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'My girlfriend has princess syndrome. How do I talk to her about it?' UPDATED 2X

'My girlfriend has princess syndrome. How do I talk to her about it?' UPDATED 2X


It can be humbling and fascinating to look back a decade and see how much you've grown and changed.

"An update almost 10 years later: Me [24 M] with my gf [23 F]. Girlfriend has princess syndrome."

I have been with my girlfriend for about 5 months. We've been casual friends since college, but only began dating after she graduated. We get along really well. When I say princess syndrome, I don't mean that she is spoiled or entitled, because she isn't. Her clothes seem to take over her life. She dresses like a sort of fairytale princess on a near daily basis, excluding at work.

Long, frilly skirts, lacy blouses, things like that. It works for her because she is very pretty and can pull it off. At first I found it to be very endearing, but then I became aware of how much time she spends on her outfits. She runs a blog that has a sizable amount of followers, and she is constantly posting outfit pictures, links to clothing items, and what not. She spends a few hours a day on her blog, at least.

Then she spends time sewing items for new outfits or for her Etsy store. When we go out, we get a lot of stares at what she's wearing. I've also caught people sneaking pictures of her on their cell phones. This attention makes me uncomfortable. I have asked her to tone it down a bit, but she took that to mean not wearing anything in her hair when we're out together.

I have told her several times that I love her just the way she is, but she seems to brush it off. I had hoped when she started her new job in the career of her choice that she would become more serious, but her new boss and co-workers encourage her. I worry that people won't take her seriously, or miss how kind and intelligent she is.

How can I talk to her about dressing more appropriately without hurting her feelings?

TL;DR: Girlfriend dresses like a princess, how do I talk to her about it?

The internet did not hold back.

[deleted] wrote:

Sounds like you have to get over your insecurities. This is her hobby, her interest, and she's getting positive reactions. You shouldn't be trying to change her, especially when it was something that initially drew you to her.

OP responded:

I guess I'm having trouble seeing clothing as a hobby? I play video games as a hobby, but that doesn't cause strangers to take pictures of me when I'm trying to shop at the supermarket. I get your point that it initially drew me to her, because it did. That's fair. I guess I didn't think that it would be such a constant thing in her life, especially after she graduated.

MyDarlingClementine9 responded:

You said that she sews and runs a blog about her clothes. That's a hobby.

katelusive wrote:

From your title, I thought this was going to be a post about how she's entitled, spoiled, prissy, etc. Instead it's just about how you don't like the way she dresses. That's not a problem with her -- it's a problem with you. Repeat this to yourself in your head whenever you start feeling the urge to change her: "My GF is allowed to dress however she wants, just like I am."

wombatzilla wrote:

"I have told her several times that I love her just the way she is, but she seems to brush it off. I had hoped when she started her new job in the career of her choice that she would become more serious, but her new boss and co-workers encourage her."

So, you love her just the way she is but you're assuming she'll take that to mean she should change how she is? That doesn't make sense.

This IS how she is. She enjoys dressing up like this. Shit, she posts outfit photos online because she enjoys it so much. Other people encourage her because they DO like how she is. If you don't like the attention ask her sometime to just go out with you while she's wearing a casual outfit, but keep in mind that she already loves what she's normally wearing.

OP responded:

This is my problem! How do I ask her to dress more casually around me without her misinterpreting what I mean again AND also not hurting her feelings? I can think of ways to say one half of that, but it doesn't work with the other half.

ElevenSeven1107 responded:

You don't.

This is your problem, not hers. Don't try to make it hers.

puhleez420 wrote:

If you love her the way she is, why do you want her to change? Just curious.

OP responded:

She doesn't need all the frilly stuff, she'd still look like a princess. And it's one thing for an artsy college student to dress alternatively, but she's a 23-year-old woman now. I feel like her clothing masks how smart she is and makes her appear shallow.

Imbris responded:

If you're judging someone based on their clothing that makes YOU shallow not THEM. She wears fun outfits that elicit positive reactions from all those around her. I understand the attention makes you feel awkward, but it's pretty clear that this comes along with dating her.

Eleven days later, OP shared an update.

I didn't plan on updating, but things changed. I realized from my last post that I needed to be more supportive, but also communicate on how she could dress down on certain occasions so we could both be comfortable. Well, I never got a chance to talk to her about it. Last week she called and wanted to stop by my apartment after work.

When she got there I offered to make dinner, but she said she couldn't stay and we had to talk. I jokingly asked if she was breaking up with me, and she looked really guilty. You can see where this is going. We talked about how we were in different places in life and had different goals for the future. Well, she talked, but I agreed.

It was a pretty amicable break up, even though I felt blindsided. We agreed to stay friends. I've never been dumped before, and it's f#$king awful. I'm having trouble with the whole social media thing post break up. I want a way to keep in touch with her, but as soon as her relationship status changed all these "alternative" looking guys have been liking her posts and commenting on her pictures.

I don't think she's seeing these guys, but it still hurts. My friend wants to set me up on a date, but I don't know if it's a good idea.

The internet kept it real in the comments.

LilkaLlyubov wrote:

Might want to work on yourself before you date if you think it's okay to try to dictate what she can wear.

[deleted] wrote:

Damn, it always hurts, even when things aren't going well. I would avoid social media, or block her posts at least for a while. That's the only thing that ever worked for me.

OP responded:

We agreed to stay friends, so I don't want to block her.

RochaelPro responded:

Just unfollow her, you will still be friends but you won't be seeing her posts, etc.

OP responded:

I'll do this, thanks.

hansSA wrote:

Fickle is the head that wears the flowered lace crown. It was never going to work out, anyway. You had some laughs and some good times, enjoy that and move on.

OP responded:

I understood some of her reasoning. Mainly, I want to move out of the city once my lease is up, and I wanted her to move in with me. I was worried about long distance. She didn't want to leave the city, though. She said something about me be controlling, too, but I don't think that's the case at all.

oiyouz responded:

Your last post was about how you wanted her to change the way she dressed and you don't think that you were being controlling? Okay.

Nearly ten years later, OP jumped on with another update.

I was going through an old email and found this account again. I was surprised I could still log in, and even more by the amount of people who had reached out to me. It's a bit embarrassing to relive this break up from almost 10 years ago. In retrospect, it wasn't meant to be and I think I was reeling more from getting dumped than the loss of the relationship.

I am 33 now and married to a wonderful woman (31F) for 4 years. I learned my lesson about supporting my significant other's hobbies. My wife loves running and baking. We have a daughter who is turning 3 this year. I want her to be free to express herself how she likes (as long as it is safe, of course!). I would do anything for them.

I am still friends with my ex on social media. We don't talk but will "like" each other's posts. She is married to another woman now who also dresses differently. It's not as frilly as she used to dress, but still unusual. Her pictures look like something out of Anne of Green Gables. She seems very happy on their farm together.

TL;DR: Was dumb in my early 20s. Got over an old break up and now I am married and happily supporting my wife's hobbies.

The internet was happy to hear everything worked out.

Big-Depth-8339 wrote:

Can we expect an update in 10 years when your daughter has become a teenager and developed princess syndrome?

Also congratulations on your life.

OP responded:

Well, she does love pink and purple!

mknote wrote:

It's nice to see that everyone came out happier, on both sides.

thiscouldbemassive wrote:

Good for you! Sometimes life smacks you hard enough to make you sit down and rethink your preconceptions. It's never fun, but the growth is absolutely worth it. As painful as that break up was, it opened a whole new world of empathy and understanding and made you a much better person.

ollieastic wrote:

I love this update. I'm so happy that you found your wife and that you guys have a great family. We grow so much in our twenties--I think that we all do stupid stuff in relationships, so I'm glad that you learned and you're supporting your wife and daughter in their hobbies and lives.

melonwoo wrote:

Omg ofc the Princess syndrome girl is Bi/queer 😍🌈

Glittering_Syllabub9 wrote:

I can only imagine what kind of a time capsule those old posts were to you! Everyone changes and grows so much during their twenties. It's disturbing to think what kind of posts I could have been making 10 years ago. I'm so happy for you and your little family! It sounds like you found yourself and your people. See you again in 10 years!

This ended surprisingly wholesome for everyone involved.

Sources: Reddit
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