You probably know a Boomerang Man. He is The Boomerang Man. One New York-based author and editor broke up with her ex in 2016 after two years of dating. Now, every time she is busy and things are going well professionally, he attempts to revive their relationship. The timing, she says, is “odd,” because they aren’t connected on social media, which is one of the easiest ways to keep track of exes. It’s not just figurative.” Boomeranging “is also the move of the emotionally unavailable person,” Greenidge says. I wish I could have a relationship with this person. Where men are conditioned to believe they are entitled to women, women are taught that relationships are achievements, the missing puzzle pieces that will complete their already full-grown lives. He did come back. Or he tried to, at least; I did not let him back in.
You probably know a Boomerang Man. Maybe you met him through a dating app or through a mutual friend and the connection was instant. After weeks, months or years spent together, however, you realized it wasn’t to be.
Perhaps you wanted an exclusive commitment, or children, and he didn’t. Perhaps he emotionally took advantage of you, and you gathered the strength to realize you deserved better. You walked away. But then he returns, almost like magic, during the season where everything seems to be going right in your life.
He is The Boomerang Man.
When I suffered my biggest heartbreak to date, my mother attempted to console me by saying, “He’ll come back. They always do.”
If popular culture is any guide, she was right. We’ve seen a woman’s transformation presage the arrival of a Boomerang Man in some of our most popular movies. In “Legally Blonde,” Elle Woods’ boyfriend Warner Huntington III dumps her because she does not fit the mold for the aspiring senator’s wife: staid, sensible, sexless. But when Elle gets into Harvard Law School and wins her first court case during an internship, Warner decides he wants her back. She rejects him and instead chooses the man who was right for her all along.
In other films like “Grease,” “Why Did I Get Married?” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” The Boomerang Man returns once the heroine has undergone a physical transformation. Now that they’re traditionally attractive ― now that they’ve lost weight or gone blonde ― he comes back around.
Elle and her pop culture compatriots have all experienced a “glo up.” A glo up is when a person flourishes: they get a makeover or take a vacation, they get promoted or buy a home. Or, they find a suitable partner. In these movies, the glo up predicts, or even triggers, the return of The Boomerang Man.
Why would a man come back when things are going well? Does he return because he genuinely misses the companionship or the ability to make contact with the woman as a kind of ego trip? Or is something less romantic going on? The impeccable timing behind a Boomerang Man’s return underscores his desire for attention and, arguably, control. A glo up represents a new form of power for a woman to wield, whether it’s social capital (a new partner), cultural capital (new hobbies or an Insta-glam lifestyle) or economic capital (the new job or home). Now that her life has improved, The Boomerang Man senses that she is harder to control.
A ‘glo up’ represents a new form of power for a woman to wield. Now that her life has improved, The Boomerang Man senses that she is harder to control.
Sometimes, The Boomerang Man shows up at an eerily precise moment. For Kaitlyn Greenidge, critically acclaimed author of the novel We Love You, Charlie Freeman, a recent personal milestone and the appearance of a Boomerang Man coincided with almost cosmic accuracy. When Greenidge got engaged, she told very few people ― yet somehow, three of her exes sent texts revealing that they had just been thinking of her.
One New York-based author and…