The distracted boyfriend meme — that image in which a man checks out one woman while holding hands with another — gained popularity last summer, used to explain moral dilemmas like choosing between dealing with responsibilities or taking a nap. (The answer is always take a nap.)
The original image is just one piece of a multi-part stock photo series about love, infidelity, and the breakdown of a toxic relationship. And, upon further investigation, it seems this format (like the behavior itself?) has been around for at least a few centuries.
Twitter user @ELXGANZA found the “18th-century equivalent” of the meme, which portrays a similar scenario: a man torn between two women as his partner looks understandably offended.
I’ve found the 18th century equivalent to the distracted boyfriend meme pic.twitter.com/QDKjygVDcr
— big sue (@ELXGANZA) April 16, 2018
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