Why we go back for seconds

How many times have you boomeranged? Gone out with someone and then a year later, reached out to them (or had them reach out to you) and agreed to give it another date or another shot or another night, even though there was probably a strong reason you didn’t stick around the first time?

We’ve all done it. I’m sure that every single person reading these very words has either been the sender or the recipient of the ‘it’s been a while, what are you up to?’ text. And when we see those words come through, we can’t help but get a little excited.

Even though something about it didn’t work the first go round, there’s a comfort factor with recycling someone from our past. Part of what makes dating fun is the unknown. But that can get old pretty fast , especially when you’re dating with the voracious frequency most of us are. I mean really, how many times can you make the same small talk? With a boomerang, there are already elements that have been disclosed. Less to share and more shared history.

Sometimes second helpings are great or even well deserved. Maybe the person who’s come back around was awesome and you were just not in a place to date them at the time. Or maybe you’re more mature now and capable of better dealing with whatever didn’t quite work the first time.

But, we’d be foolish to not acknowledge that in some cases, you ran away because they just weren’t worth sticking around for. Maybe they were flaky. Or mean. Or hate puppies. Or were just kind of an a-hole looking to play games.

I was speaking with a friend of mine last week about a recent boomerang of mine:

Him: What happened last time?

Me: Eh he wasn’t all that nice to me.

Him: OK. Long as you know that he still might be an a-hole.

Me: Ugh Games.

Him: If he’s an a-hole, he’s probably really good at them too.

My friends have called me a ‘hopeless romantic’ which I think is nuts. I’m pragmatic to a fault and never allow myself to fall prey to fits of fancy. That said, and in spite of all this, I do have a tendency towards boomeranging. I think it’s because I desperately want to see the best in others even when literally everything about their behavior tells me to believe the complete opposite. So, with mild caution, I enter into situations like this hoping—and assuming—the men from my past are capable of being different this time around or perhaps being the answer to my single lady prayers. I'd like to think that there was something that drew me to them the first time around and more often than not, that charismatic quality is still there in full force. So with my heart open and my eyes half closed, I say, please sir, I want some more.

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