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On the Tuesday’s episode of Being Mary Jane, Mary Jane Paul was asked to speak at a luncheon for ambitious young women. Although she was scheduled to talk about working toward a successful career, things took quite a left turn when she was seated alongside her boyfriend’s wife—Avery.

Mary Jane’s speech went from a pep talk for aspiring businesswomen to a thinly veiled jab at Andre’s (her married boyfriend) wife, but it’s the content of her speech that got us thinking.

During her monologue, Mary Jane talked up the benefits of being number two—the woman just below the top spot, telling the crowd: “You know I’ve found that being number two gives you all the glory of being at the top without all the pressures of the number one spot.”

She went on to explain:

See, the job of any great number two is to figure what the number one is missing, what they refused to see and what they are doing wrong.

So, you know take your time, learn, be patient, get better. You will get to where you’re supposed to be if you do the work. Because remember, if you don’t somebody else will. I’m Mary Jane Paul and thank you for listening.”

While Mary Jane’s advice may work in the business or academic world, settling for number two in relationships—because you’re waiting for another woman to mess up and “lose” her partner—is a losing proposition.

But what did you think? Outside of relationships, does it pay to strive for second place?

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  • LC

    AMEN!!!

  • Speaking business wise her speech was dead on. If you think about it, most number 2’s are more qualified with the information to be number 1 they just usually lack the leadership skills or the “face” to be number 1. Historically in times when wars were a regular occurrence, the tides of war were decided by the strength of the number 2 in charge. Relationship wise…..I try not to judge lol.

  • The RealKay

    I find myself feeling kind of uncomfortable with Mary Jane’s relationship with this married guy Andre. He seems manipulative, conniving, and secretive. I don’t see what the attraction is about. I always see the two in bed or engaging in post-coital talk and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them outside of those circumstances. I just don’t see why she’s so gung-ho on him. But I get it. She seems to have the perfect life, but she’s just as flawed as anyone else. I just don’t see how a woman as successful as Mary Jane is supposed to be would settle for no.2 in a relationship. That doesn’t really make any kind of sense. If you’re happy being no. 2, then you’re happy with just settling.

    • Valerie

      Well he’s sexy as heck and it seems that is not lost on MJ, and I think she was already falling for him before she found out he was married.