Mind of the side chick - preferring not to be number one
If Cupid did not visit your house this year and you were left thinking, 'what about me?', then maybe, yesterday, February 15, was your day - 'International Side Chick Day'.
Note, some women also 'celebrate' Side Chick Day on the 13th, but whenever it is, there is a growing number of women who are opting for the side role.
Trying to understand why some choose this, transitional life coach Karen Allen said there are possible two extremes to this mindset - low self-esteem and control.
"Low self-esteem because many women may feel 'this is all they deserve' or think it's 'the best they could get'," she said. "(It could also be) Control on the other hand, because there are many women who are happy being the side chick as it gives them the opportunity to have what they want, when they want."
David* said, "Side chicks are awesome. They relieve stress, they only want to have fun, and the sex is always amazing."
Peter* said: "Having a side chick is like being able to rent a Formula One race car, you get to drive it like you stole it. A girlfriend is like the old used car you drive to work every day that just costs you money and it sucks that you have to keep taking care of it."
But side chicks say there are advantages for them.
"Some guys give great benefits packages to their mistresses, lavish gifts, rent paid, not forgetting bills," said Meg*, a proud side chick.
Her friend, Deb*, said for many women, this arrangement works well.
"The benefits women receive including having more flexibility when she does and does not want to deal with him, but we are not always into the man anyway, so it's less hassle and more fun," she laughed.
Worth and value
Allen thinks it's important to understand that not all side chicks want to change.
"But for those who do, there is a need to help them re-evaluate their worth and value - help them to see that who they are is so much more than what they have accepted," she said.
Allen said women should aspire to be respected as the term 'chick', in her opinion, is very disrespectful.
"However, girls should aspire to be the most important person in a man's life because they are worth it. Self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect are very important, and women in general need to have an understanding of just how important this is," she said.
*Names changed upon request