Discovering you are the “other woman,” can be a hard pill to swallow. It’s a painful experience that will likely leave you reeling as you realize the person you thought you were in a relationship with is not fully committed to you. It’s important to take action and make decisions that will allow you to move forward. The goal is to find happiness and, most importantly, peace of mind. Although the outlook may seem bleak after finding out you are a side chick, things can get better. Here is what to do.

Cut Off Contact Immediately

If you truly loved the person you were in a relationship with, it can be tempting to rationalize their betrayal. The reality is that continuing to co-exist with a person who has been dishonest with you over a prolonged period of time is draining. The side chick situation has caused you pain and negatively impacted your life. It may be time to cut off all contact.

It’s important to put yourself first and prioritize your own well-being. Remember, you deserve to be with someone who respects and values you enough to be honest with you. Continuing to give them one chance after another only makes the situation messier.

Photo by: Photo by cottonbro studio

Acknowledge your feelings

When dealing with such a huge betrayal you must acknowledge your feelings. Feeling hurt, angry, betrayed and confused is normal, but how you move past it will set you up for healing in the future.

Allow yourself to feel these emotions and take time to process them. As you attempt to work through it, you may also want to vent to someone you trust about your feelings. Consider speaking with a close friend, family member or therapist about the side chick experience.

Reflect on the side chick situation

This may take some time, but eventually, you will have to sit with yourself and evaluate what happened and what led you to becoming the side chick. Taking time to evaluate the situation that transpired will help you vet future partners.

Once you have acknowledged your feelings, it’s important to re-evaluate the situation and check for blind spots. Are there red flags you ignored? Are you being honest with yourself about not knowing? Consider the nature of what your relationship was and reflect on how the situation has affected your self-esteem, mental health and overall well-being.

Set Boundaries

If you are a monogamous person, then your unintentional side chick status may be especially upsetting. If you decide to end the relationship with the person, it’s important to set clear expectations and guard rails for future partners. Be clear about what you expect from your future relationship and what you won’t tolerate. Let your future person know you will not accept being treated as a secondary option or a secret.

Learn From Experience

If you have fully committed to moving on from this experience, it is important to strategize your next steps. As you heal, carve out time to reflect on what you have learned from the ordeal and how you can grow from it.

Finding out that you are the side chick can be hard, but it’s important to take action and make decisions that will allow you to move forward and find happiness. You deserve to be with someone who respects and values you without the heartbreak of discovering you are not the only one.