Side Man: Second of the Dirty Seven

As Badass Chicks, we are like catnip to a large number of male cats. We are particularly attractive to SideMan, the second on the list of the seven types of men to avoid if you are looking for a love relationship. Now, if you are just looking for a little bit of action on the side, know what you are doing, and are willing to accept that SideMan is already spoken-for, then be my guest and have a fling with SideMan. But understand that he is only giving you a piece of his heart and he is not going to be around on weekends and holidays for you.

Something on the Side

Who is this Guy?
SideMan is the guy who puts himself out on the dating scene but he is already married, living with someone, or otherwise attached. He is looking for some sexual excitement and romance on the side, with no intention of creating a real relationship. SideMen fall into two categories:
waiting around indefinitely … is a life-wasting drain.

  1. They tell you they are attached but:
    1. Their mates don’t “understand” them, or
    2. They are together but live separate lives;
  2. They don’t tell you they are taken already because,
    1. “I was afraid I would lose you if you knew.”

Category 1:They Tell You They’re Attached

The Waiting Game
The SideMan who tells you he is already attached is a less clear-cut case than the one who neglects to mention this important fact. He may be in a genuinely bad marriage. So it is possible to give him the benefit of the doubt, if he proves to you that he is in the process of leaving his mate. However, waiting around indefinitely for this to happen is a life-wasting drain. If you are interested in a relationship you can call your own, leave him on the sidelines.

A) “She Doesn’t Understand Me”
The old excuse, “My wife/girlfriend doesn’t understand me,” has largely been replaced by “We live separate lives.” But it does come up every now and then. It is spoken by the clueless SideMan, who doesn’t realize how lame it sounds. It is his business to get his wife to understand him or to get out! Instead, he runs to escape into someone else’s arms, rather than work it out. Don’t flatter yourself into thinking you are the angel and she is the devil. If she is that bad, why is he still with her? All right, they have kids. All that means is that every weekend and holiday is devoted to his family and you are left alone waiting for him to be available, on his schedule, never yours.

B) “We Live Separate Lives”
“I’m married, but we live separate lives,” is a popular line SideMen use to justify stepping out on their mates. It is also a lame excuse for using you as something extra on the side. If they really live separate lives, then let him really separate from her before he dates you. If he tells you he is there for the sake of the kids, remember that the best example a father can give to his children is to love their mother, not sneak off to be with his bootie call. Putting your life on hold while you are waiting for him to get free one day is not a common-sense thing to do, if you want a real relationship, where your needs count equally with his.

Category 2: They Don’t Tell You They’re Attached

“I Didn’t Want to Lose You”
The Category 2 SideMan is a much lower life form than the Category 1. He lies to you and doesn’t mention a minor detail: He is already married or living with someone. He doesn’t tell you, he says, “Because I knew you wouldn’t go out with me and I didn’t want to lose you.” He was right: He would lose you, if you have any smarts. So he strings you along and attentively courts you. You fall in love with him. Then he tells you! He is hoping that you will stay with him anyway. You have been intimate with him, shared tender moments. You have invested time in him.

You begin to wonder, “How many other women is he lying to?” Don’t be surprised if you are not the only one. SideMen like to keep women in reserve in case one of his flings doesn’t work out. Heaven forbid that he should just be stuck with his wife!

What Can You Do?

Wait Not, Want Not
Don’t even think about waiting around for a Category 2 SideMan if you want to be in a relationship with someone who loves you. He showed you how highly he thought of you when he SideMen like to keep women in reserve in case one of his flings doesn’t work out lied to your face and let you believe he was free to be with you. He cancelled his vote with you when he fabricated his stories and promises. Walk away and don’t look back. He has an underlying character flaw that lets him use people for his ends. If it takes a lie, he will lie to get what he wants, without a thought for the pain he causes you.

Don’t Be the Angel
Don’t look for ego strokes when he tells you how great you are and how horrible his mate is. If she is so horrible, why is he still with her? Oh, that’s right, because of the kids! Face it: You are his bootie on the side and will remain so, as long as you remain the understanding one. If you make demands to be a higher priority item on his list, you will become the nagging mate and he will seek escape from you into the arms of someone more “understanding.”

Run, Don’t Walk
I recommend walking away from Category 2 SideMen, but I should have said, “Run from all of them.” Their entanglements are too complicated to deal with and your life becomes one of disappointments and broken promises. Jettison them back! They will find someone else to use. It was never about you anyway, it was about them; their agendas, their wants and needs. They will find someone else to be their second-string mate, a lady who may not have the insight into this Dirty Seven scoundrel that you have.

Don’t be like my friend Beth, who caught a glimpse of her SideMan interacting merrily with his family on Christmas morning. She walked by his house alone, on this day when others are with their loved ones. He was hugging his wife as he kids were opening the presents. The glow on his wife’s face was the exact opposite of the black ice Beth felt in her own bruised heart. She was left out in the cold, excluded from the happy picture that SideMan had so carefully created.

June Marshall See all posts by this author
is a BADASSCHICK Magazine™ contributor and author of The Dirty Seven: Ladies Beware.
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