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17 signs you’re definitely the side chick in his life (+ 4 ways to become his main chick)

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Modern dating can feel like a minefield to navigate. Dating apps and social media make it easier than ever before to play the field.

In fact, frightening research suggests as many as 42% of Tinder users are either married or already in relationships.

That means it’s also increasingly easy to end up being a guy’s backup. Rather than taking center stage in his life, he has you waiting in the wings.

Here are the definite signs you are just a side chick, and what to do about it.

17 signs you are the side chick

1) You’re constantly disappointed and so have very low expectations of him

He’s let you down more than once. More times in fact than you care to admit.

Whether it’s canceled dates, not hearing from him, or some other kick in the teeth that leaves you feeling unwanted and frustrated.

You’ve actually become so used to the disappointment that you have learned to take what you can get from him, and don’t expect much more.

Sometimes you feel so starved of the attention that you want from him that even the smallest gestures leave you feeling grateful.

Asking you how your day is going all of a sudden has your tummy doing somersaults because he never normally texts you during the day.

You’re excited that he even bothered to message you. Let’s face it. This is a huge red flag.

2) You don’t see each other that much

Guys who have more than one girl on the go aren’t stupid. They know that the more time they spend with you, the higher your expectations are going to be.

Because you are just a side chick, he wants to make sure you don’t start to become too demanding of his time.

One way to manage that is to simply limit the amount of time he spends with you. If he only sees you once a week, you’re less likely to start thinking you’re his girlfriend.

Part of it is practical too. Juggling daily life — work, friends, family, hobbies — and more than one woman is time-consuming. He doesn’t have the time to see you that much.

The time you get with him is also unlikely to be “prime” time. Rather than give up his Friday night or weekends, you get a random few hours during the week.

Infrequent dates or long gaps in between seeing one another is a classic sign you are a side piece.

3) It’s all on his terms

Does it feel less of an equal partnership and more like everything is always on his terms?

You meet when he wants to, he texts or calls you when it’s convenient to him. And when it doesn’t suit him to see you or speak to you…well he doesn’t.

The reality is that you are always available for him, but the same cannot be said for him.This isn’t fair, and it’s definitely not healthy.

It shows an unequal balance of power. Everything is on his terms because he doesn’t care enough to put himself out for you. Yet he expects you to bend over backward to accommodate him.

Essentially, you are not a priority for him.

4) You don’t have proper dates

I’m a big fan of a casual date. Cozying up on the sofa together and watching a movie can be great. But if that’s all you do then it shows a total lack of effort.

If it’s all about Netflix and chill and nothing else, then warning bells should sound that you could be the side chick.

If he really likes you, at some point, he’d want to go out for a drink, grab dinner, or something that resembles a real date.

If he doesn’t, then you have to ask yourself, why?

Is he avoiding being seen with you so that he doesn’t get himself into a sticky situation with the other women he’s dating or with his girlfriend?

5) You’ve never met his friends

You’ve never met any of his friends, or anyone from his life come to think of it. Ok, so you’re not expecting to meet his folks already, but meeting a few of his pals is surely less of a big deal.

When we are interested in having a relationship, we start to think about integrating the person we are dating into our lives. That means, meeting friends.

If it’s been a while and he seems to be keeping his life and friends totally separate, it suggests he doesn’t want to include you in his everyday life.

If you are his side chick then keeping his personal life separate helps to keep gossip to a minimum.

6) He booty calls you

It used to be obvious when you were being booty-called. But the ever-increasing ways to communicate these days have blurred the lines.

For starters, it could be a booty call, a booty text, or a booty DM to your social media.

He may lay the groundwork a little earlier in the day too, rather than spring a message on you in the middle of the night.

A little “hey, what’s up” sent around 6 pm, followed by some small talk that leads to a “what are you up to?” around 10 pm.

But regardless the hallmarks are the same — the main aim is to get you into bed. Booty calls are short notice contact that is driving towards meeting up for solely for sex.

7) Plans are last minute

There are two types of guys in the world that you’ll date: those who plan ahead and those who wing it. Which guy you get depends on how invested they are in you.

The former will make plans well before they need to. They will also know how to follow through on them.

The latter will make plans as needed, and will usually end up doing things differently than planned.

All of your plans with this guy are total wing-it plans.

When a man is invested in dating you, he respects your time and shows enough effort to make plans in advance. He wants to see you, so he’s happy to commit to doing that ahead of time.

Sadly when you’re a side chick, you’re not his priority and it shows.

He wants to keep his calendar flexible to see what else comes up. And if he gets a better offer or can no longer be bothered to see you, he’ll cancel on you at short notice.

8) He breadcrumbs you

You’ve probably heard of breadcrumbing by now. Much like gaslighting and ghosting, it’s become a staple of online dating terminology.

Breadcrumbing is a pretty cruel psychological manipulation that romantically strings you along.

It can involve hot and cold behavior, where he gives and withdraws attention. But the main characteristic is that he leaves you with just enough hope to keep things going, without putting himself out.

These flirtatious but totally non-committal signals will keep you sweet but require minimum effort from him.

We’re talking about things like:

  • Liking all your social media posts
  • Responding to your social media stories
  • Casually texting
  • Giving flirty compliments

It’s not that any of these things are bad. We want them from someone we are dating. It’s just that they’re not then backed up with any real substance.

He’s not making firm plans to see you, nor is he trying to get to know you on a deeper level.

9) It’s common to not hear from him for a while

Sometimes he’ll message you straight back, other times he’s takes his time getting back to you.

You’re left wondering why he hasn’t called. If you haven’t heard from him for a week or more, you start to wonder if he’s interested in you anymore.

Maybe he has met someone new? Maybe there was someone else on the scene all along? Or maybe he’s just busy with work and life?

Deep down we know that nobody is THAT busy, so something must give. And that something could be that you are just a side chick.

10) He never stays over

True story. I was once dating a guy, but actually, I wasn’t even really sure if we were dating.

He ticked a lot of the boxes on the side chick checklist. So I turned to my friend’s boyfriend to get a male perspective.

The first thing he said to me was ‘does he stay over?’

The answer was no.

I’d convinced myself that it was just for practical reasons because he always had to be up early. But really, a guy who wants things to progress wants to stay the night at some point.

If he doesn’t stay the night it’s because he is trying to keep the emotional intimacy to a minimum. Or he may even have someone else to go home to.

It’s fairly safe to assume that a guy who leaves straight after sex only wants you for your body.

11) You aren’t on his socials

Maybe you don’t follow each other on social media. He says he doesn’t really use it. Is that true or does he just not want you to find out things about his life?

If you are connected on socials then he will never want to be photographed with you, tagged with you, or have you appear on each other’s feeds.

If you know that he genuinely isn’t very active on social media, then you probably won’t be suspicious.

But if he is, and he seems to go out of his way to avoid making your connection public, is is another way of keeping you at arm’s length.

12) There is zero PDA

When you are out he’ll never show any displays of affection. Kisses, hugs, holding hands, etc. It’s as though he’s afraid of giving anything away.

That way, if anyone saw you together you could easily be just a friend rather than be mistaken for his girlfriend.

This is a classic sign of being a side chick.

A guy who likes you should be showing some signs of affection in places other than just the privacy of the bedroom.

13) He’s guarded with his phone

Seen as most affairs are discovered because of technology, then a guy with other women on the go is likely to be shifty about his phone.

He’s not going to leave it around unattended in case some messages come through that he wouldn’t want you to see.

He’ll always make sure it’s faced down on the table.

Perhaps his phone is constantly going off,  but he never takes other calls when you’re around.

If it seems like he hides his phone from you and is extra guarded about it, it could be because he has things to hide.

14) He’s secretive

There’s rarely smoke without fire. Guys are secretive when they have something to hide.

You don’t really know that much about him. He hasn’t said where he lives. He always comes to your place. He’s vague about work. You don’t really know how he spends his free time (or with who).

He clams up when you ask any “prying” questions. He never talks freely about himself, his family, his interests, etc.

For all you know he could be a secret agent he’s that closed off.

If you are the side chick then he’ll want to keep things fairly shallow. So you find that he doesn’t open up. He’s happy to have fun, but things stay shallow.

He doesn’t share himself with you which reflects a lack of deeper emotional connection.

15) He acts weird if you bump into him

If you unexpectedly bump into him somewhere he might seem distant or cold. It may seem obvious that he’s avoiding you.

Maybe he avoids looking at you and seems embarrassed. He might look uncomfortable when you talk to him. He might even act annoyed if you try to get too close. Perhaps he even pretends not to have seen you and tries to walk straight past.

Regardless, he wants to distance himself from you out in public.

16) Things don’t progress

Everyone goes at their own pace when dating. But if you are heading towards being in a relationship then things should feel like they are progressing.

You should be learning more about him, your bond should be getting stronger, you should be increasingly seeing more of each other.

If it feels like you are stuck and can’t get past “casual”, then he is putting up a barrier that keeps you in limbo.

The reason for that is because he doesn’t want to commit to you and you become his girlfriend.

Maybe because he isn’t prepared to stop playing the field. Maybe because the position has already been filled.

17) You don’t know where you stand

If there is one hard truth I’ve learned over the years from dating it’s this…

Whenever you feel like you don’t know where you stand, the reality is that you’re standing on very shaky ground.

Anyone who leaves us doubting their feelings, or questioning how invested they really are is not putting in enough effort.

If you have strong suspicions that he’s a total player and you’re just a side chick, then chances are you’re not “crazy”. Your gut is trying to tell you something.

Trust yourself enough to believe that if you feel like it isn’t right, and you’re not sure where you stand, he is giving you reasons to feel this way.

What do you do if you’re the side chick? How to go from side chick to main

Be honest with yourself and him about what you want

Are you content with being the side chick or do you want more?

Even if you think you’re fine with something casual, you need to understand what a side chick should expect.

You’re not his priority, and chances are whilst you continue being just the side chick you never will be.

Can a man fall in love with his side chick? Technically anything is possible. But largely in love and romance, things continue as they start out.

So don’t expect him to one day become attached and “upgrade you” in his life. You are kidding yourself.

You have to be really honest with yourself about what you want. Because what you want is what you deserve.

Then you need to be honest with him. If you suspect you’re just a side chick, confront him. That doesn’t mean starting an argument. But it does mean having an open chat about your suspicions and why you’re feeling this way.

Don’t be a doormat

Here’s the number one mistake that women who are just the side chick make: They think that being agreeable will turn them into his main chick.

They think that if they continue to be fun, sexy, and undemanding that they will seem a better prospect than the other woman (or women) in his life.

After all, if he were really happy with what he already had, he wouldn’t need a side chick in the first place, right?

But this is misguided.

You could be Princess Awesome from Planet Fantastic and it still wouldn’t make any difference.

If you simply go along with how he treats you, if you accept being second best, then you are subconsciously telling him that’s ok.

Sadly, if you don’t create clear boundaries then some guys will try to walk all over you. Show him that you are not his doormat, and everything cannot be on his terms.

You stand a far better chance of becoming more significant in his life if he respects you. So stop worrying about rocking the boat and demand the respect you deserve.

Bolster your self-esteem

Time for some tough love.

If you’ve found yourself questioning ‘why am I the side chick?’ is it because you are letting yourself be?

Ok, if you aren’t sure if he has a girlfriend, wife, or some other woman on the scene, it could just be bad luck. It happens.

But if you already know that you’re the side chick you need to ask yourself why you are putting up with the scraps.

It might be time to show yourself some love and work on your self-esteem.

That way you will never be anyone’s side chick because you will deeply know in your core that you deserve so much more.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.

Written by Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey.

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