There’s no doubt that in the throes of passion judgment can be clouded. However, if there is one thing that can be learned from the new show The Mistress, it’s that dating a married man is completely toxic. Sarah Symonds, host of The Mistress spent years as the other woman so she knows what’s she’s talking about. I love her self-affirming, tough love advice. Taking a page from Symonds’s Mistresses Anonymous program, here are a few reasons why you should never, ever settle for being anyone’s “other woman”.
1. Dating a liar: Under normal circumstances would you be OK dating a guy who was dishonest? Of course not! However, when you’re dating a married man that’s essentially what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter how charming he is, he’s still living in a web of lies and by agreeing to be with him, so are you.
2. Your actions hurt other people: It may seem like a victimless crime: He says his marriage is unhappy. You don’t know his wife and she has no idea what’s going on. However, what people don’t know can hurt them. At the end of the day you’re still helping someone deceive their spouse and frankly, it’s not worth the bad karma.
3. Everything comes with a price: The lifestyle may seem glamorous – the gifts, the four-star hotel rooms, the help with the bills – however, nothing is ever free. In this case you’re paying with your emotional and mental well-being by allowing someone to buy you off instead of committing to you.
4. It’s murder on your self-esteem: By continually placing yourself second, you’ll eventually get to the point where you start to feel like you don’t deserve more. Guess what? You do! However, once your self-esteem has been harmed it’s much more difficult to get out of that toxic relationship.
5. People will lose respect for you: Although Nina’s friends seem supportive of her when she confesses that she’s been seeing a married man in “Wake up Call”, many friends won’t be. It’s really hard to regain trust and respect from people once they see that you’re willing to compromise your morals.
6. It hurts your other relationships: As we saw in “Asking the Tough Questions,” Sophia’s relationship with a married man has put a strain on her relationship with her mother. It’s never worth compromising relationships with friends and family for someone who can’t even commit to you.
7. It prevents you from pursuing relationships that are fulfilling: The time spent being with someone who’s married (or wishing you were with them) could be better spent pursuing your dreams and a relationship with someone who actually wants to be with you.
8. It’s a lonely life: If he really wanted to be with you he’d be with you. It’s as simple as that. Having to picture him with his wife whenever he’s not with you is no way to live.
9. You’ll never get what you want: Agreeing to be someone’s mistress means making someone your priority just so that you can be their option. It’s like chewing gum – it tastes good at the time however, the act of chewing prepares your stomach for digestion and when the food doesn’t arrive, you’re left feeling hungry and aching for more, your stomach full of acid. Don’t settle for “empty” when you can have the full meal with someone else.
10. You’re better than this: Plain and simple. Everyone deserves to be more than someone else’s diversion. To quote early 1990s Madonna, “Don’t settle for second best baby.”
Tune in for two all-new episodes of The Mistress tonight at 8pm EST.
Simone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.