I Am an Accidental Foster Girlfriend

Why I do it, why they do it, what it feels like, and why I’m quitting.

Vanessa Torre


Photo by cottonbro via Pexels

I have a pattern that has emerged in my love life since I got divorced five years ago. I did not see this coming. It’s not something you do. But one day, it hits you in the cruelest way. It’s a holy shit moment. Today is my holy shit moment.

Many months ago, I tried to get real about my dating experiences, patterns of behaviors and choices, and commonalities in the men I chose. This is not something that came up in my data. There was no way it could. I lacked the necessary info.

I am a foster girlfriend. The difference between me and some foster girlfriends is that I never chose this. At least, not intentionally.

The term is still relatively young. The earliest I first see it pop up is July 17, 2020.

A foster girlfriend is a woman who dates men who do not stay with her but move on to get “rehomed” to their forever girlfriend.

What it looks like

I have dated exactly four men since I divorced. I don’t speak to the first one and can’t confirm whatever happened to him.

The second one broke up with me because he had “work to do on himself” and could not be in a relationship while fixing his shit. Two months later, he is in a committed long-term relationship. They are still together. Going on two years.

The third one and I broke up because he could not show up and be present in our relationship. He did not have it in him to love someone. That was less than a year ago. He is now living with someone. I couldn’t even get him to entertain the thought of a weeklong vacation he was so non-committal.

The last one broke up with me, telling me he could not get hurt again. He also was adamant the whole time we were dating that he needed to go slow. Eleven days later after we broke up, he broadcasts on Facebook that he is in a relationship. Dude.

You have questions. I know. Same, friend. Same.

Why I do it



Vanessa Torre

Top 10 feminist writer. Writing, coaching, and relentlessly hyping women in midilfe. linktr.ee/Vanessaltorre Email: vanessa@vanessatorre.com