It’s 11.03 p.m. and I’m texting your boyfriend. Well, not necessarily YOU, the person reading this, but someone like you. A girl who has no idea the guy she loves is currently telling me what he wants to do to me and sending pics of his privates.
Yeah, I’m the side chick.
I’m not a homewrecker, although you might want to call me one. I’m not even a terrible person – I’m actually a pretty nice person. I have friends and family who love me, and I don’t fit the ‘other woman’ stereotype. Y’know the one I mean – all perfect Instagram shots ft. swoon-worthy hair and curves in all the ‘right’ places. Trust me when I say that ain’t me.
I am not special. I am not prettier than you, or funnier than you, or better in bed than you. I don’t have one night stands or go out with the specific aim of taking someone home. I’m not a gold digger. I’m fairly ordinary, really.
And yet, at least five of my most recent ‘relationships’ (and I use that term very loosely) have been with men who are… well, already in relationships.
I have friends who will never be this person. The second they hear a guy has a girlfriend, that’s it – he’s off limits, and they won’t even entertain the idea of starting something up.
I don’t know why I’m different. I don’t know why I seem to be drawn to the taken, like the proverbial moth towards the (cheating) flame.A close male friend of mine thinks it’s because I have (sound the cliche klaxon) ‘commitment issues’. His theory is that if a guy is unavailable, he’s instantly more attractive to me because I know that it’s not really going anywhere.
The therapist I saw for a while (still got that cliche klaxon? Give it a toot) reckons it’s all down to deep-rooted insecurity, and the need to have my ‘personal worth legitimized’ blah blah blah more therapy-speak.
I get what she means – there’s a definite ego boost to having a guy like you enough to cheat on his girlfriend. ‘That must mean I’m pretty right?’ screams the skinny, shy, awkward teenager inside of me.
Personally, though, I think the rom-com style movies and books I love so much have warped my mind, and I’m addicted to the idea of a grand romance that must overcome all obstacles (i.e., you) before I can get to the ‘happily ever after’ bit.In my imagination I’m not the Mia (ugh) from Love Actually type – I don’t set out to seduce someone. I’m Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner, or Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy back when Derek was married but not dead (RIP). I’m the one he’s destined to be with, and I’m the one he ends up with.
Except that’s never actually happened, of course.
What never ceases to surprise me is how many guys ARE so willing to cheat. These aren’t ‘players’ that I go for. They’re not guys who will shag anything that moves – they’re just normal men who love their girlfriends but, for some reason, take only the tiniest of pushes to enter the realm of infidelity.
Then again, maybe it’s simple; maybe humans just aren’t made to be monogamous. At least that’s what Eamon*, the American pilot I met in a South American hostel, told his girlfriend over FaceTime… just before he asked her if he could sleep with me. Spoiler alert: she said no. Double Spoiler alert: we did it anyway.What I want to make clear, is that I’m not sitting here cackling evilly and trying to break you up – I just seem to be missing the part of my body that should feel empathy for you.
I’m not an uncaring person. I donate to charity, I cry at long-lost-family reality shows, I can’t bear to see an animal scared or pain. But you? You aren’t real to me. I haven’t met you. I don’t know you. And somehow that lets me do this.
It allows me to be the sidechick with no guilt, just frustration that I can’t see him more, that he’s not free tonight because he’s playing host to your parents, or taking you out for your birthday.
Perhaps it would be different if I’d been cheated on, but I haven’t, so maybe I just can’t comprehend the pain that comes with the discovery of infidelity.
Sometimes I think I’m cursed – I cheated on my first serious boyfriend, and occasionally I entertain the idea that karma is having a good old laugh at my expense, presenting exclusively unavailable men to me forever more.Supernatural stuff aside, the reality of being the sidechick is that as exciting and as flattering as it may be at first, the realization that I will always be second best eventually takes the shine off, and things inevitably fizzle out. Then it’s on to the next shiny new already someone’s boyfriend, and so the vicious cycle continues.
Until I find my happily ever after, of course…