Ask A Guy: How To Tell If You’re The Side Chick

Hey Joel,

So there’s this guy (we’re both seniors) and he’s had a on and off relationship with this girl for a long time. We’ve been friends for like three years now but recently we’ve gotten really close and I feel like we know everything about each other now. We’ve even joked about the future like our kids and silly stuff too which all just gets really confusing. One of his closest friends goes out of his way to call us a couple. And plus when we’re alone, there’s so much tension in the air too. 

To make things more confusing, he told me that he and his “girl” just “broke up.” The thing is that it’s so hard to tell with these two–they’ll be broken up one day, then back together like nothing was the matter the next. I don’t want to make myself the “other woman” in this situation and I DEFINITELY don’t want to look stupid for going for him if he isn’t really committed to breaking up with this girl. How can I tell that they’re definitely broken up?


I totally understand why you’re being hesitant to jump into things with this guy, and to be honest, from any angle you look at the situation, keeping things as “just friends” seems like the smartest move.

First and foremost, from how you’ve presented things, it seems almost impossible for you to be anything other than this guy’s rebound. If he’s saying that they have broken up “for good” this time, you need to be more vigilant than ever in terms of keeping things in the friend-zone. Recently single people are always looking for a new connection, but that rebound relationship rarely lasts very long.

Along with that, the fact that he and this girl are constantly on again-off again says that either A) he has issues with commitment, or B) he doesn’t know what he wants in a relationship. I’ve said it many times before, but I really don’t think it does much good to get back together with someone after there’s been more than two breakups. One is fine, but beyond that, there are obviously some serious compatibility issues.

Think about it–if you were introduced to a guy who was constantly getting together and breaking up with the same girl, would you want to date him?For the short term, I would just keep things as they are. Let him have some time to be single, and really decide for yourself if you want to take things to the next level. Remember, once you cross the line into more-than-friends, there’s no getting back to the way things are now.

If you do decide to pursue a relationship with him, I would wait for him to come to you. While I usually say there’s nothing wrong with going after what you want, this guy seems full of mixed signals and uncertainty about himself.

Truthfully, I’d just move on and find another guy, and enjoy this one as just a friend.

Best wishes,


Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.

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