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The Back-Up Guy – More than a Friend but Less than a Boyfriend

Every woman has him or has known him. The back-up guy. More than likely it is the man that she didn’t marry or refused to be romantic with. Even so, he will linger in the mind of every woman for years to come – even to the rocking chair as she realized she may have selfishly and foolishly given up the one man who would have loved her like no other. Regrettably, the back-up guy rarely makes it into the relationship picture, however – he is always there waiting in the wings to swoop in for the rescue should you ever need it. The most modern example of the back up guy is Jacob from the Twilight Series. Even with Bella hopelessly in love with Edward she hangs on with every shred of feminity that she has to keep poor Jacob hooked. And hooked he is!

What is a Back-Up Guy?

The back-up guy is that guy in your life who is more than a friend but less than a boyfriend. You may have slept with him or not. Many girls know exactly what they are doing when they engage romantically (just enough) to keep this poor fellow thinking he has a chance. He watches you date and fall in love with every cold-hearted loser on the face of the earth and no matter what, is there when they disappoint. For some reason – maybe because it is just too easy with him or because his open adoration is a turn off the back up guy never has a chance to win you over romantically. However, you should take it from the millions of women who let the back up guy in their life get away – you might be happier if you just allow yourself to fall in love with the back up guy!

There aren’t a lot of men in this world who would agree to be the back up guy. They may come across as desperate and with no real life of their own. For the girl that is the object of their fancy – this sort of annoying characteristic comes in handy any time they need a date. Your family loves him. Your friends think he is great. And in many ways, you do to. He is there for you on any lonely Friday night and can sleep in your bed talking to you all night long about your feelings. You tease him along in a sort of way that is coy and mean spirited but incredibly driven by sexual energy with the simple intention of keeping him around. If he ever were to find someone else, you would be heartbroken and probably end up being the subject that would ‘accidentally’ sabotage the relationship. You may call him your best friend that just happens to be a guy. You may think you aren’t doing anything wrong. You also may be explicitly honest with the back up guy about his position in your life. Even so, you have to put yourself in his shoes and remember what it feels like to be the ‘back up girl.’

Consider this food for thought. If your life and other relationships are so solid, then why do you need the back up guy? If you are 100% honest with him – then why is he still sticking around? And, what issues do you have with someone being so into you that you would refuse to choose them as your partner in life? You may use the excuse that you don’t have the sexual chemistry with this person that you do with others. You may even say that he is a better friend than boyfriend. But consider for a moment, that what makes a long-term relationship copasetic is friendship. Also, be reminded that very few people who have been together for eons consider themselves wildly sexually attracted to their mate. After all, you can’t have a real world relationship or life if you think only about making love to your partner 24 hours a day.

If you have a life that requires a back up guy, you also may be missing out on some crucial self-esteem issues that involve the opposite sex. For many women, having a man in their life whether friend or romantically is a cornerstone of confidence. For many females, a certain age comes along and they feel if they are not grounded by male companionship they will be looked at as abnormal or a failure. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though we live in a generation where marriage and children come later in life, we are still operating on old patterns of thought that make us feel less than perfect if we are without. There are millions of women in this world who set goals of marriage and motherhood on age. When I am 25, I want to be married and have my first kid. Sadly, this limits the time it may take to develop a true sense of what it is you really want. The back up guy indicates that you may be living in thoughts from the past.

The back up guy in your life may have come about by accident. However, understand that most successful relationships occur between best friends. If your back up guy is your best friend – you might be surprised how well things could work out between the two of you. So many people spend a lifetime searching for that perfect someone or something – only to realize decades too late that it was there all along. Take a minute to consider that life really could be easier than you think and that it is YOU who is making it difficult. If you keep the back up guy around – string him with ‘accidental’ kisses or intimacy and feel neglected when he isn’t there to rescue you – it may be that HE is the one who really needs rescuing. The bottom line is loving someone is loving someone! No matter who you find in your travels, that person will have flaws and as time goes on – it is the people who can be your friend first that make the best life partners. Who knows, the back up guy may be just what you always needed and wanted.

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6 comments

AnonGuy February 26, 2017 at 10:54 PM

Speaking as a man that has been put in this position by someone he loves dearly before, I can definitely agree that we may be the ones in need of rescuing. There is a lot of pain associated with watching the apple of your eye with another person, especially knowing that they will eventually come to you to talk about the problems with their current squeeze. But no matter what happens or how many times this repeats, you just sorta… hang in there, because you love them enough to endure the agony and sorrow if it means you can put a smile on their lips and joy in their soul. You rationalize it as a form of unconditional love; even if it hurts, all that really matters is her well being.

You eventually start to wonder why you’re not good enough – why, exactly, she chooses to blind herself to the wonderful future you could shape together. With enough time even the most confident and strong willed man will begin to lose confidence in himself, ultimately concluding that the problem lies with him rather than her. And even still, she will keep coming back to you for support whilst usually remaining completely oblivious to the damage she’s been doing to you. Or maybe she just doesn’t care about the damage? Many women don’t seem to, sadly.

Love is a powerful thing, but the unfortunate truth is that it can be very destructive as well. Many of these so-called back-up guys end up being permanently emotionally damaged by the treatment it entails. Their maintained interest keeps them from moving on from her. It’s no wonder this becomes harmful after a while since humans are more or less built to work in pairs. Through it all you STILL sacrifice your own happiness and health for her sake. You STILL take care of her when she needs it, help her make the big decisions, give her advice on how to pick up guys [while wishing it’s you she was putting the moves on], and whatever else she needs you to do to make sure she can keep on smiling.

I wasn’t one of the lucky ones. Sometimes she opens her eyes, and she realizes the best thing she could ever hope for is right in front of her. … Usually she doesn’t. She takes you for granted until you finally have to distance yourself for the sake of your own emotional stability. You’ll remember her for the rest of your life. You will mourn that which never was but, at least to your mind, should have been. It will always hurt a little, but you come to realize that moving on was probably the best choice; she simply never gave you a second glance, and you couldn’t take the crushing weight of all that despair anymore.

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Luis March 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Absolutely in the same situation. Could not agree more. You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth.

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jeff October 20, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Yeah me too man, its absolutely killing me…

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Jonny December 8, 2017 at 12:22 AM

I am a back-up guy to someone and me for her, but shes engaged so nothing will probably happen but thats okay shes my best friend, shes my longest friend.
However, i fell in love with a girl who left for boot camp she was part of my friend group, she had just broken up with her boyfriend of two years who was also part of the group. They just recently got back together, but i just cant get out of my head how perfect we could be together. How well we get along, its kinda crazy ive never felt this way before. But im finally seeing that its time to move on, and its gna be crazy hard because im gna see her again in 2 weeks.

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Matt December 29, 2017 at 10:05 AM

I always find myself in this position too but have become much quicker to recognize it. The only thing to do is distance yourself… It seems many women have become immune to men that actually “communicate” and are willing to open themselves up.
It is unfortunate that everything has to be a “cat & mouse” chase. Be yourself obviously but don’t always be RIGHT THERE.
Keep in mind, you (the back up guy) are probably the most emotionally stable. On the other hand, look at your own self-worth. Don’t compromise yourself for them… Make sure that they respect you and your self worth. I have found that women that do this are doing it for their own ego inflation since they don’t have the most self-worth. Men (and women that are reading this article): Be good to yourselves!

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Victor January 19, 2018 at 3:15 PM

I am in the same situation and it really sucks…luckily i have some past experience with being the backup guy or the bench warmer and i was able to recognize the stalled situation this time…my advice to all guys out there, do not put up with bs like this, don´t sell out for cheap and just communicate what you want, be true to your self. If she keeps stalling, time to ditch her. No time for games that we used to play when we were teens

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