The first time I ever dated someone and discovered he had a girlfriend, I was 20 years old. I remember feeling hurt and betrayed. I remember thinking, “WHYYYYY didn’t he just tell me? If he’d just told me first, I could have made a consensual, intelligent decision.” I was jealous. Angry. Upset. I told him off in front of a movie theatre as his (actual) girlfriend appeared behind him, rolling her eyes. Apparently she’d just gotten jaded and no longer cared about his side chicks.
The second time this happened to me, I was nursing the biggest crush I’d ever had of my college years. We’d just started to date, when suddenly the guy sat me down for a long, drawn-out confession: “I’m going to move in with her,” he said to me. “We’re trying to make this work.” And this time, I didn’t feel angry – just guilty, when months later, he introduced me to his beautiful girlfriend in a barely perceptible mutter, and I could hardly look her in the eyes. **
I wish I could say that it has never happened to me since, but that would not be true. What I have learned is that when you discover that you are the side chick, there are two basic rules to keep in mind:
Rule 1: It was not your fault that he didn’t tell you. It is HIS fault. So don’t beat yourself up about it.
Rule 2: You deserve to be the main chick (and the only one). So yea, you’re scot-free but now you have to break that shit off and find yourself someone better.
So let’s move on to the flowchart, shall we?
Part 1 is here.
Part 2: What to do when you discover you’re the side chick.
**(Fun fact: This guy has since become a high-profile lawyer who I see quoted in CA newspapers every few years.)
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