Can a Man Really Fall in Love with His Side Chick? [Life Coach Opinion]

You know that feeling when you start catching feelings for someone you probably shouldn’t? Maybe it started as a casual fling, a “no strings attached” kind of thing. But then…something shifted. Those hungry glances started lasting a little longer. That giddy excitement to see them intensified. And now you can’t shake this gnawing sense that you might be falling for your side chick.

It happens. I’ve seen it countless times in my work as a relationship coach. What was meant to be a casual sexual arrangement morphs into a tangled web of deeper emotions. The question is – can a man truly fall in love with his side chick? Let’s explore.

A man’s sexual chemistry and emotional intimacy don’t always align. Just because the physical passion is there doesn’t mean the love will follow.

The Harsh Reality of Side Situationships

Let’s be real – side relationships are usually doomed from the start. They emerge from secrecy, betrayal, and a whole lot of messiness. Sure, the thrill and passion can be intoxicating at first. But how long can that pink cloud high really last?

I’ve had so many clients come to me utterly devastated because their “bit on the side” didn’t evolve into the fairy tale romance they’d hoped for. At the end of the day, these situations are built on shaky foundations. There’s often a lack of:

  • Trust
  • Commitment
  • Future potential
  • Emotional vulnerability

All of which are kind of crucial for a healthy, sustainable love to blossom, you know? When you’re the side chick, you’ll always feel like the third wheel, the secret to be hidden. Not exactly a recipe for feeling truly cherished.

The Lust vs. Love Conundrum

Here’s the harsh truth – passionate lust and deep spiritual love are two very different things. I’m not saying they can’t coexist. But more often than not, intense physical chemistry serves as a tantalizing smokescreen that clouds your ability to see the reality of the situation.

Dr. Helen E. Fisher, a biological anthropologist, states that “romantic love is a basic mating drive, a survival reproductive strategy.” Those dizzy feelings of infatuation and obsession are really just our body’s way of craving sex and pushing us to reproduce. So just because a man is entranced by your irresistible sex appeal, it doesn’t guarantee his heart is invested.

According to research by, only 28% of men say they’ve experienced love at first sight, compared to 48% of women. Could this tendency to easily separate sex from love explain why some men get blindsided by unexpected emotions in their casual flings?

An undeniable sexual charge can absolutely be mistaken for deeper romantic love, especially early on.

The Truth About Leaving The “Main” For a Side Chick

Despite the intensity of their feelings, most men are highly unlikely to actually leave their main partner for a side chick. Sure, there may be impassioned promises made in the heat of the moment. But when push comes to shove, the transition is far more complex than guys realize.

Reality CheckExplanation
Guilt & ShameDismantling a whole relationship and family dynamic (if applicable) brings up overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame and self-loathing for many men.
Logistical NightmarePicking up and leaving requires a total logistical overhaul – new living situation, co-parenting schedules, financials, and much more.
Facing JudgementLeaving for a side chick often means facing harsh judgement from family, friends, and society. The embarrassment is hard to stomach.
Known vs UnknownAs crappy as their current situation is, the devil you know is often easier to tolerate than the uncertainty of a new relationship wrought with drama.

While every situation is unique, studies show only around 5-7% of affairs actually lead to long-term relationships or marriage. The emotional turmoil, tangled webs, and life scrambling required makes it easier for most to stick with their status quo.

Harsh, but true – biology wires many men to seek out multiple partners, but also pushes them to “mate guard” their primary mate. So even if feelings develop, the struggle of leaving the main chick often overpowers the desire.

A Man’s Paradoxical Approach to Love & Sex

Here’s the mind-bending part – for many men, being able to pursue multiple partners and divide their sexual/romantic interests is the ultimate fantasy. Yet, most still crave feeling chosen, valued, and madly loved by one sole romantic partner. Talk about a head-scratching paradox!

  • On one hand, seeking sexual variety and newness is an innate part of a man’s biological drive. Side chicks feed that thrill of the chase, lust, and novelty.
  • On the other hand, men profoundly need to feel emotionally secure, wanted, and irreplaceable in the eyes of that one special someone.

So while a side chick may intoxicate a man sexually, she may struggle to fulfill those deeper needs of irreplaceability, security, and being “The One.” The side chick by definition is not “The One” – she’s the other one.

Overcoming Your Side Chick Feelings

I get it – realizing you have blossoming feelings for your side fling is insanely painful. Suddenly, that hot bed of passion you were reveling in becomes a scorching bed of chaos and confusion. If you find yourself deep in the throes of unreciprocated side chick love:

  1. Allow Yourself to Feel: Don’t bury the tornado of emotions – grief, shame, longing, rejection. Let those intense feelings rise and crest like ocean waves before they can settle.
  2. Reframe “Unrequited” Love: This isn’t some personal failure or indictment of your self-worth. Loving someone unable to fully love you back is one of life’s most heart-shredding rites of passage.
  3. Set Boundaries: As brutal as it is, you must establish firm boundaries in the dynamic – less communication, space apart, redefined terms. Fight for your self-respect and healing.
  4. Seek Understanding, Not Blame: Try to have compassion for the man’s impossible position. He didn’t pursue this expecting feelings either, yet found himself in an emotional quagmire.
  5. Envision Your Ideal: Get clear about the authentic, harmonious love you truly want. A person who can meet you with their full heart and commitment – not buried in layers of deception.

Essentially, you need to go through all the anguish of a breakup and loss. Because your perception of the relationship has dramatically shifted, even if his hasn’t. Uncoupling from a side chick you’ve loved can shatter your heart and soul just the same.

Your feelings of deep love may have blossomed out of that situation, but they don’t make it any less valid or true. Honor that while simultaneously grieving the reality that it cannot be fully realized.

The Complex Truth About Men, Love & Infidelity

The truth about a man falling for his side chick is layered and complex. On one hand, the intense passion, desire, and emotional closeness can absolutely feel like profound love is taking root. On a biological level, that craving for sexual variety meshes with the heady feelings of romantic love neurochemically.

But, human romantic relationships are so much more than just biology and chemistry. Love is fortified by vulnerability, commitment, security, and the ability to merge two lives in a harmonious union. For many men, as alluring as a side chick may be, the disruption of overturning everything to be with her is not an upheaval they’re willing to make.

So while feelings between the two may deepen, the situation itself is incredibly hard to progress beyond a certain point. The initial attraction may be sparked by lust, but real romantic love requires work, openness, and the merging of two beings on a fundamentally honest plane.

As for whether a guy develops true romantic love for their side chick? It’s possible, but highly improbable. The situations that breed infidelity are often the very things that prevent the love from reaching its full potential beyond the carnal confines of the side situation.

At the end of the day, expecting or wishing for side chick love often leaves hearts shattered and souls adrift. But know this – the love YOU feel is valid. Even if the canvas it was painted on was wrought with complications. Let the experience remind you how open and capable you are to giving and receiving love. Then shift your focus to only participating in dynamics worthy of cherishing all of you – heart, mind, body and soul.

I'm Sarah Koch, a Relationship Coach based in Austin, Texas. With over 9 years of professional experience and degrees in Sociology and Counseling Psychology from UT Austin, I specialize in helping people build healthy, fulfilling relationships. On this blog, you'll find practical tips and insightful guidance for improving communication, resolving conflicts, increasing intimacy, and fostering deeper connections in your romantic relationships, family dynamics, friendships and more.

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Mrs & The Misc is a passion project from life coach and mom Sarah Koch. With a background in psychology and years of empowering personal growth, Sarah shares bite-sized wisdom and practical tools for fostering healthy relationships, achieving goals, elevating well-being, and living with intention.


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