Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ex-boyfriend syndrome: an epidemic

Have you guys heard about this new disease called ex-boyfriend syndrome?  Apparently, one out of every four guys suffers from it.  If you're a male and you're reading this, you may currently be dying a slow death from the illness.  It's not easy to diagnose and it's not on web MD, but here are some signs that you may have it.


Well, there's only one.  An unexplainable urge to do something extremely nice for someone you've broken up with, but have no intention of getting back together with them, merely to confuse them and make them crazy in the process.  Note: most of these urges involve money, unexpected phone calls, and hospital waiting rooms.

Here's just a few signs that a guy you dated may be suffering from ex-boyfriend's syndrome.

*bought said ex-girlfriend a toaster oven and left it on her doorstep after she refused his offer to buy her a brand new flat screen television.

*sent her an $800 gift card to buy a bicycle, because you've always known she wants to compete in a triathlon.

*called out of the blue when visiting her hometown to ask her out to dinner or coffee.  She will automatically assume that you want to engage in a passionate night of lovemaking.  However, when you take her out to an adorable quaint romantic restaurant, you confess you are actually in a serious relationship with someone else.

*Similar to the above, but slightly different.  After a long absence, contacted her to catch up over a cup of coffee.  Revealed at coffee date that you are moving across country for a girl.

*Slightly similar to the above, but slightly different.  After a long absence, asked her out for coffee or dinner.  Slept with her after dinner.  But we're not talking sex, we're talking "made love."  You know, chock full of all the familiar moves.  You cuddle the next morning, maybe even buy her brunch.  Then tell her over the phone, days later, that she's still better off without you.
*carried her from her dorm room to your car and drove her to the hospital when she was suffering from dysentery, while Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong played from your car stereo.  (Okay, only part of this story is true).

*inexplicably commented on at least 2-4 of her Facebook photos to say she looks gorgeous. or Hot.  Or Wow.

*Showed up at her place of work (in this case, a restaurant) every weekend to show your support.  Regularly tell her how proud of you are of her.

*sent her occasional texts, usually spanning every six to eight weeks, to say things like "i messed up."  When you receive a text in return, you don't respond.  Instead, you wait another six to eight weeks to text something like "hi."

*Showed up at a bar on the lower east side at 1 am on her last night in New York, hung out with her 'til 6 am, tell her you were a total jerk to her, but still refuse to make out with her.

*Sent you a letter--- YES, snail mail, with a cute note and a mixed CD filled with love songs.

Ladies: be warned. When your ex-boyfriend starts displaying random acts of kindness or making you wonder whether he still has feelings for you-- he may just be suffering from ex-boyfriend syndrome. Other wise known as: I always want you to love me and remember me fondly, even though I'm not at all interested in you.

Do you know a guy that may be suffering from ex-boyfriend syndrome? If so, tell us his tragic story in the comments section.


  1. My ex recently came over and cooked me dinner for Mother's day, so I wouldn't be alone (being that my Mom has passed away). This dinner also included "dessert". We had breakfast the next morning, every romantic gesture he did was so sweet and I was extremely grateful that he was there to comfort me. Cut to present day...he hasn't talked to me in over a month!

    1. this story is so upsetting to me. I want to hunt him down and hurt him for doing that after being so nice. what a jerk.

    2. i've been trying to think of an appropriate way to reply to this comment but basically - eff him. what. a. jerk.

      call one of us next mother's day!

    3. Aww thanks ladies! Eff him is right! :)

  2. Oh man... I had an ex literally go to build-a-bear and build me a bear. And we were solidly in our mid-20s. [yea i still have and love that bear. no shame]

    it's a guilt-freer disguised as a nice-guy thing. like they don't want to feel guilty about anything in the relationship and you can't exactly be like "you're an asshole for being so nice..." but it keeps them in control of not only the relationship but the POST-relationship.

    Now you have me all worked up. As usual.

    1. totally agree, it's all about their stupid guilt complexes!

  3. You say you want to be friends, but then when I try you complain. I guess there is no such thing as "lets just be friends".

    1. who said anything about wanting to be friends? get out of my life!

    2. i don't need more friends! leave me alone!

    3. Screw the friendship, I'll just take the benefits please!

  4. I would add that this is a variation of the old move known as "keeping her on the hook". You know, if you ever want to come back, she'll be right there waiting for you