This one’s for those men – married, quarter-to-marry and planning to marry – that cannot imagine a life of being with just one woman, much less living it. We know you are out there, and you love to have your side-chicks. There’s not much we can do about that, apart from criticize and curse and chastise and hiss in disgust. And that rarely ever makes a difference. So, since you are not likely to change your ways, here are a few tips to help you do this wrong thing the ‘right’ way.
1. Whatever you do, DO NOT tell her that you could/would marry her if you weren’t already married. Whether you mean it or not. Cos she might start to get ideas and think there might be a potential future. Before you know it, she’s expecting you to leave your wife for her. Unless she’s a very mature lady and knows when you’re just trying to flatter her, or understands that you’re never going to leave your wife.
2. Do put her on a schedule so that she doesn’t expect to receive more time than she’s ‘entitled’ to. If two days/nights a week is what you can afford, set aside those two days clearly and religiously. This will help you make ample time for your wife and it will teach side chick to be content with what she has. An added advantage is that she’ll start to look forward to those days and ensure that they go very well for both of you.
3. Don’t bring her into circles where she might potentially meet your wife. Women can smell a rat from afar. So even if you think you’re ‘coding’ by not talking to her at an event or gathering, your wife might pick up on the looks you’re both giving each other. Another angle to look at it from is that you may not be able to handle her mingling with other guys, especially if they are single. And your wife might notice your irritation if you’re the jealous type. Plus, you don’t want her to become a ‘familiar’ face. Women, like elephants, never forget. And they tend to be able to put two and two together if there are enough ‘coincidences’.
4. Do handle your marital business before you enter ‘side-chick time’. Remember, her own time is less than ‘wifey time’ (and rightfully so) so she won’t appreciate you further shortening her ration by having your family conversations when you should be spending time with her. If you need to check in with your wife, do it before, not during side-chick time, unless there’s an emergency. In which case you’ll be going home anyway. Note: Some side-chicks are actually able to deal with being present while you do family stuff. But most should be uncomfortable, because it’s a strong reminder of how wrong what they’re doing with you is.
5. Don’t mention or insinuate that she ought to understand/remember your married state. She doesn’t need a reminder. She probably thinks about it most of the time. But she can pretend that she means the world to you or that she’s the only girl in the world for you if that makes her happy. If you keep reminding her, you contribute to the self-inflicted damage to her self-esteem and she’s more likely to walk away.
6. Do remember her birthday and special occasions, but never prioritize her over your wife. We all like to feel special, so it’s perfectly normal and nice to buy her a gift or send her flowers or lunch, or a birthday cake. But don’t stop the world cos it’s her birthday. That privilege is and should be reserved for your wife. If you do ‘too much’, she starts to expect much more. And expectations tend to be the start and finish of many a relationship, illicit or not.
7. Do prepare your mind for the possibility that she’ll find a single guy and move on. Just as she’s a temporary thing in your life, ultimately so are you (probably even a place holder). Unless she’s not looking to get married or settle down, chances are she will be on the lookout for a nice single man with whom she can settle. You have to be ready for this cos it could come without warning.
8. Don’t hold on to her when she asks to be let go. For one, it’s just unfair, because you’re never going to be able to give her more than you already do. Besides, there are lots of other potential side-chicks out there (if you insist on keeping one). So if this one wants to move on, cut your losses and find another one. Or better still, just stick with your wife.
9. Do limit the number of people (friends and family) you introduce her to. You’re bound to get a lot of criticism for cheating on your wife. And if you’re unlucky, someone might tell someone who might tell someone who might tell your wife. And if you care about her, you’d want to reduce the extent to which her reputation is besmirched. This is best achieved when fewer (or no) people know about the thing between you two.
10. Don’t expect her to perform wifely duties. Let her do them if she wants to. But you cannot demand them from her. She is not your wife, you don’t treat her like she is your wife, so you can’t expect her to take on the same responsibilities as your wife, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning, having unlimited patience and dealing with your ‘shit’.
11. Do NOT have unprotected sex, not just because it’s the safe thing to do, but also because it’s the smart thing to do. You neither want to deal with an unplanned pregnancy nor an ‘ambush’ pregnancy. If you’re one of the ‘prefer skin on skin action’ types, shelve it and do that with your wife. Unless you’re dealing with someone you can trust to take the required precautions and not come at you with blackmail. Be warned though, trustworthiness isn’t written on the face. And even if it is, circumstances have a way of changing people.
12. Above all, do treat her with respect. Just cos she’s your side chick doesn’t mean she’s not a human being worthy of respect. We never know what circumstances lead people to do the things they do, even things they’ve sworn they would never do. Her being with you might be for reasons that you would never understand, so never look down on her, never take her for granted, and never treat her badly. Best to leave well alone if you know you can’t accord her some respect.
That’s it from me. I will be pulling together some tips for being a side chick, to give a view from the ladies’ perspective, so watch this space.
In the meantime, how have your previous (or current) side-chick relationships panned out? Is there such a thing as the perfect ‘girlfriend’? Share any other tips you might have for the fellas in the comments section. You’re also welcome to share your views. After all, feedback is a gift. Just be sure to wrap it in pretty paper!