fallback girl

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou


Forget my Guide to Becoming More Than His Fallback Girl. Maya said it all.


(If anyone knows of a proper credit for this image, I’d really appreciate it. I saw it on the Tumblr of fantastic singer-songwriter Leddra Chapman, and haven’t been able to find anymore out using Google. Thank you).

How to Resign from being his Fallback Girl

Your Question  How do I tell him I’m done with being his fallback?

I quit

the advicist You don’t need to. Just STOP BEING HIS FALLBACK GIRL.

Look, it’s not like you entered into a formal agreement, and now you have to enact the ‘get-out’ clause, is it? There’s no letter of resignation required.

You’re not even going out, so you don’t even have the displeasure (or pleasure, since you’ve come to your senses) of having to dump him.

That’s the thing about being the fall-back girl. He gave you NOTHING. So why do you owe him an explanation?

You don’t. You show him you are no longer his fall-back girl, and you do so thus:

Don’t be at his beck and call, every time there is drama in his life. Especially given it’s usually related to other girls.

Don’t answer every call from him, desperately wanting him to notice that it’s you who’s really there for him.

Don’t change your plans, or keep times free for him, just in case he can squeeze you into his busy schedule.

And don’t tell him. Start respecting yourself, being sure in your choices, and getting on with your life without worrying what he is thinking.

He’ll probably come to his senses and realise what he’s missing out on.

I’M PRAYING TO GOD that you remember HE’S NO GOOD when he does.

Or you’ll be back to square one. Because once he realises he can’t have you, he’ll probably want you. What you need to remember as that once he realises he can have you (again), he won’t want you (again).

I doubt I’m going to talk you out of giving it a go, if you get the chance. And who would I be to deny you your fantasy coming true?

But please remember that when he could have you, he didn’t want you. You need to expect that this will be the case again, and walk as soon as he’s back to treating you like his fall-back girl.

I wish there were more ‘ifs’ in that last sentence.

photo credit: Aman Deshmukh via photopincc

From ‘a Date’ To ‘Boyfriend’

question: If you are dating / kicking with a guy and it’s going on a year, and he doesn’t mention becoming a boyfriend to you, do you let it go?

my honest answer: When you say he hasn’t ‘mentioned’ it, it sounds like the subject has never been broached. Why not? If you want to call him your boyfriend, why have you never asked him about it? Why are you waiting for him to mention it?

On the other hand, if you have talked about it in the past, and he’s said he’ll tell when he’s ready for the boyfriend label, and it hasn’t happened yet, I’m here to tell you, it ain’t never gonna happen. 

He’s getting what he wants. That’s all he wants. If he wanted more, he’d probably get that too, seeing as you seem to be more interested in pleasing him than doing what you want.

If you want a boyfriend, get a boyfriend.

If you only want to be kicking around with someone, kick around with him.

Just don’t confuse the two. He’s not boyfriend material.


He Asked for a Break. To See Someone Else.

Question:  If a guy asks for a break for another girl does that mean you are his fallback girl?

my honest answer:  Firstly, for my new readers, if you don’t know what a fallback girl is, check out this Q & A.

Secondly, for the questioner, please read that article again as well. Obviously it didn’t sink in the first time.

Because, yes, if he asks you for a break, so he can try things out with someone else, and then come back to you if, and only if, it doesn’t work out THEN YOU ARE THE VERY DEFINITION OF A FALL-BACK GIRL.

He has lined you up to ‘fall back on’ if his preferred choice tells him to get lost.

I don’t even know you and I know you are worth more than this. Don’t be someone’s second best. Don’t be their consolation prize. And most of all, don’t be their doormat.

Please stand up for yourself, and tell this guy to hit the road.


He Doesn’t Have Time for a Relationship

Question:  How do I know if my male friend is interested? He calls me 5+ times a week to talk about his day, problems, the future and other general chit chat. He wants my opinion on everything. We go out to breakfast and dinner on a monthly basis. We are both single.

I asked him months ago if he thought there was anything more and he said he wanted to focus on his career at the moment. Am I wasting my time? I’m over the calls constantly, he’s emotionally draining guy with all the analyzing. I’m having trouble cutting him off.

my honest answer: You already know if he’s interested. Because you asked him, and he said no.

Sure, he hid behind his job, ‘I’m so busy yada yada yada’. But, just, no. If he wanted to be with you, he would. He has the time to call you five times a week, right?

You also already know he’s not interested, because you tell me you’re ‘having trouble cutting him off’. You know he’s got to go. You know, deep down, that he is just using you. And yet you’re not doing anything about it.

It’s nice to feel wanted. I understand that. We all love some attention.

But he’s using you. And he will keep doing it for as long as you let him.

If you just wanted to be friends with this guy, I’d say great! You’ve got a wonderful friendship – lots of intimate chats, dinners and breakfasts. That’s the kind of friendship everyone wants.

But when those chats become emotionally draining, and you are left wanting more than he is willing to give you, it stops making your life better (as a good friendship should), and it starts making it worse.

You’ve asked him outright. You know where you stand. And yet you keep going back for more of his torture. I’m not saying it should be all or nothing – full-blown relationship or never see each other again.

But take a step back, and see how you get on on a more equal footing. When he starts to unload on you, tell him you’ve not got time. Meet him on your own terms. Don’t be running around changing your schedule to fit in with him.

When you stop being at his beck and call, one of two things will happen:

  1. He finds someone else to stroke his ego, and he moves on pretty quickly.
  2. He develops a new-found respect for you, and decides he does value your time and your friendship, and he starts to treat you better.

The key is to go into it knowing that either outcome is the RIGHT one.

Outcome 1) is desirable because he’s shown his true colors, and you don’t WANT to be with someone like that. He will have saved you a lot of heartache.

And outcome 2) is desirable because it shows he has an ounce of character, and you clearly want him in your life.


Has anyone else been in this situation? Any nuggets of wisdom for our questioner today?


The Anatomy of a Failed Relationship

Question:  I was dating this guy for about 5 months. He kept confusing me about what he wanted… saying he didn’t want a relationship, but kept doing everything otherwise that told me he did.

We met through a dating site knowing we were a couple of hours apart… and only after I brought up where things were going after two months that he said he didn’t “do long distance.” Fast forward through seeing each other and me always being on edge about what he was doing.

When push came to shove he told me he was seeing someone at the same time. But she was more of his friend, where he was polyamorous.

He kept marking his territory all over my facebook page and got jealous whenever guys would say something on my photo or I was out with my friends. When I wanted to be exclusive he kept giving me excuses about distance and this other girl and what not.

I completely cut contact with him after that because I was so hurt that he said he only did all those things “as friends.” I don’t make out or have sex with my friends. He didn’t act like a friend around me.

A month or so after I cut contact he said that he didn’t fight for me because he was emotionally taxed and it was a bad move on his part and then later that I was one of the best girlfriends he ever had. Which is funny, because I wasn’t.

I’m so confused over what happened and jealous that he’s still with the other girl in some way. Why does he continue with her? He said he never wanted to lose me, but yet he let me go so easily. Can you help me understand what happened and why he’s with her and not me? He kept telling me that he really liked me…so I don’t understand. Why her?


my honest answer: Okay. First things first. This guy is a jerk.

We’re going to go step by step through your relationship, and identify how I know this, why you didn’t spot it, and how you can avoid this fate again.

Red Flag #1: He kept saying he “didn’t want a relationship”

When people tell you things you don’t want to hear, take them at their word.

Life would be simpler if I could just say ‘take people at their word’. But, unfortunately, some people are manipulative and they lie.

So, instead of taking people at their word, take people at their word when they are telling you things you don’t want to hear. 

So, if he said “I love you! Oh so much!” within two weeks of meeting you? I’d say, be skeptical. Look at his actions not his words. But that’s because he’s got a vested interest in saying he loves you. It gets you hooked.

But this guy has no vested interest in telling you that he doesn’t want a relationship. So he probably just plain doesn’t want one.

“He kept doing everything otherwise that told me he did want a relationship”

We need to look at this word ‘everything’. How did he imply that he wanted to be in a relationship with you?  By sleeping with you? Because that is not the same thing.

Indications that someone wants to be in a relationship with you include: specific plans for the future, shared experiences (outside of the bedroom), and introductions to his friends, and his family. Did he do any of this?

Red Flag #2: “I was always on edge about what he was doing”

Feeling on edge is your gut’s way of telling you something is wrong. Listen to your instincts. When they say something isn’t right, it usually isn’t. Please. THIS is the point at which you should have walked away.

Next time you meet someone, and your guts are saying ‘hang on! Back up!’, please, listen. Your instincts are the best self-preservation system you’ve got going.

Red Flag #3: “He kept marking his territory all over my facebook page and got jealous”

Classic controlling behavoir. He didn’t want a relationship with you, he was not in a relationship with you, therefore he had no right to get jealous about who you did or did not see. And yet he felt he was entitled to get jealous. What?

This is also a textbook approach of a guy who is using you as his Fallback Girl. He doesn’t want you… but he doesn’t want anyone else to want you either. Because if you did find someone who liked you back, where would he be? On his own, with no-one to run around after him, beg for his attention, and trying to meet his every want and whim in return for a few crumbs of affection.

“When I wanted to be exclusive he kept giving me excuses about distance and this other girl”

These aren’t ‘excuses’. They are reasons.

He didn’t want to be exclusive. You have no right to demand it of him. He made clear what he was offering: a non-exclusive relationship. If you are not happy with those terms, you decline to participate in said relationship.

If you turn this around – and a guy was attempting to coerce a girl into a relationship against her express will – it sounds awful. Well, I’m here to tell you its no different just because the sexes are reversed. He said he didn’t want to be in a relationship. That is entirely his prerogative.

“I don’t make out or have sex with my friends”

Well, in this case, you did. You made out, and had sex with a guy who explicitly told you, from the very beginning, he didn’t want a relationship. So yes, you do have sex with your friends.

If you don’t want to make out or have sex with your friends, next time, wait until you both agree on the nature of the relationship. You cannot will someone into having a relationship with you.

[He said] “I was one of the best girlfriends he ever had”

Yeah, afterward. He can say what he wants; it doesn’t make it true. This guy is a jerk. It’s absolute classic behavoir of a guy who wants you to be his fallback girl. If he thought you were that great, he’d be with you. He just wants to you to keep hoping he’ll be with you, so you can massage his ego some more.

…”Which is funny, because I wasn’t.”

Yes! You’re onto him! You weren’t his girlfriend, and you won’t be (right?) because he doesn’t treat you right.

“he’s still with the other girl in some way. Why does he continue with her?”

The key to why he is still with her is the term, ‘in some way’.

I think you know they’re not in the kind of genuine, exlusive relationship you wanted. So, there are two possibilities.

Either, they are both happy to be in a relaxed, perhaps polyamorous relationship. If so, good for them.

Or, she is allowing herself to be treated just as he treated you. She is at his beck and call, probably sleeping with him but not getting the affection, recognition and commitment she craves in return.

“He said he never wanted to lose me, but yet he let me go so easily”

Again, words and actions don’t meet… so remember, look for the vested interest. He wanted to keep you hanging, to keep you running round after him and stroking his ego.

“Can you help me understand what happened and why he’s with her and not me? He kept telling me that he really liked me…so I don’t understand. Why her?”

I hope everything I’ve said helps to give you some understanding of this relationship, why it ‘failed’ (although I’d say it succeeded since you’re not the one going out with the controlling jerk).

He’s with her and not you because she offered him something you didn’t.

This was either:

The type of relationship he wanted: No strings attached, friends with benefits, the ability to by polyamorous, no commitment.

or The ability to treat her badly, in a way you would not stand for. 

Either way, you’re better off without him. The only things on offer to you were a relationship on his terms alone, which you explicitly didn’t want. Or to keep seeing him sometimes, entirely on his terms, and having your heart and soul dragged over the hot coals every time he slept with you, and then told you he didn’t like you enough to go out with you.

I repeat: you’re better off without him.

Please watch out more carefully for the warning signs next time. You need to protect yourself, because you’re the only one watching out for you.


On Being His Fallback Girl

Question:  What to say to the man who is using you as a fallback girl?

my honest answer:  Buh-bye.

Shortest. Answer. Ever.

How do I Become More than a Fallback Girl?

question: How do I become more than a Fallback Girl?

my honest answer: So, you’re someone’s fallback girl, and you want to know how you can become more.

Whilst we’re here: Does everyone know what a fallback girl is? It’s a girl who a guy (usually a popular, good-looking one) keeps ‘in reserve’. Someone that they will call when they are sad or lonely, for a bit of an ego-boost, but whom they will cast aside as soon as someone else comes along.

A fallback girl will wait patiently in the wings, desperate for the call that the guy needs her. She feels special because he always ends up calling on her. Usually to complain about his love life. This makes her feel special. He confides in her! But what he doesn’t do, is ever commit to anything beyond this back-and-forth.

He will throw just enough crumbs of affection her way to keep her thinking she has a chance. To keep her dreaming, hanging on, and waiting for the moment he realizes she was the one all along!

So, I’m going to have to burst this bubble.

It will never happen.

If he liked you, he’d be with you.

If he cared about you, he’d stop messing you around.

And even if there were a magic formula to get you in a relationship with him, you shouldn’t want to be in that relationship anyway, because he treats people badly.

The guy who has a fallback girl (and actually, many of them have a few), needs his ego-constantly stroking. Even if you did go out with him, he would still flirt with every girl he saw. He would still talk to them, and ignore you, because he’s the kind of guy who likes the thrill of the chase.

In fact, you would likely just be getting an upgrade from fallback girl who has to drop everything the moment he calls with another emotional crisis, to a kind of indentured servant where you cook and clean for him, whilst he goes out to clubs and enjoys the attention of other women (when you just wanted to stay home and snuggle!).

So, not only is there no way to guarantee you can become ‘more’ than a fallback girl, if you acheived it, you’d likely be miserable then too. Because he won’t start treating you well just because he’s your girlfriend.

In fact, since being in a relationship will make him thing the wooing period is over, he may even start to treat you worse. Wheras he might not let down a date at short notice, he probably wouldn’t hesitate to do that do his girlfriend. She’ll understand, right?

Most people treat people well, or they treat people badly. A few particularly damaged individuals divide out ‘us’ and ‘them’, and treat their people well, and everyone else badly. But generally, people are either respectful of other people’s time, feelings and wellbeing, or they are not.

If he has proved thus far that he is not, there is no reason to expect he’ll change once you’re in a relationship. But more than that, you don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. I promise.

Not The Marrying Type

question: What does “you’re not the marrying type” mean?

my honest answer: Before I answer this question I want to say that if you are in a relationship, and neither of you want to get married, that’s great. Get married, don’t get married, see if I care. I’m answering this question as if the questioner does want to get married, and the other partner doesn’t. That is when there is trouble.

‘You’re not the marrying type’ means this:

I like you enough to sleep with you. I definitely like you enough to have you cook meals for me, and do my chores. I like you enough to stay with you. But… only because it’s easy and nothing better has come along.

I like you enough to benefit from being in a relationship with you. But I don’t love you enough to treat you well, be honest with you, or… marry you.

Oh, and I don’t respect you either, because you know all this, and I know all this, and yet you don’t leave me.

So I can treat you badly, and you’ll stay, because, well, you’re doing it right now, aren’t you?


What says the gallery? Have I hit the nail on the head? Or am I reading too much into it?

How to Spot a Jerk: Cheat Sheet

Question: So, I was incredibly excited to find you, considering I am always looking for advice and my best friend doesn’t have the guts to give it to me the way it is and instead gives me sugar coated answers of vagueness. Anyway :)

I recently met a guy online. We talked via email, text and calls for about a week and he was overly expressive and enthusiastic in his interest for me – even tho I could tell that aesthetically, I was NOT his type. By that, I mean I am not that girl who can rock heels daily, or can confidentally dance at a club or even GO to a club.

So, I wanted to get the meeting over with so we met the night after Valentine’s day. To my surprise, he was sweet, charming and still interested. In fact, he didn’t want to let my hand go when we said goodbye and he texted me even more after that.

Then about a week later, we went out on a Saturday night and had a good time and I stayed the night after he talked me into it because he felt it was too long a drive and it was so late. He offered for me to take his bed and he would sleep on the couch but we both ended up falling asleep on his bed. Nothing happened except a sweet kiss and some cuddling and eventually I left. He texted me to make sure I got home ok. All in all, I thought it was the start of something pretty great.

But then I noticed a drastic decrease in the texts and calls and even substance in texts.  Finally I called him out on it and he basically said that he wanted to “see what was out there” and that guys like a challenge and the chase.

Did I not give him enough chase or challenge? How do I do this, if that’s what it was? Things were quiet for a few days but he’s been texting me again, even called me twice but acted more like I was a girl friend – talking about another girl he’s been talking to for a few days now – but that she’s annoying to him and that cuter than she is. But he asked when I was coming to his area again, and he makes occasional flirty comments. I’m confused.

my honest answer: Don’t dwell on what he says. Not enough of a chase? Whatever. What matters is what he does, and he’s proven by his actions that he is not interested in being with you.

I was going to say, ‘and he’s proven by his actions that, unfortunately, he is not interested in being with you’, because, without the ‘unfortunately’ caveat, what I was saying just sounded mean.

But then I realized. It’s not unfortunate that he doesn’t want to be with you. It’s a blessing. Because this guy is an idiot.

He doesn’t want to be with you. But he also doesn’t want to be on his own. So whilst he’s lining up his next girl, he’s making sure that you’re still in the wings, waiting to come back and stroke his ego when that one doesn’t work out.

It’s a classic case of The Fallback Girl. You’re not good enough for him to spend his time and energy dating. But you’re useful to him. So he’ll throw you juuuust enough scraps of attention and compliments to keep you waiting, and to stop you from giving up on him.


I think he preyed on you because he can sense an insecurity. I don’t know why you say you’re not the kind of girl who can rock heels?

Every girl is the kind of girl who can do whatever. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Whether you chose to or not is another matter. But you can be that girl. You can be any girl you want to.

You wrote yourself off so quickly, and that makes me think your self-esteem is really low. And I don’t know why that’s the case because you’re clearly an intelligent and interesting person.

This guy sensed that you were not to sure of yourself, and therefore knew you would make a great fall-back girl. He won’t date confident people, because he knows that if he treats someone who values themself this way, they would walk away.

So that’s what you need to do: walk away. You need to prove to him, and to yourself, that you are worth more than this. He’s isn’t doing you a favor by calling you. He isn’t doing you any favors at all, to be honest. He’s just using you.

Go out and buy some heels, and know that you can rock them. Have some faith in yourself. This was just a guy. One guy. The whats and the whys and the wherefores don’t matter beacuse he is not good enough for you. Who cares why he treated you the way he did? He did it, and that’s enough for you to say, ‘On the road, Jack’.

Don’t waste your time trying to figure him out. You sound as though you think that if you can work this guy out, then you’ll know how men think, and you’ll be able to find the right guy. This is not the case. Men do not operate as one humongous singular entity. Nor do women. This one guy was an idiot. Working out why will only tell you why this one was an idiot.


But since you didn’t spot what an idiot he was, I’m going to help you out. I could tell this guy was a jerk just from your short letter. If you’re going to date decent healthy people, you need to be able to do it too.

So here’s your ‘How to Spot a Jerk’ cheat sheet:
  • Beware any man who is, as you said he was, ‘overly enthusiastic’. If they’re taking things to seriously too soon, it’s a huge red flag for me. It’s a tactic used by people who want to control you, not share a genuine partnership with you.
  • If he was really interested in you, and mindful of your feelings, he would not go on and on about this other girl. Using one date as their ‘sounding board’ for heartache with another love interest is classic ‘keeping my options open by keeping you hanging on’ behavior.
  • The fact you knew from his online profile that you weren’t his type because you don’t ‘rock heels’ or goes clubbing makes me think his profile was full of girls of this description. You can judge this book by its cover – the pictures he posts reveal volumes about the kind of person he is. In this case: very interested in appearing to look popular, slightly masochistic, and thinks women’s main contribution to society is aesthetic. RUN RUN RUN*.
  • He called things off by saying he was more interested in ‘the chase’. Yeah, it’s fun, we get that. But it should be fun because you’re excited for what is coming when you actually get together. If he’s not interested in the fruits of the labor of the chase, he’s just in it for an ego-stroke. He also sounds like the kind of idiot who would sleep with you, and then claim you’re not the marrying type because you slept with him. THIS, and all of the above, make him a total LOSER.

You want nothing to do with this guy. Please don’t feel like you did something wrong that ‘put him off’ dating you. He probably doesn’t want to date you because he saw that you were too intelligent to fall for his bull-shit.

The girl he does pick to date will be strung along for months or years on end, promised the earth, and, eventually, when their youth is gone and all they want is to marry this guy, will be abandoned in favor of a younger model who rocks heels and goes clubbing. You do not want to be this girl.

Either of them, in fact.

*UPDATE: I’m really not joking: read this chilling response to this article.