My Experience with Being the Other Woman and What I learnt From It

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Our oh-so brief relationship had been like spending a day in the sunlight when you’ve lived your whole life underground. Maybe that was all we got when it came to relationships like that—flashes of sunlight. Maybe it was too bright to be sustained for any extended period of time. Maybe I should be thankful.”

–Cora Carmack, Losing It

So much could happen within a year. And apparently, a year’s worth of unfortunate events was enough to make me turn my life around forever. One of the most heartbreaking and important turning points of my life happened during my senior year in college. Having a broken heart isn’t really a new thing for most girls. But the difference in my story lies in this one complicated situation—I was his best friend who then became his other girl.

In all fairness, I did meet him first. We became acquainted with each other and developed an amazing connection before he even met her. From the moment we met, there was just this certain magnetic pull between us and we couldn’t help but give into it. We were constantly in each other’s presence and it went that way for months and before I even realized it, my whole world was slowly revolving around him—around us. It was like we were inside this bubble that even though there were other people around us, we only wanted to spend time with each other and get away from it all as much as possible.

the other girl

And Then He Met Her & I Became the ‘Other Woman’

We had this “best friends” label on our relationship. We were closer than most but we were not romantically involved. And then he met her… and he didn’t tell me anything about it. There was just this gradual feeling of unease blooming inside of me that something was happening and changing, whether in him or in our relationship. Amazingly enough, he still maintained his constant presence in my everyday life. We were still close physically even though there was a noticeable gap between us emotionally. I knew I was being a coward and weakling for not standing up to him but I guess you can say that I was already in deep with him by that time that I’d rather shut up and keep my cool in order to stay safe and tucked away inside our little bubble—our own world where we’re happy and everything’s okay.

Turning Point – We Gave in to the Physical Attraction

But one of the turning points in our relationship came when we finally gave in to the physical attraction that we had for each other. It started out as a joke but since both of us clearly wanted it to happen, we just let nature take its course. It also wasn’t a one-time thing either. Sometimes I felt so sick about it but being intimate with him made me happier than I’ve ever been in other relationships. He kept his two little worlds separately and for brief moments in between, I was sickeningly happy to be by his side and turning a blind eye on the fact that he was dating another girl already. Ignorance is bliss, right? At least that’s what I chose to believe at that time.

And One Day the Inevitable Happened – He Cut Me Off

When things exploded, my first instinct was to shield and keep him away from the eye of the storm and take it all by myself. There was no questioning whether I loved him or not at that point because it was clear as the day that I loved him with all of whom I was.

But it didn’t matter how much I loved him nor how far I was willing to go to save him and what’s left of our relationship. Why? Because I was fighting a battle where I was aware that I was going to lose anyway. I was saving someone who I knew wouldn’t choose me in the end. And I was sacrificing everything for a toxic relationship that’s slowly making me lose myself. I hung on the brief flashes of sunlight he gave me because for those moments, I felt so alive and I craved it. I held on until he completely cut off the last string that was connecting us together, and that’s when I knew that instead of exerting efforts into chasing after him—it was finally time to save myself even if it meant bearing a searing kind of pain within my heart and soul.

My Wake Up Call

It’s safe to say that I went through all the stages of grief. And when I came to accept it all, I realized that I didn’t hate him at all. I was immensely hurt but as time passed by and as I let things go instead of questioning why he just cut me off from his life so easily, I realized that it was the wake-up call that I needed and in a way, I was even thankful for it. I latched onto him because he made me feel alive—alive with the intense feeling of love, pain, and everything in between. But as a woman, it was important to know and recognize that last chance to turn your life around and draw something positive out of a horrible situation, instead of letting yourself drown in misery and depression. And when I acknowledged that realization, it was like I finally woke up from a fog that was eating me up and blocking my way.

Every Young Lady Needs that One Big Wake Up Call

I believe that every young lady, especially those in their early twenties, needs that one big wake-up call that will change them for the rest of their lives. It was also that moment where they become full-fledged women and look at things from a whole new perspective, as they grow older. Gone are the days of irrational judgments and decisions, of the compulsion to latch onto something that’s bad for you in exchange for brief flashes of sunlight… gone are the days of not knowing your real worth just to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate you.

Self Discovery – Building Back My Self Confidence and Self Worth

I was given a whole new chance to make things right in my life, and I used it to mend the broken relationships I had because of him—namely my parents. And instead of going the path of destruction just to forget—drinking, partying, flirting with other guys, and so on—I chose the road less traveled and set on a path of self-discovery.

I did it through constructive habits and activities that help me in building back my self-confidence and putting great importance to my self-worth such as traveling, starting a business, writing, reading, and even helping out others with what I learned from my own experiences. It was a long journey but I didn’t regret a single thing because four years after, I’m feeling better and stronger than ever and whenever I looked back at that moment in my life, I can’t help but smile and be proud of how far I’ve come in making myself a better person.