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Ask Shan Tell'emJET Love

Love Advice: The Other Woman

Dear Shan Tell’em,

I met and fell in love with Trevor* two years ago, but at the time, I was involved with someone else. After we broke up, I called Trevor and we started dating. He was very upfront about having a new girlfriend, but since they had only been dating for a couple of months, I didn’t think that it was serious. At first, he made it seem like they were really casual and that it was more of a sexual thing, so I started dating him too. Part of me did it because I felt like we had this crazy deep bond and that I could win him over. But now it’s been a little over a year and she is still in the picture. I really really love him, but I feel like I’m getting played. Help!

Signed,

The Other Woman

*names have been changed to protect identity

Dear Other Woman,

You know that feeling of getting played that you’re experiencing? That’s because you are. Let’s back up for a second. You met a guy that you liked at a time when you were involved with someone else. You break up, and now start seeing him, but he’s involved with someone else…and you’re still seeing him. This started out all wrong, therefore, it isn’t a huge surprise that the relationship isn’t working out for you. I say you because Trevor* seems to be doing just fine.

Here’s what’s happening. Trevor* likes you, but he doesn’t like you enough to have anything serious with you or to give you his full attention. He knows that you have deep feelings for him, and that you’ll stick around despite being unhappy. It’s a classic pimp, a.k.a. manipulation, a.k.a. selfish tactic. In order for it to work, the one who wants to have more than one person avoids being completely honest, but they give you just enough of themselves to keep you interested/satisfied/holding on. They also charm their way into the hearts of those who they want on their team, by giving them just enough hope for more.

It sounds like your arrangement is starting to get to you, and you want Trevor* for yourself. That isn’t going to happen because while you may have viewed the woman’s initial presence as just a casual thing like many do when it comes to dating, it never was. She is, in essence, the main chick.

My suggestion is that you work on severing ties with Trevor. Any relationship that is rooted in lies, manipulation and a lack of satisfaction should be avoided at all costs. You deserve for someone to love you fully and completely, not part-time. While it may be hard to let go, starting the process of freeing yourself up for someone who loves you totally is worth it.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Your turn: Got a question for Shan Tell’em? Email us at talkback@jetmag.com or simply comment in the section below! And don’t forget to join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 3PM CST for a live discussion on love and relationships. Keep up with the conversation via the #AskShanTellem hashtag. 

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Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, EBONY, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.