There are many things I have learned in college; how the brain works, what statistics are, how to open a wine bottle without an opener. That’s what I came to college for, the learning experience. What I didn’t think I would learn, but I’m glad I did, was how to be the girl no one wanted.
It’s a hard lesson, realizing that you will always be a friend. I am certainly one to fall for a guy easily, and usually fast. I have never had a problem putting myself out there, being outgoing, or even dating. But I got to college and I saw a reoccurrence in the pattern of my relationships. I would go on dates with guys, hang out with them, hook up with them, but when it came to labeling what we are every single one backs out.
“I’m not looking for a relationship.” “I’m not the commitment type.” “It’s college, I’m not dating.” All things I have heard, and at first naively believed. This made sense to me; college is a tough environment to be in a relationship. But I had seen it work, and I know it could. I just assumed it would come with time. It never did. As much as I told myself not to, I would get attached. I could see similarities between us, I could see how well we got along, and I always wondered why it was we weren’t dating.
Eventually, people drift apart. This is normal, and I would let it happen. I can only give as much effort as I receive, and when I received none, the relationship (if you could call it that) fizzled. Sometimes it was dramatically, sometimes quietly, but they always left. And months later they would return. Not in my life, but in someone else’s. It’s the girlfriend. The one girl who got them to change their mind about relationships in college. The one girl who he looks at like you used to look at him. The one girl he would do anything for with the drop of a hat.
This part is probably the worst. Knowing you aren’t that girl. Knowing you tried so, so hard to be that girl. You thought you could change him. You thought there was something in you that was enough for him to date you, even if you had to wait it out. And you were wrong. About him, about yourself. Every time, I would lose more and more confidence in myself. There has to be something wrong with me if they all kept leaving? There has to be something I’m doing backwards, something I messed up. I thought it was a puzzle I could solve if I only had all the pieces.
If you have ever been this girl, you know what it’s like. The heart crushing feeling of knowing you’re not enough. The drop of your stomach seeing them together. The water in your eyes, or the unsteadiness of your voice when you tried to tell him how happy you were. You put on a show because there’s nothing else you know to do. It will be your turn, one day it’ll be your turn to be that girl.
Well I’m still waiting. I don’t know if it’ll ever be my turn. But the difference now is I don’t mind. I have been crushed, mostly by my own thoughts and heart, and I have come back around time and time again. And if being the girl no one wants has taught me one thing…it’s okay. Being yourself, being able to be by yourself, is a better love story than any man who doesn’t want to be with you. I’m sure he’ll come, and if he doesn’t I’m fine with that too. I know who I am, and I know what I want, and I refuse to settle for something less than that.
The “almost” girl is a tough role, one I hope you never have to play. But if you do, know someone has made it out alive, and you will too. It’s okay.