Mr. Should-be Right


[dropcap]O[/dropcap]f all the men I’ve ever dallied with, there were only two I could see myself happily married to.  Snickers, with whom I had almost nothing in common but a love deep enough to withstand our differences, and another we’ll call Jada (so named because my sister thinks he looks like Jadakiss. He doesn’t.) with whom I’ve never been able to get a relationship off the ground.

On paper and in person, Jada and I are a near-perfect match. We come from similar cultural backgrounds, have similar values. We have the same taste in TV – excluding his fondness for wrestling and including an inexplicable affection for the shitty-ass Raptors. We have the same insane squeamishness, the same taste in hip hop, and a firm belief that marriage would be better if we lived in different houses. We managed to achieve first-time sex that was both sublime and skeevy (back when I did not consider skeevy to be a good thing) and we both have a hearty appreciation for solitude. By all rights, Jada should be Mr. Max.

Like I said though, in the 11 years that we’ve been dallying with each other, we’ve never been able to get things off the ground. If you asked Jada why that is, he would probably say something like we just never wanted the same thing at the same time. He’s quite the diplomat, this guy. But for me the answer is much more complex.

It may have something to do with the way we met. Outside the bathroom of a club (yes he waited outside the bathroom for me to come out and no he will probably not appreciate me telling you guys this) in some random town neither of us lived in. We chatted off and on through the night and at the end of it he asked me for my number. And never called me. One year later we met again at another club where we again chatted throughout the night and I again gave him my number (I was young and foolish) and he again did not call. Fast forward another year and I run into him again, again spend the night talking to him on and off, leave the party with him and give him my number. That time he called though. I guess some times all it takes is a little pussy to make things stick.

At any rate, despite a beginning that pretty much ensured failure, the bizarre little dalliance between Jada and I has flourished. Yes he has done some epic bullshit to me and yes we have gone months on end without speaking, but when we do talk it’s great. I love talking to him and I can tell he loves talking to me too. Because we don’t see each other often I still get all fluttery and nervous around him. When he does things to annoy him and I go off on him he takes it like a champ and continues to do it anyway.

Despite over ten  years of really liking each other, despite marriage pacts and epic sex and even more epic conversation, things between Jada and I have never even come close to progressing to so much as an unrelationship. We drift in and out of this pattern of long, meandering frequent conversations for a few weeks, followed by some bullshit going down, followed by months of silence until he calls me out of the blue and the whole thing starts again.

At this point in time I’ve accepted the fact that it is what it is with Jada and it’s not going to be any more. I enjoy him immensely when he’s around and figure he’ll be back when he’s gone. And even though it would make the most amazing happy ending, I’ve stopped daydreaming about the day when something magically clicks into place and we each realize that the other is the one we’ve been waiting for all our lives. I know exactly what it is and exactly where it’s going.

But I do wonder two things – why do we even bother with each other anymore? If you can’t use a stronger word than “dalliance” to describe us, why is it tenacious to last so long? Are the absences carrying us through (my answer) or is the longevity a testament of our affection for each other (his answer)? And why – for the love of God WHY – is someone who is hot and smart and funny and squeamish and solitary and likes hip hop and the Raptors and loves talking to me NOT meant to be Mr. Max? Why?

So, dear readers, what do you think is the tie that binds me with Mr. Should-be Right? Do you think there’s hope for us or should we cut our losses and go our separate ways? Are we using each other as a way to avoid getting close to other people? Do you have a Mr./Ms. Should-be Right yourself? Speak your piece in the comments.

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 42

  1. Melissa says:

    There may not be hope for you for anything more but that doesnt mean you have to separate. Maybe you guys are just meant to be what you are. Obv there is attraction and you like each other but maybe you guys aren’t meant to be on the same plane. I think I agree with him that your affection for each other is what draws you back to each other.

    I think I have a mr. should-be (I’ve never slept with him tho) but I already know that the reality of us would never work. He’s just there to give me an ego boost, to tell me that I deserve better when I mess with dudes he doesn’t approve of, to have my back. And while he’ll always have a soft spot in my heart, I know that that’s all he’s meant for in my life. And I think that’s fine because we all need someone like that.

    1. Adonis says:

      My mentor @Starita is making me feel back for keeping it 100% but I am part of #TeamIntegrity (except in the pursuit of p*ssy)

      If I were him, I would trying HARD to beat… I need closure #EndOfStory

      Good Post Max

  2. I would never begin to assume the inner workings of this, but I will say 11 years is a long time.

    Despite the breaks and absences, there is plenty of comfort and familiarity- which makes anything you get out of it, significantly more awesome. It also makes it significantly harder to leave it alone, since it’s been a part of your life for so long. The bit about ‘he’ll be back’ leads me to believe there would be a pretty big void if he never did, and voids can be intimidating.. so better to stick with what we know.

    I think you’re 18 kinds of awesome, and it seems that you were open to the possibility of it progressing.. but something tripped him up. I’m more curious about that I think, because you know.. insight into the male perspective is both intriguing and horrifying.

    I applaud your fortitude though, because that would be some kind of emotional suicide for me.

  3. Adonis says:

    I consider it y’all are already married… just not in the traditional sense…

    This reminds me of the concept FRAMING (I Am gonna butcher this theory, but here it goes)

    If you want a monogamous relationship to work you have to start it the right way… You can come from a MISTRESS frame (cheating) where he was married/in a relationship to his wife/girlfriend… you wait until the relationship is over (it may never end) then get you some dick… if he steps out on you while he is with his wife… (you know how the story ends)

    In your case Max… look what frame y’all established… can you break the frame & start a new one…? Y’al look like you are content the way the relationship has gone/is going


    1. max says:

      I’m totally with you buddy. I think it started off on the completely wrong foot and there’s no recovering from that no matter what happens.

    2. Starita34 says:

      This is a devastatingly true fact. While I feel women are much more flexible in our thinking because of some magical love ideas (I mean look at all the time you’ve spent on this man, who didn’t even call from jump, TWICE); men seem to be very “it is what it is”. Once you’re placed in a category, fairly or unfairly, that’s where you belong for life. It’s such a hard pill to swallow, especially coming from a “love conquers all” perspective…

      So once you’re “the girl I can do any way I want and she’s still 37 flavors of amazing” or “the girl that I hit on the first night” or “the girl that slept with my homie’s homie” or “the girl that takes it in the face” or sadly even “the white girl” in most men’s minds you’ll never be more than that. Which is why women so often have to play a part. Why we aren’t allowed to be sexual creatures. Why so many women simply lie. Because it’s necessary for long term commitments with men who need to believe that their woman is a saint and somehow better than the rest.

      It’s terribly sad.

  4. Papaya says:

    I say remain whatever it is that u guys r!! U guys mean a lot to eachother and have built something whTever that may be!!! If it’s not hurting anyone or holding anyone back then y should u 2 seperate??!

  5. SeriousWoman says:

    I’ll get straight to the point…

    “So, dear readers, what do you think is the tie that binds me with Mr. Should-be Right?”

    A false expectation that things will change. If he wanted to marry you he would have by now. Also deep inside you may not 100% believe that someone will wanna give you the REAL relationship you deserve so you hold onto these sub-par ones

    “Do you think there’s hope for us or should we cut our losses and go our separate ways?”

    He already knows there’s no quality future for you two, he’s getting a free ride(s).Stop answering his calls and delete his number

    ” Are we using each other as a way to avoid getting close to other people?”

    He’s using you but not for the reason above. And as for you, until you allow yourself to be vulnerable to the right guy, these type of guys will keep showing up.

    1. Adonis says:

      @SeriousWoman Good Comment

      Very concise

    2. Flyy says:


      While I get your point. I don’t think it’s as harsh as that… it could be my vunerability to the subject but 11 years is a long time for a dude to stick around for some beats. Max has had relationships in that time that were nothing like what she has w/ Mr. Should Be Right so I don’t think it’s about attracting a specific type. I mean obviously she attracted it at one point… but I don’t think it’s the same now.

      I do however agree w/ your point that if he wanted to change the relationship (i.e. marry her or move the relationship along) he would’ve. And while he hold the key, that also takes Max putting her cards on the table (possibly first) and saying “this is what I want” which oft times in these situations doesn’t happen. I mean after 11 years, you’d hope the other person knows.

      1. Adonis says:

        I so understand what you are talking about from the guy who gotten shafted for the other dude…

        Most People Choose Unhappiness Over Uncertainty -Tim Ferriss

        Take That For What It Is Worth…

        My thought is that if you want a ceratin result in life you have to be ANAL about it stick to your guns & take many Ls until the universe gives you what you want…

        Enjoy Yourself

  6. KSimmi says:

    Hmmm… I say accept it, appreciate it and don’t think too much of it. I love the dynamic between you two. It works. Right? It doesn’t seem like there are too many emotions or high expectations sooooo…it works. I’d sure rather have something like that than a full on relationship where expectations aren’t met and we both scratching our heads at the commitment.

    Oh and if the sex is superb….keep him around for the ever so often thrashing. That can never be a bad thing as long as you keep your heart away from the lilly box.

  7. Flyy says:

    *finger snaps*

    I’m gon leave it at that.

  8. I don’t think you should accept it if you’re not happy with it. Cut it off and move on. 1 of two things will happen. He’ll realize what he’s lost and get on his grind to get you back, or, he’ll just eventually disappear. Both options are way better than the purgatory your relationship sits in now.

  9. One thing stood out to me almost immediately upon reading it.

    Met him, gave him your number, he didn’t call.
    Saw him, gave him your number, he didn’t call. (I’m fairly sure that you reminded him that you already gave it to him, BUT even if you didn’t.)
    Saw him, [after he never called], gave him the p*ssy, gave him your number, he finally called.

    What. In. The. Hell. Max, you should not have given it up to that guy on the third time seeing him. Like.. #nahb. Plus, I always feel like this, if I get your number after we have sex, I don’t need it. I won’t ever use it.

    1. max says:

      As I said, I was young and dumb when this happened. That would never happen now.
      Plus after the second time he didn’t call I relegated him to throwaway status and that gave me a gratuitous sex pass. Who knew he would stick around after that?

      1. BGirl says:

        I can see where that could be a bit of a surprise. Once you put a guy in the “you can hit just once” category(especially when he didn’t call before he hit), having them keep coming around is a bit of a conundrum.

        1. max says:

          When he called – the next day! – I was confused as shit. Like um….WHO is this? Oh – you’re calling me? For real?

          1. BGirl says:

            lol like um we slept together already. What can I do for ya?

            1. Adonis says:

              LMAO… Motivation

            2. max says:

              It’s a sad state of affairs when a woman is baffled by the fact that a man called

  10. ChloeRayne516 says:

    I say… Keep doing the “Do” with Jada BUT protect your Heart and your Mind and once this situation is no longer WORKING FOR “YOU” emphasis on YOU in any shape or form… Stage Left Immediately don’t wait around for him to close the curtains.

    Adonis made a very good point about the framing thing. I Totally Agree.
    You Start How You Want To Finish.

    1. Adonis says:

      I really thought that I wouldn’t explain that concept well… (this is coming off of a EPIC Gchat with my bff Starita, I’m still trying to pick up the pieces LOL)

  11. ME_84 says:

    I have the exact same situation with a guy. Talk to him every night for 2-3 hours we have the same career interest, same sense of humor, I really feel like I’m myself around here (he lives 3 hours away). Whenever I am in his town or he is in mine we hang out. But like you said he has done some messed up things and I have gone on off on him and we stop talking for about 3-4 weeks and then pick back up like nothing ever happened. He literally would be the perfect guy if he would just get it together lol. I use to think that’s just how it was but then I realized that I really don’t want him, and although we get along great when he isn’t messing up the truth is he’s not good enough for me. Because we get along so great on the conversation, interest and the fact that I had a mad crush on him for the first year of our friendship (6 years now) I ignore the bs that he brings as far as a relationship. So…….I get what I need out of it and call it a day (great convo a good time when we are together . There is a guy that will give you everything that Mr.Should-Be Right doesn’t you just have to wait or dig a little deeper. I refuse to put up with his “ways” just b/c he can make me laugh so that’s why he has been delegated to simply a good friend nothing more nothing less.

    1. Starita34 says:

      “He literally would be the perfect guy if he would just get it together lol”

      I have BEEN there. Here’s the thing though, why do we discount something as HUGE as the way he treats us? I said for the LONGEST that if he would just “give me a chance and commit to the relationship” we’d live happily ever after, but that’s a HUGE but! No Kardashian.

      Why are we so content to be with men that treat us like we’re throwaway, all the while we treat them like royalty? And the first person that says low self esteem gets a shank to the jugular. My theory is the fairytale version of “love” we’ve been fed since birth mixed with oxytocin and hope.

      This is SO effing depressing.
      Super post though Max. When you’re writing from your gut, it’s so apparent.

      1. Adonis says:

        When I read this comment I literally wanted to dropkick someone… I’m sure people have investigated this phenomenon in depth with people settling for bad treatment…

        IMHO, I think if JADA would get it together… Max would be turned off by that & extremely suspicious (I know I would be, maybe not turned off)

        I really think less of women who accept second-class behavior from men… (& vice versa) #NoSympathy

        Good Post Starita, I need more female friends in NYC like you who can point out the obvious

        1. Starita34 says:

          No shade, but I don’t think that a man can understand why we “settle” for stuff like this…I appreciate the cosign but let’s not admonish anyone for doing what their heart led them to do. As much as I “pointed out the obvious” knowing what the deal was didn’t stop me from doing the same exact shoes for 18 months. Love is hard.

          1. Adonis says:

            Stop throwing shade at my hard earned co-sign… You know what I’d to do to get those… lol…

            I sympathize with people who follow their heart… That doesn’t mean I have to respect them for it… I respect good decision making (even when it hurts in the moment)

            (especially when you passed up on me to get to him & then want me when things don’t work out & you see me looking wavy with the next chick… unsolicited scenario)

            Can you understand why a guy like me would have some animosity towards you…

            But I used to follow my heart too… But I cut my losses now…

    2. max says:

      “He literally would be the perfect guy if he would just get it together lol”

      That’s how I used to feel about Jada. I used to say he was a good guy who acts like an asshole. But now I think if he’s not “getting it together” or he “acts like an asshole” that’s an intrinsic part of who he is. There’s no such thing as the perfect guy but…if there’s a but, he’s not the perfect guy.

      1. me_84 says:

        But now I think if he’s not “getting it together” or he “acts like an asshole” that’s an intrinsic part of who he is.

        Yeah it took me about 4 years to realize this about him. It’s like now I sit back and see females fall into the same trap with him and I want to scream out noooooo your wasting your time. He knows thats how he is and doesn’t care and is completely happy b/c WE put up with it. Welp he’s THEIR problem now!

  12. KB says:

    Damn Max,

    I was fine lurking until this post.

    It is good to know that I am not alone. When I tell you it is like clockwork with me and the guy I’m dealing with. It’s a schedule and I know it. I’ve told him about it. I have people tell me its because we both dont want to get close to anyone else and dont want to be the one to make it all or nothing *shrugs*. Unfortunately I am daydreaming, which I didnt do before, and I swear these daydreaming episodes are getting out of hand. Part of me has given up hope while the other is holding on dreaming. Either all of me needs to wake up or go to sleep.

  13. BGirl says:

    I can’t say I’ve been in this kind of relationship, but I understand it. I would get too antsy. I’d want to know: what we were, where we’re going….I’d have too many damn questions. I know I need a lot of attention, so on again off again just wouldn’t cut it.

    Finding something/someone that you’re comfortable with is amazing yet tricky, you know what the relay is but we’re human we have expectations, dreams, and questions about what’s going to happen next.

    If it works, work it until it don’t work no mo’!

    1. max says:

      Girl there were a lot of years when I did that. But then I got old and smart and figured out the answers:
      what are we? nothing
      where are we going? nowhere

      But he’s cool and there’s a shortage of cool people in the world so he can stay.

  14. Sam Sharpe says:

    Been there. Done That. Bought the T-Shirt. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the situation. It’s only a problem if you’re genuinely looking for something more from him. Is there hope for the future? Sure why not, you never know how this will play out. Maybe when you’re old and you t*tties and cooch are saggin’ and his nutsack is draggin’ you’ll decide to “settle down”. I just wouldn’t put any energy into being hopeful or anything. Do you max and things will work out fine……

  15. Danielle says:

    We women can be such silly creatures. I was sorta in a relationship like yours. We had the great convo, we could talk about the process of how lint is made and it would be interesting. And we would go back and forth and back and forth and during the week of my birthday I just got tired of it. And it’s been two weeks and I haven’t talked to him since. Granted I have something Bright and Shiny now that’s holding my attention. But even if this gets dull, I won’t be going back. I’m not a fan of wasting my time and I have wasting a lot on him. I’ve moved up to another age bracket this years and I’m going to enjoy my life.

  16. Capricorn says:

    *sigh* This brings back memories of my Mr. Should-be Right. The great convo, the great rapport, the even greater sex. . . .um, anyway, we couldn’t get the timing to work out. Years go by, still timing is off. We didnt talk for about 2 years. then he called/emailed me out of the blue and said he needed me. Helped him recover from a soul-crushing break up (b/c that’s what the bff does) and somehow his issues and my problems with my then-bf led to more coitus (after 5 year break). Now? Resume cycle, we’re at the point where we just started talking after taking an extended break of not talking. What does this mean? I dont even know. Things are SO easy between us, but they never STAY easy. We just are not meant to be ‘a couple’, I guess. But he’s my go-to, just kickin’ it partner.

    Ugh. Even relationships that are clearly defined for you are still complicated? Whyfor is this?

  17. Jinx Moneypenny says:

    Yeah, this is 11 years I could not give.

    Once you let go of him as a Mr. Should-be Right, he won’t be anything. Demote him. Make room. It sounds like you want to.

    Do it.

  18. QueenT says:

    I think you two are very fond of each other but he doesn’t consider you the one. He calls you when he is bored. You talk to him because there is no one else really tickling your fancy at the time so you go thru the motions with him.

    He doesn’t call after you gave him your number three times. He is not interested in you beyond the moment. I hope I don’t sound too harsh because I know you bring alot to the table Max. This dude is a waste of time. You are better than this.

    I’ve been in this scenario before. As soon as you both find the person that you really desire to be with. You will forget all about each other. Trust me.

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