Every few months I come across this exact scenario.
A gorgeous, brilliant, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping woman will walk her weepy self into a group of “close friends” and share her woes. It’s always something to do with this man she perceives as perfect. Being the skeptic I am, it usually takes me all of 23 seconds to immediately realize this guy is scum. Anyhow, she goes on dreaming about said perfect person until she gets to this line:
“…but he’s in a relationship.”
And then the weeping continues.
Every now and again, I get inspired to gently pick her pretty little head out of the pity pillow that is her lap, wipe the tears away with my thumb, apologize and then ask someone to slap her.
Dear sad woman, I get it. Seriously, I do. This man, he understands you. He appreciates you. He weaves his way through every nook and cranny of your damaged, hurt heart and eases the ache. He holds you and you feel at home and he loves you like no one can.
I’m sure his girlfriend or wife says the same thing.
The difference between you and her is he didn’t choose you. And never will. You, my dear, are a beautiful distraction. You’re not a side chick. Oh no. You’re lower on the food chain. You’re a crash test dummy, a test swatch of paint, the toss-away sampler of cologne, an anonymous bleep in an empty soul that sounds good for the few seconds it echoes before turning into nothingness.
And the worst thing about it: you know this. You won’t admit it. But you know it. Deep down you think it every time a message goes unanswered, every time he walks out to pick the phone and comes back a few degrees colder, a few miles more distant, you see it. You feel it. You hold it in and then go to your friends and weep about it.
And I sit there watching you. I’m not judging you. Like I said, I understand. You probably saw him love someone so wholly that you wanted to feel the same thing.
I had this conversation with one of my closest, oldest friends many years ago. She had children, a promising career, infinite potential and had most of her shit together. Except this one guy. He walked into her life with a mouth full of promises and a mind full of dreams that he milled through his mind and wove with his words into illusions that she fell in love with. Even when the glaring truth was visible, the much more attractive lie’s allure was irresistible. She could see through the BS. But she wanted to believe. She wanted to hope. She wanted to be loved. She needed him and he knew it. She needed everything he was giving. So he gave it to her in every sense of the phrase. He spewed her a dream and then walked away and when the smoke cleared, he was gone.
It doesn’t matter if he did love her for those few moments, months or years. It didn’t matter that he said he did. It didn’t matter that he acted like he did. What mattered, the only thing that mattered, is that he was not her man.
You know what the real kicker is? He told her as much. He expressly said “I love you but can’t be with you.” And yet for one reason or another, she hoped he could be with her. In spite of everything.
Here’s my question to you, ladies who may relate to this: why? Why would you want to be with such a guy? Because if you are that special to him, imagine how much he cares for the woman that actually got him to commit. And then imagine that he cheated on her, with you. Then try and think what must’ve been going through his head when he did that and STILL chose to be with her.
Even on the off chance he chose you and left her, he’d likely eventually leave you under fairly similar circumstances.
If you’re wondering how I know all this, it’s because I used to be that guy. And though it haunts me to this day and I want to dole out apologies as sincere as I never was, I realize there is no real place for it. I also realize that that man you think you’re with knows this too. He knows just what he’s doing to you and yet he does it.
We all want to be special. Few things are more endearing than beating all the odds. Even fewer things are more romantic. But even less things are more stupid.
Don’t get me wrong. Romance exists. Love is real. These magical things do happen. But not like this. They’re waiting to happen between you and the guy you’re snubbing while diddling with Mr. Somebody Else.
You’re fighting the wrong battle, ma. That ain’t yo man.