You deserve better than to be someone's "safe choice" in life.
There are few things as infuriating as realizing that you're not someone's first choice and also realizing your entire relationship is predicated on the idea that their "one" is never going to be with them. It's heartbreaking.
Here you were, thinking you were going to put in work to get the commitment you wanted, only to realize they weren't really that hot about being with you in the first place. It makes you feel worthless. It makes you feel used. And it's a surprisingly common experience.
While we all may have that one ex we wish this would have worked out with, most of us don't keep someone in the aisle "just in case" things don't work out. In other words, we don't allow people to basically wait in the sidelines while we make a decision, nor do we do the scummy thing of basically forcing two peopl to duke it out for us.
Similarly, most people will not trick someone into being a "placeholder." Or, at least, that's what we'd like to think. But considering how common finding out you're someone's second best is, we do it more frequently than we'd like to admit.
Most of us know when we're not someone's top choice for significant other, primarily because we're often treated like an option rather than a priority. When you're the second place girl, you're the one who gets called up at the spur of a moment. You're expected to be OK with being told to go home immediately after you sleep with him. You're expected to chase him.
You will end up feeling like you kind of won a prize...but at the same time, you'll feel like you're being taken for granted.
The truth is that being a "just in case" girlfriend isn't something you should ever settle for, nor should you ever try to "win" him over. Winning someone over means he never valued you to begin with.
But it goes even deeper than just the issue of him not valuing you. It means you don't value yourself.
Think about what that says about the woman who settles for being second place. It means she thinks so lowly of herself that she's OK waiting for him to "finish up" with the first place girl so she can have him. It means she's OK with being treated like a backup plan, and that she's OK putting her life on hold for an ungrateful assh*le. Is this what you want to say about yourself?
It also means that you're basically settling for someone else's leftovers.
When you're a "just in case" girl, you never win because the guy who you "win" isn't a prize. At best, you'll get a commitment that's always hanging by a thread. At worst, you'll be strung along for years, all the while wasting your time, effort and affection on a man who doesn't give a f*ck about you enough to put you first.
All of his resources and time is used up on his first choice. Having stayed as a second place girl to an ex of mine, I can assure you a man will never treat you as well as his first option — no matter what you do or how hard you try.
By settling for second place, you're basically begging for someone else's after dinner scraps. It also means that you'll likely never get commitment.
Here's the brutally harsh truth about men who pick you as second place: they will never commit to you. They are looking for "the one," and they've already seen a girl who they feel is better suited for that than you are. At best, you'll be a placeholder for years. At worst, you may find yourself being the other woman long after he's married to someone he feels more strongly about.
Why should he get that satisfaction, anyway?
Lastly, let's talk about the sheer entitlement of a man who brands a woman his "safe choice" and actually has the nerve to turn to her after his priority girl bailed. He's basically treating you like a fire hydrant that's kept around for safety's sake, and unlike a fire hydrant, you have feelings that he's not taking into consideration.
Aren't you the least bit pissed that he's just assuming you'll be OK with the fact that he treated you like sh*t? Don't you want to see him realize how bad it feels to be ditched for someone else, or to be treated like an option? Like, really, who the f*ck does he think he is?
By all means, get angry! This is a time for you to be pissed. Teach him a lesson, already.
The funny thing about men is they often learn what they lost after people take what they have away from them. In other words, the only way to make a man who put you as second place respect you is to leave — and ideally, never look back.
You deserve better than to be someone's "safe choice" in life, and you deserve to be someone's top priority.