Stranger Stories: An Anonymous Story About Being the “Other” Woman

a note from Mary: this story contains sensitive subject matter, please be aware. 

Like the author of the last fabulously-written anonymous story, I too reached out to Mary to be a guest writer on her blog. I have found that some stories are harder for me to share, and this is one few people want to hear let alone try to understand. This is the story about being the other woman. 

I know what you’re probably thinking, because I can almost guarantee I’ve thought the same things too. I’ve called those women numerous names and made assumptions about them, and then one day, somehow, I became the other woman. 

Four years ago I was entering my freshman year of college. I instantly became friends with this guy Scott (changing his name for the purpose of this story). Scott and I had many common interests and instantly became not just friends, but best friends. I knew I could call him at any second of the day or night and he’d coming running across the quad to my dorm and sit with me until the swelling of my eyes settled from crying so much. When I first met Scott I was still dating a boy from high school. The distance became too much for my little naïve heart to handle, and I soon started dating another guy, we’ll call him Mark. I knew from the start Mark was a bad idea. He was 3 years older than me and certainly more experienced than me. You know when you’re little and your mom tells you if something really makes you sad or uncomfortable that you don’t have to do it, that you should trust those feelings? Well unfortunately 18-year-old me didn’t listen to my mom’s advice. I wound up in an extremely physically and emotionally abusive relationship with Mark. It wasn’t until I was laying naked on the bathroom floor of my dorm room covered in bruises and blood that I realized I needed to get away, that I needed help.  

For the weeks to come, I distanced myself from everyone and everything and Scott and my friendship started fading away. It wasn’t until the summer after our freshman year that I told him the truth about Mark. This angered Scott. Okay so anger doesn’t even begin to describe how furious he was with Mark and the situation and how he wasn’t there for me, but somehow this turned into a conversation of Scott telling me he loves me. I told Scott I didn’t know how I felt. Looking back four years later I knew in that moment I loved Scott as far more than a friend, but I also knew my perception of love and life had been greatly altered by my relationship with Mark. 

So, Scott and I learned to live our lives separately. He loved me from afar and I hid under the covers of other men. Eventually we started dating other people and falling in love with them. Senior year of college came, and Scott was still in a very long-distance relationship with this girl (we’ll call her Emma) while I was single again for the first time in a long time. Scott and I quickly began to spend more time together. Scott would complain to me about how hard his relationship was with Emma being so far away and having so many differences, while I tried dating man after man, I realized I wasn’t happy and in love with anyone like I was with Scott. So one cold winter night, while I was crying over another boy, Scott comforted me, and we kissed. Right away we apologized, and said it was a mistake. I mean it was a mistake right? He had a girlfriend. I finally confessed to Scott how I felt and he said it wasn’t fair to him- he had felt that way before about me and I wasn’t ready and though he was miserable dating Emma right now it just wasn’t fair. So yet again, Scott and I drifted apart.   

Months went by without a single word shared between us, until one Saturday at 3 in the morning I received a phone call from him. The rest of that night is blurry. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t remember it, or that I don’t want to. We ended up hooking up and then I just started hysterically crying telling him how much I love him. I told him to leave Emma. I told him if he wasn’t happy with her that he needed to break up with her, and be with me. He said now I knew how it felt, now I knew what it meant to have my heart broken, and I began to cry even more. He quickly apologized, and said that’s not what he meant. He said that’s what he wanted too, for us to be together, and we fell asleep. The next morning I woke up in an empty room, trying to figure out if the night before really happened or if it was all a dream. After a few days passed I called Scott and said we needed to talk. So we did, and suddenly I realized I was the other woman. Scott didn’t want to be with me, but he didn’t want to let me go. Scott told Emma what happened and I was suddenly blocked from all of her social media accounts and all of his. I spent my last few weeks of college walking around campus with puffy eyes and baggy sweatpants, keeping my head staring at the ground as people called me a “homewrecker” and a “Whore.” I started to believe those names people called me, and I started hating myself.  

Graduation came, the summertime came, and I thought I was free. But, life never works out quite that way does it? Soon it was October, and I received numerous phone calls from friends in the area saying that Scott was talking about me. So I finally worked up the courage to go sit down with him face to face and talk about everything. Amongst the awkward silences were a lot of “I’m sorry” and “I want you to be happy” and “let’s try to be friends.” So we did, try. Four days later of us “trying to be friends” landed us both in my apartment bed, cuddling, and you guessed it-me crying. I told him I didn’t want him to leave this time, I wanted to wake up the next morning and see him. By some miracle I did, which of course was when he decided to tell me that him and his girlfriend were on a break and he needed to figure out what he wanted. Although they weren’t together at this point, a part of me still felt guilty, like I was trying to weave myself into someone else’s story. I decided this time to trust that gut instinct. After a few weeks of back and forth arguing, I’m not sure if I’ll ever see him again. 

So here I am, writing this, finally typing up my story. If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what I want you to take away from it, why this story is important. It’s important because it’s not just a story, it’s my life. I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN. I have a heart and a conscience and a mind and soul. I do not have “bad morals.” I fell in love with a guy who had always been there for me. I fell in love with my best friend and he fell out of love with his girlfriend, and I thought that by some miracle we could be happy together. What I have come to realize is that it will never happen, us. So often I read stories about how much it sucks to get cheated on, and trust me I know, I have been there too. But what hurts even more is being “the other woman,” the one who always saw the good in people, the one who put up with people calling her a “fucking whore” and her supposed best friend telling her “you have no morals and you’re a homewrecker,” all because I believed that Scott really, truly did love me and wanted to be with me.  

“I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN.”

My mom used to tell me, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” She warned me about heartbreak and loss, but she never quite prepared me for this empty, disgusted feeling with yourself. So, here I am, trying to move on and live my life, without Scott. Believe it or not, I was the one who ended things. I don’t care if him and Emma were on a break or broken up or whatever the hell you want to call it, but I was and am done with being a part of his life. I am learning to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, but more importantly, I am learning to love myself again. Sometimes we invest so much of ourselves into someone else’s potential that we forget who they really are and who we are and what we believe and what we want. I want someone who wants me, and only me. Emma, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry how things happened, but I really did love Scott. And Scott, if you’re reading this, you need to make up your mind. I would’ve/could’ve loved you with everything that I had left to give, but I realize it was never really me that you wanted. Maybe it was all just a game to you, and you were reaching to feel something again, but it was always so much more to me. To my audience, I’m not sure what you think of me, and frankly, I don’t care. I am learning to love myself again. I am learning that no one is perfect, myself included. I am learning that we all make mistakes. I am also learning that everyone is deserving of love. One day, I will find the love meant for me. 

So before you go around calling people “homewreckers” and “slut-bags” and whatever witty things you think you can come up with, know this: We are each just trying to find our way in life, trying to find love and all deserving of love. And yes, I “the other woman,” have a heart too.  

Also, to those who are in abusive relationships, or have been assaulted or raped, I hope you find the courage to tell someone. I hope you find the courage to leave and to seek help. I still have moments where it is hard for me, but I am so thankful to have family and friends who love and support me and will never make me feel alone again. Surround yourself with people who make you happy to be alive. Those are the friendships worth having, and never settle for anything less than that.  

If you have a story that you would like to share, anonymous or otherwise email me at marysaverageadventures@gmail.com.

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Dating Diaries: The End?

I started a series in the mindset that I would be trying online dating, hopeful, but not expectant of anything. Well shortly after, I fell for someone and I wanted to keep it to myself, it was new, I don’t fall often but when I do I fall hard. I felt giddy like a school girl. I’m sure you can assume it ended. It ended for exactly the reason I wrote about in my second dating diaries post, plus he didn’t know what he wanted.

I did what I normally do when a guy ends things (or pretty much makes me do it) I hop on an online dating site. I made it about four days this time around when I realized how hurt I actually was. I was at work and honestly had a little bit of a melt down. Was it fair for me to talk to boys that were nice to me when I was so unemotionally available? Was it fair for me to make fun of them to their faces unbeknownst to them? No, none of that was fair. So I deactivated my accounts. I said goodbye to two: two that I was supposed to go on dates with this weekend. That’s what did it. Two dates in one weekend, there was no way I would get through one let alone two, so I said goodbye, wished them well.

So why is this the end of dating diaries? Well, it’s not really, it’s just how I’m not dating anymore. When I’m ready I’ll come back; when I’m ready I’ll spill all the juicy gossip of how gross guys are on dating apps.

I think this little mini-heartbreak has taught me a lot. It’s taught me that I know what I want, and I shouldn’t settle for someone who doesn’t. It’s taught me that if someone else is afraid of where it’s going I should be as well. It’s taught me that I can be alone and be okay. It’s also taught me that I shouldn’t let my friends set me up with people because parties from now on might be a little awkward.

Now, I’m going to take myself, pour all of the love I have into hobbies and side hustles. My rebrand will be done before I go to Ohio, and everything will be ready for BloggyCon (anyone else going?!). It’s time for me to focus on me and everything I want out of my own life before I try mixing someone else’s in. So for now, I’m saying goodbye to dating diaries, and hello to something else, who knows what!

When’s the last time your heart was broken? Was it full-blown or just a little tear?

Dating Diaries: Waiting Until Marriage

Family who reads my blog– please do not feel obligated by any means to read this post as I will be talking about sex quite candidly.

This is one of the hardest blog posts I’ve ever had to write because it’s such an unpopular choice that I have made. I don’t know when I made the conscious decision to do so, it’s just something that I decided I was going to do: I am going to wait until I’m married to have sex.

This makes dating complicated. We live in an extremely sexualized world. There are apps people use for the sole purpose of finding someone to have sex with. Then there’s me, making the extremely unpopular decision to wait. So why have I decided to keep the promise I’ve made to myself? To be quite honest, the decision started because I’m religious but I’m no longer doing it because of that. It is one part because it weeds out a lot of really shitty guys. If he gets annoyed about your wait to want or even tries to convince you to do otherwise you know he’s not even worth the slightest amount of time.

Aside from the benefits of weeding the shits out, it’s still not an easy conversation to have with anyone. There never seems to be a right time or place to blurt out “I’m a virgin and I’m staying like that until my wedding night.” In the past, I’ve found it easiest to say while intoxicated, but that’s just really not bright because it’s more than that. It revolves around boundaries and decisions that you have to be grown up enough to talk about. It’s  not fun, but it’s important.

Here’s my advice to anyone sitting down to have the conversation, just do it. I usually start by saying, “I really like you and I hope this isn’t going to change anything, but I’m waiting to have sex until I’m married.” After that, it’s hopefully a conversation, or at least he’s respectful of your choice. Every now and again you might meet someone who has the same plan, but for me, it’s been few and far between. It’s only impacted a relationship once or twice, but if I’m being honest I like to wait for them to get at least a little attached. The only downside to that is I also get attached. The sooner the better, but it’s also important for you to go with what you are comfortable with.

I’m not writing this post for other people to make the same choice that I have. It’s hard and it’s not for everyone. Due to my anxiety and severe commitment but also extreme attachment issues, it wouldn’t be smart for me to do. So I’m doing what I can for my Lord by saving myself, but that’s not all of it. It’s so much more than that.

What are your thoughts? Any other waiters out there? How do you have the conversation? One, a few, ongoing?

Dating Diaries: “Costco Sunglasses”

 

So I’m dating again. As you probably know, I hate dating. It’s the worst. But alas, I would like a boyfriend because one day I’d like to get married and have a family. However, it’s not going real great so far so I thought I would start a new series about dating*. I like to consider myself fairly low maintenance when it comes to men, I don’t want to be paid for (example A bought my own coffee), I’m fine making decisions for myself, and I don’t require excessive amounts of attention, all I ask is for them to be upfront with me.

This afternoon I went on a first date. Personally, I thought it went well. I did a lot to prepare, got a new outfit (okay I wanted an excuse for a new outfit), shaved my legs, used a facemask, did my makeup very well. To be honest, most of that was just needed as some mental self-care. Went to meet him at a local coffee shop, he was late and the wait at the place was 30 minutes so we walked to another. We sat in that coffee shop for almost two hours. Then, we walked all over downtown for nearly 3 hours. By the end of the date, it was nearly 5:30. He walked me to the car and said he would definitely text me with plans for another encounter. Well, he did.

However, he said that he didn’t think that we would be good romantically. THEN WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU LET ME GET BLISTERS WHILE WE WALK AROUND FOR THREE HOURS.

Hindsight, I definitely agree that we wouldn’t be good romantically agree. I mean, he showed up in plaid cargo shorts, what the boys in elementary school would wear! Add onto that his Costco sunglasses, he would need a little fashion change, and that’s coming from me who rarely matches. I realize this is something that makes me sound extremely shallow, and that there’s something wrong with all Costco sunglasses, or Costco in general and there isn’t. However, I think the look of the sunglasses, the fact that they were worn inside, and the plaid cargo shorts showed a level of immaturity that I’m passed at this point in my life.

I also had to push all of the conversations, ask so many questions, and just try hard. I definitely am just tired of being single and wanted it to work very badly. However, still a little offended he waited to text me that it wasn’t going to work out. We spent five hours together, plenty of time to tell me!

Be honest people. Dating attempt one: check.

*This segment is the first of an ongoing series about my life dating. I will go into things like waiting until marriage, what I’m looking for in a potential husband, as well as delving into my dates.

Trying to Date as 20-Something

Dating sucks and I hate it. I hate the start of relationships where you have to get to know someone and trying to figure out the way they think, how to understand them, and just all those little things. I can’t think of anything about dating that I like. I can’t even count the number of times in a week where I want to call my mom and ask her to just arrange my marriage.

I was recently ghosted. Or maybe that’s still an occurring thing. I don’t really know how long of a process that typically is, but all I know is that I’m pretty pissed about it. Like really, you’re in your twenties, I’m willing to have a conversation, so let’s talk about it. I find myself to be a reasonable person, and ghosting makes me totally unreasonable. So to the guy that’s ghosting/ghosted me, if you’re reading this, I’m a catch and because of your unwillingness to have a conversation with me, you’re missing out boy. Also mom and dad- I don’t want to talk about it. I would be lying if I said I’ve never ghosted anyone, I mean I tried. I was unsuccessful because I feel like shit leaving someone in the dark like that.

I know that I’m a relatively easy person to date (at least in my opinion). I don’t require fancy dates (my favorite places are IHOP and Target) or even that much attention, a text a day suffices for me. However, I never seem to be enough for the boys that  pay attention to me, or I require too much. Honestly, the last guy who was actually my boyfriend couldn’t do enough for me so I broke up with him. That sounds really shitty, but he complained if I asked to go on a walk around the park, not even if we could get a coffee.

So I don’t understand why I find dating so complicated. I sometimes feel as if I have convoluted ideas behind dating. I can be quoted of saying “Did I miss the day in school where everyone learned to talk to people they’re attracted to?” Other than my lack of flirtation skills, I can’t get a guy to notice me. Well, I can, just not the ones that I want to, and I don’t know why that is.

I feel like I’m starting to get a little side-tracked (naturally) in this post. Really, the thing is, there is not one good thing about dating in your twenties. Tinder sucks and it’s how to meet some really shitty people. I would be curious to know if anyone has actually had good, continued success on the app, because I would say I had brief and okay success but now I will never use it again.

I’m not one to blame things on social media because I love it more than most other things. However, it does make dating harder. It makes reading into someone’s personal life a lot easier and actually talking to someone a lot more difficult. Like, if I just start seeing someone I am not about to tweet some T-Swift lyrics because that’s unfortunately the kind of thing that freaks guys out whether or not it has anything to do with them. They might not even follow me on social media yet and I won’t tweet it just in case they decide to creep. Fortunately, I’m not the type to get mad if a guy likes another girl’s picture, or retweets something, but there are people that get into actual fights over such things. While, I may find that little bit out there, it’s a real problem. Social media might be hurting our dating lives.

On the other hand, social media has done this awesome thing that it usually does, which is bring people together. I am curious to know if that works for people. I know a girl who started dating someone on Instagram, like they had mutual friends (I think) and they hit it off through comments. To me, that’s kinda crazy and I don’t think that happens a lot, but maybe I’m wrong. My goal is that an attractive man will see how hilarious I am on Twitter and slide into my DMs, I doubt it will happen but a girl can dream.

At the end of the day, my thoughts behind dating is that it sucks and I want an arranged marriage. No, not really, but it does suck. They’re are too many ways for it to go downhill. For someone like me, that is a tough thing to grasp sometimes. Post-graduation I would really like to have a steady man in my life that likes me and treats me well. Preferably, he has aspirations of things and goals he will obtain. Obviously, I’ll keep you posted on any male suiters (only after they know about the blog and they stick around past the “dating” phase of things).

What do you think about dating as a twenty-something?

I’m Single.

I mean this is fairly obvious I make a lot of jokes about it because it’s just one of those things that at this point in my life I find very humorous. It’s not that I want to be single or in a relationship which is probably one of the many reasons I’m single, I don’t know what I want. I’ve been single for four years now if you count either of my previous relationships as relationships and if you don’t count either then I’ve been single my whole life.

For a while this unsettled me for a while I realized that if I was supposed to be with someone right now I would be. If it was in God’s plan for me to meet someone I would meet someone, what’s the point in seeking out a crush or someone to date if it’s just to have a boyfriend or girlfriend? If that’s what you’re looking for it’s probably not going to work out.

After months and months of not even being interested in anyone and just admiring cute boys from afar I’ve realized there’s probably a reason I’m not into anyone. Sure there are times where I think it would be nice or convenient to have a boyfriend, like when I’m trying to take all of my stuff to my room in one trip or when I’m lonely, but that’s not why people actually have relationships. They have relationships because they like someone or love someone even.

I’m single for a lot of reason and while it’s kind of funny I don’t want to kiss a lot of frogs to find the right one, or to find that there isn’t a right one at all. I kinda just want to wait until I like someone and hopefully I’ll be lucky enough that they’ll like me too.

I also am currently in Mary Time which is the time where that I’m allowed to be selfish and only think about myself. Right now I’m in the stage where if someone comes along I would be okay with it, but I’m still allowed to be selfish. I have this whole set of rules that I might as well explain now. So once someone comes in and understand Mary Time then it’s like Mary PLUS Some Random Man’s Time in which before any engagement happens we must be dating for at least five years then and then engaged for a year before any marriage happens. Then it’s Mary Plus Husband Time for the rest of our life but right now I’m being selfish and this is there Mary Time that might never end. I know I can be very selfish and I don’t know if I would want to invite anyone into that mindset of mine.

Anyway that got a little bit of track. I’m okay with being single not only because of my mindset but because of how I feel about guys at the moment. I can’t see myself being with anyone anytime soon and while that may be upsetting for people who aren’t good at being single I like to think that I’m a pro at being single. It get boring but it’s probably for the best for a while or at least I meet someone I actually like.

I was partially inspired by this post by Young & Twenty so if you don’t already go check her out and see what she has to say, because it’s pretty inspiring stuff.

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The Secrets Out

Well guys the secret is out, I have no secrets. I feel like I should’ve built up to that better. Oh well. Seriously I tell you guys everything with the exception of minor details. Except sometimes when I message Hiba, I’ll be like oh I never told them that, but that’s okay, you’ll find out someday.

Anywho, this just made me think, what happens if I start talking to a guy? Like what if I would actually leave my house and go on a date? Like my first reaction would to be come back and blog all about it, however, these posts go to every social media site I’m on and that could lead to possible issues. So say I come back from a date and I write “Oh my gosh it was so bad, we went to the movies and he spit popcorn everywhere and spilled his soda on me.” There I risk hurting his feelings if I were to write that. On the other hand what if I wrote ” Oh my gosh guys I went on a date, it was so great. He opened the door for me, he offered to pay, he was cute, and smelled good.” Well that could be potentially embarrassing if he read it for me, especially if he didn’t feel the same way. To be honest, I’ll probably tell you guys about stuff like that. I’ll call the post something secret like “Why I love bunnies” and the first paragraph will be all about fish so everyone else will just shrug it off, but the best of you will know. Heads up, I don’t have any dates lined up or anything I was just thinking about what would happen if I did (I’m lonely okay?).

To be honest I’m an open book, like if you commented with a personal question I would without a doubt answer right away. The only things I don’t share are like private things that shouldn’t be put on the internet. Sorry for the short little post today, heading to bed early.

XOXO,

Mary.

Old Fashioned

For whatever reason I decided to jump on the bandwagon and start watching the Bachelorette. Why not be like every other college girl? Anyway this got me thinking about dating practices of today. First of all I could never do the Bachelor or Bachelorette, I don’t like competition for a guy and I could never have that many choices at once, it would be way too much pressure. I would never be able to stand there in a dress and try to impress a guy more than all the other girls that are like super models. Then can you imagine trying to pick out of so many guys? I couldn’t do it. What if you pick the wrong one? That would be way too much pressure for me.

So that got me thinking to the idea of online dating that is very common today. And obviously I’m not thinking about that for right now (I’m too young for that!). I think it might be expected that I would be interested in since I am a woman of the the internet, however I am not. It freaks me out. I even get freaked out sometimes on WordPress because I’m afraid I’m not actually talking to another college student. Online dating I believe would be an unnecessary source of anxiety for me. But I guess never say never.

Finally I thought about Tinder. Tinder is an app that from my all understanding is based on looks and if you like the way someone looks and they like the way you look  you can chat. Well first of all, I do not want someone to base every first impression of me off of my looks and same for myself. I don’t want to base my first impression of people off of looks. Secondly, I heard you have to put multiple selfies up, I can’t even take one good selfie let alone multiple. So yes, I have yet to download Tinder to my phone.

I guess what it comes down to is that I prefer the more old fashioned way of dating, meeting someone by chance and in person. What do you guys think of these not so traditional ways of meeting people?

XOXO,

Mary.

Relationship-Phobic…?

Is that even a thing? Well if you can assume what that means I’m afraid of relationships. I think this is a real thing too and it stems from a lot of things, like being hurt, seeing statistics and even just commitment in general.

I’ve been hurt, like I’m pretty sure I’ve told you guys my prom story and how that was a really bad experience. That’s basically how it’s been for most guys I’ve dated/liked/talked to and it gets discouraging. Anytime I even think about entering a relationship with someone I get very nervous, I have trust issues, and I’m constantly afraid that they don’t actually like me. So there, reason one I’m afraid of relationships.

Okay so my parents are happily married, but have you seen the statistics? Over half of all marriages end in divorce, that’s scary. You enter a relationship and you are either going to get married or break up, that’s scary. I’m not ready for marriage, does that mean I shouldn’t date? But then I think about my age and I’m like well if I want to date someone for at least three years before I get married, if I met that person now, we could do the normal thing and get married right after college. Also very scary. Then if I get married we could get divorced (but I wouldn’t get married until I’m a hundred percent sure) and it’s more likely that we would get a divorce than stay together. This all makes perfect sense as to why I’m afraid of relationships.

I’m afraid of commitment. My school is small, like 2,000 people (if that) small and the ratio of girls to guys is 60:40 then add in gay guys, and my options are becoming very limited. So then, let’s think about okay so maybe I did decide that I liked someone here and maybe they liked me too, but thennn we break up, super awkward! You see them everywhere, it’s unavoidable. The school is too small to avoid people, trust me I’ve tried. Also I’m not about that “let’s be together all the time” stuff and college gives you that opportunity.  I’m pretty sure if I wanted a relationship I’d have to ask my friends to set me up with people from their schools because long distance would probably be a lot better for me. Closeness and all that commitment stuff is way too stressful for me, I can’t do all of that. SCARY.

Basically I’m afraid of relationships and all of the stuff goes towards it, so unless some poor guy likes that/feels the same way I’m going to be alone forever, and I can’t say that I mind. Please share how you get over this fear in the comments! Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Mary.