distracted boyfriend meme

Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Here’s the real reason the distracted boyfriend ditched his girlfriend

The saga that never ends.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Published Sep 6, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 6:22 pm CDT

The distracted boyfriend meme is on track to become the most popular meme ever. By now, you’re either so sick of it that you want to throw your phone on the ground, or you want to know as much as you can about the origins of the trio in the stock photographs. Particularly why the guy was checking out another woman in front of his partner.

The photographer of the stock photo that launched the meme, Antonio Guillem, took many shots for an infidelity-themed shoot. So the internet didn’t need to make up any stories about the fictional couple and the other woman. The photos told a story—actually, several stories.

Using Guillem’s stock photos from the series, Reddit user mtimetraveller shared one theory: that the boyfriend was distracted by another woman because his partner was ignoring him.


What if the photos were actually reversed? What if the woman ignored her boyfriend after she noticed his wandering eyes? And she didn’t care about his attempts to reconcile? That’s the best part about this meme. It’s inspired meme fan fiction. And there are endless iterations.

There is a lesson in this version of the couple’s story, though. Never propose to a person who is busy laughing at (we assume) the latest dank meme.

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*First Published: Sep 6, 2017, 6:59 am CDT