I'm the side dish. Not the main course;
not the New York strip and lobster, or honey-glazed Alaskan
king salmon, or even the pasta primavera.
Nope, side salad is what you pay an additional $1.99 for, with
purchase of main entrée. Side
salad is filler, to put a little something in your stomach and
distract you while you wait for the main course to arrive.
In the dating world, “side salad” has the same meaning –
filler. She’s the
girl men don’t necessarily call a “girlfriend.” She’s cool
to hang out with, and may even be smart and pretty, but she lacks
My girlfriend “Sue” called me up the other
day, upset that her “boyfriend” didn’t take her anywhere.
Whenever they hung out together, it was at her place or his
place. They never went out on a date. In fact, none of her closest
friends had even met him. It
had been like this for months and she was upset about the casualness
of their relationship. I didn’t want to deliver the hard truth,
but Sue is side salad.
I’m no relationship expert, but I do know
when a guy is really interested in a girl and when he is not.
Sometimes, guys like to keep it slow, not jumping too quickly into
something, and sometimes they just want what lies between the
But in today’s complicated world of dating
etiquette, how do you know whether you are side salad or a
legitimate girlfriend with long-term potential? I did a little
research and here’s what fellas say indicates a side dish:
“g” word (girlfriend) is never used.
only wants to hang out late at night.
been “dating” for more than six months and he hasn’t
introduced you to his parents, family or close friends.
doesn’t talk about a future together.
there’s not much talking at all.
only calls at the last minute to see you.
snuggling, if any.
no sense of caring or intimacy.
says, “You cool, ah?” as he gets dressed.
you don’t feel worthy, special and valued in the relationship.
Basically, if someone suspects they are being
dragged along for a ride, they probably are. I’m a firm believer
in intuition. If you’ve got a hunch, listen to it.
For women out there who want the real deal, the only way I
know of to avoid accidentally becoming side salad is to hold out.
That’s right, let him know you’re worth the full price
entrée – never let him mistake you for a $1.99 girl.
KHNL News 8’s
Melisa Uchida is a Boston University graduate. Catch her Monday
through Friday on the evening newscasts.