Especially to the girl who slept with the boy who used to be mine.
I don’t know how to talk to you. Rationally I know we can’t be that different, but at my very core I believe that there’s no common ground between girls like you and girls like me. I’m weirdly scared about approaching the elephant in the room; the thing we all know is going to be brought up. My basic instinct says to be polite and start with “hi,” but “hi” is so colloquial. It’s casual, breezy. It’s something you do to make other people feel comfortable.
And you know what? You don’t deserve to feel comfortable.
I, and the other girls who were the former, slighted girlfriends, do not owe you anything.
You are always so full of excuses as to why what went down is not your fault.
“Their relationship was already over long before I came along.”
“It just sort of happened.”
“It didn’t mean anything.”
“I had never felt like this before I met him.”
“It’s not like I meant to hurt her.”
You walk around, tossing your hair, talking about him in your Twitter bio, and acting like you’re unfazed by any of your past indiscretions. Like your one sentence answers are enough to rationalize your behavior. There is no way to convince me that what you did was okay or excusable.
You don’t get to justify your actions with the claims made by the untrustworthy half of the relationship — the guy that was never yours and who would very easily do to you what he did with you. You will never know both sides of the story, nor will you ever know what was truly happening in the relationship before you entered the picture, with legs spread.
You made a choice, a decision to barrel through a house she so meticulously built and you crushed anything and everything that stood in your way. No half of a story is going to change the fact that you participated in something that left her feeling humiliated, broken, used, and completely alone.
Your excuses are irrelevant.
You had a choice. There is always a moment when you can either say “Yes I will do this” — choosing to live with the consequences — or you walk away. Patrick Marber worded it perfectly when he had Alice say, “I don’t know when your moment was, but I bet there was one.”
Maybe you’re at peace with the consequences. Maybe you’re fine with your choices.
But just know that if you try to call yourself a feminist while you simultaneously and actively participate in infidelity, I will not only brand you with a scarlet letter, but also with a big sign that says “hypocrite.” You are giving in to the societal pressures that pin girls against one another. You are responsible for making it too tempting to slut-shame, to hate you. We should be building each other up, not competing for what the other has. You are making competitions where there weren’t any and frankly shouldn’t be any. This was not a game of Finders Keepers. And even if we are childish enough to call this a game, you wouldn’t have won because, simply put, you were not there first.
You act like he was some sort of prize to be claimed. You talk about your nights together like they’re out of some novel that would shoot to the top of the best sellers list in the category of erotica. You spin stories of your relationship talking about how magical it was but all you’re doing is making the reality of being someone’s side piece easier to swallow. You don’t get to romanticize your relationship. You were the other woman. It’s as simple as that.
You need to own that you did a shitty thing and apologize for it. And not in an “I’m sorry for falling in love,” tele novella kind of way. You owe it to us — the girls who didn’t know their boyfriends were stabbing them in the back — to not pretend like what you did was acceptable.
The beginning of making amends is admitting that you have made a mistake.
When I — or when we — reach out to you, write about you, or talk about you, we’re not looking for sympathy or to get his attention. We want yours. He is not in the picture anymore. Most of us — and I say “most” because I can’t speak for everyone — don’t even want him back even though that’s what you so judgmentally tell people when you speak so ignorantly about us.
We want an apology.
We want an acknowledgement that you would never want to go through what we lived through. That there is a bit of regret for what you decided to do in your moment. We want you to admit that you did something bad, specifically to us, and to own up to it.
If you could at least do that, and do it like an adult, then maybe we could stop waking up from fitful, restless sleeps wanting to slap you across the face.
We’re working towards forgiving you. We just aren’t there yet.
But if you could apologize, we would be one step closer.