“Unfortunately girly brain can fly like a ladybug and collect the thoughts together to build a big new creation – which is usually fake.
—Miss. Something Blue (A.B.)
About a week ago I sat face to face with a girl I had really just met for the first time, and she looked me in the eyes and told me she used to hate me. All evening talking to her I had been thinking to myself this girl is unlike anyone I’ve met in a long time. She radiates creativity and has this glowing energy to her that makes her different than the people you meet in your day-to-day life. She has a beautiful face and a beautiful personality, and here she was, telling me she had hated me.
We had never talked before, yet I had been a point of tension in her relationship with her boyfriend. Nothing had even transpired between he and I, and our friendship had just been that, a friendship. But here she sat before me, confessing that they would fight about me. About me and him. About my lingering presence, although I was 4,000 miles away, across the country.
To her I had been “the other.”
The minute she confessed this, I knew exactly what she meant and all the emotions she had experienced.
I recently just got out of a three year, off and on again, tumultuous relationship, that had its killer moments as well as its rock bottom lows. And so much of my behavior was a result of my insecurities, the ones I created over the “other” girl.
What she and I talked about was that when you get into a relationship there will always be someone who had been in your significant other’s life before you, whether that person is a friend or ex love. This is true for both people in a relationship. There is always that one other person that digs under your skin, and often, unintentionally. And as she told me she had hated me, she also told me she had needed to meet me. She had needed to see that I wasn’t this person trying to ruin her relationship.
The reason that we have these insecurities about the “other” is that often they exist but we’ve never met them. That was true in my case as well as hers. For years I’ve stressed on a girl that was a friend of the guy I was dating. I’d hear about her from him yet in three years I never once met her. I was never introduced to her. From the beginning she was kept at a distance. The reason we become insecure over these others is we start to wonder. Wonder why? If you’re so close to them, why have I not been introduced? Why don’t they hang out with us? Why don’t you let me get to know her?
And the insecurity that builds is that something is being hidden. There is something to gain by keeping them at a distance. There is something to lose by introducing us. Or is there?
In three years I can’t count how many fights I started because of this other girl. How many times I accused him of things that may or may not be true. How many times I lost sleep over the two of them. And I ruined my relationship, convinced that there was always something else going on.
When I met my friend’s girlfriend the other night I realized how much respect I gained for their relationship. Not to say that it wasn’t there before, but by seeing them together I realized what a great partnership they are. It is far better to be the friends of both people in a relationship, than just the one. You realize the things about why your friend is in love. What makes them happy. Why this person is their world. And that is from the perspective of the “other.”
In my own relationship, as the girlfriend, I could have seen why he cherished her so much as a friend. What the things were that held their friendship together. Why he thought highly of her and had her in his life, despite the issues that it created. I could have respected her presence, instead of despised it. Instead of seeing the person standing before me, who was in love with ME, I focused on her, and what she may have meant to him.
Sometimes all we need is to meet that other person. To see that they’re not a threat, but a potential friend. Someone on your team. Someone who you want in your life as much as your boyfriend or girlfriend wants them in their life.
The talk I had with her came at the perfect time in my life. It was one of those things that seems to fall into place at the exact moment that will make the most sense. Talking with her helped me reflect on my own behavior, from the perspective of the girlfriend and the “other.”
I will keep our conversation in mind for my next future relationship, and learn from the one that has past.