The Side Chick

“Some guys give great benefits packages to their mistresses: lavish gifts, rent paid [and] not forgetting bills.” – A proud side chick.

The Side Chick

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It appears that in areas of the world, some persons engage in relationships which are committed and flourishing, but no matter how they are in love with their partner, an addition is added either in plain sight or under cover. This addition is popularly known as the side chick or matey. Surely, you have heard songs which speak to occurrences where there is a side chick in the relationship. In the Jamaican setting, one popular lyric is “Wifey walk out and matey stand up” alluding more or less to when the wife (partner) isn’t contributing positively to a relationship or catering to the needs and demands of said, then another woman is brought into the mix to fulfill the desires of the man, or woman (whichever the case may be). But imagine how this could be taxing and stressful having to juggle two persons intimately or relationship wise. Would it be better to just break up with the person and move on with life? Or is it that persons don’t necessarily want to break up and pursue the side chick or man but just want to have their cake and eat it?

Truth be told, there is a rise in the popularity of women opting for the side chick role. Be it they chose to or were chosen. Some men believe that having a woman without a side chick is like ordering a meal without a drink and as such women succumb to this dynamic. It is a role which they choose deliberately, one they know they are getting into with all its benefits and consequences, while other times it is thrust unto them and as a result they try to cope with it.

Karen Allen, transitional life coach, suggested that there are two extremes to the mindset of these women – either they possess low self-esteem or desire to have control (which could be lacking in other areas).

“Low self-esteem because many women may feel ‘this is all they deserve’ or think it’s ‘the best they could get’…  [It could also be] Control on the other hand, because there are many women who are happy being the side chick as it gives them the opportunity to have what they want, when they want.” – Karen Allen, transitional life coach.

Is this true? You probably wonder what else goes through these women’s thoughts as they engage in these types of situations. What else could possibly be the reason for them deciding to be the confidant?

“Side chicks are awesome. They relieve stress, they only want to have fun, and the sex is always amazing.” – Anonymous male who is in a relationship with a side chick.

While some side chicks want to remain hidden, wholeheartedly relishing in the chase of their unattached ‘partner’, which they are able to control since their beaus are terrified of being caught; other mistresses are visible and very involved in the relationship of their partner and his wife/committed girlfriend.

“Having a side chick is like being able to rent a Formula One race car; you get to drive it like you stole it. A girlfriend is like the old used car you drive to work every day that just costs you money and it sucks that you have to keep taking care of it.” – Anonymous Male

The ideology of whether or not the side chick is deeply invested in the relationship, with the possible thought that they can be something more, also keeps them pining after a relationship with their beau in light of him still being devoted to someone else. These types of women do not necessarily want to change for whatever reason – social mobility, intimate interactions, financial gain, romance, and desire for future relationship – thus the love triangle lingers.

“The benefits women receive including having more flexibility when she does and does not want to deal with him, but we are not always into the man anyway, so it’s less hassle and more fun” – Anonymous side chick.

Stephan Labossiere, a certified life and relationship coach, speaker and best-selling author, suggested reasons why side chicks remain side chicks:

The Side Chick

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  • There are many side chick benefits

If it is to keep the mistress happy and her lips sealed (because often times the wife does not know of the mistress but the mistress knows of the wife), side chicks have very lucrative packages lined with amazing benefits. Bills paid in full, expensive gifts and intimacy through the roof, among other things. Side chicks bask in the fun of a beneficial relationship without the loyalty and there are times where she doesn’t even want to deal with the arguments or some disliked qualities, which then she can just say Hasta la vista baby!

Some side chicks remain in hiding while others are out in the open but in, say, another country or part of the state (e.g. if the wife resides in uptown areas, then the side chick will dominate in the middle class or downtown areas). For many, this is worth the exchange for not being the main girl as with being a wife or in a committed relationship, which comes with, well, commitment – something many will rather pass on.

  • She only offers intimacy and appearance

Men love the physical appearance before anything else; they first see a woman, and then explore her personality. But honestly, it stops at the physical appearance and casual intimacy for some men involved with a mistress. If she wants something more than just a ‘booty call’ and the feelings are not reciprocated, this may be a problem. However, if she wants the same things he desires, then it ultimately is a win win. Don’t you think?

  • She fears a committed relationship

The disappointments from failed or mutually halted relationships are about a dime a dozen in the world. This probably accounts for persons to opt for one night stands and summer flings than investing their energy into another committed relationship.

Some believe that being the mistress is much safer than being a main chick; that way their heart, feelings and emotions are protected with the addition of companionship to some extent. Watch out for developing emotions because after a while of investing a portion of one’s life to a relationship, however casual, there is still room for heartbreak amidst the attachment.

  • She isn’t the girl he would particularly bring home to his mother

When things get serious in a relationship, often times men feel proud enough to bring their girlfriend (yes, labels) home to their mother and family. Well, not if you are perceived as a home wrecker, ‘freak in the sheets’ or not particularly the ‘Girl Next Door’ your family sees you dating. Chances are maybe he doesn’t even see himself dating anyone other than an innocent summer dress wearing pinup sweetheart. Nevertheless, he landed himself in this side chick – main chick arrangement out of sheer temptation and the mistress provides just enough that he cannot let go just yet.

  • She does not value herself as more than a mistress

As Karen Allen said, low self-esteem can result in persons settling with less than what they deserve, which includes being the side chick than the main woman. If she could find the strength and confidence to not accept the arrangement that some know they are not happy with, she could walk away. It is easier to convince a person with low self-esteem that this role is all they deserve than it is to convince one who is confident.

  • She feels empowerment from being involved with another woman’s man

In the world of some women, the ego and pride must be protected at all costs and loves to be boosted every once in a while. Seemingly, being in a shared relationship with another woman and being, from time to time, chosen over the other woman aids in the boosting of some side chicks’ ego. The thrill of the hunt is far better than the actual capture. Another instance is since she (the side chick) has been hurt in the past, now that she is in control for a change may help her to feel better about herself and that is something she may not be willing to just give up that easily. Imagine how wanted some of them will feel having had bad relationships and then another woman’s man is pursuing her with real effort.

  • She allows it

The seemingly biggest reason is that she allows it. What you accept is what you get in all simplicity. Even if they aspire to be better, they still accept the categorization and all the woes of being the mistress in a relationship. While there are also instances where she is not aware of the wife/girlfriend, majority of side chicks have knowledge of the other woman and still accept the arrangement, some even have hopes of being the wife. But imagine, if he cheats on his wife with you, don’t you think he will cheat on you too with someone else?

However, some opt to no longer be a side chick. Weighing the pros and cons of the ‘situationship’ and realizing that their backs are against a wall and there is no room for upward movement in terms of self-development, they have intentions to pull the plug.

“There is a need to help them re-evaluate their worth and value – help them to see that who they are is so much more than what they have accepted… Women should aspire to be respected as the term ‘chick’, in her opinion, is very disrespectful…. Girls should aspire to be the most important person in a man’s life because they are worth it. Self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect are very important, and women in general need to have an understanding of just how important this is..” – Karen Allen.

Isn’t the connotation one places on the term ‘side chick’ relative though, quite justified to whoever decides that they will adopt the role, while criticized by the persons outside looking in?

People do this often. Judge. However, it is better to draw conclusions or opinions based on understanding the reasons for circumstances driving another person’s behavior. Some side chicks truly find no fault with their actions as they hold a sense of empowerment, while others are bursting at the seams with feelings of inequality and sadness. It all rests with the person in the circumstances, and we as individuals should appreciate and respect their stance and struggles just as how we would plea respect in other areas of our lives, which might be difficult to discuss. However hard it is to imagine yourself engulfed in that state of affairs, it still remains nonetheless their lives.

Know your worth.

The Side Chick

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By Alexandra Daley

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