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Feeling like second best

Community Member

Hi all,

So the situation is this: I’ve been with my boyfriend (M) now for a few months (coming on 3 months together) and it’s been going really well. I am so happy and he seems really happy and it was just going perfectly. Until Saturday. On Saturday, he comes out with the following:

“I really wanted to kiss you on law camp (where we met) but there was another girl I was also interested in. She moved overseas and then when she moved back we decided we were better as friends”

I don’t think he meant anything by it but as a result I’ve been feeling a little like second best. Like the first girl didn’t work out so he settled. Is that insane? I mean we’ve been friends for a while before we dated and in that time I had another boyfriend (AN) so he’s not the only one that had other interests. It just feels a little like he had two options and when one didn’t work out, he went for what was left.

With AN, that was an experiment that went south. I think the difference for me is at the time I dated AN, I wasn’t interested in M - I saw him as a friend. it wasn’t like I saw AN and M and thought yep AN is my first choice and if that doesn’t work I’ll settle for M. it kind of feels like he did that with me.

i don’t know ignore I should try talking to him about this but I don’t want to sound crazy/hypocritical.

Any advice is appreciated as always.


2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Guest_294

I do get where you're coming from and it can definitely be tough coming to terms with a 'compliment' which can feel like a bit of an insult at the same time. My husband, on a couple of occasions for example, has referred to a photo of my younger self whilst explaining to our teenage kids 'You know your mum used to be really hot back then!' Back then, hmmm. My daughter looks at me with a slight grin and a raised eyebrow. Yes, we can be left with the question (running through our head) 'Why would you put that out there?!'

Wondering if it would help if you considered how your boyfriend could have phrased his comment better. What if he'd said 'At the time I wanted to kiss you, I was challenged by the choice in committing to 1 of 2 women. When I look at how things turned out, I praise the universe every day for leading me to you, for no one else could possibly compare to what a truly unique and beautiful gift you are in my life! I celebrate the wisdom of the universe and the incredible gift that you are.' Do you like that!? 🙂

I think, basically, some people aren't so crash hot when it comes to phrasing things. When such people meet with deeply thoughtful people, the deeply thoughtful people can feel offended occasionally. Guest, if you regard your self as thoughtful, it may pay to do a little editing in regard to your boyfriend's comment/s. Myself, I've had to become a bit of an editor in life, as I have a number of people around me who aren't so conscious in the way they express themselves. You know those people who mean well, beginning a conversation in constructive criticism with 'Don't take this the wrong way but...'

And in regard to that photo of my younger self, I like to imagine my husband saying 'Just when I thought your mum was at her most beautiful then, I look at her now and know that the beauty of her soul, today, in this present moment, outshines all that is skin deep. The woman you see before you is truly stunning'. I shall continue to imagine such words.

Take care Guest and know that no one compares to you, for you are a most beautiful gift in the life of a man who has not yet found the most eloquent words to express this.

Thank you so much for such a beautiful and well-thought out response therising. I think sometimes it just pays to have someone else helping you to see things clearly, especially in relationships which can certainly cloud judgement at times.

Your rephrasing of his comment was lovely and has really made me feel a lot better about this situation. I know he cares about me a lot and he tells me every day how beautiful and amazing I am, and how lucky he is to have managed to convince me (😂) to be his girlfriend 😊 I think you’re probably right and that he just hasn’t phrased this one statement correctly. It can be very easy to misstate something and have it read the wrong way. I think I’m just feeling a little on edge, as I am about to go on holiday for a month, and as soon as I get back he is going away for another month! Perhaps the anticipation of this separation is making me extra conscious/sensitive!

Thank you again for your help, I am feeling much better as a result!