Sidecar Love

Admit it. You’ve got something going on the side.

Don’t feel bad — we all do. From our mothers to our sisters to our friends and ourselves, it’s a rare woman who doesn’t have someone she thinks about when her primary relationship is giving her grief.

You could call this “The one that got away,” but we think it’s more than that. In many cases, it’s not the one that got entirely away. There’s still contact, there’s still communication and with every email, phone call, message, there’s still the promise of something, some day.

We call this “Sidecar Love.”

Perhaps it’s an old boyfriend you get in touch with when you need an ego boost. He does his job by playing up to you, reliving your good times, saying all the right things. Perhaps it’s a friend you’ve always been flirty with. You know there’s an emotional connection and a physical attraction, but the timing never worked out for a go at a full-fledged relationship. Maybe it’s a lost love — someone you lost touch with for reasons you cannot remember. This age of Facebook, LinkedIn and all of the other social connectors has brought him or her back to you, in vivid Facetime/Skype/Google Chat color.

But why do we need a Sidecar? No long-term relationship is perfect — somehow, Sidecars have the knack for saying the right thing at the right time. Perhaps the Sidecar is a safe way to get something you’re not getting at home or to help you through a rough patch without the entanglements of a full-fledged affair.

Or not.

Sometimes, the Sidecar moves into the driver’s seat. Donna Hanover Giuliani was famously divorced by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani while serving as the First Lady of New York City. She went on to reconnect with her boyfriend from high school and college — a potential Sidecar named Edward Oster — and they married in 2003. She chronicled her experiences in a book, “My Boyfriend’s Back: Fifty True Stories of Reconnecting with a Long-Lost Love,” a true guide to Sidecar Love if ever there was one.

And sometimes Sidecar Loves can be sad.

Joanne’s Sidecar was a man who moved away when they were in high school. He moved back years later after they were both married to other people, but they kept in touch, at reunions and through classmates. After her husband passed away, Joanne ran into her Sidecar’s by then ex-wife.

“You were always the other woman in my marriage,” she claimed.

Sadly, there was no happy ending, as the Sidecar was terminally ill, but the knowledge that her love was not unrequited helped with her loss.

Having a Sidecar is “not necessarily a totally bad thing,” admits Dawn Maslar, Love Biologist and author of “Men Chase, Women Choose.” “But if the affirmation is coming from a potential romantic relationship, it is. You’re investing time and emotion that would be better spent trying to rekindle your relationship.”

We say whatever tools get you to your happy place, so be it. Sometimes just knowing the Sidecar is out there is enough.

Tell us about your #SidecarLove