The Case of the Ex


The last man I dated with any type of regularity disappeared off the face of the earth when we called it quits. I wasn’t mad because in my world, that’s the natural order of things. Notwithstanding this guy, I don’t believe in staying friends with my exes. It just never made sense to me.

So yeah – in the year or so since I last bumped uglies with saw this dude, I’ve heard not a peep out of him beyond a generic mass Happy Holidays text that I summarily ignored. And I’d basically forgotten  his entire existence until his name popped up on my caller ID the other day. Intensely curious and completely baffled by what he could possibly want with me, I broke my rule of virtually never answering the phone for any reason ever and picked up.

The conversation started off innocuously enough; how are things, how’s work, how’s your family, etc. We talked about my blog – he let me know he’d stopped reading it and I let him know that anyone who doesn’t read my blog is at least a little bit dead to me. That’s pretty much the sum total of the small talk there is to be had between two people who dated pretty casually over a year ago who have no real shared interests and no mutual friends.

After an awkward silence during which I tried to find the most diplomatic way to extricate myself from this phone call, a little thing I like to call the case of the ex occurred. The case of the ex goes a little something like this:

He clears his throat and then says faux-casually that he’s been thinking of me.

I warily ask what he’s been thinking.

He starts to hem and haw about not knowing what went wrong between us.

I attempt to brush him off by pointing out that it really doesn’t much matter at this point.

He says he thinks we were too hasty and we should start seeing each other again.

I heave a great deep sigh.

The reason I sighed so greatly was not that I conflicted about wanting to go back there with this dude – I wasn’t. Nor was it that I felt badly to have to tell him in no uncertain terms that we would not be seeing each other again – I didn’t. I heaved a great big deep dutty sigh because it was the case of the ex rearing its ugly head once again.

The case of the ex is what I call it when you stop messing with a dude, he fades to obscurity, and then magically reappears the instant you start to get involved with another dude. Whether it’s a week, a month, or five years later it seems some men just have some kind of radar that alerts them to the fact that you’re about to start studying someone else. In my case, a few months ago I was falling  into a certain man’s vortex. Just as I accepted defeat and admitted to myself and my friends that I was feeling this dude, the spectacular asshole swooped in and case of the ex’d me right out of that. And now that I’m starting to be sucked into his vortex here comes this dude pulling the case of the ex again.

I just don’t get this shit. I mean – I already know that sooner or later disappearing men always come slithering out of their holes. I know there are a lot of reasons why they could be doing it, but that 9 times out of 10 it’s just because they want to know if they can still smash.  I get all of that and I’m over it. But what I don’t get is how the fuck they know. How are they able to determine the exact moment at which to sweep in and bring chaos and confusion to the vortex you’re happily falling into? How is a man you’ve stopped dating and are not in contact with able to tell that you like someone else and have forgotten about him. How? How?!?

I don’t know the answer. And no one I know has ever been able to explain it to me either. So I put it out to you readers  – do you know? Ladies have you had a man pull the case of the ex on you and reappear just as you’re forgetting about him and getting into someone else? Men…just tell me how you know!

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 37

  1. Capricorn says:

    *files nails* this will be good.

  2. nectar_imperial says:

    Some say that there’s a set timeframe that men follow: the amount of time you leave your ex alone is directly proportional to how messed up your breakup was/how much of an asshole you were. And it just so happens to match up with the amount of time women need to get over the ex. AND fall into another man’s “vortex”
    Or…it could just be you.

  3. Yoles says:

    i can’t wait to see these answers because i have been a witness to the phenomenon of the re-emerging ex….

    *takes a seat*
    *has a ☕*

  4. Melzie says:

    I swear every woman I know has been through this at least once. This mystery ranks up there with the how the pyramids were built…lol. I may ask a married friend if they can shed some light on this.

  5. Cheekie says:

    “Ladies have you had a man pull the case of the ex on you and reappear just as you’re forgetting about him and getting into someone else? Men…just tell me how you know!”

    YES, a kneegrow I was talkin’ to, (had thought we hit it off, then he just up and disappeared) JUST did this to me YESTERDAY, by hitting me up on FB on some, “hey, got a new phone, can I have yo number again?” just as I was on some “eff that ninja, there are more ninjas in the dojo” ish. -_______-

    Ya’ll mofos got that radar, I tells ya!

  6. Bumblebee_C says:

    Maybe the ex’s join some secret type of union with our vaginas or vice versa where their peen gets some electromagnetic signal when we get hot and bothered too many times over some constant peen that aint theirs. You described my damn life for the past 3 years.

    1. Tellylonglegs says:

      This is funny.

  7. Marlon says:

    The ‘case of the ex’ isn’t as weird as you think it is. Its actually very simple! Most relationships end when people drift apart or become unhappy with each other in some way and all of a sudden its more fun to be apart than to put up with the drama. Why some men suddenly appear right as you started something new, is because you are all of a sudden ‘happy’ again. That feeling we liked, all of a sudden we drift back into memory lane with thoughts of when you were that happy with us! See! Not that hard. Oh and the clincher…how do we know? We still monitor your Facebook, or ran into an old mutual friend who mentioned it…whatever the reason…we want it back. *my 3 cents*

  8. It’s not them Max, it’s you! Remember the story of the three little pigs? You’re being like the first two as it relates to these semi-relationships you find yourself in. You gotta make a decision stick to it, and stop looking back. When someone from the past pops back up and you know you’re not interested in friendship and not interested in trying to reignite any sort of relationship – don’t answer the call. There are like 2 women on earth who I know, with absolute certainty, would not answer my call if I called. I respect that about those women.

    1. max says:

      I hear you. But I just want to know how men know the woman is about to be over them and on to someone else…do you guys have a radar or what??

      1. It’s not that we know your over us, it’s that, until we find out something to the contrary, we just assume you’re not over us. Or, at the very least, that we can make you not be over us if we want to. So we call to see if our inclinations are right and you either confirm it or deny it.

        1. Ugh… Repeating myself… This has been why quite a few females have called ME out the blue… Had one just last week do that ish…

          “Case of the Ex” runs BOTH ways!!! How many more times do I have to say that?!?!?!

          1. max says:

            Buddy you’ll have to say it every time. Because I don’t date women and therefore I have no clue what the eff they do after you break up with them. I rely on my male commenters to school me on that.

            1. (shrug) Thought you had said in a past post that you were “bi-sexual”… (blink) Besides the point… TO the points…

              (smile) ONE: I don’t have a clue what each of the females do after THEY “break up” with ME, either… I give much less of a fck than Satan gives to hell-bound folk what such females do, ’cause they usually “leave” me and I DON’T go sniffing behind them…

              (smile) TWO: What “TheMostInterestingManInTheWorld” said is true for the case of the ex-GIRLFRIEND with dudes (or, at the least, with ME apparently) as well as the case of the ex-“boyfriend” with females…

              (shrug) Why go killer-hornet-style when fuckwit-style is more efficient?? (fades into darkness)

  9. Tisha says:

    “The cat came back the very next day…he just couldn’t stay away”
    I would love to hear the answer to how men know…patiently waiting for it.

  10. Malik says:

    This seems like valuable information to give. What are trying to barter with in order to get it?

  11. “Burn all bridges.” Live by it.

    I’ll be cordial if she comes sniffin’ around, but it will be a curt kinda cordial.

  12. Leecie says:

    Case of the Ex will get you every time! It seems as though right up until the moment they reappear, you can state exactly why things didn’t work, why you’ll never date them again, and are just able to stick to your guns. Oooooooooh but the second they say a word, amnesia takes over. This is a struggle I’ve had to deal with since youth. No matter what, we have to remember why things didn’t work and not allow the exes to suck us back in because most time they know exactly what to say and exactly what to do and have not changed, and they have no intentions of changing. I look at is as a test from God: Pass or Fail. Learn from the mistakes and what went wrong, then apply that to whomever is relevant now. The past is soooo irrelevant 🙂

  13. Danielle says:

    Men have Jedi-Cockblocking skills and use it when they feel a disturbance in the force.

    I, for one always like to know that I can still get it. Now I don’t go scroll through my contact list and call people up my ego is too intact for that. But when I do end up talking to them again it’s flattering to hear it. Granted for most the only whiff you’ll get of my flower is if you break in my house make it past the my basset hound and my hybrid coyote dog, up the creaky stairs-my house is a 100 yrs old, into the bathroom and dig out my panties out the dirty laundry.

  14. JusMe says:

    There are only 3 certains in life:
    And… The Case of the Ex

    Everytime it happens, I ask where the cameras are that dudes have been monitoring me with. Never fails. Smh

  15. JazzyB says:

    How do we know? We keep an eye on you. we can tell when u don’t have someone in your life, expecially if we are still friend on Facebook, blogs and twitter. The key to stopping this is to sever all ties to Ex’s.
    I just server my ex the “Case of the Ex”. The main reason i keep telling myself is that i just want to be friends. Which is a Lie..The main reason is to see if I am still priority in your life. But I don’t want to be in a relationship with you, but i will take a smash if possible.
    The A lot of women know this fact but dismiss it, because they want attention….Even if they are in a relationship..

  16. IrieDiva says:

    i drafted a post with the exact same name last night and decided not to post because of this same reason —> i have nothing to say about this really *sips tea*

  17. RedLady821 says:

    It’s simple. Men can sense a disturbance in the force. Once you’ve had sex with a person and exchanged spiritual soul ties, you will always be able to “sense” what the other person is doing and if the other person becomes attracted to someone new you can sense it like a disturbance in the force. That is why ex’s come back!

    (I totally made that up but it sounds good right?)

    1. (smile) This explains a few females in MY life… “Case of the Ex” goes BOTH ways… (smile) Have been and CONTINUE saying that…

      So, what’s up, Max? Need me to share a few stories of “boomerang poon” to keep showing you females that the goose cooks as well as the gander when the heat’s on?

      1. I’m hoping this is already understood, and that they’re only focusing on men cuz, well, that’s how the story goes. lol

  18. Starita34 says:

    Yeah, I’ll never believe the “men are simple”, “men are dumb”, “men don’t understand women” bs…they know very well. They’re incredibly adept at manipulating us when they want to.

    Like Most said, we just gotta make up our minds to stay away from that that we know is bad for us.

    1. In MY cases of the ex, that’s where “apparent bitterness” comes in VERY useful… Since most females have broken up badly with me, I feed into coldness to give an even COLDER shoulder…

      MOTTO: This man has feelings, too, and I WILLl freeze a b1tch in her tracks…

  19. Malik says:

    Symbionic Loner, write a guest entry to Max if it bothers you so.

    1. (smile) Excellent suggestion… But, to really have the suicide rate go up?! C’mon, son!!! Besides, no one believes that a man goes through sh!t the same as a woman… Even IF it’s true…

    2. keisha brown says:

      dont encourage ado—-
      wait. let me not…

  20. This is messed up Max.

  21. O_D says:

    I’m gonna go ahead and claim that 50% or more of these “re-appearances” are simply do to the fact that women think too much, and are purely coincidental occurrences in the equilibrium of space and time…

    Or some sh*t like that.

  22. AllUBitchezIsMySonz says:

    Lol I rarely let a kneegro come bck.. I’ll entertain him tho. Once I’ve moved on its jus that. Espesh if the sex is better than his. But I tend to play that game. If I’m inbetween guys & I get bored I’ll send a short text. That’s only to guys I wouldn’t mind tolerating again. *shrug* occupy my time til I’m on to the next.. Lol I jus did it last week..

  23. Half a HERO says:

    The only reason why men re-appear after being dormant for so long is the ex -female is something familiar the chase without the chase. Like a movie that you have seen a while ago that comes on just as you sit down to eat. You get that feeling of
    …”Oh I remember that” …. but have the option of watching or changing the channel!

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