The Side Chick
Today I want to talk about something that I’ve spoken about before, but I feel like it is time for a refresher. A few days ago, I received a series of DMs on Instagram from a fake account. Pretty standard, yes, but these messages turned out to be from a guy that I know of via mutual friends. Evidently, he had watched me for a while and knows a heck of lot about me, which is amusing given where he thought he was going to go with this. I should say at this point that I know his girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend as he kept saying) and that they have a young child together. When I asked him why he was DM’ing me from a fake account if they had split up, his response was because his ex-girlfriend is, “a lil’ bit crazy” and he had been hacked before, so best to play secret squirrel. Can you spot the huge red flags yet? Fake account – check; the “ex” is crazy – check; can’t contact you from main account – check; desperately dropping explicit innuendos and asking if I thought his girlfriend was punching above her weight with him to get an ego boost – check; and finally, for the win, how he’d never consider cheating but he would with me because he has always fancied me and can’t help but be attracted to me – check. Boy did I feel special. The rest is more nonsense but you get a sense of where this was going.
Although his whole approach was random and comical, I definitely feel offended for his poor girlfriend. I took a cursory glance at his real profile and there it was in black and white. Undeniable evidence that he is still very much in a relationship (in fact, they live together) and by the look of all of the heart eye emojis from her splattered all over his posts, she is blissfully unaware of his Lothario alter ego. I considered contacting her but I am not the villain of this story and this is not my circus or my monkeys. I blocked and deleted both the fake and the real profiles but this fool had, unwittingly, given me blog inspiration gold on a subject that, lord knows, affects many of us. As I thought about why men slide into DMs or make other moves when they have a blissfully happy girlfriend (short answer, because they can) I thought it might be more fruitful to explore what we might tell ourselves to justify being a side chick. If you’re only looking for fun and no strings, then crack on, but more often than not, those goalposts move.
People can be unconsciously manipulative. When we think of someone who is manipulating us, we think of a Machiavellian type character with a grand plan, but often it is not like this. People can be good people but just not being good to you. Good people can hurt other people and intentions do not really mean a lot. People, and in this case, men, are manipulative especially when they want to keep things as the status quo. When they want a situation that works for them to continue, they’re going to do and say what they have to. Their needs and their ego boost are so much more important than your feelings and than his girlfriend’s feelings. I’m not sugar-coating this because it is important that we walk in the light of the truth. If not, we are making decisions for our life based on a reality that does not exist. I’m going to run through the excuses that we as women may be making for him which enables this charade to continue. Let’s be honest, this is the majority of the time because a lot of dudes don’t really feel compelled to make apologies for themselves.
Excuse #1: “I don’t know he had a girlfriend/wife!”
Two words – he did. He knew and he knew the whole time. So why was he flirting with you? Well, as we’ve discussed previously, guys can like you just a little bit. We are not usually wired like that as women and if we like someone, we are all in. We can see one nice gesture as being indicative of a hundred other nice gestures behind that one and that is not always true. Sometimes, beneath the surface is just more surface. So a guy flirting may well mean that he likes you, but it is not enough to change his situation and make this legitimate. Also, a big thing that he is doing is boosting his ego. When you’re in a serious relationship, you might miss that thrill because you don’t really get varying highs and lows. The terrain is often familiar and some people start to crave variety and thrill.
So, he has got the stable girlfriend/wife at home who knows nothing and he gets to go out and interact with you and have this fun, spicy, exciting thing and the ego boost of knowing that you like him. Child, he knows. They always know. None of us have the poker face that we think that we do, especially in a situation that is inconsistent. One of the hallmarks of when a guy truly likes you is consistency and escalation. So if he is inconsistent, he may chit chat all day at the office over IM but won’t answer your texts over the weekend or at night. That’s weird, that is inconsistent and that is also a huge red flag. He may well be using you to fill the time when he is bored. Are you someone’s toy? If you find yourself justifying by saying you didn’t know he had a wife/girlfriend, well now you do. This is where we may get into trouble because just knowing this, on some level, may not do much to deter us and guys know this. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they know that they have their hooks into you and you like them, so you’re not going to cut this off so easily. A lot of the time this is because these guys may be fulfilling exactly the same role for us; ego boost, to pass the time and to make us feel good. Generally, women are more sensitive and get more emotionally invested. This is not a weakness, it just is what it is. This is something that can be preyed upon by a guy in order to keep the status quo because it is working for them.
Excuse #2: “When he gets to know me more, he will fall in love with me!”
This may run along of the lines of having to keep hooking up with him so he’ll see how good you are and leave her for you. How is that working out? Probably not well. This is because when two people meet, guys (quality guys) do not say, ‘Well, erm, I need to sleep with her a bunch of times before I decide if I like her and erm, I need to string her along for six months before I know I want to date her.” That is not how it goes. You should have two people getting to know each other together and both putting in an investment. Why would you be exposed emotionally and sometimes physically, letting him do an audit of your personality and sexual skills before he gets to decide if you’re together or not? You cannot have a relationship that is that imbalanced. When a guy wants you, he will come after you. The girls who have been the side chicks who have actually gotten the guy to leave the girlfriend or the wife have done it by pulling away. There is no reason to throw good money after bad.
Excuse #3: “His girlfriend/wife is such a bitch and she doesn’t understand him.”
They have fights, she’s so awful but here’s a newsflash – no, she probably isn’t. Do you know why? If she was that awful, he’d break up with her. Walking in the light of the truth is not always comfortable but it is is necessary to walk through life with dignity and self respect. If you don’t treat yourself with the respect you deserve, then others will take their cues from that. People do not stay in situations that on some level are not working for them. This is just human nature, so that relationship that he is in works somehow. Will he tell you how? Probably not! If he said to you, ‘you know what, she is super loving, she is always there for me, I love her family’ what are you then going to do? Start feeling bad and realising that him leaving her might not be an option, so you will make decisions accordingly. If he villanises the girlfriend/wife, it is to keep you on the hook. As we have said previously discussed, what is the number one thing a sociopath wants? Pity. This guy may not be a sociopath but if you have pity, you are more likely to get away with whatever shenanigans you are trying to pull off.
When we are in situations like this, we want all of the evidence that we can find to prove that our situation is so unique, complicated and crazy because then common sense does not have to apply. Justifying that it is ‘so complicated’ is a way to avoid the harsh truth – this may just be a guy who wants many women. It isn’t complicated so don’t make it so. Do not keep making excuses for someone who isn’t even making excuses for themselves.
Excuse #4: “He can’t leave her right now, it’s not a good time!”
There is no good time to break up and there is never a good time for bad news. There is, however, time for us to wake up and realise that if he wanted me, he would simply come after me. If he isn’t, it is either because he thinks he doesn’t have to aka you haven’t put up any boundaries or he likes having two or more women. When people do this, chances are they are going to keep doing it. They might always have this sort of dynamic in their relationships for the rest of their lives because they are greedy, dissatisfied and ultimately entitled. They might think that they deserve to have someone on the side that they flirt with.
Sometimes if you call someone out on this behaviour, they might say, ‘What’s the harm it is just flirting?’ This is an important data point because this means that this person is not going to let you go. The devil doesn’t just let you walk out of hell. As unfair as it is to have to be our own executioner and break up, it is less fair to keep ourselves in situations that are not serving us, wasting our time and breaking our hearts.
Free yourself to find someone who fits. Stand up for yourself, set higher standards for yourself and walk in the light of the truth. You are better than this. When it comes to closure, this is something that we give to ourselves. Once you find out the truth, cut him lose. Let that fish go – there are plenty more where he came from, I guarantee it.