The side chick/side dude culture has become commonplace in today's society. Twenty-somethings everywhere are tweeting and blogging about the relationships they have on the side, and it's so normal now that no one bats an eye. Articles with hundreds of thousands of views casually inform readers how to be a proper "side chick," featuring advice like "Don't ask questions," and, "Don't get attached." Popular shows like "Scandal" feature mistresses and side relationships as an everyday occurrence.
If you're not familiar with the term "side chick" or "side dude," it means a secondary relationship partner that one goes to when they are not with their "main" boyfriend or girlfriend. In most cases, the main partner is unaware of the side partner's existence.
I was always raised to be a completely non-judge-y person. If a couple mutually wants an open relationship, go for it. If you want to take up polygamy and have a hundred other spouses, do your thing. If you want to stay single forever and only have hookups, do what makes you happy.
But the problem with side chick/side dude culture is that we're not calling it what it actually is—cheating. If you're seeing someone behind your partner's back, and they wouldn't be okay with it, you're cheating. If you're seeing someone that you know has a boyfriend or girlfriend, you're helping your hookup to cheat. Calling it by another name doesn't somehow make it okay.
The way I see it, if you can't handle being committed to someone, then just don't be. If you feel the need to go to other people behind your significant other's back, you should probably re-evaluate your relationship and whether or not it's right for you. It's fine if you want to "sew your oats" and see all of your options, but don't do it if someone out there believes that you're fully committed to them.
I once overheard a conversation between two male friends where one friend said to the other "Man, you've got a side chick? That's brave." But I disagree. It isn't brave. Committing yourself to someone is brave. Putting it all on the line for one person is terrifying. Having a "backup" just in case things don't work out? That's taking the easy way out.
And for the people who are the side pieces, you deserve better. You deserve someone who can give you everything, who can give you 100 percent. Don't give your whole self to someone who is only giving you stolen moments and secret 2 a.m. flings. You deserve someone who is proud to have you, who wants to show you off to the world the way Will Smith shows off Jada on the red carpet.
Basically, commit or don't commit, it's all up to you. If you don't want a dedicated monogamous relationship, you are free to do whatever makes you happy. But if you're in, be all in. Let's put an end to this new trend of side piece culture.
As far as I'm concerned, this is the only acceptable kind of "side chick."