How It Feels To Be The Girl You Didn’t Pick

I was the girl who was always evasive, shy, and unattainable because of my standoffishness. In my head, I told myself it was because I was intelligent and intimidating, and I let this sweep over me, permeating my thoughts and clouding my judgment. Naturally, it was a nasty wake-up call to not be someone’s first choice. So when I—the girl who avoids conflict and always calls the shots—wasn’t in control of the situation, it left me stranded.

There’s a quote by Johnny Depp that goes, “If you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.” I told myself this was completely accurate. Why would you ever want to be anyone’s second choice? It shows how much you value yourself and sets a low price on your self-worth.

But it’s one thing when you are the one they choose. It’s completely another when you’re the one left out in the cold, peering in from the outside on what could have been. For those like me who wind up the second choice, we always feel as though it was something we did, didn’t do, or could have done better.

My mother asked me: “Did you do something to scare him away?” And at the time I pondered it, deep down wondering if maybe I had been too open, or not funny enough, or simply too invested in my own life. But I answered her as defiantly as I could: “No of course not. Who knows?”

Maybe he didn’t choose me because he only liked the idea of me. Maybe it’s because he thought I was different and special, the kind of girl who makes your head spin, and you tell your parents about because there’s just something inherently indefinable about her—something you can’t put your finger on because she makes your stomach ache with butterflies. But then the more I opened up, the more you pulled away. Was I supposed to leave an air of mystery? Maybe she did. Maybe she’s everything I’m not. I can’t compete with that.

Everyone says you weren’t good enough for me. On paper, I suppose it’s true. Far too busy and detached for someone like me, who thrives on openness and communication with other people.

Someday the storm clouds will part and the sun will smile down on me, reminding me that I’m above this. Until then I’m learning how to dance in the rain, allowing the water to wash away the sting of your rejection. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog