Disclaimer: Out of respect for the individual, the name of my “reserve guy” has been changed for this article. All other details are true.
I have a type. My best friends know my type and for the most part I usually date guys that fit the mold of what I like…
Sean and I met when I was in high school. He’s one of the good guys – comes from a nice family, wasn’t into dating multiple girls at the same time – he was just nice. I always knew Sean had a thing for me but so did his friend.
Since the friend was more my type, he and I dated on and off for a few months.
Sean and I remained friendly even after his friend and I broke up. I eventually went off to college and started dating someone else. I never hid any of my dating life from Sean, neither would he hide his feelings towards me.
Our conversations were always flirty and as time went by Sean became my emotional fix. On bad days, I knew I could call him to stroke my ego with his flattering words. Talking to Sean was a guaranteed way of getting my emotional needs met.
For years, I kept Sean on reserves. Whenever I started dating someone new, I’d give Sean the “we can’t be friends anymore out of respect for my boyfriend” speech, only to call him up on days when I was lonely or had broken up with whomever I was dating.
Sean liked me so much that he allowed me to take advantage of him. It didn’t matter how many times I cut him off, deleted his number out of my contacts or told him I didn’t want to be friends anymore, he always picked up when I called.
As terrible as this sounds, I’m sure I’m not the only woman that has a “Sean”. A lot of us are talking to, dating, living with, and even pretending to be in love with Seans right now.
We know there’s no future there with them. We try to force something we know isn’t meant to work. And for reasons we sometimes are unable to explain, we settle for Sean instead of waiting for the real deal.
As women, we want to be loved and appreciated. We want to feel special and desirable.
There’s nothing wrong with having those feelings, it’s part of the unique and complex design that make us women. It’s when those emotions lead us to compromise our dignity and self-worth, that it becomes problematic.
It took me a long time to realize Sean couldn’t fix what was broken inside of me. I had to learn that my happiness was not dependent on someone else, especially a man.
The more I learned to love myself, the less I needed to hear I was lovable from Sean.
I slowly stopped needing the temporary fix Sean provided. I finally realized my worth and my value was so much greater than what I had been settling for.
I became my own cheerleader, learning how to encourage myself of my bad days.
I learned to enjoy my own company instead of engaging in something I knew I would later regret.
I gave Sean the speech one final time but this time it was different. This time, I was cutting him off for me; because I am good enough on my own. I stopped taking his calls and ignored all his messages. It took him a while, but he eventually understood that I was not the same girl he met in high school.
Do I still have weak moments? Absolutely! My insecurities still creep in from time to time, but I’ve learnt to ride out those moments instead of acting on them.
I don’t need Sean anymore, or anyone else to take his place. I am enough for me!
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