It may be a touchy subject but it happens all too often that beautiful, otherwise morally sound and intelligent women find themselves in the position of being the "side piece", or the umm… supplement to his main romantic diet. Regardless of whether it was intentional or accidental, once you're in it, it can be easy to rationalize the relationship and talk yourself into staying. Here are 10 “straight talk” reasons why it's never a good idea to be the sexual or emotional appetizer to a man’s main course.

1. His time, his terms - Broken dates at the last minute & knowing that he lies to his significant other to be with you doesn’t feel good. Not to mention holidays, his birthday, and the celebration of major life events are typically reserved for the wife or main girlfriend while the side chick gets the left overs. In my early 20’s I was in a relationship with a man who had a long-term girlfriend. The whole time we were together, we celebrated his birthday on July 26th but I eventually learned that his birthday was actually July 25th! He spent his real birthday with his girlfriend and family while I got – you guessed it – the day after. This is just one example of the many ways you can find yourself on his time, his terms and not quite part of his “real” life.

2. No chance of a family together - at least not while he's with another woman. If he's married it's possible that he already has the house with the white picket fence and all the joys that come along with family life. If you have a child with him, you run the risk of both you and your child being a secret now. You could find yourself envying the public life he has with his family and end up feeling like a single mother even though you sort of have a partner. If you have dreams of starting a family with him, you can pretty much toss those out the window.

3. Your make-believe relationship keeps you from having the real thing. Not to mention the double standard. As women, we don’t usually date multiple men when we’re only in love with one. If you’re with someone who’s already in a relationship, you can end up locking yourself into an exclusive commitment while he's free to see both you and her.

4. He (probably) won't leave her for you. If he really wants you, he'll only be with you. Referring back to Mr. July 26th, eventually I got tired of sharing and I gave him an ultimatum – it was either her or me. Initially I was hurt by his decision to stay with her, but I promptly called it quits when he announced his decision. In hindsight I was glad that he chose to stay with girlfriend #1 because that brings me to my next point…

5. If he does it with you, he'll do it to you. Let's assume that #4 became untrue and he did leave his wife for you. It still wouldn't be as great as you might think. Call it karma or the principle of sowing and reaping, but what goes around comes around.

6. It ruins self-esteem. Even though you may do a great job of pushing it to the back of your mind, being second in line weighs on your spirit, heart and mind. You may find yourself constantly comparing yourself to his wife or girlfriend and if so, you will subconsciously compete with her. Who’s prettier, cooks better, is more talented, a better lover and so on. This type of stress diminishes self-esteem and makes it hard to get back to a healthy place for someone who IS worthy of your love.

7. You're an enabler. Behind every cheating man is a woman who lets him. Don’t help him be unfaithful to someone else.

8. Trust issues. If he actually did agree to be with you and only you, you would undoubtedly have a hard time trusting him.

9. If he dies, you won't be mentioned at the funeral - If you're allowed to attend. It’s a little morbid, but true. In the event of the untimely passing of your love, you'll have to explain to his family & close friends who you are or…were. You won't be able to grieve publicly, the people who loved him most will be of no comfort to you and vice versa. It will suddenly hit you how much of a part of his life you were not, and from someone who's been there - you don't want that.

10. You are worth the real thing. Healthy love is exclusively available to you, honors you and respects you. It’s the kind that makes you a priority and comes from someone who will shout it from the roof top that he's with you. If you’re currently in a “side chick” situation or have a history of dating attached men, make a new decision today. Saying an affirmation or making a positive confession such as the one below can be a great place to begin:

“Starting today, I will never again give my heart, mind or body to a man who is in another relationship and hasn’t fully committed to me. I deserve fulfilling, long-lasting love that makes me feel cherished, appreciated, respected, desired, radiant and beautiful. From this day forward I replace lies with truth and disappointment with satisfaction. I will no longer accept less than being treated in the best possible way by the man I choose to have in my life. I am open to and expect healthy love!”

If you’ve said this affirmation believe in the power of your words. They have the ability to change our thoughts and when our thoughts change, our actions change. When our actions change, our reality changes. Don’t let low self-esteem, bitterness or thinking that you’ll never find the right man keep you settling for less. You may have to repeat this affirmation or something similar many times, but you will begin to see change. The right man is out there. YOUR man is out there. Get ready, he’s coming!

Author's Bio: 

Christina Michelle is a Certified Life Coach and Public Speaker. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California coaching women and hosting workshops in the areas of confidence, organization and relationships. Christina takes a direct, warm and caring approach to life and her career. She has a passion for writing and is currently authoring her first book entitled Just Get off the Plane, a self-empowerment book that teaches women how to break free from unhealthy patterns, equipping them to live the life they want and deserve.