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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Is Dating Out of My "Class" a Bad Idea?

DearSugar Needs Your Help: Is Dating Out of My "Class" a Bad Idea?

DearSugar and Middle Class Melissa need your help. She's in a relationship with a man who comes from an upper class family and has all upper class friends. She is starting to feel a rift in her relationship because she's unable to relate to his lifestyle. Though she loves her boyfriend, she's questioning if it's possible to have a happy and successful relationship with someone who comes from a different "class." What do you think? Any advice you could offer up would be a great help to her.

Dear Sugar,
I'm in a relationship with a guy who comes from a completely different background than me. I've never been the type of girl who considers money or class when it comes to boyfriends. I've always held the view that love and
material possessions are not mutually exclusive. I would never not date a guy because he came from a poor family, and likewise, I would never not date a guy because he was wealthy. I myself am an intelligent, open-minded 23-year-old who comes from a middle-class background. In my past, I have tended to date guys with backgrounds similar to myself however, for the past year, I've been in an exclusive relationship with a guy who comes from a wealthy family. He was shipped off to boarding school at the age of 14, has a graduate degree from an Ivy League university, and has lived and traveled all over the world. He's a 28-year-old artist who does not have a "real" job. He has no health insurance, and his rent and other bills are taken care of by his parents, although he does send them money when he manages to sell artwork from time to time.

I've never been jealous of his comfortable situation, and until recent months, it had never been an issue whatsoever. But recently, I have found myself starting to get annoyed by his lack of sensitivity. For example, he refuses to go to "normal" restaurants or supermarkets because he only eats organic foods. I however, cannot afford to always go to these expensive places, and because of his "choice of profession," he's not exactly generous when it comes to picking up the tab. Also, whenever I'm spending time with him and his friends, they talk about things that I can never relate to — their favorite restaurants in Mexico, experiences they've had at socialite parties, what it was like living in Berlin for the summer — you get the idea.

In these instances, I'm left sitting there with nothing to say, and it makes me feel completely worthless. I have always been proud of the accomplishments I've had in my life but he doesn't seem to ever acknowledge them. I know that he doesn't mean to hurt me, I think he's just used to dating girls more like him. I've tried to talk to him about this, but he assures me that he doesn't in any way think that he's "better than me" so is this just the kind of thing that happens when you date someone outside of your "class" or is he just a jerk? For the most part our relationship is good. I care about him a lot. He is intelligent, talented, and makes me strive to be a better person, I just don't want to lose myself in the process.


Join The Conversation
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
hes a rich bum. I agree with sun_sun that you are at least independant and you shouldnt feel less than him. he cant even take care of himself. he doesnt know how. which is sad at the same time
sorrowja sorrowja 9 years
There is nothing wrong with dating outside of your classs my husband and I although we are from the same country his family is weathly and mines isn't. And sometimes when he and his friends are talking I feel a little left out. But then he'll take me on a trip or something so that I can get an idea of what they were talking about so that the next time the topic comes up we have our own story to had to the conversation. And don't try to go beyond your budget to help suffer his life style if he doesn't have a real job to life that way. . . . Good luck.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
If you're not comfortable in your relationship and your boyfriend isn't at least attempting to make you more comfortable, you shouldn't be in the relationship. Plain and simple.
Vsugar Vsugar 9 years
It sounds to me more like he's a spoiled brat who is also cheap. Dating out of your class would be a lot more comfortable and interesting if he was willing to pick up the tab a little more, or to do more things that are within your financial means, or ideally, a little of both. Every couple has differences in their backgrounds, even if it's something silly like how to fold the towels or whether the toilet paper goes "over" or "under". But you need to be able to have fun learning about each other and trying new things, and it sounds like he is just a little self-centered. I don't think this is as much about class-ism as it is about jerk-ism. Good Luck.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
“The one that was posted to Group Therapy a few weeks ago included even more jerky things that the guy said” Ah, okay, I must have missed that. I guess if I saw that version of the story I'd be more sure of the guy's jerk status. Being outright dismissive of her achievements is definitely an ass thing to do.
leztnerp leztnerp 9 years
It isn't because he's well-off, exactly, he's just not right for you. He seems inconsiderate. If he was just as well off but more conscious of you and your needs, you wouldn't have a problem. I guess you have to decide whether or not you want to work on it.
sunnyheart sunnyheart 9 years
I think this is a lot less about class and more about ass. No man, of any class, should expect to take a lady out to a place where he cannot cover the bill! I don't think this has to do with class at all. If the man refuses to go to places he doesn't want to go, fine, no big deal, but he'd better be able to pay for it. You want to treat yourself and your lady to Whole Foods every day? Great. Most importantly you should not let this make you feel worthless! If the guy makes you feel worthless, get out of the relationship.
DCRoamer DCRoamer 9 years
I wish that Dear Sugar hadn't edited the post. The one that was posted to Group Therapy a few weeks ago included even more jerky things that the guy said (like the fact that the fact she graduated 3rd in her class didn't mean anything because she went to a poor school - whatever). I said it then, and I'll say it again. This guy is an ass. I don't like these "Dear Sugar Needs your Help" posts. A lot of people commented to the Group Therapy post, and Dear got rid of all of those comments and edited out some crucial details. Why not just post the original GT post??
murdock99tx murdock99tx 9 years
The fact that he keeps doing things the same way despite her concerns = him blowing off her concerns. I've seen this happen with others.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
he isn't self supporting. dump him and find yourself a grownup.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
I wish I saw the unedited version of this posting.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Yeah, thanks for clearing that up, porkypocky. I gotta say I was confused on whether he's actually wealthy or not. So his parents are partly paying his way and it does not completely cover his lifestyle? I guess that makes him partially spoiled and not totally spoiled? Heh. Interesting that he sends money back, though. Not typical action for your average privileged bum (or indeed, any kind of bum). Ah, I just don't know if I can say for sure whether this guy is a bum or not just from the post. murdock99tx, I don't know where the post says he blows off her concerns. The only thing the post said he said is that he "doesn't think he's better than her". When the question is whether he's a jerk, I can't say yes just from the info I'm given. I don't know the tone of their conversation, exactly how much she actually told him about her concerns, etc. I don't think the post was clear on those points.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
This whole relationship has absolutely nothing to do with "class"! This has more to do with the fact that your man is a bum. Why the hell is your mans parents payig for his bills? He sounds like all talk no action, he and his friends talk about fortunes all day but he can't pick up the tab for his expensive dinner? Maybe your more impressed by his "class" than you think because I can't figure out why a young hardworking woman would take up with a "man" like this. In my book class has more to do with the integrity of a person not how much they say mommy and daddy makes.
Marci Marci 9 years
Relationships have a better chance of making it when the people in them come from similar backgrounds, economically, relgiously, educationally - across the board. The statistics support that. We'd all like to think it doesn't matter, but all that stuff comes into play in the everyday.
avettafawna avettafawna 9 years
I don't know if I would consider him a jerk but he is obviously a big loser. Anyone who is 28 and still living off their parents needs to GROW UP. Being an artist shouldn't excuse him from having to pay his own bills- tons of artists work part time jobs to support themselves before they become established. It seems the question is simple: Do you want to date an independent MAN, or a 28 year old boy who will probably never learn how to take care of himself? You sound like you could do a lot better.
porkypocky porkypocky 9 years
the way he's acting isn't because he has money, plenty of wealthy families have kids that can make their own way without relying on mommy and daddy's money after they graduate from their Ivy League schools. (they pay their own rent and make their own money too.) he sounds spoiled and sheltered, i wouldn't want to be with him because of the person he is. it has everything to do with how his parents raised him and nothing to do with his "class." if you want to make this work, you'll probably have to teach him how the real world works like others have said and it'll be hard, especially since he's been like this for so long. looseseal, look back at the part of the letter where she says his parents pay for everything and implies he isn't a successful artist. i think her point was that since he never has money(of his own), he can't afford to pick up the bill all the time. nothing wrong with doing what you want by the way, but you still have to be able to pay your own bills.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
could you take him to your bars and your restaurants and show him your lifestyle? if he scoffs at it, then he's not worth your time. but it might help him to relate to your situation better. a lot of my friends' families are a couple classes higher than mine, and even though they know that, they definitely don't understand what growing up was like for me. but they don't flaunt their good fortune at all.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Is there any way that you would put up with this type of behavior from someone who was in your same social class? He seems like he doesn't have a clue about the real world and if things get serious between you than it's going to be really hard to make things work. Would his parents still pay his rent if he were with you or would they think you were using him for his money? Would they pay for a mortgage? If his parents passed away would he know how to spend the money or would he blow through it in 2 weeks? You need to talk to him and tell him that these things bother you and that you need to know for your future if it will be able to work out. Then you need to strongly consider the fact that his money may make him feel like he doesn't have to work for anything. He seems really spoiled and since you cannot afford to spoil him like his parents he needs to understand and try to make compromises. If he's not willing to do that than I don't see how you two can make it work.
murdock99tx murdock99tx 9 years
I'm sorry, but I agree with cvandoorn. The guy doesn't deserve to be let off the hook because he supposedly doesn't realize that his actions make her uncomfortable. He DOES realize it; she has made him aware of it & he blows her off by saying he "doesn't mean to" make her feel awkward. I agree: if he were a keeper, then he would accommodate her. He knows she is uncomfortable & doesn't give a sh*t. He makes no effort whatsoever. Which sounds like the way he lives his life: makes no effort. Ugh, he does not sound like an attractive personality whatsoever. Yes, she would do well to add her own anecdotes; it's no one else's responsibility to "carry" you 100%. But at the same time, if the friends (and the guy) are unresponsive & don't include her in conversation despite her contributions, then DUMP! (The man & the snooty bozos.) They are not worthy in that case!
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
i truly believe that when two people get into a relationship, they automatically become equals... BUT in this situation, i think ur the one who if at all, would feel superior. ur the one who is independent and paying for ur outings. just because hes been fed with a golden spoon doesnt make him classier. u have more to be proud of than he does. and hes not really doing anything to make u feel less of a person. he cant help that hes travelled abroad and what not. for all u know, he might be intimidated by u. so the best solution is just for u to realize that u r who u r and u need to be proud of urself and stop feeling the way ur feeling. prove ur presence. if they talk about things u have never experienced, dont shy out of the conversation, say something along the lines of "i've been working hard so that i'll be able to go there, or try that..." thats that
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
The guy still lives off his parents despite having attended an ivy league school? Come on now, he's had the opportunity that many people don't have, and with his class i'm pretty sure a lot of doors open for him. And what does he do with his life? Becomes an artist and lives off his parents??? That to me shows that he's not ready yet to take responsibility. And if he's not ready for that, it also explains to me the way he acts towards you in this relationship. Trust me, my BF comes from a different social class than I, and yes, there are some issues, but none like yours. I've lived in many places, traveled all over the world, my parents have never said no to me when I want something. I've had a comfortable upbringing, went to private schools, and went to a private college in Malibu. My boyfriend on the other hand, comes from a low to middle class family. He could barely finish high school because he had to help his family with the bills, he has six siblings who are all adults right now but yet they can't seem to get their act together so he's always acting like their "dad". He has only traveled outside the US twice, and because of his good nature, he is stuck with a house and his siblings and parents living with him. And I live with him too. While it takes a lot for me to get used to it, I love this man and i'm willing to accommodate. He has a good job, and I know we can both make it together once his house sells and we can get our own place. This thing is a money pit for him, and nobody is paying him rent. I've never had to share before, and here I am, sharing stuff with his family. It sucks, but I put up with it because I want to be with him. We have our fights about it, and some things just shock me (because i've never been exposed to it) but we smooth out those differences pretty easily. Oh, and I refuse to ask any help from my parents, even though they would gladly give me money just so I can live like before. I have my own apartment, but my brother lives in it. Sorry for the long story, but my point is, if this guy loves you, he wouldn't make you feel uncomfortable. He would be accommodating and wouldn't make you feel worthless.
Sugarblonde Sugarblonde 9 years
I understand it sounds like a difficult situation to deal with. However, as the others have noted I don't think he's trying to be a jerk or even aware of what you are feeling. Regarding having to pay for upper-class restaurant's - that is easy just talk to him. If after you talk to him he still makes you do it... then you have a problem. I think when he gets together with his friends he's just talking - catching up. Him and his friends' similarities may be that they like "socialite parties" or whatever. You just have to talk to him about this (separate from friends) so that he understands he needs to bring you in the conversation. I do think class differences can be a big deal IF money issues are involved and the people don't work through them. My ex boyfriend despised the fact that my father paid for my college, when he had to go into the Marines and received no $ from parents. It can lead to many and if you are able to work through this will only make you have a stronger relationship in the end.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
You're feeling like a fish out of water. It's not a good feeling, I can related to that. But... I don't think he's trying to be a jerk. He's just oblivious to how the rest of us lives... And I'm not 100% sure, but maybe he's not picking up the tab because he thinks that'd make you feel like a "kept woman" or something? Maybe this is him trying not to step on your pride and make you feel "cheap"? Sorry, but you sound just a bit presumptuous. Not sure what his "choice of profession" would have to do with "not being generous". Are you saying artists are stingy? And artists should "get a real job" with "health insurance"? And be more "normal"? Someone is looking down on someone else here, but it's not him. You kind of remind me of Dan from Gossip Girl.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
Honestly, he doesn't sound that great to me. Asking you to go to places that you can't afford or don't feel comfortable is an unacceptable way for a boyfriend to behave, no matter his economic background. If you really want to be with him, talk to him again about how you feel and get everything out there. You have no reason to be embarrassed or feel less because of your background. It is possible that he doesn't truly realize how you feel. Also, I don't think his friends are trying to show off or one up you when they talk about their experiences. I grew up in a fairly well off environment and I have had experiences that some people cannot directly relate to but I have friends from every background and we always find things in common. It is why we are friends. The next time you are around them tell a story and interject yourself into the conversation with a great tale from your past. It may sound impossible but stop thinking about your "class" difference and focus on your relationship because that is what really matters. Good Luck!
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