“I‘m not good enough to be on her arm,” one of my guy friends confessed over drinks not long ago.

He looked distraught, as if his entire world had just crashed around him and there was nothing that he could do about it. Dark circles from sleepless nights marred his usually bright eyes. And although his enthusiasm about life is always on ten, on this particular night it was barely a one. He looked downright pitiful and it was because he had just found out the woman he thought was falling for him was only using him for sex.

Although I understood his shock, I couldn’t, and still don’t, understand how he didn’t see the signs.

In the five months they were seeing each other they rarely hung out in public, she never introduced him to her family or friends, and aside from enjoying each other in the bedroom, they didn’t seem to have much in common.

From the beginning they were an odd pair. She comes from money and an elite life, while he works hard for everything he has. Though a persons background might not matter to some, it did to her. And after a week of ignoring his calls, she dropped a bomb; she was engaged. Despite getting it on with my friend for months, she had been dating another man for four years who was everything on paper, except what she needed in the bedroom.

“I think the hardest part of realizing that she had no feelings at all for me besides the sex is that she spent so much time pretending that she did,” he told us.

Eventually, the woman confessed to him that, despite her engagement, she would still like to continue to see him. While some men may have jumped at the chance to have no-strings-attached sex with a beautiful woman, it left my friend disturbed and with no other choice but to walk away.

I tried to find the words to comfort him, but nothing seemed to help. He was nothing but a boy toy to her and she never had any intention of being in a serious relationship with him. In her mind he wasn’t good enough to take to company events, to meet her parents, or even accompany her on a dinner date to a popular restaurant. The only thing he seemed to be good enough for was pleasing her, which was a sad reality that hit my dear friend like a sledgehammer.

The entire situation made me think about the cheating, and its various double standards. Typically, cheating is associated with men and even the language we use to describe it–jump off, a side-piece, mistress—all relate to men stepping out with other women. But very rarely do we talk about the women who cheat, digging their heels so deep in a man’s heart that he has a hard time ever trusting another woman again.

Many times we jump on men for their wrongdoings without ever considering where their shadiness might have started in the first place. While it doesn’t mean they get a pass for their dirt (because they don’t), my friend’s situation was a reminder that men get broken hearts too.

I used to laugh at my male friends when they would say they were having a hard time finding a woman to get serious with because of trust issues. Impossible, I would think, they have so many options when it comes to good woman to choose from.

Now, I understand that you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. The beautiful woman with the fancy title, full bank account, enormous diamond engagement ring and great guy on her arm who seems to have it all—just might…and then some.

But like I told my friend, sometimes in life you have to learn to love what’s good for you and not what you think is good for you. But that might be another discussion for another day.

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  • Myown

    @xy. That was beautifully stated!! Honesty is key cuz then I can make my choice to leave or not have a side piece. I will admit that I had one but he knew what it was and we kept all things open and honest. To this day we are still cool even though we don’t hang out anymore. He was a cool friend and I still got good vibes for the man. He is happy for me and I am happy for him. :)

  • Cat

    My boyfriend looks and flirts with other women and lacks sexual desire for me so I cope by keeping a side who is everything that my boyfriend is not. My side is my release and a punishment towards my boyfriend for looking at other women and embarrassing me.

  • Aquanerd April

    What if you are upfront a head of time that you are unavailable and only looking for a good time. Is it still the woman’s fault if the guy gets his feelings hurt anyway? I just had a guy ask me why he wasn’t enough when I told him I was chatting up a few other guys, even though he knew ahead of time I wasn’t looking for or available for anything but NSA