Wait! Before you judge me or form any opinion about me, you should know that the word “rumoured” is used here for a reason. No, I did not steal anyone’s boyfriend. In fact, I was once in a relationship with a guy who was two-timing…well, that is a totally different story and I am in no mood now to make confessions about that experience. Coming back to the present topic… Yes, I was accused of breaking up a couple who had been dating for over five years.
I had known the guy since childhood; Anurag’s father was a very good friend of my father's. In fact, as a child I was very fond of his dad, the funny uncle who was the life of every party and who also knew how to throw an awesome party himself. Though we had met many times when we were small, Anurag and I lost touch as we both got busy with our lives.
I was in my 20s when I started meeting him socially at clubs and parties. A successful businessman, Anurag was dating a model and the whole town knew about them. They were a pretty well-known couple and everyone adored them.
Then came the New Year’s Eve party that changed things. Anurag had come to the party alone; theirs was a long distance relationship as his girlfriend was also studying abroad. That Night, we danced and had a good time. We both had known each other during our childhood and also knew each other’s families well, so I felt comfortable with him very easily. We actually got along really well and started chatting often.
He was witty and we had many common interests, so our conversation would often last for hours. His girlfriend also knew that we had become friends and I would often chat with her as well. She and I often made fun of him on Facebook with comments on his photos and posts. As we were getting along well, Anurag and I hung out more and more often.
After a couple of months, he mentioned that there was a rumour going around about “us”. We both took it rather lightly; we knew there was no basis to it and didn’t want to give it much importance. But the gossip didn’t die down and more people started asking me if I was seeing Anurag. Even a cousin of mine called up one day and asked me if what she had heard about Anurag and me was true. She said, “They say he makes sure he goes where you are partying, is he trying to woo you?” I explained to her that this was not true. “We are just friends,” I proclaimed.
The very next day another cousin of mine, who’s also a good friend of Anurag’s girlfriend’s, asked me the same question. It was getting a bit annoying now. When I cleared the matter with her she said that even his girlfriend had a feeling that Anurag was falling for me. By this time even he was fed up with people gossiping about us.
The matter got worse as Anurag and his girlfriend started having problems; FYI the problem wasn’t me, the whole long distance thing was taking a toll on them. When I went out partying, I felt like people were looking at me differently, and if Anurag was also there, it was like people were scrutinizing everything we did to confirm the rumour.
All this had an impact on our friendship; we never spoke about how people were talking about us. He was already going through a rough phase in his relationship and I didn’t want to add more tension. We both slowly started drifting apart; we stopped commenting on each other’s Facebook posts and pics. We were in a rather tricky situation actually…if we avoided each other, people saw it as us hiding what was going on between us; and if we carried on like before, people became more confident that the rumour was true. It was getting rather suffocating for me. Here I was being accused of something that wasn’t true - and only I know the devastating effect this had on my dating possibilities.
It was the first time I had faced such a situation; I had no idea what I should do. Should I stop going out altogether? But why should I change my life because of some unfounded gossip? Should I defend myself to get rid of the “other woman” tag that I had been labelled with? But then wouldn’t that mean I was acknowledging the gossip?
I came to the conclusion that I should just do one thing: carry on with my life. Just the way you can’t please everyone, you cannot convince people about such things. They had decided to believe what they thought was the truth…so let them. I was not going to let such people make me think badly about myself or change things in my life… Not worth it, girl, not worth it at all.
P.S.: Anurag and his girlfriend broke up; they both got married to other people. Anurag and I are still good friends. :)
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Mar 23, 2016