Reserve your judgement until you read the entire article. Lower your raised eyebrow and untwist your lips. I know that it's probably hard for some of you to do when you've had your relationship challenged by women that couldn't respect your relationship. Equally, your boyfriend didn't respect it nor you either. But again, you clicked on the article so just hear me out once you're done rolling your eyes.
In the past, I found myself in a situation where I was unknowingly the woman on the side.
At the beginning, I had no clue. Upon meeting the guy, I was told that he was going through a recent breakup. We went out as normal, talked on the phone, exchanged text messages, and took time to get to know each other. Prior to him, I hadn't been on a date in three years. Might I add, I was in my mid-twenties. Most of my friends were either married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship. I was feeling the pressure as I was constantly asked, "When are you going to find a boyfriend and settle down? Is there no one at your church you can date?" It wasn't as though I was keeping myself locked away in a tower to never be seen. Men just hardly looked my way nor started conversation. So, when I met this guy who approached me and was persistent, I was looking for anything that resembled a relationship. Let's be real, Netflix and chilling by yourself gets old.
There is a difference between being alone and being lonely and quite frankly, I was dealing with the reality of both at the same time. And temporarily, his company cured that.
Slowly, yet surely, his excuses for disappearing were non-stop. I had a gut feeling at this point that he was still seeing his "ex" girlfriend. Time revealed just that. His ex-girlfriend was never an ex. Of course, I confronted him about it. And what did I get? Excuses about how it was complicated. The logical thing was to walk away. And I tried. I sank back into my old predictable routine of going to work, church, and sitting on my couch watching reruns of sitcoms with a bowl of popcorn. Reluctantly, I was reeled back in for a few weeks before I cut it off for good.
The surprising thing was that I wasn't only the side chick in the situationship with him. I was also the side chick in some of my friendships. Yes, this is why I asked that you reserve your judgement. I was a side chick to some of my friends. We hung out only when it was convenient for them. If they were married or in a relationship, I was generally called when they needed to vent, going through a breakup, or their significant other wasn't available. I rarely got a call or text from them first otherwise. Like before, I'd hear excuses as to why certain friends weren't attending functions and pulled disappearing acts.
Whether in friendship or romanticized, my value was not respected.
Their convenience was priority and I was expected to take what was dealt to me. It was then that I realized that it was true; people continue to treat you the way you allow them to treat you. With that, just as I did away with the guy I was allowing to have access to me, I did away with a few friendships and cut my ties. I take full responsibility for my actions of sticking around longer than what I should have. You're truly responsible once you find out you're being used or placed in a situation you didn't initially agree to. Sorry ladies, but once we find out the truth, we can't keep putting the blame on the men if we choose to stay.
As much as we don't like to admit it, desperation and a longing for acceptance keeps us in associations longer. It keeps us checking social media to count the 'likes' and comments on our posts. It keeps us searching for validation of being relationship worthy when those around us seem to meet men and establish a relationship with ease.
Though we never want to claim our weaknesses, there is strength in owning your shortcomings and actively working towards bettering yourself.
To my former side chicks, I hope that you realize the value that you possess. You deserve to be bragged about and uplifted for more than just your pretty face and curves. You deserve the congratulatory praises for your character, tenacity, your boss moves, and courage. You're worth more than a last minute invite to dinner or to grab drinks because they are bored. Queen, start treating yourself better.
And to my sisters that have been subjected to disappointments due to infidelity, I'm sorry that you've been hurt.
While we are all human and make mistakes, ensure that his bad choice doesn't become continued bad behavior because you do deserve respect and loyalty. On the flipside, make sure you're not treating your girls like your side chicks. They know you have a man and you're busy, but reaching out to them first goes a long way. Friendship is not convenient.
Sometimes that means you'll have to take a night and just hang out with your girls like old times and pour a glass of wine, talk, laugh, and catch up. Your friends don't want to be your side chick either.
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