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Could there be something in the air?  The pheromones, perhaps?  Those infectious, come-hither vibes that you emit without any effort let alone knowledge.  Clearly, we need to invest more money into pheromone research so women the world over can finally understand how in the hell an ex, former fling, f–kboy or any combination therein can come out of the woodwork and invade your post-them life the nanosecond you start seeing someone new.

It’s an uncanny and unnerving knack that I liken to a disturbance in the force.  Like you doused yourself in ex-boyfriend attractant. Their hyper-awareness defies logic, space and time.  And it’s awakened in that ex/former fling/f–kboy of yours at the most inopportune moments.  When you’re meeting new bae’s family at Thanksgiving dinner, for example.  Or when you’re in the throes of passion. Or when you’re on a first date.  There’s no way your ex could know what’s going on, which makes their sudden appearance all the more mysterious/creepy/weird/annoying.

You haven’t spoken to them for weeks, months or longer, after all.  You’ve weened yourself off any desire to text them back late at night when they are hoping to see how you’re doing.  You no longer follow them on social media.  You put them out of your mind entirely.  In fact, you may not even recognize the number when they call or text because you deleted that joint, along with everything else you needed to get rid of to move on and start anew. “New phone, who dis?” was invented for exes, former flings, and f—kboys.  Look it up, it’s in the urban dictionary (or should be, anyway). And yet, here they are, acting brand new.

I was barely 20 feet away from the restaurant where I was going on a first date with a guy I met online when I got a text from my ex.  I was really nervous and thought that maybe the text was from my date, telling me he was going to be late because of traffic or something.  I was actually hoping that was the case because I needed a minute to relax and calm my nerves. Nope.  It was a seemingly innocent, “Hey, what’s up?” text from my ex.

“Are you serious?” I thought.  I even swooped around to make sure he wasn’t anywhere in my presence.  No, he wasn’t the stalking type, but his timing was ridiculous.  I hadn’t heard from him in ages.  And that’s how the ex invasion starts.  Very random and seemingly innocent.

But you know it won’t end there.  If you engage, give them the old go ahead, then the floodgates open.  Suddenly, he reminisces on what you all had.  He chooses now of all times to profess his love for you, which is interesting because he was utterly incapable of saying those three words when you were actually together.  Now he wants to apologize for all the wrong he did.  He realizes what a good woman you were – and are.  He wants back in your life.

That’s when you wonder whether he’s commanded a network of spies to alert him of when you’re in the company of other men, if he has some magical powers you never knew of, or if those pheromones really do have some serious staying power.

A friend of mine recently experienced this odd phenomenon.  She’s been seeing someone new and is in that beautifully giddy phase where you try to stay sane while wondering if this guy could be the one, if you should hyphenate your last name when you both get married, and what your kids are going to look like.  You know, the usual.  And then, out of nowhere – bam!  A bunch of texts – random pictures – from the man she dated last.  The pictures weren’t inappropriate or sexual in nature, but they literally came out of nowhere.  They were proceeded by two phone calls from him.  Not on the same day, but during the same week.  The texts certainly weren’t asked for or wanted, but the timing of it all was just so unexpected.  She couldn’t understand why he was trying to reach out at that moment to get back in her good graces.  That’s when we joked about how guys seem to emerge from the depths of yonder when you’re seeing someone new.

But it’s no joking matter.  I’m telling you, this is a serious, scientific phenomenon.  And it’s not that you don’t wish your ex/former fling/f–kboy well in the romance department. Well, maybe you don’t, actually, but you sure as hell aren’t volunteering to hook him up with anyone, either.  You just wish them well with someone who isn’t you and hope that they’ll stop popping up out of the blue any and every time you’re on a date and attempting to move forward–not backward.

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