Make Your Relationship Work


I had an interesting discussion the other day about a married man who has been stringing along his mistress for four years. As we all agreed, the guy was clearly never going to leave his wife for her. After four years, it was obvious that his meager emotional breadcrumbs (phone calls, texts, occasionally hanging out with her outside of the bedroom) were all being done in an effort to keep her on the side strictly for sex. Thus, we have a classic “Back Pocket Guy,”. I defined the “back pocket guy” as:

“The guy who keeps you in his back pocket for a rainy day; who doesn’t remember your birthday, but calls at 3am looking for a booty call after striking out with some skank at the club. You come running whenever he calls, secretly hoping that this time he’ll realize he loves you and actually introduce you to one of his friends for a change. Really though, he has a draft of a text to another girl saved just in case you aren’t available.”

But the “Back Pocket Guy” isn’t always married. Plenty of single guys keep women they like to sleep with but don’t want to date exclusively in their back pockets. So as a public service, I’d like to offer five signs that you are dating a “back pocket guy.”  Basically, if any of these apply to you, then you’re like the movie Borat – he’s watched it ten times already, but he’ll keep the DVD handy in case there’s nothing on TV and he could use a laugh.

You never meet his friends

Or his family, roommates, mailman, AA sponsor, Dungeon Master, etc. For all you know, this guy is a rogue secret agent on the run from the government. He’s like Jason Bourne, only with fewer awesome fighting moves and more chlamydia outbreaks. You’re not meeting anyone in his life for a reason: he doesn’t want you to think you’ll be in it for very long. In the same vein, he has zero interest in meeting any of your friends and will suddenly become “swamped” at work or develop a rare case of scurvy when you invite him to anything that requires him to be seen with you in mixed company.

He only calls or texts after dark

Look, he’s not a vampire. There is no reason why you should be only communicating with him after the sun goes down. A guy who only texts you after midnight isn’t some cool mysterious party hopper– he’s just a douche looking for an easy lay after striking out with every woman at the bar.

Bring up the future, he changes the subject quicker than The Flash after a Four Loko and meth bender

I’m not talking about talk of marriage or kids – even hinting that you’d like to see X-Men: First Class with him at some point in the near future causes him to suddenly remember that he promised his friend he’d feed his dog or walk his fish or some other obvious lie.

He has zero respect for your time

Why did he cancel plans with you at the last minute? Because something better came along. Or there was a Game of Thrones marathon on HBO.

You’ve been sleeping with him for months…and never actually slept together

He never asks you to sleep over, and rarely wants to do anything that involves you both being vertical. Occasionally he might take you out for a fun evening, but once it starts to seem like a date he tense and cuts things short. While the Back Pocket Guy may sometimes drop his guard and have a good time with you, he’s also quick to pull the plug on the evening lest you get too attached.

Any other signs that you’re in his back pocket?