Thought Catalog
March 14, 2017

This Is What It Feels Like To Always Be The ‘Second Choice’

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Twenty20 / @Leo

I always felt that I have been a “good enough” friend and a “good enough” person. I have always given so much of myself to people in the hopes that I might get something in return. I try and will myself not to expect anything — I really shouldn’t. However, on nights like these–nights where the loneliness fills up the entire room. I will myself to lock this thought away. Hide it deep, so that no one–not even me–could touch it.

People have said that it is such a “shallow” and “selfish” thing to think of. But if you have seen it, felt it, and been it for so long, it is no doubt that the crippling pain of being someone’s “second choice” does exist, and it is usually the little things (sometimes the big things) where it hits the hardest.

Being someone’s second choice is seen in the parties you were not invited to. The ones all your friends went to. The ones you wish you could go to.

It is walking in between two people. Choosing the middle in hopes that it forces them to keep you in the loop. And ending up with a space too small that it forces you to take a step back.

It is the plans that are made without you. The ones where you are not even considered important to bring along.

It is the unbearably lonely nights, the ones where you stare at your phone wishing you had someone to talk to. Someone who isn’t busy, doing better things with better people.

It is getting the courage to say “I love you”, only to hear silence. Only to hear him say it to someone else.

It is looking through memories of your friends and loved ones. Seeing very little of yourself in them. Even though the memories you made with were so important (to you, at least).

It is the ignored messages in group chats. The ones that silence you; that make you feel left out.

It is those moments when you are hesitant to post something such as: “Who wants to hang out?” Because you know no one is going to respond to you.

It is the way you try and make yourself become someone else. Someone who you hope people will like more, connect to more, or notice more.

It is those sleepless nights when you blame yourself for not being good enough. Where you question why no one ever chooses you first. And debate whether this is a selfish and shallow thought to begin with.

Let me tell you this: It is not selfish or shallow. It is real and all-consuming.

But here is the hard truth: It is what it is, and you have to learn how to deal with it.

This is the reality of the world I live in. A never-ending race where I “almost” make it, but not enough to win.

I compete with no one except for your attention and time. I feel that even though I have known you for years, I still have to try and sell myself to you. As if I were a product with a shelf life whose expiry date is always uncertain. It’s exhausting and it hurts. I was always told that pain makes you stronger. However, in this case, it has only made me numb.

Truthfully, I am okay. I go through the motions of life. I have my happy moments. I try to not let this consume me. I will never stop giving my time, attention, and care to those who need me. Even if they never really think of me often. Even if I am not their first choice.

I will never lose hope that one day, I will be someone’s first choice. For now, this is enough. TC mark