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“If you really want to be treated like something of worth, get your goods off the clearance rack and place yourself behind the glass where they keep the valuables.” ~ Unknown
I’ve made myself a promise—never again will I allow myself to be the other woman.
It’s a promise that has been made in sand before—only to be washed away by the rising desire and attention of the men who wanted to pursue something with me when they were already taken.
Whether these men knew what they were looking for when they came to me, or instead pretended that it was all unexpected, in the end it was the same result.
I always became the other woman.
It didn’t matter how I dressed it up—it didn’t matter if feelings were involved, or if I had been in his life first—no amount of rationalizing ever made it right.
Not even if I called him my soulmate.
In the end, I accepted being the other woman—and I ate up the lies these men told me.
Essentially, I accepted the love that I felt that I deserved.
I existed off flirty text messaging and late night conversations. I savored those moments, where we spent time together, only to have our clothes fall to the wayside. It was an oasis that I would have travelled any distance, just so I could soak in the pleasure it always brought.
The thing is, when I actually was the other woman, I never saw myself as such.
Whether it was denial or just plain ignorance I saw myself as a friend, as someone who may be this man’s future—but just couldn’t be his present because he had lessons he had to learn first.
I had to learn for myself—had any of these men truly wanted to be with me, they would have ended the relationship with their girlfriends before pursuing things with me.
And maybe real women don’t let themselves become the other woman—but if a man truly cares about a woman he wouldn’t want her to become one either.
That is why this time is different.
I’ve not only said that I will never be the other woman again—but I have cried the bittersweet tears of “no” to a man who was pleading in the passionate heat of the moment.
I let the tears fall from my eyes, knowing that I was different now and that I could never go back to the being the woman who didn’t value herself enough to ask for what she needed.
Along with not wanting to be the other woman– this man wasn’t what I really needed, he even said it.
I didn’t need a night of attention, because I’ve learned that what my soul craves is a lifetime of adventures with someone who wants to be there each morning to kiss the dreams from my eyes.
A man who wants to stay for the whole damn movie—not just one scene.
But thing, I was actually sad to see my old-self go, because she was so easy to please.
The old me was satisfied with so little—never challenging or having the nerve to ask for what I wanted. Because of this I was never heard, either.
But the woman I am now is different—I feel myself stretching and radiating out.
I have learned my true worth. I now have no problem asking for what I truly want and deserve from a partner.
And though it may pain my old-self—turning away from the men who only wanted me in pieces to fulfill their unquenched desires—this time I would rather be lonely than accept less than what I truly deserve.
Because when we truly love ourselves and know what we deserve, then suddenly asking for it becomes the easiest thing in the world.
Even though I no longer allow myself to be the other woman, I still feel guilty about all the times that these men sought comfort in my arms—and bed—only to return to their girlfriends.
I defied the sacred bond of sisterhood—no matter what, I should never have given myself to these men, who weren’t truly in a place to accept all that I had to offer.
With each of these men, I considered telling their significant other that their man had been unfaithful—but I always stopped short.
Even though I knew these women deserved to know—it wasn’t my truth to tell.
I may have been the mistake these men made—but they were the lesson that I needed to learn.
I don’t know what the future holds for me, but one thing is for certain, I now value myself too much to ever accept anything less than the love I truly and deeply deserve.
So, the only option for me is to forgive my former-self, who didn’t love herself enough to wait for the kind of love that is truly worthy of my time, my heart and especially my body.
I now know that while I am imperfect and human, I am also incredibly sacred in my unique amazingness.
Because, I have simply learned to love myself enough to ever accept anything less again.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock