I have been with my boyfriend for over 2 ½ years now, and I am head over heels in love.
Since the first day we met I have been feeling warm all over and just hearing him breathe gives me butterflies. The biggest argument we have had during our relationship was over what show or movie we would watch, or whose place we’re staying at for the night since we live a block away from each other.
But, a month ago I felt like my fairy tale (I know it’s cheesy, but that’s what it feels like) was ending. I had to text my mom and my phone was acting funny so I used his. We keep nothing from each other and I never had a reason to not trust him until I saw some old texts between him and his ex from the previous week. He tells her he wants to marry me, but wanted to be sure it was okay with her. They were going back and forth saying how much they still loved each other but it would not work. What hurt the most was when he said he wanted to settle down even if it was with “second place.” I felt like someone stabbed me in my heart.
I was going to bring it up until at 3a.m. he got a call saying she was involved in a bad car accident and died. Since then, he has been an emotional wreck and in so much pain. I hate seeing him this way. I also feel like a horrible person because I’m jealous. It’s so obvious he loved her more than me. He stares at her pictures constantly and I don’t know how to console him without feeling a little sad and hurt. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Do I ever bring up the texts to him? Do you think we could ever get through this? – I Don’t Want To Be 2nd Place
Dear Ms. Don’t Want To Be 2nd Place,
Well, if you and he got together right after he broke up with his ex 2 ½ years ago, then, you are the rebound chick. You will forever be number 2. Sorry, but nothing is ever going to change that.
Let’s be real, you went through his text messages, and you discovered that they had been texting one another, which means he hadn’t been forthright and upfront with you about his relationship with his ex. If you thought they were over, and he led you to believe it was over, yet, they maintained communication, then, he was hopeful for some type of reconciliation. And, the fact that they were going back and forth saying how much they loved one another means he was hoping to reconnect with her, but you were in the way. And, I’m sure he threw out there that he wanted to marry you and see if it was okay with her in order to gauge her response. He was baiting her, and to get her jealous he told her that he was going to marry you. However, if he really loved you, and he really wanted to be with you then he wouldn’t need her permission, or “okay,” to be with the woman he loved. Why is seeking her approval? Why does he need her validation? It’s because he still wants her. He was hoping she would tell him that it was a bad idea, and that they should be together.
But, the final blow was when he stated he wanted to settle down even if it was with “second place.” OUCH! Ma’am, he called you second place. You are not the prize, but someone he is settling for.
Unfortunately, his ex has now died, and he is mourning her. He is an emotional wreck and he stares at her picture. Dude, really loved her, and he can mourn his ex that he truly loved. It’s a natural grieving process. So, do you bring up the text messages? And, will you get through this? No, and no.
He needs time to heal, grieve, and to get over his ex. He is mourning, and unfortunately you will become his crutch and his listening ear about his undying love for his ex. He will talk about her constantly, and every little thing will remind him of her. You will eventually get tired of hearing him talk about her, reminisce about their good times, and how much he loved her. Yet, your guilt will keep you there, and you will want to be the doting girlfriend who supports her boyfriend after such a terrible loss. You want to console him, comfort him, but at the same time you can’t honestly tell him that you don’t want to hear about his ex. You don’t want to always have a discussion about her, and for him to move on.
Do you stay, and do you plan a life with him knowing that you are not his first choice even though she is no longer here? No. Why be someone’s backup plan, or option? Why allow yourself to always be in the shadows of another? His heart is with his first love. Even if he overcomes and move on from her, you will always be his backup plan. And, he may very well fall in love with you, but not today. It may take years. But, do you invest in someone who clearly made you an option from the beginning, and their second choice? I don’t think so.
You can be a support system to him because you love him, and you’ve been with him for 2 ½ years. However, you cannot be his crutch, or the ear to hear about his ex whom he loved dearly. You can’t console him while he’s staring at her picture. You give him the time to grieve. You allow him the time to mourn. You check in on him, call him here and there, and text him. Let him know you are there if he needs to talk, or wants to be around someone. But, you begin the process of slowly exiting his life. You have to empower yourself and encourage yourself to not fall into the trap of being the second option and choice to a man. You deserve to be number one. You deserve to be someone’s queen, someone’s main choice, and main woman. Just know that if choose to stay you will always be competing for his heart, and always wondering if he truly loves you. And, why put yourself through that agony when you know the truth. – Terrance Dean
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