Wow, really?! Are you Kate Middleton? Have you been performing your royal duties without reasonable compensation? Is this the part where I bow down and pledge my allegiance to the throne (which is actually a loveseat from Nebraska Furniture Mart in your studio apartment)?
Here’s the deal, guys. Not every girl with princess syndrome actually says this, but some of them will. Some of them will be so passive about it they won’t know any better. If that happens, thank her. Show heaps of gratitude for the fair warning. If the North Korea of dating scenarios was about to fire a nuke at your wallet, wouldn’t you want to advance notice? Isn’t it better that she’s straight up telling you, “I’m a vapid, materialistic person who only cares about myself and my own needs.” What you have to understand is that this relationship isn’t even a relationship; it’s you (the suitor) catering to this person’s every desire and whim. You are a servant, a wallet with legs and exceptional verbal skills. Better to know that up front than find it out the hard way…on a credit card statement.
2.) She treats you like the help, and you should be grateful for it.
She’ll never say “please.” She’ll never say “thank you.”
She will make demands and it is your duty to fulfill them to her satisfaction. We’re talking bar tabs, dinner tabs, concert tickets, bottle service at the club, and weekend getaways to Las Vegas. Not only will she never pay for anything, she won’t even offer. The moment when the server brings over the check for what’s sure to be a three-digit dinner—that’s the moment your girl whips out her iPhone to check how many “likes” and comments she got on her last Facebook check-in (this is very important to her; people need to know she’s out). And after that part is over, what you won’t hear is, “Thank you for the wonderful dinner,” or “That was really nice.” When you’re dealing with princess syndrome, prepare to hear these five words after every good thing you think you’ve done: where are we going now?
Manners go a long way. If she can even be bothered to exercise the simply nicety of gratitude, you may be making a bad investment. As a wise man once said, “Treat a girl like a princess, you’ll eventually wind up with a brat.”
3.) She’s a loner (and like, totally fine with it!!).
A woman with princess syndrome typically won’t have a lot of female friends. Women are smart; they’re bullshit detectors. They can spot a scam from a mile away with that sixth sense of theirs, and they choose to distance themselves from con artists. Friendships are important to them, and they’re certainly not going to invest themselves in a shitty person that treats people in a way they don’t agree with. Ever notice on The Bachelor how the villain of the house always turns out to be the girl trying to beat out all the other girls instead of falling in love? And where do they end up? Sitting on the couch by themselves, scheming, just waiting for the right opportunity to stir up trouble again. Because sometimes a relationship isn’t something you share, it’s something you win at. It’s a contest. It’s her being able to say, “I bagged the rich plastic surgeon and now I’ll never have to work again!! America!!”
Men, unfortunately, don’t always see this right away. A woman does, though. Their vision isn’t clouded by lust and delusions of grandeur. So even though you princess may have plenty of men banging down the door, take note of her relationships with other women. If she has no female friends, there’s probably a reason for it beyond “I just get along with guys better.”
4.) She’ll put her responsibilities on you.
You may not be convinced yet. You may be saying to yourself, “All that shit this guy is going on about is how dating works. Who cares if she doesn’t offer to help out on the tab? Take care of your girl, bro.”
Fine. We’ll go up a notch. I’m warning you though, if the following thing has happened to you, you’re going to be really pissed off. You may or may not have heard some variation of the following: “Ugh…I really don’t think I can hang out tonight. I’m behind on rent and trying to figure this shit out,” or “My car’s broken down, so it’s going to be difficult for me to come see you,” or “Fuckballs! My check was short and now I can’t pay my electric bill,” or “FML…I bounced another check.”
Her vulnerability (whether real or exaggerated) is your chance to play white knight. She’s giving you the opportunity to swing in and be her hero. At least, that’s what it probably sounds like at first. Let’s reexamine one of these lines: “Ugh…I really don’t think I can hang out tonight. I’m behind on rent and trying to figure this shit out.”
See what she’s doing? She’s asking for money but not really asking, and she’s using your burgeoning relationship as leverage. It’s her way of saying, “If you don’t fix this problem for me, you’re not going to be seeing this ass anytime soon.” This is when you know you’re through the looking glass. Tread lightly, gentlemen.
5.) She can’t be domesticated.
There comes a time in the dating game when you want some quality time with a person. You’ve already done the restaurants and hung out at the clubs. You’ve been taking her to concerts you really had no interest in going to. Every moment with her seems about doing some activity, keeping busy, always on the move. You’ve been so occupied bankrolling these adventures that you’re not even really getting to know each other on an intimate level. It’s always: “Where are we going now?” and “What are we doing tomorrow?”
If you don’t believe you’re dealing with princess syndrome, test it. Suggest a cozy night in watching reruns of 30Rock on the DVR queue and eating pizza. Pretend it’s two years from now when you’re not painting the town red every night. See how she reacts to the royal treatment being put on hold…just you and her, together. No frills. No Facebook check-ins or Instagram pictures of her $32 ahi ahi tuna.
Pitch that and pay close attention to her reaction: if she balks or acts put out, if her response is reluctant acceptance to the tune of, “Well, I guess that’s fine,” then I think you already know what’s happening here. These are her true colors showing. Girls with princess syndrome never really like the guy, they like what he does for them. They like checking in on Facebook at restaurants and taking pictures of themselves being out. They like the attention. They like the idea of never having to work and reaping all those luxurious rewards. You may get the occasional scrap of affection here and there: a kiss or a drunken fuck after too much champagne. She’ll give you just enough motivation to keep the ride going, but you’re not developing an emotional bond so much as a monetary symbiosis.
If someone’s company isn’t enough, then what’s the fucking point of seeing them?
Conclusion: Treating a girl is fine. That’s part of dating. It’s an investment of time and emotion, and yes, money too. But know when the line is being crossed. Does she ask or demand? When you do something for her, is she grateful or underwhelmed? Does she talk about the things she wants too much and how she plans to work for them not enough? It’s this sense of entitlement that often leads to one party feeling taken advantage of in the end, so be wary of the signs and don’t be afraid to cut your losses. Remember, gents, you’re trying to find your equal, not a leach.
**This piece was originally published on ManArchy Magazine**