DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m a very average guy when it comes to dating, I feel. I go out on dates with girls once in a awhile. I don’t have any issues with asking girls out, but at the same time I’m not a “player”. The question is :
What do I do if I’m insecure about my girl’s career? Is there something to make it easier to get over?
I’ve been dating this girl for a while. I met her in a bar in downtown San Diego. She was working there as a go-go dancer. Her lifestyle of constant bars and clubs, along with getting hit on by celebrities in LA makes me insecure. In the past, she has been in shows on HBO and was a model for a long time in a TERRIBLE show called “Manswers” on Spike TV. I don’t stop her from doing anything, And I never pay for anything.
But her lifestyle, and the fact that she makes more money then me makes me insecure.
Kicking Outside My Coverage
DEAR KICKING OUTSIDE MY COVERAGE: So, there’s a reason why I pulled your question specifically, KOMC, and that’s because of how universal this actually is.
See, it’s really easy to get caught up on the flashy details of your situation: a girlfriend whose career depends on being physically attractive and desirable, who’s income is dependent on creating an illusion of being available but unobtainable, and has “high status men” – for suitably individual values of “high” as well as definitions of “status” clamoring to try to get into her pants.
But honestly, while the details are sexy and all, the problem that you’re dealing with is actually remarkably common. The problem isn’t that she’s a gogo dancer or that she’s got celebrities hitting on her. The problem is that you’re worried that you’re not good enough for her and that you can’t contend with the hordes of other men who might be competing for her time and attention.
In fact, you see a lot of this discourse these days in a lot of Manosphere circles and related social media accounts – men proclaiming how they’d never “let” their girlfriend start an OnlyFans or how women who “show off their bodies on Instagram” are less trustworthy because... reasons.
Now if we’re being honest, much of this discourse happens because the loudest voices are very open about wanting to control their girlfriends or wives, making them less “partners” and more “property”. But another part of it comes because of how many people see dating as a competition. This undercurrent comes up all the time when we hear from men who worry that the women they want to date are “out of their league” or that they can’t outperform “players”. They worry that they don’t have the coolest car, the best or sexiest job, the biggest paycheck or the “Six Sixes” and thus can never trust that their relationship is secure.
Mix this with classic toxic and restrictive ideas about gender roles – like men having to earn more than their partners – and you’ve created a situation where someone can never feel secure in their relationship. There’s always that fear that “someone wants to take my stuff”, and worse, your “stuff” may want to be taken.
And that’s what we have here. Take away the sexy details and this is a common, even mundane problem. It’s ultimately down to the fear that dating is less about mutual attraction, respect, shared interests and values and compatibility, and more about who’s got the most points on the spreadsheet.
But that’s not how people date. While there’re always going to be individuals who are that mercenary and status-seeking in their relationships, they’re so few and far between that worrying about them is like worrying about being eaten by a great white shark… when you live in Iowa.
But hey, maybe that’s a thing to worry about for you. Johnny Theoretical may be in the Mojave, but you and your sweetie are swimming around The Great Barrier Reef… and your girlfriend’s been dousing herself in steak sauce. So how is an average non-celebrity supposed to date an incredible woman when there’re so many other people who also want her? Men who can flash fat stacks and flashy rides, wave their clout around and turn her head with all those demonstrations of higher value?
Well here’s my first question: if your girlfriend was that shallow and that easily drawn away, wouldn’t that mean that she shouldn’t be with you in the first place? Well, obviously not. It’s not as though you met her when she was a simple, naive young thing from the country, stepping off the bus and into The Big Bad City for the first time. She was a a gogo dancer and fixture in the nightlife scene when you met her. She was already living a life that brought her into contact with the rich and famous, with folks trying to woo her with their connections, cash and clout. And yet she’s with you. Has been all this time, too.
Yeah, the Usual Suspects can make noises about “betabux” or weird cuckoo logic (literal cuckoo logic, at that) about banging celebrities behind your back while dating you, but none of that actually makes a lick of damn sense when you think about it for half a second. If her whole thing would be banging all these “better” men… why would she be doing so while dating you? Clearly it would be better for her to actually be single and maximize her opportunities. Nor would it make much sense for her to be buying you things with the money she’s earning in these flashy, sexy jobs, if you’re just the “beta” who’s ultimately providing support for the lifestyle to which she intends to be come accustomed.
I think you have to take a deep breath and look at how she’s actually behaving. Unless you left some significant details out of your letter, it sounds like this is much more about the potential that some celebrity will finally break down her defenses and sweep her off her feet than an actual worry. If she’s been with you, a non-celebrity, for all this time (and again, in a career that she’s had from before you met her) and stayed with you as she’s had TV gigs, modeling jobs and other occasions to mix and mingle amongst the glamorous… well maybe she’s with you because she likes you for who you are. She didn’t start dating you because you’re the New Hotness on the Hollywood scene, she started dating you because you’re you and she likes you, specifically.
Plus, I can guarantee you that she finds a lot of the celebrities to be obnoxious. I’ve got friends who’ve been in similar situations – friends who dated folks who you would’ve heard of – who’ve said the same thing: 9 times out of 10, the celebrities who’re hitting on the dancers or models tend to be tedious at best, or their behavior and attitudes render them utterly unfuckable.
So I think what you need, to help get over this hump, is to focus on that. She started dating you because of who you are and how you make her feel. Trusting her and trusting that connection will do much more for easing your anxiety and realizing that hey, she’s fully capable of recognizing that she’s got a good thing going here.
Now as for the money issue… look, it’s hard to undo a literal lifetime of social programming that gets so deeply embedded in male psyches that some men get erectile dysfunction when their partners outearn them. But while your disparity in income may mean that you can’t split the bills 50/50, you can contribute in other ways. Even if it means saving up so you can splurge on her on occasion, finding different ways to provide in the relationship and actually valuing those contributions will help immensely. Your bank accounts may have similar balances, but you can make sure that the balance of your participation in your shared life makes up the difference.
And honestly? That’s going to mean a lot more to her than anything with a price tag on it.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com