He’s Just Not that Into You (have I heard that somewhere else?)…
I was sitting at a bar the other day (okay my bar) and struck up a conversation with a male acquaintance of mine. He was telling about a recent sexual escapade (a story which cannot be repeated here) and I was listening intently. At the end of the tale I asked him, “What happened to the girl?” His response: “What do you mean…nothing.” I was confused, from his story it seemed like he had a good time. I probed further:
Me: “Did you go out with her again?”
Him: “Uh, no”
Me: “Why not?”
Me: “Why not?”
Him: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Didn’t you like her?”
Him: “Yeah, I still text her.”
Him: “Because I want to know what she’s up to.”
Me: “But not hook up with her?”
Him: “Well, maybe…it could happened again.”
There it is (If I had drawing capabilities I would draw an arrow to that last line in the conversation and attach blinking yellow lights to it, and possibly add a slot machine sound effect). “It could happen again.” I went on to explain that he “back-burnered” the girl. Except, he didn't even realize what he had done. He was completely oblivious to his own actions. It simply didn't dawn on him to continue seeing her or attempt at forming a relationship. He liked her enough to want to keep her around in the virtual world of text and BBM’s (or whatever the kids are using), but didn’t like her enough to want to date her. She is now the “Just in Case Booty Call”- but the exquisite art of the back-burner is that the back-burned person doesn’t feel offended by said call because in their mind it is just another text (of many) from the guy who seems interested but really is not. It’s’ devilishly brilliant!
Let me tell you…the back-burner is a fine line to keep, and a great skill to have. You have to straddle the world between seeming interested, but not committing to plans. You have to keep the soup warm, but not burn it. So again, why is it done? My acquaintance from the bar didn’t even realize what he had done…he had simply been following his male instinct and therefore had no answers for me…so once again I interviewed the masses (aka my friends) and this is what I discovered about who is on the back-burner and why they are there!
You’re Super Hot, Kinda Hot,Warm, Still Warm…not being re-heated anytime soon
When I asked all my male friends why they back-burner girls the number one answer was: “I don’t want a relationship”. Okay, so it’s the timing issue again. We’ve been there. They like them enough to hang out with them and booty call them but want to remain single regardless. This is not news. However, with girls, I discovered it’s a bit different. It has less to do with timing and more to do with the person. When I back-burner someone it’s because I don’t want to date THEM. Not because I am not looking for a relationship. It’s that I don’t want a relationship with THEM. Other girls said similar things: they will stay in relationships longer than they should (resulting in a pseudo-backburner) because they know they won’t marry the guy, or seriously be with him, but it’s comfortable for now. So the question remains can someone jump off the back-burner and into the pan?
The answer (according to me) is: NO. Once you have been back-burnered you are there for life…until you spoil (i.e. you get attached, angry, jealous, resentful, moldy) and must be tossed away. If you put someone on the backburner it’s because you really aren’t that into them. Let’s be honest. We keep people there because we get lonely and want something comfortable and reliable to go back to…but at the end of the day we are constantly looking for a better meal. We are hoping that someone else will come along, spice up our life and give us a reason to actually commit to someone. The truth is, if you aren’t committing, if you’re only lukewarm, then you are settling. Settling because you’re alone, settling because you’re bored, settling because you’re horny…but still settling. And no one wants to settle…that’s why we keep people safely on the back of the stove at a low setting, let them simmer and eventually they cool off.
So if you find yourself in this situation (and are reciprocating the lukewarm, unable to commit, back-burner feelings) then you enter a “friends with benefits” situation which is totally fine and can be rather fun. However, if you find yourself on the back stove and you secretly want more (you know who you are)…GET OUT…get out now, run far away and go find yourself a turkey!