Moises: Third party etiquette

Moises: Third party etiquette

@AndreaDiamante: My boyfriend is from a wealthy family who are into arranged marriages. I am fully convinced he is not in love with his fiancé. Yes, they are engaged. We have been in a relationship since we were in college. It’s just that I am not Chinese and his family insists that he marries one. And true enough, they are tying the knot in June. Does this mean I will be a mistress for good? How should I act as a third party?

DJ: Start by recognizing your worth. You deserve better. When people are about to marry, they usually think about buying a house and having kids to form a family. Because you’re the third party, you’re essentially putting yourself in the position to wreck all these. Okay, he says he doesn’t love her. But why is he not choosing you? If he can’t untangle himself, the attachment runs deeper than you realize. And if he would rather cheat on her to be with you, why do you think he’s worth your life?

Know your place. You’re playing second. Dude has a girlfriend he can break up with and doesn’t. That says a lot about him and none of it is good. He is stringing you along to keep his comfort and security. In return, you’re giving him your all. You deserve someone who can handle tough situations with integrity. Sticking around will only lead to more pain, jealousy, anxiety and guilt.

You’re competing for his attention and affection, more so when they’ll be a family. It’s easy to feel that you’re not good enough or that you’re falling short leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. The works. You’re caught in emotional turmoil every single day. And a healthy relationship is one where there is no hiding, you don’t have to nor should you be afraid of people seeing you two together.

I understand it must be difficult to openly discuss this with a stranger like me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to judge. This is not even about societal norms. Have you ever had a friend telling you that you are selling yourself short? Even if we don’t know each other, I’m here to offer some real talk so you can make informed choices.

It’s common for people to say yes to things they should say no to. Like staying in a dead-end relationship. It’s not impossible for people to have a super hard time leaving a situation. They’d choose to be unhappy for so long. But you can be different.

Reject any notion of “I am with her but my heart is with you.” No friggin’ way! Otherwise, stop watching too many series. Someone who truly loves you would never make you question your worth. You know your worth. It’s only a matter of remembering it. Deep down, you know you’re getting less than you deserve.

I know this is easier said than done. But believe me, it’s better to go through the pain now so you do yourself justice, rather than staying comfortable in the short term but experiencing limited love, joy and happiness in the long term. Better the initial sting than the long and painful agony.

They are yet to get married. This is your chance to break the cycle. So many people are together and not in love, and so many are in love and not together. It’s still your choice at the end of the day. Don’t let him continue to take advantage of you without putting in the effort to deserve you. It does not matter if he looks like Piolo Pascual or Pepe Herrera or how stimulating the conversation is until he has proven that he is worthy. Worth is not about being a good person. It’s about showing what he wants in his mind, heart and spirit, and is willing to care for it.

You will never have the person you deserve if you don’t act like that’s what you deserve. I understand if it’s tempting to think about why you can’t do it. But you can think harder about why you can do it. Everyone starts somewhere. And you are a beautiful work in progress.


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