dudes and move on. However it is simply not that simple.
Take D, for instance. I have known D for 8 years and have probably always known that we would never actually work as a couple. We could not be more opposite, and not in that nice “we complement each other” way. And yet, when he called me this week and said he wanted to hang out, I told him sure. If he wanted to drive the 30 mins to my house, he could come over. Duh duh duh.
Truthfully we had a great time. Drama free, just hanging. It was the best side of us. And, yet, I have to wonder if hanging out with him is detrimental. When we hang out with these guys that we have no future with, is it telling ourselves on some level that it is OK to settle? And worse, if you have someone to distract you and to fall back on, doesn’t it make it that much harder to force yourself to take risks when it comes to dating? I like to tell myself that is all in good fun, and that it doesn’t hurt to see these guys when I have nothing else positive going on. But a nagging feeling inside me says that’s wrong.
On the other hand, these guys keep away the worst of all feelings – loneliness. If they can make you feel pretty and happy and loved for a bit, then is it really so bad? And really, can’t loneliness can be just as detrimental as anything else for your self-esteem. Go a few months without any attention from a guy and you may find it real challenging to get back into the dating swing of things.
So what’s the final ruling? Do we cut these guys out, or are they OK in moderation? I think the truth is, it is a moot point. At the end of the day, you can tell yourself not to hang out with these guys all day long, but if you’re bored or your heart is still in it, you are probably going to lose that inner battle. So if that’s the case, my advice would be to revel in the fun for now and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the guys you could have a future with.