In university I had my heart broken. Twice. Once from the break up, and a second time, a week later when I heard he had a new girlfriend. My heart barely had time to breathe, before a crumpled handkerchief of a boy, knocked on my door, apologising and asking me to let him in again. I said yes, always hating that OTHER girl.
That relationship ended a long time ago, but now I find myself in an odd position. The position of the other girl. And another guy, who was momentarily my new boyfriend has just left me for his ex…
Perhaps the chances of these other girls reading this and realising that I am talking about them (and their respective ex/current/possibly ex once more boyfriends) are slim, but if you are, then please read right to the end. Because you might not like what comes before that.
In matters of the heart, in an ideal world, we would only have to take two peoples feelings into consideration. Yours and your beloveds. But more often than not third parties get involved, and we label them not as hearts but as others, or worse. The psycho ex girlfriend, the scheming man trap, that bit…on the side. Sometimes this is because of how they have been painted by our ‘beloved’ sometimes it is because it is easier to hate this ‘other’, than hate the handkerchief begging at your door saying all the things you’ve been longing to hear, and let’s face it, it is practically impossible to hate the new guy giving you butterflies every time your phone goes off.
I know, I have been there. In both my position as the ex and as the new girlfriend, I thought the worst of you ‘the other.’ I thought, who the hell jumps on a guy that has just come out of a relationship? I thought, why the hell do you keep ringing him, isn’t it obvious why he isn’t answering? And I probably would have carried on thinking like this if the similarities in my situations hadn’t been so blindingly obvious. My position in these love triangles may have been polar opposites but the shape of things was almost exactly the same. And that is when it hit me.
She’s a girl too.
Then, and I have karma to thank for this, I stared to sympathise with the psycho ex, I’ve been there. I’ve been the one going to voice mail, the one imaging every reason under the sun, apart from the real one, for why he wouldn’t answer. And, I started to forgive the other girl from my past that had pounced on my ex. Now, I’ve been there too. There’s a reason they broke up right? And when you like someone, you don’t dwell too much on their past, even if their past may well be very much your present.
At the tip of both my triangles was a guy. In neither case do I believe that that guy was a bad guy (this isn’t the case of a female power ballad in the making), instead I choose to believe, that they were just very confused. And now I am too. Because while I may still believe that in matters of the heart, you should only have to consider the feelings of you and your beloved, I have always been big on empathy. Now I know that she is a girl too, well, there are just too many hearts in the equation.
Maybe I should avoid dating for a while, after all, who wants a new girlfriend that spends more time worrying about your ex’s feelings than she does about yours, or even her own?
Empathy might be good for scoring some points with karma, but I’m not sure it is all that romantic.
I originally wrote this post a couple of months back, and submitted it here and there to magazines with no luck, so I figured with it being the end of the year it was time to publish it on here instead, and start the new year with a fresh blank page xxx