To The Girls Waiting On The Sideline

Shutterstock/Petar Paunchev
Shutterstock/Petar Paunchev

Hey you. Yeah, you, the girl he has on the side. I know how you feel and I know what he did to you. The story probably went something like this.

You met him randomly. He was just a guy, you didn’t really think you’d get to be close friends with him, but he had other plans. He messaged you, called you, told you he needs to see you and that you had to hangout because you were the only person he could be himself around. Day by day, you grew a little bit closer; every week he was on your mind a little more. All those Taylor Swift songs on the radio finally started to make sense. When he kissed you, your world changed. You thought, “Maybe I’ll finally be happy.”

Two weeks into what you thought was dating, he called you his best friend and said you guys were just hanging out. You were probably taken aback by it, but you decided to stick around anyway. He claimed he wasn’t looking for a relationship and that he was emotionally unavailable. You thought over time, he’d probably change his mind about you. You ate dinner, saw each other, and went everywhere together. You were honest about your feelings, but you never asked for a label for fear that he’d stop seeing you. What you didn’t know is that he wouldn’t have. He would’ve kept seeing you no matter what you told him you wanted.

Flash forward a few months, he met another girl. You weren’t worried; she was just some girl he made out with when he was drunk. A few months into that, he started dating her and actually called it dating; you were a little worried, but you figured you had been there longer so you were more important. One morning, you opened up your social media account and saw that they were now in a relationship and you asked yourself, “How did I not see that coming? What did I do wrong? I was cool about it, I backed off, and I feigned interest in other men. I played the game as it should be played. Why did he pick her?”

Ten minutes into their relationship, he messaged you saying he wants to see you and you refused, but he insisted. Your heart couldn’t say no so you went and saw him and listened to his crap explanation of why even though he wasn’t looking for anything, he’s suddenly in something. “Yeah I’m with her, but you’re more important and I will never leave you,” he said to you. And you said “okay”. And you thought, “That’s fine, I’ll just keep him as a friend and move on with my life.” But no, a guy like this never lets you move on. Your status just went from “A girl he’s seeing” to “A girl who’s his side chick.”

You did everything for him. Cooked, drove him around, ran errands, taxes, paperwork, generally all the things a girlfriend and personal assistant would do combined. Whatever he needed, you were his go-to BFF. And yet he dated the other girl, who did nothing for him but provide physical pleasure. You thought to yourself, “How is a girl who sleeps with him, better than me, who does everything for his happiness? How does a girl like me end up in a situation like this?” And so you tried to leave again and he pulled you back in and said, “Babe I know we would have been better, but she’s my girlfriend now. I can’t let you go though, I have feelings for you and I always will. You’re so important to me, you come before her. I love you so much and I always will.” And so you stayed.

Every day you saw that when he needed something, you were more important, but when it came to giving credit publicly, she was more important to his image. She made him popular, you made him human, and in current society, popularity seemed to win.

One day you exploded though. You got mad at him and told him you deserve the same amount of affection as she does and… he gave it to you. He spent a few weeks or a few months kissing you, talking to you, cuddling with you, sleeping next to you when she was not around. After those few weeks or months though, he went back to her and gave her even more of himself from the guilt he felt about being romantic with you. And you still did not know where you went wrong. And you still stayed, hoping he’d see the light like the boys in those Taylor Swift videos.

You felt like you were torturing yourself and you wondered why you allowed yourself to feel like this; why you allowed someone else to make you feel this way. You read articles, looked up psychological terms, found memes about self-love, and talked to every single person you could in order to make sense of your situation so that you could feel better, but nothing worked. One day, you found yourself at an impasse where a choice had to be made by him. Either you, or her. And when you talked to him about it he got angry and told you that you needed to accept the decision he had made to make her his main girl. When you cried that he claimed you to be more important, he told you that you were being emotional and that your title as his friend was all he could give you. After a few days of sadness, you pushed it once more, and that’s when he said, “Let’s just end whatever this relationship is.”

Instead of feeling sad, initially you were happy that he finally called it a relationship, because that’s what it really had been, and your thinking process was now validated. And then the misery started. You listened to songs that he and his girl shared to further destroy yourself and prevent yourself from going back to him. You listened to songs you and he shared in order to calm the burn from your earlier activity. You talked to him again just to sort things out and to feel a little better.

So to you, the girl who thought his promises meant something and that he’d never leave: I feel you. I hear you. I see you. I know who you are, how much you’ve done, and how you deserve a lot better. I understand the difficulty in leaving the guy who made you his side chick, and I do not judge you for staying as long as you did. I support you in thinking that completely cutting him off is not a possibility. You will find someone one day who will help you cut this guy out of your life.

In the meantime, find someone else to spend time with, not to date, but just to keep busy. Perhaps equally divide the time you spend talking to each guy until you find the new one more interesting. You’ll have to wean yourself off of the guy you thought was your best friend, because he’s not. Best friends don’t destroy you. He will drive you insane and then make you feel guilty for losing your mind. He will fight with you to stop caring about him and when you finally do, he will fight with you to care about him again. You’ll have to eventually end the vicious cycle to be free of the half-ass title he gave you. And one day, you’ll look back and see that he underestimated your strength and that you overestimated his love. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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