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Confessions of the Perpetual Backup Friend

I don’t know what it is about me, but I see the way you all pick other people before me. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing, I mean maybe you don’t even realize you’re doing it, but I can see it and my god, I can feel it.

It’s like you guys all have this bond, this close-knit relationship filled with inside jokes and side glances and secret code words then… there’s me. The peripheral friend, I’m there but not quite on the inside, at least that’s what it feels like.

Because I’m not a priority to you guys, I only get hit up to hangout when no one else is around. I’m the backup friend, the friend you call when you feel too insecure to walk into a room of crowded people alone. And then I’m the friend you ditch the second you get there and find someone better (who almost always has a penis). Do you know how many times I’ve been left behind and you’ve all gone home without me? I can count on one hand how many times that’s happened within the last month. Like am I invisible to you or just that unimportant that I don’t even cross your mind by the end of the night?

And honestly, it hurts the most because I’m the first person to make sure no one is left out. I’m always reaching out to check up on each and every one of you, to make sure you’re OK when I see a gloomy look in your eyes. Shit, I’ve even been there to hold your hair back multiple times while everyone else stayed out partying. So, what is it about me that you just write out in as runner up?

I don’t get it. I see other groups of girlfriends walking around, sitting at brunch, everyone involved and it makes me wonder… is it just me? Am I putting up a wall, so I don’t get hurt by you guys? Am I not allowing myself to fall completely into these friendships in fear of getting shut out?

See, that might very well be the case, but I don’t think it is because when we’re all together as a group it’s just… different. I make an effort to stay a part of all of your lives individually, at least I try to. I do all little the things that ‘friends’ are supposed to do like texting to see how your day is or showing up at your work when it’s slow, just to say hi. But it’s like once you’re all together, you let me slip between the cracks. It’s like my relationships with each of you fades the second you’re all together, as if you treasure your relationships with each other more than with me.

I get that everyone has their ‘best friend’ and their ‘favorite friend’ but I’m starting to see I’m really not anyone’s favorite friend. You probably don’t even realize how many times I’ve been asked to go shopping, gotten my hopes up so high that I’ve finally made it as first choice, only to hear “yeah, everyone else was busy, so it’s just us.” I wish you could feel how much it hurts to hear those words… And yet, I always go.

Am I making myself too available? Am I around so often that you just assume I’ll always be there? Because I won’t.  Because at some point, people are going to walk into life and they will end up being the friends I always knew I deserved. The ones who actually care about me. They will want to call me in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday to go grab coffee and talk, and not because no one else could go. I’ll be the first person they think of to invite to their BBQ’s and pool parties. They’ll actually give a shit if I’m there or not.

And then, you’re going to miss me. Because what I have to offer you all is an honest, whole hearted friendship. I’m there when you need me in a heartbeat, always, and I never judge you, I even put up with all the times you’ve let me down and still had your back. But I’m not sure I can say the same for the rest of you… at least you’ve never given me any proof of you holding up the other half of a friendship and I’m not sure if you ever will.

So right now, I’ll be your backup friend. I’ll be there when you need me because I do see the good in each and every one of you. But I just hope you know this friendship isn’t going to last forever and there will come a day when you need me and I won’t be there to save you. I just hope you’ve built strong enough friendships with each other that you can actually take care of each other… the right way.

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