A bad penny returns

I’d deleted his contact info everywhere I could find it after he broke up with me via text 2 years ago. I was surprised to receive that text, as our 5-month relationship had been tumultuous, but I (wrongly) thought we were committed to working out our hiccups. Our last conversation two weeks later — via text because he refused to talk on the phone — didn’t go well. So I worked to heal the hurt and move on. We hadn’t had any contact since.

Last week my Yahoo email was compromised and apparently an email was sent to addresses that had ever gone through my account — including his. The malware email had no subject line and only a link in the body. Anyone who’s been on the Internet longer than a month knows this is a sign of a virus email and not to click the link.

The minute I saw the virus email cross my account, I hit “reply all” and a subject line of “My email has been compromised. Don’t open the last email.”

You guessed it. This paranoid, compulsively cautious, former law-enforcement officer opened the email with no subject or message from someone who hadn’t communicated with him in 2 years, and the last interaction was not good.

He clicked on the link. All sorts of bad things happened to his PC.

He felt compelled to write to me, blaming me for his stupidity, saying I should have deleted him from my address book (I had) and that I was to blame for his having to spend hours disinfecting his PC. And, he closed, “for both our sakes, delete me from your files.”

No problem. Good riddance.

Once a jerk, always a jerk.

Have you been surprised to receive contact from someone who you’d dated and it turned out badly? Tell us what happened.


To read more about the vagaries of breaking up, get your copy of Moving On Gracefully: Break Up Without Heartache.


17 responses to “A bad penny returns”

  1. Catherine Avatar

    This guy sounds like a jerk. You are way better off 🙂

  2. maria rose Avatar
    maria rose

    what you describe is one of the reasons i got off the online dating programs–I once had a guy text me thru one of the sites for several weeks to the point i felt comfortable to exchange phone numbers–Well he called a few times and THEN he sent me via the phone Pictures at the time i didn’t have one those phones like today’s smart phone so i had to go on line to view these pictures which as soon as i saw them wanted to erase them from my computer forever–I did complain to date site and removed myself from site but it was immediately done. I now have to remain invisible when online to prevent others from trying the same thing. as they say once on the internet it stays forever recyling watch out for those viruses

  3. Brenda Avatar

    DG: I would love to hear your take on men who either completely “poof” after being intimate and dating us for a several month period as well as those who text or email their “goodbyes”, especially after having an especially great time with them and having it look like it might be someone we could have a future with.

    I find this phenomenon happens when the man feels he has gotten himself “in too deep”, i.e. telling me he loves me or sees a future, etc. and then off he goes. I am amazed at the number of men who never pick up the phone (even when I ask them to) so we can say goodbye the right way.

    All of my beaus who I have dated over the past three years (who have left me) have interestingly, come back into my life (by contacting me of course, not vice versa), but I find that those who “poofed” initially are men I no longer trust.

    A few weeks ago, I had a man who poofed 13 months ago – no call – no emailing, no nothing, just poof! – email me recently to wish me a Happy Birthday, ask me what I was doing for my birthday and sign it “Love” – I don’t know what he intends by this, but I will definitely be very wary of ever dating him again!

  4. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Catherine: You are so right!

    Maria Rose: Unsolicited nasty pics — ugh! I guess he thought they would be alluring.

    Brenda: I’ve written quite a bit on my theories on this. Most are in the book, Moving On Gracefully: Break Up Without Heartache. However, if you put “poof” in the search box, you’ll get my thinking on the the whole poof business.

  5. Katie Avatar

    Nine years ago a married man, “P,” began pursuing me; I made it clear I was not interested, had closure and cut things off, The End. Six months later he left town with a woman his daughter’s age, divorce papers on the table for his wife. This second marriage was as bad as his first (true narcissists can’t “do” marriage) and his life was NOT going the way he planned. Recently P jumped onto Facebook, looked up his first wife’s friends list, and found ME! [She is not tech-savvy and didn’t know about blocking P, sadly.] I got an unsolicited FB message from this predator, saying his contact was “merely for closure” (yeah, right, a decade later!). When I blocked him — careful never to say a word to him — he got on his 2nd wife’s FB and sent me another message, this one written when he was either drunk or high or both. I blocked that person’s FB and he became livid and, through his first wife, sent a dramatic message swearing he’d never contact me again, that I was as good as dead to him. (Thank you, God.) Fortunately, he doesn’t know my address and lives in another state, or I’d get a restraining order.

    One sad outcome is that P surely found my blog address on my profile page. Blogs are public. I really don’t want him reading my blog, but it’s too late now.

    I’d say that “bad pennies returning” usually signals trouble. If it didn’t work the first time, it isn’t going to work this time. Perhaps their life circumstances have deteriorated and they are grasping at an idealized image of a connection they once had. SOMETHING is triggering their need to reach out to you. I’m sorry in DG’s case that it was a virus that stirred things up.

    Of course, there are exceptions, such as when someone who secretly admired you when you both were young now steps forward and proclaims his devotion — but that’s not what this post is about.

  6. Brenda Avatar

    Oh, yes, thank you DG! Love your posts about the “poofers” – especially enjoyed “You Can Tell A lot about a Man by How He Breaks up”.

    I agree with you that the few men who have sat me down to talk about it – they have remained my friends to this day.

    The ones who have gone poof, have “resurfaced” after they have gone through the entire dating pool………….and I am very wary…………

    I keep telling myself “there are much better men out there”……at least I hope so 🙂

  7. Julie Avatar

    My experience with the poofers varied. Some were serial daters, and some are online to distract themselves from a recent breakup. I had 2 dates with a guy – he was really interested in me. A lot of compliments, lots of comments about how happy he was that we met. Both dates were just dinner and pleasant conversation, and I went home alone. And then he simply disappeared. I finally wrote to him and asked what happened – he admitted to me that someone from his past had come back in to his life. I think often times there is someone else in the background, someone they are trying to get over… or they are in a temporary breakup and he goes online to distract himself.

    I read one of those how to understand men books, written by a man… the book mentioned something about what’s going on with a guy who breaks up with you and then resurfaces later… something about how the guy is circling back around to see if the woman is willing to sleep with him basically… but she is unsuspecting that this is the MO.

  8. Lisa Avatar

    I love the word “poofed.” It happens so often, sadly enough, in the on-line dating world. I am at least reassured that it is not just my own experience. it is not me. I’ve only had one case of someone I met on-line for a few coffee dates resurfacing almost a year later, but it always did make me wonder about giving a person a second chance. Everyone told me I was nuts, but under what conditions does it make sense, even when your expectations are low for how it could turn out. I did meet him for dinner but felt like it would not go anywhere. He was a very interesting man, so I suggested we could be friends. I never heard from him again after that. C’est la vie.

  9. mspoetcc Avatar

    I find men these days to be such cowards! The internet has created an abundance of spineless, untrustworthy cowards. They use to call us cold when a man received a “Dear John” letter from a woman. At least in the letter, a woman usually spelled out everything that was wrong and why it would never be right. Now, with email and text messages, men are now able to send their version of this. Using as few words as possible and never really explaining anything. I am losing faith in finding a REAL MAN who would rather talk to you face to face and not via text or email.

  10. Mitsy Avatar

    I’ve written about this before, but it bears mentioning again. I dated a guy over 4 years ago who had been separated for months from his estranged wife, was getting a divorce, etc. I was totally “not” in love with the guy, but I did feel like we might end up long-term and assumed (stupidly, I might add) that he would be getting his divorce. He skipped town to go back to the estranged wife without even so much as a phone call, email or anything after almost 4 months of dating. Then he had the nerve to email me 17 months later when things weren’t working out with the wife from hell. I kept a copy of the email I sent him because it was likely one of the best responses I could have written. I got another response from him after that which blamed his sister for things that he was responsible for doing, and he tried to play the “victim” again in his message. I responded to that last email that he had screwed up badly w/me and had no more chances. I told him not to contact me again. I had no other contact until I saw him in the store one night about a year ago. I moonlight there and he walked by my dept. We said “hi” to each other but that was it. I got an email from him that said he wished me well and had no hard feelings about me. He said he understood if I didn’t feel the same. I did not respond. I ended up becoming good friends with this guy’s sister who has had little to no contact with her brother since he left town that first time. So, I can’t say that the whole ordeal didn’t have a silver lining. I was just amazed at his behavior and immaturity. I also learned the very valuable lesson in never, ever dating a guy who is legally separated. That doesn’t mean he will get a divorce and it doesn’t mean he’s actually over the woman he’s supposedly trying to get away from.

    Mature men don’t waffle about what they want in life. That was another thing I found about men I met from online dating sites. They often talked about what they wanted but often later changed their tune when they saw that I might be interested in a long-term relationship. Hello…that was what I put in “my” profile–that I wanted a long-term relationship. If you aren’t really interested, you usually know that by the 2nd or 3rd date. It shouldn’t take months & months to decide if someone is worth investing time in or not. At least that is the way I see it. I met a lot of men who were not mature (even at 40 or over) and now don’t trust a lot of men in general.

    I haven’t done online dating in several years and doubt that I take the plunge again. For me, it was just signing up for heartache, although I know some people are successful w/it. It’s just too easy for the guy to keep searching for that “perfect” woman. I’m pretty sure there is not a perfect or even near perfect guy out there for me. I think the majority of people do settle–call me jaded, but that’s the way I see it.

  11. Anna Avatar

    There is an old saying “what goes around comes around”. Your bad pennie received the universe’s way of punishing him for breaking up via a text! Although you did not intend for this to happen, the cyber universe gave him rough justice 🙂

  12. Julie Avatar

    And another comment from the peanut gallery:

    A couple of years ago I spent a year in therapy.. Originally I was so disturbed by what I discovered about a recent ex online beau that I needed to go talk to someone about it. This therapist volunteered that she sees so many women who sincerely want to meet someone and go online to find him. It’s her opinion that finding someone online is like a needle in a haystack. It’s also her conclusion from what she’s heard over and over from women, is that online attracts the type of guy who is dabbling and doesnt really want a relationship. It was my experience fo sho.

  13. Fawn Avatar

    Sometimes men deserve the return karma they dish… enough said! You are much better off~

  14. FeistyWoman Avatar

    How inconvenient for that to happen. He probably sat back and rationalized that it was an attempt you made to get back in touch with him.

    Guess it’s his fault for not being educated enough not to click on weird stand-alone links in emails. But he needs to quit crying about it like a big baby. LOL

  15. Liz Avatar

    Actually, a few of my ex’s including my ex-husband have tried to come back into my life. I don’t really get it. When a relationship ends (either their choice or mine), I am done. I have gotten really good at detaching. I used to wonder if they are bored, regretful, whatever, but then I say to myself, who cares? My future is not tied to anyone who has walked away from me nor I from them. I am going forward, not back.

  16. Yvette Francino Avatar

    What a jerk that guy was! (The one who blamed DG because he clicked on the link.)

    I’ve had guys “poof” and then come back as though nothing happened. This is somewhat annoying, but nothing compared to the rudeness that that guy showed you. I can’t stand disrespectful behaviour. At least you can feel glad he’s out of your life for good.

  17. Mitsy Avatar

    Liz is right. We don’t need to entertain the idea that we can possibly rekindle something that didn’t work out the first time. There is a reason they are “ex’s” but I’m usually more content (or perhaps reassured) when I hear that they have not changed their ways with someone else or even years after I quit seeing them. I had 2 instances just this week where I was told of behavior of 2 ex-boyfriends and I just breathed a sigh of relief that I’m not with either of them anymore.