Not all relationships are black and white or easy to define. When cheating happens, a lot of complications arise. Society has a lot of opinions about people who cheat and the ones they cheat with. Being the other woman isn’t glamorous or exciting at all—it’s actually a giant headache.
The uncertainty comes in waves.
As someone who has been the third party in multiple relationships, I can honestly say that this is the absolute worst thing about it. You never really know when the other shoe is going to drop. Is the relationship headed anywhere? Is the person you’re with going to make good on their promises to you? Will the moments of joy outweigh all the other moments that feel like pure torture? It’s hard to shake the feeling that every time you see each other might be your last.
Your friends and family probably won’t approve.
It’s tough being in a relationship with someone you can’t freely show off to the people who matter to you. They might not be able to see things from your angle or come to terms with your reasons for dating someone who is in another relationship. In fact, some people might feel the need to distance themselves from you because of it.
There’ll be many moments when you feel like an option.
If you’re not the kind who prefers polyamorous relationships, being the other woman is going to put you through the emotional wringer. When they cancel plans with you because of commitments to their partner or your stolen moments together start feeling rushed, you’ll hate that you can’t be a top priority in their life. If you’re not careful, this might chip away at your self-esteem.
You can’t always share special occasions with the person you’re dating.
Having to spend Valentine’s Day, your birthday, their birthday, New Year, Christmas, and other memorable days alone because your partner has to be with their other partner makes you want to throw and smash things. Even when you do, you can’t share the lovely pictures of the two of you on social media because it’d expose the relationship .
The secrecy gets old after a while.
When you’re in love or seeing someone that lights up your life, you kind of want to share that with the world. When you’re the other woman, you can’t do that because your existence is a secret. There’ll be places you can’t go and things you can’t do together for fear of being seen. It’s like you’re an outsider in your relationship.
You have to live with other people’s judgment and maybe even your own.
The other woman is seen by society as a homewrecker, someone who is morally bankrupt and deserving of cruelty and derision. If you’re easily bothered by other people’s opinions of you or your actions, you’ll be constantly disappointed, ashamed, and mad at yourself.
You get sick of playing the waiting game.
You can’t be as spontaneous as you like in your relationship because you constantly have to factor in their other commitments. You have to wait for your lover to greenlight your plans, including when it’s okay to see each other. You have to make do with the limited time and affection they can offer you. This can be pretty frustrating. It blurs the line between being careful and being taken for granted.
You’re always low-key hoping they choose you.
There are women who are completely satisfied with their position as the other woman and want nothing more. However, for most in this situation, they’re holding out for the day when their lover realizes it was them all along and breaks off their other relationship. They believe that their love and persistence will win out ever time. Sometimes it does, and other times it’s just a comforting dream.
Stolen moments are all you get to live on.
You can’t see your lover as often as you’d like. All the time you get together has to be borrowed from whatever their schedule can afford. This means you only get a few hours at a stretch and some rare weekends. This can be hard to make do with especially if your heart is fully committed to the relationship.
You’re giving up a lot more than your partner.
If you have to be faithful to your lover while they go on maintaining their other relationship, that’s an unequal arrangement. Even if they promise to break things off with their current partner, you’ll still be sacrificing a lot in the meantime.
Heartbreak is always a real and looming possibility.
When you’re the other woman, you know deep down that what you have can slip away at any moment. You might not even get a chance at closure when it does. Even if you’re the one who puts an end to the affair, it’s still going to wreck your emotions in ways you never thought possible.
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