• Damsel In Dating Distress

BACK UPS. SAFETY NETS. BACK-BURNERS.

A back up partner, standby lover, safety net, back-burner, spare-tyre lover (whatever you wish to label it) is a person anticipated as a potential future romantic partner in the event of the failure or unforeseen end of a current relationship.

“If we’re still single when we hit 40, just be with me, let’s have kids together.” I have a friend who was being very serious about this offer… and by the way, he’s well aware I’m writing this blog post! He'd say it again and again. Obviously I laughed it off and sarcastically joke about it, until he genuinely looked offended. According to an article I read the other day, “50 per cent of women in relationships have a back up partner.” – Wow. And just to throw it out there, I've shared some other facts about women with back ups:

  1. Married women are more likely to have a second option in place as compared to those in a relationship.

  2. In most cases, the back up choice is usually an old friend, who has harboured feelings for the particular woman. Or else, it could also be an ex-boyfriend/ex-husband.

  3. The majority of women said that their back up would be somebody whom they had known for at least seven years.

  4. One in ten women also said that their back up had confessed their feelings to them already.

I’ve never quite understood or considered a back up. By no means do I judge people who have one but are “safety nets” there out of fear of being alone? Or is it to gain an ego boost knowing you have someone else to fall back on? Looking at it from one perspective, I guess once you commit, you eliminate all other options. If option number one doesn’t pan out, you have to start over, which is probably a daunting thought for some. Then there’s also the element of having someone readily available to cushion the blow in case of a potential heartbreak. In my opinion, a back up sounds very similar to being a football substitute. You’re essentially “benching” someone until you decide you need them. And unless they’re happy with the agreement and are willing to wait it out... I find it unfair to keep someone around (who likely has feelings for you) until further notice. I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable with that arrangement. Surely if you're truly committed to one person then there's no need to consider other options? Then again, maybe that’s just me and my compassion for others. What are your thoughts?

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