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''I'm Always the One Before The One''

"Honey, I taught him everything he knows."
Her exes keep getting married...to the chick they date right after her. Which begs the question: What is it about some girls that screams not wife material?
By Julia Allison
Last week, I got a call from an ex — a man I truly believed I'd one day see in a tux smiling at me from the end of a church aisle. He's been dating the same girl since we broke up two years ago, and the crushing words that came out of his mouth were ones I had secretly prayed I'd never hear: "Julia," he said, "I'm going to marry her."


I promptly burst into tears. See, this isn't the first time I've been the girlfriend before the girlfriend who becomes the wife. It has happened — you're not going to believe this — seven times (and I'm only 28)! It's like I'm prepping guys for marriage to someone else.

I guess you could consider a girl like me a husband fluffer — you know how in porn movies, there's a crew member called the fluffer whose job is to get the actor, um, ready for his scene? In my case, I put in lots of hard work, and then someone else steps in right before the money shot...I mean, the wedding scene. Ha.

The details vary, but the basic scenario is the same: Boy meets me. Boy and I fall in love. Boy and I break up. Boy marries next girl. Take Andy (names have been changed), my first boyfriend after college. I was convinced he was The One, but two years in, I realized I'd never lived on my own as a single chick. Shouldn't you do that before you get married? So we took a little break. He started dating another girl... and now they're engaged.

Then there was John. Oh, John. Like Andy, he was an older guy, charming, successful, and handsome. I was madly in love with him. I thought, With a guy like this, you gotta play a little hard to get. But I missed the signs that he was playing a more grown-up game: the new (three-bedroom!) apartment, the doting on his brother's baby....He left me for a model (ouch!), whom he's now marrying.

Given these stories (and others — I'll spare you the gory details), I asked myself what I had done to drive these men into the arms of other women. Had I sparked their desire for a wife? Or made them want out of the dating game for good?

I posed those questions to my therapist. "You thought you wanted to marry these guys, right?" she asked. Right. "So you made them work through their issues and got them ready for marriage." Right. "But were you ready?"

Good question. Maybe marriage sort of scared the hell out of me, and the guys could sense it. "Remember," she went on, "being a husband fluffer means you're free to keep looking for the right person. You've been spared. And you spared them too! You weren't right for them. It's a gift you gave them." I'm still waiting for the thank you cards to roll in.

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Love Magazine: ''I'm Always the One Before The One''
''I'm Always the One Before The One''
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