She’s got a man but he isn’t hers, alone. She’s the side-chick. She’s beautiful. She’s sexy. She’s fun and exciting, but most importantly, she’s comfortable with the fact that the man she’s with has a main-chick at home. She’s his mistress, for all intents and purposes, and that’s where she seemingly wants to be. She does her best to stay in her lane – abiding by the rules that come with her role. She has decided to be this man’s drama-free fantasy on the side, all while knowing that she will likely never be front and center. She will never be the one closest to his heart; the one he drops it all for and the one for whom he would do anything (except stay faithful). Even if she became the main-chick at some point, it stands to reason that her side-chick position would, then, be vacant and, sooner or later, filled. So why do women decide to accept and often desire this position in a relationship?
I suspect the smell of defeat in the battle for faithful men has grown overwhelmingly strong for these women and the notion of having a monogamous relationship has grown bleak. The appeal of the all-too-familiar adage, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” seems to have tipped the scale. Enter – The Perpetuation of the Side-Chick. There’s plenty to be gained from that, right? Sure - trust, loyalty, faithfulness, time, and commitment aren’t among the list of benefits extended to the one playing second fiddle but, I mean, the side-chick might get a few nice gifts and maybe even some of their monthly expenditures granted to them. Add to it that their relationship with this man is often built on the fantasy that everything between them is perfect (all the time), and it should sound slightly attractive (sarcasm). He gets an on-call hook-up with none of the responsibility that comes with commitment. She enjoys the whimsy of feeling highly desired and to some degree, spoiled. The partnership is superficial in that they are each other’s escape from reality. There are no discussions about bills, kids, laundry, in-laws. You know…real life. They support each other’s risky ideas and actions because, hey, they sound good and if they don’t work out, oh well. The worst thing that can happen is they end the relationship. It’s someone else’s mess to clean up.
The whole existence of the side-chick is predicated on the simple fact that the main-chick doesn’t know about her (or at least she isn’t’ supposed to). The side-chick’s relationship with an already-involved man is cloaked in secrecy. Her allure is that she’s “down” to stay quiet, behind the scenes, and “get in” where she “fit(s) in”. In other words, it’s all about lying, greed, and selfishness. None of which are good for anyone. The man in the situation takes away the main-chick’s ability to decide for herself whether or not she wants to be involved in this triangular love affair. Considering that he and his side-chick knowingly decided on their actions, how unfair is it that the main-chick wasn’t given the choice? I understand that the secrecy adds a level of excitement and intensity for the two running around in the dark, but to willfully tear down someone else’s life in the process is outright despicable. The level of deceit is reprehensible and the weight of the carnage left behind belongs to the main-chick.
When she finds out what’s been going on behind her back (and she will find out), the unassuming main-chick is left broken. Another woman knowingly stepped into her life and selfishly assisted her duplicitous man in turning her life into an episode of Jerry Springer. She’s just realized that she’s been having unprotected sex with a man who’s been having unprotected sex with someone else. Her health is in question. Her self-esteem is in the toilet. Her belief in the sanctity of commitment and marriage has been rocked and it’s likely that this isn’t the first time. Maybe this man has taken her down this road before. Maybe another woman in her life warned her of this, incessantly, and now this reality has validated that advice. As a result, she doesn’t want anything to do with the lies that this man and the others before him have proven to her all men will tell. So, rather than risk going through this again, she will lick her wounds, pick herself up, and go back out into the world with the intention of protecting herself from this type of devastation. Concern for another woman’s relationship and the trail of death that wrecking it will leave behind will no longer be hers, and thus, the conception of another side-chick.
Is this the evolution of every side-chick? Surely not. But it has certainly created an alarming share. Couple that with pure greed, competition, and a drought-like thirst for companionship fueled only by an unhealthy deficiency in self-esteem and an over-abundance of insecurity and that just about covers it. It’s a cycle. A perpetual rebirth of debauchery and an absence of respect for others and oneself. It’s a selfish undermining of unity among women. A complete lack of regard for the value of commitment and family. It lends to the idea that women are weak and have no hope - but you aren’t and you do, and you should start acting like it.
I could define any number of actionable items to end the cycle. I could break down the theories behind them and how quickly they will produce results but would that be heard? It has to be put bluntly and succinctly. There is only one solution that peels back the lid and allows us to have more important conversations about the importance of relationship, commitment, monogamy, or the decision and the courage to be honest in saying that an open relationship is more your speed. There is only one way to begin again. It is this – STOP! Plain and simple. STOP!
Running around with men who you know are already in committed relationships
Hanging on to men who have mislead you into a double-sided relationship
If he lied, shame on him. If you stay after you've been informed, shame on you. It will hurt to leave but, I promise you will get past it.
Accepting less when you want and deserve more
Forgiving yourself and the person who lead you down this path
Finding value in your life and in yourself
Being honest with yourself about what you really want and be patient and disciplined enough to get it
Learning from your experience and using it to make better relationship choices in the future
Don’t be defeated and stoop to joining them. Don’t play the game. Change it. Know that a cheater can only cheat if they have someone to do it with. Imagine if we all stopped being that someone. You hold the power, ladies. I say, use it and put death to the cycle of the side-chick.
P.S. Stay tuned for Pt 2 - my take on the man's culpability on this topic.