I’m OK as “Another Woman” but not as “The Other Woman”

No matter how you look at it, double standards exist in our society still. It is considered socially acceptable for a man to date multiple women, sleep with multiple women, but when a woman dates more than one man, sleeps with more than one man, she is considered “easy” or a “slut”. Apparently no one has done the math. If the man is sleeping with multiple women, those women have to come from somewhere! I hate the double standards but have come to understand ignore the double standards and live my life for myself when it comes to relationships.

I am ok dating someone who is dating other women. Until we choose to use the word monogamy, I have no expectations from him. It also means I don’t guarantee he is the only man I’m dating. I don’t date like that today, mostly due to time, but I’m also ok dating someone when he tells me he’s dating others. Is it ideal? Not always. Is it reality? Sadly, yes. I would just like to know upfront. No surprises. No cheating.

This takes me to the real reason for the post. Women (and men) have to learn there is a difference between being “Another Woman” and being “The Other Woman”. They must determine what they are comfortable with.

I will NEVER advocate being “The Other Woman” and encourage women to stay away from the men that set those expectations. This is a clear example of a man willing to cheat. If he’s comfortable cheating, he’s comfortable lying. If he is lying to his current wife, girlfriend, significant other then he will be completely comfortable lying to you. I know you want to believe he wouldn’t fall into that behavior with you….he’s so honest with you up front, he would never lie. Do not fall for it! He will. If he’s comfortable living in a constant state of deceit, he will not think twice about lying to you eventually, if not right away.

Being “Another Woman” is different. Perhaps he isn’t ready for commitment but enjoys dining out, attending local events. He isn’t ready to be with just one woman. He’s open and honest about it. He tells the woman up front. She is ok with it and accepting of it. Perhaps she is dating other men. Perhaps she doesn’t have the time to devote to a full relationship but enjoys the companionship of a man from time to time. It doesn’t make either party a bad person. It just means they want to be open and honest up front. The relationship doesn’t always stay this way, sometimes it develops into a lasting, monogamous relationship. Sometimes feelings develop for one person but not the other, so the two decide to part ways. There is no right or wrong answer to how this type of relationship works, as long as both parties are happy.

It is a mistake when one goes into the open relationship, not because they want an open relationship, but because they feel it is the only way they can be with the person. This will only lead to hurt and lack of trust. There is a false understanding of the relationship. If you can not accept the fact that the man you are dating may be dating other women, DO NOT say you are ok with an open relationship.

The tricky part is when the guy sends you mixed signals. If he says he’s in an open relationship but refers to another woman as his girlfriend but doesn’t say the same about you….the “openness” isn’t truly open. You are the “Other” woman. If he keeps your activities private but blasts all his time with her on social media, it is not an open relationship. Men can be smooth. He may give you a good reason. Perhaps he’ll say “she knows I date others but I don’t throw it in her face” or “I was dating her before you so she gets the label” Ladies, when you hear things like this, YOU are the OTHER woman. If he isn’t willing to give you the same level of respect he gives her (or anyone), I recommend you reconsider the relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, it should not be FLAUNTED when you are dating someone in an open situation. Be respectful, don’t post pictures of the two of you hugging / kissing on social media. If you wouldn’t want to see the same pictures of him with another woman, don’t post them of the two of you. Wait until you decide to make it a monogamous relationship (or a polyamorous relationship). Do not call him your boyfriend, significant other, etc. He’s not. He’s not willing to give you a commitment so you don’t give him a title.

Another concern would be the number of women he’s dating. If you don’t want to know, DO NOT ASK! It is that simple. If you are ok with him dating one or two others for a short time and find out he’s dating six, you might want to reconsider getting involved with him. The more women he’s dating / the more men you’re dating, the more your time and attention will be divided. Is it going to be enough time for you?

If you decide you want it to be more but one (or both) of you are not ready for monogamy, discuss polyamory. Be prepared your friends / family may not be acceptable of a polyamorous relationship.

Relationships take work and compromise. The most important thing to remember is the compromise you make should NEVER emotionally hurt you. If he wants an open relationship and you don’t, walk away. If you want a polyamorous relationship and he doesn’t, walk away if you’re not willing to be monogamous. Nothing has to be decided in a day, relationships & emotions do not happen overnight.

Be true to yourself. Know what you’re ok with and what you aren’t. Comprise when needed, don’t compromise when it is going to hurt you.

No matter what, avoid being the “Other” woman. Lies need to stay out of the relationship. It is the only way to build a solid foundation of communication and trust….the key to ANY relationship in our lives.

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