One thing that I seemed to master in my college years was being the “other” girl. This is not to be confused with the other woman – no one cheated on my account. I mean that I would like these boys who would end up liking some other girl and still pursue me half-assed on the side.
Let me make myself clear as well, my ego can handle rejection. This is directed at the people who give false hope of something more just to rip the rug out from underneath you.
The first time this happened was freshman year. I had two of my best friends, one male and one female over after a party and told them they could crash on my air mattress. All three of us ended up spending the night on the air mattress. I was slightly tipsy and brave enough to grab the hand of the boy I had been crushing on for months under the covers. He held it back. I was elated.
Not even half a minute later he turned his head and proceeded to make out with my other best friend while still holding my hand.
(I’m going to come back to the second time this happened for the sake of my narrative.)
The third time this happened I was thrilled to be in a new city and away from the anchors of my previous dramas and surrounded by new opportunities. I wasn’t even thinking about romance when I met without a doubt the cutest boy I had ever had feelings for.
My roommate had warned me that he was a player and had been flirting with some tattooed girl that lived close by. I wrote her off as jealous. I even confessed to him what my roommate had warned me about and he proceeded to make fun of said tattooed girl, calling her too short, too promiscuous, too attention-seeking. He said she always dumped her problems on him.
One time he made a joke that she sent him a nude just to push my buttons. When I didn’t laugh, he held my face in his hands, kissed me long and good, and asked me if that made it any better.
Within a month, he started sleeping with her.
Now, the second (and I guess fourth) time this happened it was with the same boy, naturally, because I repeat mistakes like any other human. I had confided in him about my most recent heartbreak, because we were friends.
We had been something sort of casual before but he had another girl and I was tired of being the back-up plan. I was so happy we had reached a place of friendship when he opened the door to “more than friends” once again.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt thinking he wouldn’t do to me what he had done before after he saw how hurt I had been in my last almost-relationship.
Wrong. He told me that he wanted to pursue the other girl seriously, but I was welcome to mess around with him until then. Wow, lucky me.
So what’s my point in all this? What is it that I’ve learned from this? I have spent most of college wondering what it is that these other girls have that I don’t have. And don’t get me wrong, these other girls are all gorgeous, intelligent, and talented – worthy opponents if you will.
So what is it that I’m missing? Well, I can tell you this much, I’m missing out on a half-assed lover, lukewarm affection, and a generally unfaithful partner. I’ve seen these boys go on to pursue other girls at the same mediocre rate and let me tell you, it never had anything to do with me.
I know a lot of us girls (and guys too) have to put up with these almost-relationships where the other person is either talking to or sleeping with one or more other people and we think it’s a reflection on ourselves.
It’s not, at all. Don’t let anybody convince you a damn thing about yourself.
Someone might place you on the back burner but you have a choice to stay there or to leave. It truly is better to be alone and invest in yourself than to be kind of with someone who kind of likes you but also kind of likes someone else but it’s fair game because you two are nothing serious.
Let them have their technicalities and their harem of admirers. But more importantly, let them have your absence. You keep your grace, and you take the space they hollowed out inside you to grow something more beautiful than they could have ever given you. It might be hard at first, but just try to remember, their opinion is about as legitimate as their affection.