I Thought I Could Move From The Backburner To Being His Girlfriend—I Was Wrong

I was his back-burner girl and I knew it. I also hoped that I’d become this guy’s main priority eventually because I really liked him and thought we’d make a great couple. Things didn’t quite turn out as I hoped, but the experience taught me some important things.

  1. I bought the lies. I knew he had a girlfriend but he gave me the whole song and dance about how their relationship was a mess and he wanted out but she’d been going through a tough time so he had to be careful when breaking up with her… You know the drill. It was all a bunch of BS.
  2. I got comfortable with being second. Instead of waking up to the fact that he’d never leave his girlfriend and choose me, I started to become too comfortable with being last on his list. When he told me that he had to reschedule plans, I accepted it. When he told me that he couldn’t text because he’d be “out of range” for a while, I believed it. When he went AWOL for days or weeks at a time, I ignored my anger.
  3. I hoped that it would change. The thing is, I was motivated by hope that our situation would improve. I hoped that one day he’d come to me and be able to make me his number one, but that was a joke. It was never going to happen and I should’ve listened to friends who told me so.
  4. He wasn’t being honest with me. I thought that he was being 100% honest with me about his relationship, but obviously he was lying because he was always dragging things out with his girlfriend. In addition, he was playing the field by dating other women. I wasn’t the only one he was cheating with, as if that wasn’t bad enough.
  5. I wasted precious time. Seriously, I waited around for this guy for six months. That’s six months of my life I’d never get back, and for what? He was having his cake and eating it, while I was only feeding on crumbs.
  6. I pushed away better opportunities. Because I had my heart set on this total loser, I ended up missing out on better romantic opportunities. There were better guys out there who were single and didn’t reel me into their complicated lives, but I refused them in the hope that this guy would make me his girlfriend.
  7. I put him on a pedestal. It’s sad but true—I put this guy on a pedestal. It was as though I gave him 100% control of my heart and whatever the hell you could call our relationship. I guess it was an almost-relationship. When he couldn’t see me on Thursday because his girlfriend was back in town so he wanted to see me on Saturday, I’d change my plans to accommodate him. He was like a king. It was sick.
  8. I was working towards a relationship, he wasn’t. I was focused on making a relationship with this guy work. I was the one moving my life around for him, but he was doing squat! I was just an extra in his life that he could have or not and it wouldn’t harm a hair on his head.
  9. We were in a dead-end situation. We were never going to become anything serious. If we were, he would have dumped his girlfriend as soon as he met me and we would’ve started dating. I see that now.
  10. He wasn’t “confused.” So many times I’d wonder if he was a bit confused about how to make a big move like ending his relationship and taking up a new one with me. But that’s total BS. I was just making excuses for the guy. The truth of the matter is that he wasn’t confused, he knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted to be with her and have me on the side. He wanted to drag things out for however long he could, getting benefits from both situations.
  11. Who does that? Seriously, who lies to someone they supposedly love? Who leads someone down the garden path and preys on their feelings? Thinking about these questions finally gave me the courage to cut ties with that guy once and for all because I deserved real love and respect, and he didn’t know the definition of either word. If I’m going to be committed and loyal to a guy, he’d better meet me halfway and give me the same in return. I refuse to be anyone’s back-burner, and so should you.
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.