Yo. The now viral #hurtbae video hit me hard. It really made me feel some kind of way. Not necessarily because of this fiasco, because before he really fucked up, he was a good dude. And I was grown. I had life experience. Or maybe I didn’t see the signs. But whatever. I digress.
It made me feel some kind of way because of this fiasco. My first real relationship (love) with a dude who was a jerk. Who cheated more times than I’d like to admit (because frankly, we can deny it all we want, but we know what’s up — but, like the Doobie Brothers sang, What a fool believes, he sees; no wise man has the power to reason away). Who lied countless times. Who carelessly left used condoms in (semi) plain view. Who made me feel like shit. Who I was a fool for. Who really didn’t need to be in a relationship.
I blamed myself for so long. It took a long time for me to realize that I am dope. I’m a catch. And yo; it was his fucking fault.
But this video, though. The hurt in this woman’s eyes. Her body language. Her tears. She seems so defeated. It hurts to watch.
Earlier today, a friend posted the following Facebook status. It hits the nail on the fucking head.
Fuck these trash ass dudes. Seriously. Though this shit happened to me damn near twenty years ago, the hurt in this young woman’s eyes is palpable to me. It’s visceral.
“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.” – Cheryl Hughes
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.
I’ve debated writing this for a while. For one, I don’t want to be messy. Secondly, I still wrote with my ex’s feelings in mind. I realized that just like he owes me nothing — nor do I him.
I’d like to start by saying that I am biracial. My mom is white, my dad is Black. As I’ve stated here before, for political, social & cultural reasons, I consider myself a Black woman. That said, I would never deny my mother. I love her dearly. And honestly, she is responsible for shaping me into the woman that I am. I adore her.
I’d also like to say that many of my close friends are white. And I love them. Most of them (at least the ones with whom I am close) are very socially astute as it relates to race and racism. Though not necessarily politically and socially active, I would venture to call many of them allies.
Taking this a step further, several of my white friends are married to (or in serious relationships with) Black men. Knowing the hearts of these women, they’re not the type of ladies who fetishize and seek out Black men to validate their whiteness.
That said, the concept of interracial dating is something that is contentiously personal to me. I support my friends’ unions. And c’mon folks — my parents’ marriage? How could I ever speak ill of that? (And my father is not the type of Black man who ever sought out white women — in fact, when they met he thought my mother was of color, so…)
Here’s my but. And my contention.
I cannot stand brothers who are infatuated with, cape for, and choose white chicks over (or to the detriment of) Black women. It demonstrates not only a submission to society’s racist Eurocentric standards of acceptability, privilege and currency, but also a nasty element of colonized self hatred.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll get to my point. My ex, yep, the guy who knocked up some goofy random broad while he was out of town “working” — well that goofy broad is white. Like extra white.
A bit of context. My ex is a Black man. He is very conscious and proud of Black culture and history. He is outspoken about racial issues, and has committed his life to the culture and to a certain extent, the struggle. I’ve always admired that about him.
So, after I uncovered the news of the baby and researched who this mystery woman was (her name is very white, so I suppose I should’ve guessed she was just from reading it); I came across her Facebook page — with a profile picture of she and my ex smiling and looking disgustingly carefree (while my Black ass is sitting at home, miserable, making playlists and making excuses — missing him).
Upon further stalking, I came across her Instagram page, and saw a few very problematic things. First, I came across a picture of the baby, and in the comments, she joked with her friends about her “mulatto” son. I am not even going to get into how ignorant, foolish and offensive that term is (not to mention the person who uses it). But to think that my ex would even associate, on that level with — 1. Becky 2. An ignorant Becky — sickened me (and made me lose all respect for his judgment).
Next, I came across a text conversation between her and my ex that she screenshot and posted to her IG. The main conversation is irrelevant, but the crux of the conversation (at least to me) is when he told her that he was “happy to serve her” because she is his “queen”.
It is difficult for me to unpack all that is wrong this this, but I’ll start here. First, how DARE you refer to this ignorant white bitch as your queen while your Black girlfriend is at home missing your lying, cheating ass (and paying for our household bills)?
Secondly. You’re happy to “serve her”. Are you a slave? Uncle Tom? Uncle Ben? Tapdancing Negro? What in the actual hell?
This happened three years ago, and it still raises my blood pressure, so I’ll have to end this post here and resume when I can gather my thoughts. Minus residual bitterness.
Point being: Black men, these days seem to have an infatuation with (mediocre, at best; horrific, at worst) white women — with no regard for common sense. And least of all the Black women who love and are down for them.
Without trying to wax poetic about the trials and tribulations that frame why I feel the way I do about things like love, commitment, betrayal, loyalty, etc., I think it’s necessary to provide the abridged version of my pertinent relationship history.
I’ve never been much of a dater, per se. Most of my adult life has consisted of fairly long term relationships — albeit relationships that have ended in problematic ways, really never providing the closure my heart has needed to feel resolute. Also, if I am being honest, ways that have left me feeling inadequate. But, I digress.
My first long term relationship was with a guy I met when I was in high school. We were “together” (the term is used very loosely) for 10 years (from ages 17 to 27 — so essentially the formative years of young adulthood). We were young, dumb, naive and lacking in life experience.
It was a nice relationship, for the most part; but, being real, it also involved lying, cheating, sneakiness, mind games, body shaming (and a host of other problematic things). As this was my first real relationship, it laid a foundation for some of my habits and ways of relating to men in romantic relationships. It demonstrated that men are cheaters, men are liars, and men will wander if you don’t look perfect (in their eyes).
Of course, what I describe is extreme, and certainly isn’t a reflection of this man’s entire character, but it was significant in shaping my experiences with him. We were both young, which explains a lot. However, this relationship set a problematic precedent.
Digressing a bit, I have the most wonderful father in the world. He is the representation of what a real man is. It is baffling, to me, why I would allow myself to get wrapped up in some of the stickiness that I have. Perhaps it speaks to my insecurities — the ridiculous idea that no man could ever measure up to my father. Or maybe it was my youth.
Without getting into the gritty details, we’ll just say that the relationship’s finale reads as a corny, cliché movie.
Towards the end of our relationship, (a time during which I lived in his condo — talk about power dynamics) he cheated on me with someone I was acquainted with (we were not friends, but I am certain she knew we were together, or at the very least cohabiting). She owed me no allegiance, so I have no truly ill will towards her (petty, but nothing serious). I am generally not the type of woman to blame the other woman for my man’s betrayal (for the most part).
That said, I am a believer (based on experience) that how you get him is how you lose him. Or, at the very least, the Universe does not look favorably on intentions that slight others in sinister ways. The Universe doesn’t always administer justice in the ways that we want, but justice (or karma) is always served one way or another — it’s usually innocuous. That said, this particular ex-boyfriend (to be clear, this is not THE ex that I frequently mention in this blog), ended up marrying the woman he cheated on me with. Years later, I harbor no resentment towards him — we’re actually on friendly terms. As far as his wife is concerned, the knowledge of what she did to snatch him up, and the implications it had on my life (and what it set into motion), is something that she has (or has had) to reconcile spiritually and karmically (is that a word?). It has no bearing on me. I made peace with that a long time ago. Having said that, it doesn’t make recalling the events sting any less, but it’s a part of my story. Sidenote: To be clear, karmic justice has been served in that situation (justice that will not be discussed here), and I will leave it at that.
If I am being perfectly honest with myself, our relationship had really run its course long before it ended. We had outgrown each other. It was comfort, time, and security that truly bound us together. That doesn’t excuse the way I was treated, but it needs to be said.
Here’s the bottom line, though. My first true relationship ended in a way that was centered on dishonesty and betrayal. My next relationship centers on betrayal in much the same way — from both of us. The details are just a bit messier. And over three years later, are still triggers.