Being The Other Woman Taught Me These Lessons That I’ll Never Forget

I knew he had a fianceé, but I still replied to his texts, spent time with him, and eventually kissed him. It was a horrible thing to do, but it really taught me a lot. Here’s what I learned after I became the girl one guy used to cheat on the woman who was supposed to be the love of his life:

  1. So many guys out there are not faithful. This guy was a religious guy who wanted to get married. He was soft-spoken and sweet. He claimed he loved his girlfriend. Um, really? ‘Cause you’ve been flirting with me non-stop, but anyway. It just showed me how sometimes the best guys are the worst in disguise. Lesson learned.
  2. It’s so easy to lose someone you love. Love is a precious thing that we often take for granted. And yet, that love can be taken away so easily, especially at the hands of a liar who goes around treating his relationship like it’s nothing special. It made me sad to think I was a part of the destruction of love that had once existed between these two people.
  3. There’s no such thing as “the one that got away.” I’d known this guy for many years before this incident. We always got along well, we had fierce chemistry, and we enjoyed each other’s company. But the timing was always off. Either I was with someone or he was — and no, we didn’t get together behind those people’s backs, in case you’re wondering. We just never got a chance. I realized it’s not because of bad timing; it’s because not every love is meant to see the light of day. I was actually lucky that we had never had a chance, otherwise I would have been the fianceé he cheated on.
  4. Love is black and white. I had this idea that by kissing him, we could finally taste a bit of the future we never got to have together. In that moment when we kissed, it was like we didn’t have anything else going on in our lives. But this is a glamorized idea. No matter what I felt, it was wrong. I always prioritized romance and living in the moment, but it wasn’t always a good thing to do. I had to see things as black or white, because this was most fair. And what was unfair was that the woman he was about to marry the next day had no idea that he was kissing another woman.
  5. What goes around… Forget the romance. What about how I had thought I was the only “other woman”? He might have said he had the same ideas regarding the kiss as I did, but who’s to say that’s the truth? He could have been saying that to other women. If his own fianceé wasn’t getting his commitment, there’s a big chance I was not the only woman he was cheating with. Karma’s a bitch.
  6. I would never do that to sisterhood again. I’m all about women sticking up for each other, but my actions with this guy clashed with that stance in a huge, shameful way. I tried to tell myself that clearly he and his woman had problems and maybe she wasn’t such a great girlfriend, but honestly that’s BS. I might have said “It’s not my problem what he does,” but that’s the thing: it is my problem because I hurt another woman who I didn’t even know. I learned how important it is to see things from the other woman’s perspective, and this would make me a wiser person in the future.
  7. I don’t want to be someone’s escape. I was just his escape from his obligation to marry her and the sober, married life he was about to embark on. It might have felt like fun at the time to sneak around, but honestly it was nothing more than a cheap thrill. It didn’t feel nice afterwards.
  8. I’m not cut out for this type of thing. I learned that I’m really not the type of woman who can be “the other woman”. I’m just not. I didn’t sleep with this guy or have an extensive emotional relationship, but what we did was bad enough. I felt really guilty for what I had done, not because of how it made him or anyone else view me, but because I had let myself down. This was not the type of woman I wanted to be.
  9. I was used to settling for less than I deserved. This kiss made me realize that I had been settling for much less than I wanted or deserved from men. I was always the one trying to make the relationship work or the one chasing the guy or the one putting up with their crap. I’d been satisfied with scraps, but that would end with this guy. I wasn’t going to allow myself to be in situations with guys that would lead nowhere and just make me feel pathetic.
  10. I needed self-respectIf I wanted to find a decent guy and have a real relationship, I had to start respecting myself. I might have thought this short stint as the other woman was fun for both me and the guy, but the truth is that he probably saw me as someone easy he could have his way with and then forget. After the kiss, he asked me if we could take things back to his place. He wanted to have sex. That’s all he had cared about. I said no. I was already changing and thankfully becoming a better woman.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.