Oh my god, I’m side salad!

For relationship-oriented women, there’s nothing worse than realizing that you’re side salad.  By side salad I mean just that – 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 long-term potential.

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 sheets.   

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:

  • The “g” word (girlfriend) is never used.
  • He only wants to hang out late at night.
  • You’ve been “dating” for more than six months and he hasn’t introduced you to his parents, family or close friends.
  • He doesn’t talk about a future together.
  • Actually, there’s not much talking at all. 
  • He only calls at the last minute to see you.
  • Minimal snuggling, if any.
  • There’s no sense of caring or intimacy.
  • He says, “You cool, ah?” as he gets dressed.
  • If 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. 

Malisa Uchida is a graduate of Boston University. She now reports news & traffic on the “Lanai & Augie Morning Show” (Island 98.5 FM), as well as producing “The Mike Buck Show” (KHVH 830am). She can be reached at malisa@oahuislandnews.com