I have been the other woman. Twice. I’m not a femme fatale or a seductress, I am not out here looking for men who are in relationships. I went out into the world to meet a nice guy, one who gets me and shares my same interests. Someone who is smart and funny that I could take home to meet my family. Instead, I was turned into the side chick.
The “Becky with the Good Hair”. The other woman.
Whenever something traumatic happens, I turn to my friends for support and advice. They have gotten me through failed relationships, awkward work situations and personal tragedy before. I always considered myself lucky to have a close network of girlfriends to reach out to and I needed them now more than ever to get me through this. What I didn't anticipate was how women view “the other woman” and how harshly judged I would be for being involved with a man who was engaged, whether I knew it or not. How could I not know that he was engaged? What woman in this dating climate, with the resources on the internet and social media, could date a guy for months without discovering this? These are the types of questions being thrown at me over text, GCHAT, and late night drinks. Instead of sympathy and support, I was put on trial to defend myself.
Here's My Side of the Story (if anyone cares)
I met a guy from New York on Tinder and agreed to meet for drinks. One date turned into two. Two dates turned into frequent check-ins, future plans, and more dates. I wanted to take things slow and he respected it. Four months in, we slept together and I never heard from him again. That silence gave me time to think and figure out who this person really was. I found him on Facebook under a different name. There was a girl tagged in one of his profile pictures, that led me to her Facebook profile where she was wearing an engagement ring. A quick Google search led me straight to their wedding site and registries. I confronted him immediately via text and he didn't deny it or apologize. He even went through the effort of blocking me on Facebook like I was the one who did something wrong. I took screenshots of his Tinder profile and our conversations and recruited a friend to reach out to his fiancé because that was the right thing to do. Right? I was shocked to find that she was indifferent. She didn't really seem to care and they are still getting married at the end of September. He got to have his side chick and still marry the girl of his dreams and I got a severe panic attack and anxiety that lasted for months. As a bonus, I also got judged by my friends and other women for my ignorance.
Women Supporting Women
When men behave badly, we find ways to reconcile their actions and forgive them. When women participate in any action that seems immoral, even if it's without their consent, we criticize and label them. In the spirit of feminism and sisterhood, I'm sharing my story so that the next time a story about infidelity is exposed women can support and defend each other. That includes the other woman. We need to have each other's back, at the very least we need to not immediately rush to judgement.