An Open Letter About Being Your Second Option

I’m not going to lie—it still hurts every time I think back to it. Not because of you, but mostly because I let myself fall into the trap. I put myself there. I wanted this more than you did, and that’s how things went downhill before they even started.

When you’re a second option, you know it. You just do. Call it a sixth sense, call it a feeling, but somehow we all do. Men, if you’re reading this, please know that we’re always 10 steps ahead of you. When we’re interested, we pull up your entire relationship record.

And I knew because when I glanced at your phone over your shoulder, she was on your top Instagram suggestions because you still followed up with her life. I knew because you’d get distant in the middle of our dates. I knew because when you closed your eyes and put your arms around me, I felt that you were thinking about her. I knew because you almost never took me to daytime dates. I knew because I could feel her there even when it was just the two of us. I knew because you insisted on liking all of her posts when mine just went unnoticed. I knew because you loved to remind me how you didn’t want a serious relationship for us—you didn’t want the commitment.

You wanted us for the highs.

As this went on, I caught myself comparing myself to her in every possible way. I’d plot ways of winning you over. I would read articles about how to be the best woman you’ve ever had. Was my body better than hers? Was I kinder? Did I look like better girlfriend material? Did I act more mature than she did? Did you talk to her? Were you still occasionally seeing each other? And sleeping with her? Those were my daily struggles (thus crying my heart out after not getting any answers).

All of that stung because I was letting myself fall entirely for someone who was only half mine. Half-there. Half-loving. You were half-everything. And I was this whole person giving you whole chunks of myself, my body, my time. At the time, I didn’t want to let you go, so I let this happen, and then I’d be exhausted and worn out every single day. I was obsessed with being loved, even if it wasn’t my love story. Even if I was only a passenger in his love life.

No one deserves this. No one deserves to belittle themselves that much in order to get small pieces of attention. It’s disgusting the lengths I’d go to make YOU satisfied.

This is me getting rid of you.

This is me promising better chances to myself.

I deserve attention.

I deserve someone who will fully commit.

I deserve someone who cares about me and me only.

I deserve that. Life just has funny ways of showing you the tools to build yourself out of shitty experiences. So take them, take mine, and put yourself first. TC mark

About the author
I’m still trying to find the balance between healthy and junky Follow Isabelle on Instagram or read more articles from Isabelle on Thought Catalog.

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