Dear V: Does my boyfriend have a ‘side chick?’

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Dear V,

Lately, my boyfriend has been making a lot of jokes about cheating.

He acts like it’s no big deal when I get angry with him, but I don’t understand why he’d continue joking about it if he knows it bothers me.

The other day, I was texting a classmate asking what we had for homework, and my boyfriend saw the guy’s contact name and asked if he was my “side dude.” A few days later, he stepped out of the room to call his mom, but joked that it was his “side chick” instead.

He goes on and on about these side dudes and side chicks, and it drives me crazy. To me, if you’re with anyone besides your partner, you’re cheating.

He invites me to tease him back when he teases me, though, and he insinuates that if he did have a side chick, she’d be way more chill about the jokes than me.

I’m starting to think my boyfriend is actually cheating and these little jokes aren’t jokes after all.

Should I confront him and make myself look more “crazy,” or feed into the jokes and dish it back?

Sincerely,

Suspicious Samantha

Dear Samantha,

This whole concept is stupid.

If you’re in a relationship, what’s the point of having a “side dude” or “side chick” in the first place? If you’re not ready to be with one person, then don’t. No one is forcing you, and you’ll only hurt your “main” in the process.

Just stay what you really want to be: single. It’s 2016, no one cares if you want to raise your body count before settling down.

That said, there’s no reason to be suspicious of your boyfriend yet. Sure, if he is cheating on you, this may be a sign. But if he’s not, he’s probably just got an odd sense of humor, and you’re likely to hurt him if you accuse him of cheating off the bat.

Instead, pay attention to other cues that will either alleviate or heighten your doubts.

Is his phone relatively dry when he’s with you, or does he hide his phone and get texts at odd hours of the night? Do his friends know you as his girlfriend, or “just a friend?” Is he unafraid to be seen out with you, or does he only ever want to hang out at home?

Ask yourself these questions before jumping to conclusions.

If it seems that he’s not cheating, just ask him to lay off the jokes. But if it seems that something fishy is going on, you might want to investigate and eventually ask what’s up.

Good luck. And remember, you’re the main course – there’s no side dishes in a real relationship.

– V

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