Michele O'Mara

Are you a 1st or 2nd choice girlfriend?

Filed By Michele O'Mara | January 15, 2008 8:54 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: advice column, chosen family, infidelity, lesbian

I met my girlfriend 5 months ago. At the time (and still) she was in a relationship for 10 years. We started off casual then after 3 months our feelings turned into love. She is scheduled to leave the country for 13 months and she tells me she'll be returning to just me and that she will have left her. I beg for time with her and I always get the short end of it, especially now that she is leaving. When I ask about the reason she won't leave, she tells me that she doesn't want her partner to know it is for another woman. She wants it to be that they just can't make it work. I try to be patient, but i need some advice.

~The short end of the stick

Dear Short Stick.

I once knew a woman in a similar situation. Then one day, in the middle of a session she just blurted out, "I am not a Plan B girl, I am a Plan A girl." On a roll, she added, "I am not a number two, or a second choice, THAT's not me." It came to her after a year of tolerating what you are describing. She just seemed to snap into a reality that led her to the accept that what she was tolerating was not congruent with how she sees herself. She was fed up, and it was then that she found the courage to do something about it.

She told the woman (with the long-term partner) that "it's me or her." After more efforts to dance around the issue, the girlfriend ultimately chose her lifetime partner. Regardless of the outcome, this boundary (some would call it an ultimatum - call it what you will), forced their relationship into the zone of truth. Me or her. It's that simple. There isn't room for both (at least when all partners aren't consenting and aware), and sooner or later your girlfriend will have to break a heart. The question is, whose will it be - yours or her long-term partner's? The only reason there isn't a broken heart yet is because you are not asking her to choose.

In the future, should you find yourself in search of another potential partner, I might suggest that you shy away from those who lie. It's not a relationship-friendly characteristic, even if it is not you that it appears she is lying to. A lie is a lie - and a broken heart is a broken heart. It neither feels good to be lied to nor to have a broken heart - and I suspect that at the end of the day you want to rest assured that you have fallen in love with someone who would not, and could not, do either; especially to you.

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Honestly, why would you trust someone who is cheating on someone of 10 years anyway? 10 years down the line you may end up experiencing the same thing. Not that I don't think people don't cheat, I think more people do than admit to it and I often wonder if human beings are even meant for monogamy. Still, if you're comfortable being second fiddle then you deal with it otherwise tell her to hit the high road because your time is valuable. If you don't present it that you deserve better treatment than what she's giving you, don't think she'll think she should give you any better than that, either. Bottom line, if you don't respect yourself, don't expect anyone else to.