“A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.” – Confucius

It’s alarming and confusing to me that so many women go back to the exes they’ve sworn off. It’s a habit–possibly a bigger addiction than smoking, and potentially as dangerous. There should be a one-rebound limit to relationships because it is absolutely masochistic to continue going back for more pain. I’ve had this discussion with the recently parted many times; it almost always ends the same way.

“Hey there. Where’s your boo?”

“Oh, that asshole? I broke up with him. I’m over it. He’s such a jerk. He’s constantly drunk and treating me like shit. I’m done with him.”

“Bet you’re not.”

“Done, I tell you. You should see the text messages he sent me, calling me names and putting me down. I can’t believe I wasted so much time with him.”

“So, this is probably the fifth or sixth time you’ve split, right?”

“This time it’s for good.”

“Last time it was for good.”

“No, this time it’s real. I’ve moved on. He’s out of my life.”

“Have you unfriended, blocked, and deleted all of his contact info?”

“Um, not yet, but I will.”


“Seriously. He’s horrible. I want nothing to do with him.”

“What if he claims to have changed, promises to treat you better, and begs for another chance?”

“No way.”

“Yes, way.”

“He won’t do that anyway.”

“He most certainly will. Just wait until he has an empty arm and busy liver around midnight. You’ll get the text.”

“I’ll ignore it.”

“Then he’ll send another. Maybe he’ll email you a poem, lyrics, or a song video of some sad dude singing about how he lost his soul mate. You’ll probably find flowers on your doorstep. Whatever it takes to bring back his emotional punching bag.”



Naturally, a few weeks pass, then while parked at my usual bar corner, I see the unhappy couple–united as predicted. She’s too embarrassed to say a word to me, because she can’t justify taking him back to herself, let alone a jaded fool like me. Eventually, she faces me. Her shame is hard to hide.

“Ah, I see all is well in paradise again.”

“He’s totally changed.”

“Not even a little.”

“This is his last chance. I warned him: One slip-up and we’re done for good.”

“You mean ten slip-ups, and you’re done for a week or so. You’d make a horrible judge.”

“He’s sobering up, and treating me right.”

“Good. Let’s see how long he can carry out the charade.”

“Maybe it’s for real. Maybe he realized what he lost, and knows he needs to treat me right or lose me forever.”

“All right. I’ll see you in a few weeks, after he can no longer wear the emotional disguise, and we can discuss his assholeness once again.”

“We might surprise you.”

“Hey, it’s your life, sugar. When you find where you’ve left your self-esteem, you’ll realize how silly this is.”

“I don’t see any girlfriend with you.”

“Yes, you don’t. Serenity is a good friend to me.”

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.