The ending of any relationship can be taxing. Some seem to think that to get over one, it should take at least half the length of the relationship. Others, on the other hand, seem to suggest that twenty-one days or one week for every month you were together is sufficient. And then there’s me – who took way too long – almost twice the length of the relationship (14 years). I don’t advise anyone else do that. You won’t be able to get those years back (haha).
After we have worked through the days, weeks or months of our healing process and have begun to move forward, the person you just purged from your thoughts calls. You are hesitant to answer. However, your curiosity wins and you pick up. He tells you how much he misses you and that you taught him how to love – everything you wished he had said, while the two of you were together. Then this person finally breaks down and says, “By the way, I am getting married this weekend.”
Something similar happened to me at least three or four times. After my last ex did this to me, I was so hurt and so outdone that I began calling all of my guy friends and asking them why do they do that?
Here I am finally waking up happy and singing – Dionne Farris’ Hopeless and Katrina & The Waves’ I’m Walking On Sunshine– ready to start the day. And while I’m at work, I receive a phone call that sends me spiraling. It wasn’t a full year yet. Naturally, I quickly put two-and-two together and four equaled (in my mind) – he’s marrying a girl he was dating while he was with me. In addition, he invited me to come visit him before he broke the news of his impending nuptials.
I was made to feel cheapened. Hey, come hop a plane to see me so that we can “be together” one last time before I marry someone else. I felt as though after eight years of what I believed was mutual love and respect, I had become his “fallback girl”. To quote myself, ” I really believe that he was attempting to set me up to wait for his return on the off chance that things would not work out with his bride. I was not good enough to get the ring. To him, I was just someone he would make pit stops with until someone else he deemed better comes along.” Unhappily Never After p. 98. Hence my definition of the phrase – the fallback girl. She is someone an ex keeps in mind as the person he/she would like to be with if things don’t work out with this person. Another way to phrase it – the just in case or the one who got away.
My guy friends tried to console me by saying that it may not have been his intentions to hurt me. A few really believed that he was confused. He is not sure which one he really loved. Essentially, he feels the need to call and be honest so as not to be the bad guy or so that I didn’t hear it from someone else. Some seemed to think that he wanted to see what was going on in my life so he won’t feel bad for breaking the news. Others agreed with me and felt like he was solidifying his future just in case things don’t work out with her. I’m no mind reader and I was too angry to ask or care. We spoke one more time after that. And we have never spoken again – my choice as I don’t take kindly to being the show pony for many years to becoming an afterthought. Although, there were much deeper issues that I elaborate on in the book.
Here are a few ways to determine if you are someone’s fallback:
- This person pops a visit and would like to get together for dinner or something every time he/she breaks up with someone else. They want to reminisce about the good times when you were in a relationship – just as friends.
- This person tells you everything you want to hear. He/she has you believing that they want to start over romantically while keeping his/her options open to date other people because you will always be there. And drops you once they find someone new.
- If you are feeling as though you are this person’s afterthought and this person’s intentions are sketchy, maybe you should follow your instincts.
I wanted to share something that I have experienced where I can perhaps offer a different perspective. As I have said many times, our stories may or may not be similar. With that, how we each react to them is solely our choice. There are a lot of amicable exes who even attend each other’s weddings. Though, I am sure they were not treated as the fallback girl.
I don’t understand why these guys felt the need to let me know that they were getting married. Personally, I would never call an ex just to say, I’m marrying someone else. One time this happened, I asked him if he wanted me to be the best woman and if not, why the hell is he telling me this. I wished him well and told him to have a very happy life. (His response was shock and awkward laughter. Yes he and I are still friends – LOL).
Thanks for reading. I hope that everyone’s Labor Day weekend is going great. If any of you ever have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let me know.