I have been dating a cheater for a year now. We’ve been together legitimately for six years before transitioning to this phase in our relationship. Funny how I consider this a phase when I know deep down that I’m absolutely misguided. How can a long-standing and supposedly stable relationship suddenly become so broken that I would even acquiesce myself to becoming an option? I was the fiancée. I still am because that’s what he keeps telling me. In reality, I’m what people call "number two" now. It’s a bitter pill that’s hard to swallow.

How did we ever come to this, you might ask? It was a cool-off, which I asked for, that led to this current situation. I asked for a cool-off to give him a chance to think things through since we were having a lot of problems back then, and definitely not to find someone else.

All the while, I thought we were fixing things. I had no idea that while he was seeing me, he was already dating someone else. He said it shouldn’t really have happened. That he was just backed to a corner when the girl announced their relationship on Facebook. This despite the fact that they were constantly seeing each other and the girl was already a frequent sleeper at his house. I was of course the last person to know.

So why are we still dating each other even if he already has someone else? Because I still love him. The feelings are still there even if most of the time trust is missing and I am made to feel insecure every single day. I can’t help but be paranoid when they are together, and wonder if they’re having enough of a great time for him to finally stop seeing me. I hate it every single time I see him texting her whenever we’re together. Frustration creeps in when he has to step a few meters away from me when she calls. I always have that feeling of being taken for granted and feeling sorry for myself for each day that I have to beg for him to spend his day with me. What I go through now is not for the faint of heart. I swallow my pride every time I need to share him with her because I know he will come back eventually. I go through the pain because I still have that flicker of hope inside me that one day he will realize that it’s been me all along.

Dating a guy who cheats is not an easy job. You take the lies and you let it pass because you want to keep him close. You allow yourself to be used because you want him to love you back unconditionally. You shrug off the insecurities felt and the pep talks from friends because you wouldn’t be following their advice anyway. You don’t mind the pain it brings because at the end of the day, all you want to be is loved by the guy who can’t give you 100 percent of himself.

SCREENCAP: John Tucker Must Die/20th Century Fox (2006); GIF: Giphy

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