How Can I Be Sure I’m Not His Second Choice?

I’m Supporting My Boyfriend and Feel Like His Mother!
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I’m engaged to a man I dated for over 5 years (we wanted to finish school first). I have no doubt that I want to spend my life with him. There’s just one big concern I have. We met at University through a female mutual friend. He knew her for a couple months before we met, started dating and things got exclusive within a month. Nothing ever happened between him and this other woman, mainly because she was unavailable. Now engaged, he recently admitted he was attracted to her when we first met and this really bothers me because I always suspected he felt something for her when we used to all hang out together. To make matters worse, she is totally his type (petite, brunette) while I am the exact opposite (curvy, blonde). I know he would never cheat because he takes a lot of pride in his integrity, but I can’t help feeling like I was just his second choice since I was the one who initiated our relationship and she was never interested in him anyway. We are happy together most of the time, but I find myself questioning his emotional feelings for me and why he ever got with me in the first place. I don’t want to commit myself to a man who’s with me out of logic and reason, I need to know there’s strong emotion and passion too. Should I worry about the possibility that he really preferred the other woman but settled for me?

Mandy

When women in my inaugural Love U coaching program would post questions like this in our online community, they would often run 1000 words or more.

Every once in awhile, I’d get a question that could be answered with one word:

Overthinking.

Every once in awhile, I’d get a question that could be answered with one word:
Overthinking.

Since it took too long to write “overthinking” every time, I reduced it to “OT.”

It may sound a bit dismissive; that is not my intention.

My job is to listen, process and advise. But if I listen and process and determine there is actually no problem whatsoever, what exactly am I to advise?

That’s right. Hence the term OT.

Your question, Mandy, is a common and important one, so I will leave you with a little more evidence, explaining why you’re making a mountain out of a molehill on this one.

    a. You’re engaged to a man you’ve known for 5 years and you’re worrying about someone he was attracted to in college? You won. You got the ring. He chose you. Take yes for an answer. Nobody else is a threat (except for your insecurities).
    b. He admitted he was attracted to another woman. That shows that he’s honest and he assumes you can handle the truth. A solid relationship can take this level of honesty. A flimsy relationship is one that relies on the lie that your husband has never found — and will never find — anyone attractive except for you.
    c. He has a type. So what? Most of us do. And I don’t think most of us end up marrying our “type” because we’re not so superficial as to let hair color and body shape override the more important aspects of marriage.
    d. “I can’t help feeling like I was just his second choice…”? The hell you can’t! He’s never done anything with her. He’s never been with anyone except you, and never intends to again. So how is it that YOU’RE the second choice here?
    e. You initiated your relationship five years ago and therefore, you think you just forced him into it against his will? Like he’s just going with the flow? Like he’s just marrying you to be polite? Please don’t share this with your fiancé. He’d be insulted.
    f. I need to know there’s strong emotion and passion too. If he is emotionally connected to you and you have a good sex life (neither of which you mention here), I’m going to assume you’re fine on this front. If you’re not emotionally connected and don’t have a good sex life, perhaps THAT’s a reason to not get married — but it’s certainly not this college crush. That, I can promise.

Before we go, I’m going to reluctantly share my response to the woman who was really upset that her boyfriend didn’t think she was as hot as Angelina Jolie. It wasn’t my most diplomatic moment, but I don’t disavow my answer either.

No matter who you marry, your husband will have slept with someone hotter, dated someone hotter, seen someone hotter, and will continue to notice hotter women wherever he goes for as long as you shall live.

No matter who you marry, your husband will have slept with someone hotter, dated someone hotter, seen someone hotter, and will continue to notice hotter women wherever he goes for as long as you shall live.

You have two choices: make a big deal about it, or don’t even worry about it.

Which one do you think will lead to a happier marriage?

Choose that one.

With love,

Your friend,

Evan

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Marika

    Nice sentiments,  Karl S. She’s a lucky lady ☺

    Can I ask if it was a change in your mindset to stick with this relationship even though she wasn’t your standard ‘type’ & it wasn’t as exciting as previous relationships? Or was it something she did to help you realise?

    Obviously 3 years down the track you’re in a comfortable and committed place, but how did you make that transitions early on?

    We all know guys like you once were, and it can be hard early on to decide whether they are worth your while as they’ve realized what they don’t want, or if it’s better not to waste your time with guys with this pattern in their past (the old adage about the best predictor of the future..)

    I think a guy with this (firmly) in his past is a good match for me. The “always steady” guys bore me and aren’t a good match for my adventurous spirit, but the full-on party guys hurt me.

    1. 21.1
      Karl S

      In our case it was a tinder-matched physical relationship that gradually evolved into more, although I was on the fence when it came to making that final commitment for quite some time. Lucky for me she was patient, but also willing to gently draw a line in the sand that convinced me to go all in.

      When I say she wasn’t my usual type, it’s not as though there wasn’t attraction. Just not so much that I couldn’t think straight. We both took the time to assess how we were treating each other (aside from my aforementioned hesitancy to admit I wanted a relationship).

      In fact, I’d say the tough conversations we had about what we were looking for and what sort of lives we wanted were the most revealing – there’s a real art to getting your point across without blaming the other person or putting them on the defensive.

      Ultimately her maturity and reasonableness  was what tipped the balance for me.

  2. 22
    Joy

    Mandy,
    I like that he confirmed your gut instinct about the other lady! There may not be a thing like having the feeling about his attraction and have your partner deny what you are sensing, to have someone who can trust taking a risk telling you about his attraction when he may or may have not been certain which way you would take it. What happened with you there is admirable.

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