I am not a relationship expert, nor do I want to be. I’m just a woman with a lot of life experience. I offer but one perspective.
Let’s clear up a few things about “side chicks”:
- Not all women want to be in a relationship
- The objective of many side chicks is not to ruin a relationship; rather, it’s taking advantage of an easy, convenient situation
- Being a side chick does not necessarily mean the man is embarrassed of her and doesn’t want to be seen in public; rather, it’s a situation where both parties are mutually discreet, and public displays are unnecessary
- Most side chicks have no desire to be anything more than that
- It’s usually a conscious decision
I’ve played both roles. I’ve been a girlfriend who’s been cheated on. And though I’m not proud of it, I’ve been the other woman — or, the side chick, if you will. It boggles my mind why the main chick (or most people, really) are always quick to blame the other woman for a man’s infidelity. Unless she’s a close personal friend or family member, she owes her nothing. She has no allegiance or responsibility to her.
That said, though, I do believe in karma. And the universe has a way of evening the score down the road. Frankly, the side piece must accept the consequences of her actions (whatever they may be). There are forces with which o
ne must be prepared to contend.
All of that said, side chicks get a bad rap. Like we aren’t human. We’re deserving of a basic level of respect. And, miss me with the “well, you’re not respecting yourself” narrative, because it’s usually a choice. And if one chooses to play that role, she is exercising her free will. And, in my opinion, that is the hallmark of self-respect. And realistically, assuming the role of “side chick” is not settling. Again, it’s a conscious decision.
Now, I am not advocating playing the role of the other woman, but I think it’s worth critical examination.
I read an article, the other day, outlining 21 reasons why Being a Side Chick is Severely Underrated. Now, I’m not sure I would ever take the stance of promoting side-chickhood, and I don’t agree with all of the things that the author suggests, but I’d like to address the top five with which I happen to agree. Also, I’m not sure I really like the term “underrated” — I think “understandable” is more appropriate.
You probably clicked this article because you found yourself in utter disbelief after reading the title. That’s the reaction the majority of people will have because… W ho the f*ck thinks there are any benefits of being a side chick?
Below are my favorite five (though I’m going to combine a few) of the twenty-one reasons, from the article (please read it for the author’s full list). The italics are the article author’s words. The follow up explanations are my thoughts:
1. You get all the benefits, none of the bullshit. / You don’t have to pretend to be interested in anything. Okay, this is a big deal. If a woman is consciously involved with a man who is in a relationship, one of the primary reasons is likely because it’s an easy situation. Both parties know what’s up, and it’s probably not an emotionally charged situation where there are feelings involved (at least there shouldn’t be). That said, you are under no obligation to even appear to be remotely interested in the goings on on his life. Problems with the wife/girlfriend. So what, not my problem. Issues at work. So what, you’re here right now, right? Issues with the kids. They’re not mine, so, uh. You had a bad day? Sorry.
I know that sounds callous, but those are things that he can discuss with his main woman. All of those issues, while maybe problematic to him, are not your problems. And that’s probably not why he’s at your house anyway. And if it is, then you should get out of that situation. Quickly. Being a side-chick is messy enough as it is — you don’t need his problems adding to it.
2. You don’t have to share your bed. Personally, I like my space. Don’t get me wrong, when I am in a relationship, there’s nothing better than cuddling with and waking up next to the man I love. That said, when I am not in a relationship, I like things my way. I like lots of pillows. I like two blankets, all to myself. And I like to kick them off in the middle of the night. I like cranking the electric blanket up to ten — even in the summer. I like stretching out in my queen sized bed. I like it cold. And sometimes hot. Point being, consideration of another person’s comfort is irrelevant. Because it’s all about me. It’s my bed. My space.
3. You can always say “no”. / It’s on your terms. Okay, that should be the case in any situation. No means no, and all of that. But, in a side-chick situation, you’re under no obligation to see or talk to him if you’re not in the mood. When you’re in a committed relationship with another person, you have an obligation to be there for your partner. So, being able to say no, in this context, really doesn’t have to do with sex — it can be the ability to say “no” and check out emotionally. With no explanation.
Maybe I just want to relax in my sweats, not shower, drink wine, order take out, and watch Netflix all day. And let’s say he wants to see me. I can say “no” with absolutely no regard for his feelings or needs. His main chick can take care of all that emotionally needy stuff. I’m doing my own thing. And that’s a lovely feeling.
4. You don’t have to worry about where it’s going. When deciding to be involved with a man who’s in a relationship, you must be very conscious of the fact that you can’t catch feelings. That’s not easy for some people. That said, it makes things so much easier in the long run. If you’re the side-chick there’s absolutely no need to worry about those awkward conversations about where things are headed, or what this is. Because you both know what it is. And what it isn’t. So your time and mind need not be invested in wondering about the future. Because frankly, it’s irrelevant. Ideally, it’s about here and now.
As someone who struggles with anxiety (kind of ironic that I’ve been in these messy situations in the past, right?), the notion of not having to worry about where things are headed is such a wonderful emotional break.
5. There’s no break-up. Now this one is kind of tricky, but great in theory. Obviously, nothing lasts forever, and all things eventually come to an end. But, if you’re involved with someone with whom there aren’t feelings involved or any anticipation about the future, the finale need not be dramatic. Or messy.
We’re going to assume that the wife or girlfriend didn’t find out, and nothing really crazy happened precipitating the ending. Perhaps he developed a conscience and decided it had to end. Maybe you developed a conscience and decided it had to end. Maybe you got sick of him. Maybe it fizzled out. Maybe it ran its course. Maybe he’s replaced you with another side chick. Who really cares?
That said, it need not be dramatic. It ended. That’s that.
Again. I am in no way advocating being in this type of situation. It’s neither good or bad. It is what it is.
Many folks ask: “Why not find a single man? Why mess with someone else’s?” Well, unfortunately, many times it’s pure selfishness. Not all women want a relationship. If you’re casually involved with a man who’s already committed, there’s no risk of it becoming anything more than that. Yes, it’s mad selfish, but usually it’s not personal.
And it’s not all fun and games. You might miss the companionship and emotional connection had in a committed relationship. You might miss the cuddling and waking up to someone in the morning. At the same time, you might relish the freedom and the complete lack of fucks to be had in a non-relationship.
I write this not as one currently in this type of arrangement, just as one who gets it. I get what it is, and what it isn’t. It’s all about perspective.