Almost 5 years ago I dated a guy with a “situation”. No, not washboard abs ala Mike Sorrentino, but a guy who had baggage. Not some typical, carry on sized duffel bag either. His included an unstable career choice as an aspiring musician, 2 young daughters, and a very much in the picture EX WIFE. Because it was such a whirlwind romance (I’m a sucker for spontaneity), I agreed to the terms. He was cute, slightly charming, and had A LOT of tattoos… don’t judge, we all have our weaknesses!
After about 2 weeks, we were convinced it was love. After about 2 months, it was OVER. I remember the conversation quite well. It was around the holidays and he told me he’d spent a day with the kids and ex-wife decorating their Christmas tree. It must’ve made them awfully sentimental, because after a few more mumbled sentences, he informed me that she wanted him back. I could tell from the look on his face what was inevitably coming next. He missed them and would soon be out of my life- for good. I was furious and humiliated, only my anger wasn’t targeted toward them, but at myself. I couldn’t blame the girl for wanting her family back together and I didn’t even know him well enough to fight for our joke of a relationship. After all, he was never “mine” to begin with. Looking back, we were bored, lonely strangers passing the time away and nothing more. Not even FRIENDS.
During my painful, yet very brief grieving process, I began to obsess over what he did in his free time spent without me. Where was he? What was he REALLY doing? Was he with her? Why was I asking these questions if all along, I knew the answers? Piecing the puzzle together eventually made everything crystal clear: I was the OTHER woman. I may not have been dating a married man per se, but I allowed myself to be placed in a situation where I wasn’t his first priority. Hell, I wasn’t even 2nd or 3rd! What I ultimately did was PLAY MYSELF.
The truth is, women who find themselves in these predicaments are headed for heartache hell. Dating someone who’s recently come out of a relationship is difficult enough, and those with on again/off again affairs are particularly hard to handle. In my experience, these types haven’t yet severed ALL emotional (and physical) ties. It takes time to heal and if he hasn’t fully recovered, you’ll forever wonder about his intentions- leaving you drained and miserable. Messing around with someone who’s currently IN a relationship is twice as complicated. All judgement aside, are you really ok with being hidden away like a dirty secret? Can you handle being dismissed as a “side chick” (ugh)? Can you accept NEVER being introduced to friends and family members? Because bottom line, you WON’T be.
It’s a double edged sword in these types of situations- guys with unsorted baggage either go back to wifey or never leave her to begin with. Don’t play yourself. You deserve an emotionally available person to love and care for you without conditions. Someone to take you on dates without constantly looking over his shoulder. Someone who won’t humiliate you. Someone that most importantly, RESPECTS you. It’s a jungle out there, but don’t settle. Remember, the only bags you should have to carry are your own.
Image Layout: Trina
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