I’m Not The Girlfriend, I’m Always The Standby—And I’m Fine With That

No one wants to be kept on the back burner with the guy they’re dating, but I’m currently in that weird limbo where I’m not sure if I want anything serious or not, so playing this role for the guys I date is kinda ideal. I realize I’m just the standby for these guys but I’m actually totally cool with it.

I get to date around.

 As shallow as it may sound, I like being asked out and I love going on dates. Whether it’s a guy friend who wants to take me as his plus-one to his office Christmas party or someone I’ve known for years that I have an on and off thing with, I have the freedom to get dressed up and have some fun for an evening. Since I know I can’t really commit to anything more than that, it takes some of the pressure off and they know I’m not going to expect a call the next day. It’s a win-win.

It allows me to get to know more people.

 On a similar note, since I’m not zoned in on one dude, I get to really appreciate the other guys I spend time with. Each one is different so each experience is as well. With one, I can sit and watch movies for hours; with another, we love going hiking and doing stuff outdoors. I can hang out with someone that likes to cook me dinner while another prefers to go out. There are so many options out there and I get to experience them all.

My career comes first.

 At the moment, I don’t want anything to really take away from my focus on my career so I’m tabling the possibility of a relationship. If something truly magical comes along that I can’t ignore, I’ll take that into account. For now, I’m choosing to be committed to work and have fun in the meantime. The fact that the guys I date aren’t committed to me works out great because I’m not committed to them either—I’m committed to my work.

It makes me feel empowered.

When I’m exclusively dating someone, I find it hard to say no to them. I want to please them so much that if they suggest something I’m not really excited about, I’ll say yes just to be polite. When I’m just a backup, I can say no and not feel a damn bit of shame about it. The best part about that? The guys I date typically don’t care. I wasn’t their first choice anyway, I’m just around so they can move on for now. I like having that independence. I know this can seem like it would hurt my self-confidence but right now it’s actually helping.

I don’t have to be on my best behavior.

With the pressure off, I can truly be myself and so can he—and I find this actually works out really well. It’s so freeing. I don’t care if they see me in my sweats if we’re just hanging out at home—they’ll probably still make out with me anyway, so that’s great! I don’t have to be afraid to speak my mind if we disagree and I don’t get annoyed if they do either.

I don’t have to save anyone.

I’m notorious for wanting to fix broken men. That’s not the most attractive quality but it’s something I do. However, since I’m super casual with guys now, I don’t need to fix them—they’re fine. I don’t have to worry about any of their issues outside of our time together because it’s not my problem. We’re together when we are and when we’re apart, we don’t bother each other with the details. I used to find this so bothersome when I really liked a guy. I wanted to know his every move. That’s not the case this time around.

It’s about doing what I want.

 Part of this break I’m taking from proper relationships is a result of being a doormat one too many times. I always used to feel like I needed a guy, but now I’m just going for what I want instead. It’s all about having fun, nothing more, and it feels kinda good.

My laid-back attitude is a relief to most guys, even if they are a bit intimidated by it.

Even when guys tell you they don’t want a needy chick, I’ll call their bluff immediately. They probably don’t want me constantly texting them or asking to see them, but they seem to get a little territorial when I assert my self-sufficiency. If I’m just doing something with no strings attached, guys don’t seem to care about that as much. They’re happy I’m confident with myself and my situation, probably because it means they don’t have to do much or worry about if I’m going to go nuts on them the next day. They want the casual fun just as much as I do.

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