In the words of DJ Khaled, don't ever play yourself.
I've been the girlfriend, the placeholder, the fun friend but in this particular situation, I was the side chick.
It was in December 2014 when this situation occurred. I was coming out of a very toxic situationship and very vulnerable. This guy came out of nowhere, I was out with my girls and he approached me. We exchanged small talk and that was pretty much it. The following night, I saw him again and this time, we exchanged numbers.
Our conversations were nice and he was definitely an upgrade from my last "bae" in relation to his personality. We had the awkward conversation of whether we were seeing anyone and he said, "the girl I'm talking to is leaving for university next year." I don't know about you but when someone says they're "talking" to someone, I take that as they're dating and not in an official relationship.
Fast forward a couple of days, I realized he was in a relationship but I didn't let it bother me much because we had just met and she was suppose to be leaving for university.
The fact that he had a girlfriend should have been a red flag, communication should have been cut to a minimum considering how vulnerable I was but that was not the way the story went.
We talked everyday and were spending alot of time together, we were always going out and he was constantly over at my house. If I needed him, he was at my beck and call. I was happy, he made me feel a type of way that I didn't feel for a really long time. Additionally, he wouldn't put up any pictures of his girlfriend, he always reassured me how he felt and he constantly chose to spend time with me over her. Again, these things should have been red flags but they fed my ego. I didn't feel like the side chick, I felt like the only one.
The "honeymoon phase" lasted for about five months before the cookie started to crumble. It was a rollercoaster ride, when things were good, they were really goooddd but when they were bad, they were really bad. I didn't want to play my role (side chick) because he made it so easy for me to get comfortable.
I was looking for love in the wrong place.
He switched up and I began to really feel like the side piece. We were not spending as much time together and if we were, it was mostly late at night. I communicated how I felt and he managed to talk me out of leaving. He told me how much he loved me, he CRIED, he told me that he didn't view me as a side chick, how different I was and how he never felt this way with anyone, not even his girlfriend.
All of these things, yet he still chose to stay with her. He claimed that he only stuck around because of their history and she proved herself, unlike me. I did some questionable things so I was very understanding when it came to his reasoning but my thing was, I wasn't the only one in his life so it wasn't fair for him to expect me to just be there while he was with her.
I let him get comfortable with disrespecting me.
Our situation started out all fun and romantic but after a while, whenever he left, there was a sadness so deep that it consumed me. I no longer felt those butterflies; instead I felt empty. I couldn't stomach the thought of them being together and I hated seeing them out and having to pretend to be "just friends." I ESPECIALLY hated that her birthday was a day before mine. Not only did I have to share him but I would have to share my birthday too if we lasted that long.
I didn't like the feeling and a bunch of questions ran through my mind. What if I got pregnant, would I want to raise a child with him? Do I admire who he is? Does he value me? Can we build a future together?
All of these questions and more were answered with a negative but somehow, I could not find the courage to walk away. I knew he wasn't good for me, I knew this situation was unhealthy but he was like a drug I couldn't seem to get enough of.
I continued to make an effort, hoping that things would eventually turn around but we started to have more bad than good days. In hindsight, I was looking for him to fill a void that only God could fill.
I was unhappy but I stayed, I was foolishly seeking his validation, I wanted him to choose me. My wishful thinking was put to a halt when he told me that his girlfriend decided to take a year off from University to work on their relationship.
Those words broke my heart, the only reason I stayed was because I wanted this drama, pain and hurt to be for a reason and the reason was to be him. He stood there and watched the tears stream down my face. I was crying rivers and he did nothing, he said nothing.
It shouldn't have been a surprise to me, you start wrong, you end wrong, right? It was stupid of me to believe that we would actually end up together. The sweet guy I thought I "loved" was disappearing right before my eyes and I was disappearing too. I looked in the mirror and I did not like who stared back at me.
Who was this insecure, dumb girl?
How could I allow him to hurt me over and over again? How could I do this to myself? I still couldn't bring myself to leave but I knew that I would reach my breaking point, it was only a matter of time.
That time came in month 8, the disrespect started to get too real. Whenever we argued, he would hit me with "BUT YOU AIN'T MY GIRL!" and he started to post snaps with him and his girlfriend kissing and going out. He had a right to do these things, it was his girlfriend but it was the motive behind it that upset me. His intention was to hurt me and he did.
I couldn't take anymore, I had to put on my big girl panties and kick him to the curb. Of course it didn't end well but at least it ended.
I remembered who the hell I was and the game changed.
When I separated myself from the situation, I realized that I didn't want a boyfriend like him and I was more in love with the idea than I was with him. I felt sorry for his girlfriend; she had no idea the things he said about her and the things he did. I was disgusted with myself for doing that to another girl and I wanted to tell her but I feared that she wouldn't believe me. I felt like it wouldn't make a difference because from what I observed, she was blinded as well.
Instead of beating myself up, I viewed the situation as a learning experience:
If I wanted a man to value me, I had to value myself.
I had to give myself time to heal rather than jumping from relationship to relationship.
I had to stop seeking validation from a man, I was complete by myself.
I had to spend time alone and truly get to know who I was and love the reflection in the mirror.
Love was not about how much disrespect I could endure and constantly having to prove myself. I deserved something so much better, I deserved something beautiful.
The woman I am today is not the girl I was in 2014, thank God for growth. Although, I don't desire to relive that situation, the sleepless nights, the uncontrollable crying I learned what I don't want and I found myself.
He re-emerged and apologized, he wanted to work things out (they broke up) but I was no longer attracted to the person that he was. I was a different person and he was the same, it was only right to keep moving forward. Although he hurt me, I don't think he's a bad person, he just isn't the one for me.
If you're currently going through this, there is hope! You just have to get to a point where you know your worth. I don't condone what I did but I was young and dumb, I would never put myself in that position again. If a man truly loves you, he won't let you play #2 and more importantly, if you love yourself, you won't play that role.
Love is many things. It is varied. One thing love is not , is unsure.- Maya Angelou
Have you ever settled for being the side chick?And if so, what did you learn? What do you think about tv shows that condone being the side chick?