Relationships take all shapes. Some are more overtly transactional, with each person holding power or advantage in a specific area (money, youth, connections, certain types of home skills). While others look more even across the board.
The key to any relationship model is open communication and consent. As long as everyone has said their piece, and feels truly happy with how it's set up, then that is that. But denial or a lack of communication can splinter a connection.
AITA for telling my girlfriend that we cannot afford for me to be her sugar daddy?
My (M27) girlfriend (23) is absolutely beautiful. And most of her friends are also physically attractive women as well. And they like to party with rich men they meet. My girlfriend and I have been together for a couple of years.
I make a decent living but I'm not NBA rich. I don't have a trust fund. I'm not a tech millionaire. I just make a very good salary and bonuses. Enough to have paid off a good portion of my house and to have graduated without debt.
I want to retire young enough to enjoy my life so I invest and save most of my money. Not all. I'm still enjoying my life now. I am taking us to an all-inclusive in Jamaica for New Year's. But she is jealous of her friends.
They get lavish gifts and they go out for dinner all the time.
She loves me and we have plans for the future but she keeps bringing up all the things her friends get from their male admirers. I finally snapped and said that I could not afford to be a sugar daddy. She said her friends aren't like that.
So I pointed out that they literally do not make enough money to support the lifestyles they have. I pointed out that one of them drives a $100,000 Lexus and she works part-time at restaurant as a hostess.
She says that I'm calling her friends sex workers, which I would not do, and judging them. So I asked her to explain how her friends afford dinner out at very expensive restaurants while earning minimum wage in some cases.
So now she thinks I'm an a**hole for making what I feel are apt observations. She asked if I consider her that way because I pay for everything and earn 6X what she does. I told her no. That I'm proud to have a teacher for a girlfriend.
But she is still sulking.
You have two choices. Sit down with her and have an adult conversation that although she may be jealous of all the gifts her friends get, you do not/can not get her all those same things.
If you're paying for most of the luxuries/bills whatever, you get a big say on what luxuries are enjoyed. Or you can end the relationship. She sounds a bit immature. NTA.
NTA. But if she is all about appearances and having nicer things, please know she will ditch you when the person who can afford those things comes along.
NTA. She's young and foolish. She's equating material things with someone 'caring' about her. Her friends might not be sex workers, but they are definitely trading something that requires no effort for getting boons in life.
They are what the Nice Guys and incels always complain about, and they are who give the rest of us a bad name. I have no sympathy for them at all, their looks will fade.
If they don't have an education or career, their 100k-Lexus-as-sugar-daddy-present days will be a thing of the past.
Your GF needs to grow up. There's nothing to be jealous of. If she wants expensive things, she needs to shuck her little buns and work for them.
Sugaring is sex work and there is absolutely nothing wrong with referring it to such (long as it isn't derogatory). Also pointing out that you can't afford to spend your money lavishly is not an a**hole move. NTA.
NTA. Your observations are very on point. Just out of curiosity, have you ever tried asking her to split a bill and see how she reacts? That may reveal what her true character is.
I mean, kind of ESH. Your girlfriend and her friends have an unhealthy approach to relationships at the very least. None of them earns enough money to live luxurious lifestyles, yet they all seem to think it's natural to be with men who can afford that.
To the point where she feels it's ok to complain to you about all the things her friends' boyfriends get them that you don't get for her. But, you're not a victim here.
Why do you feel it's necessary to highlight the fact that your girlfriend is 'absolutely beautiful' and that her friends are also very attractive?
That makes it sound like you think it's natural or normal for attractive women to expect to have rich men as their sugar daddies.
And that would be consistent with your situation, where you are ok with bankrolling your girlfriend's life and giving her a lifestyle she can't afford on her own... because 'she's absolutely beautiful'.
I wonder if you'd be ok with paying for all expenses if she wasn't so. You're only hurt/complaining because she is comparing you to other guys who either have more money or are ok with spending more money on their girlfriends.
You're not mad that she thinks you're a sugar daddy. You're mad she's basically saying you're not performing up to her standards as one.
She’s hot, and is used to having men buy her stuff, in the hope that they’ll get some/keep getting some. Possibly she just thinks that’s how the world works, men just buy stuff, as she’s never known anything else.
Your ego loves having an “absolutely beautiful” girl on your arm, so despite living relatively frugally, you splurge the cash to keep her around, and live up to her expectations.
But now both of you have discovered some unpalatable things about the other:
She’s found out that expensive goods don’t (and crucially aren’t going to in the future) just magically fall into her lap if she stays with you. Pouting like a little girl isn’t always going to work for her with you.
And you think that her friends act questionably at best (or trading sex for expensive material goods if you’re being honest).
You’ve found out that despite you wanting to hoard your cash, and loosening the purse strings considerably for her, it’s not enough to keep her.
You are currently ‘in negotiation’ regarding how much acting out she’ll do before you burst that wallet wide open. You can try to shell out more money to keep her, but ultimately this one is a sunk cost fallacy.
NTA. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Your girlfriend has eyesight problems. You, on the other hand, appear to see things quite clearly.
I suggest taking a closer look at your relationship and what your future with her may look like. Best of luck.
OP wrote a few small updates to clarify aspects of their relationship:
She appreciates what I give her. She is just jealous of her friends.
My girlfriend is a teacher. And I like to treat her well. But I do not spend thousands of dollars on her every month. I live off about 30% of my take-home pay. I drive a 6-year-old jeep. I could spend more. I choose not to.
She has paid for our dates before. And she took me skiing at her family home last winter.
She pays for special dates that she plans ahead for. She took me out to dinner for Mexican food at a place I never would have found.
The custodian at her school told her about where to get the best authentic Mexican food in the city and it was delicious.
Based on the comments, it's clear there's no unanimous consensus on OP's relationship, beyond the fact that they should both be extra honest about what they want.