You are a Back Burner Boyfriend

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A year ago, I dated a woman named Michelle. At the time, she had left me twice in the span of about two months, to go back with an abusive boyfriend I thought she was over.

We had a lot of common interests, which is why I gave her another chance the second time she came back, before leaving again. I really wanted it to work.

Well, since then I had moved on and she has proceeded to contact me, every few months or so, emailing me to say she has “moved on” from her past relationship with him and that he moved away. It is always the same wording “move on”.

I don’t know what she is trying to say, but I generally ignore her emails, although I am still interested, in all honesty. I am trying to hang tough. Please let me know your perspective.


I think you are what I would call a “back burner boyfriend” for Michelle.  She goes to you in between whoever else she is seeing. There is nothing wrong with that – just the way she is. The ride might be fantastic – so enjoy that. But do not take her seriously as a girlfriend – because she will (more than likely) always let you down. It sounds to me like it is her nature to be constantly “moving on”. So my advice is to simply enjoy the ride here and there, and keep looking for a girlfriend who will not play games with you.

Now if instead you are the type of guy who WILL let her walk all over you – then in that case, it would be best to simply ignore her emails, and “move on” yourself. Never let women have control over you. And if you are “on the rebound” or especially lonely … then you might be subject to this. Check out this particular article for a writeup of an extreme case of what I’m talking about, and don’t be that guy:

Don’t Let Someone Walk All Over You in a Relationship

You also might ponder the following midlife bachelor article that discusses how to successfully implement a front-burner/back-burner dating strategy. To me, it doesn’t sound like she ever really moved you to true front-burner status though:

Front Burner, Back Burner Dating Strategy

You should consider joining our Midlife Forum here on – where we discuss many issues just like this one. Either way – let me know how things go with this woman, okay?

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About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.