Ask A Princess, Vol. 2

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Dear Princess,

My best friend recently got kicked out of his mother’s house, so I offered my family’s house for him to stay in. Now to give you some background information, we are both 21, he had to move south by about 100 miles to live here, he had no other options. Now he and I are both unemployed and trying to fix that, but I am at least receiving unemployment payments each week. But since he’s been down here he has been burning through my unemployment checks. At first I was nice and offering to buy him things and was trying to keep the financial burden of another person living in our house off my parents. But he smokes and up until recently I was buying him cigarettes. He doesn’t have a car so he uses mine, and uses my gas. He has absolutely no money so all his spending is coming out of my pockets. He wants to go out every night and hang with friends but I’m making less than $100 a week. He is trying to live outside of both of our means and I am just feeling extremely used. I want to make him happy, being kicked out by your mom sucks and having to move to a whole new town and area is rough but I’m feeling more and more like his credit card and less and less like his best friend. What should I do?

The United Bank of Friends

You are a much nicer person than I am. Judging by what you told me, I would have kicked him out long ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ve all known our share of mooches, and few things are more of an abomination in this economy. And where are your parents in all of this? They’re not making the chain-smoking social drinker who uses your gas and makes no money do something to stop taking advantage of their child’s very humble income? In any case, it doesn’t sound from your letter like you’ve had a serious talk with the guy–which I feel is obviously the first step in this matter. Nothing will happen unless you lay down the law, and lay it down quickly.

You sound like a nice person — I’ll hesitate to say doormat because I’m sure in less dire situations you are not as readily walked all over by scumbags. So it’s going to require some serious spine-growing before you actually talk to the guy. Remain firm, write down your grievances if necessary, and tell him what the deal is. Tell him that you’re not here to pay for a twenty-one-year-old-grown-ass-man to smoke, drink, go out, drive around to his not-jobs, and eat. You are going to need him to pony up for half of what he’s using, or he can find another friend to financially suck the blood from. (I would also take a moment to ask yourself exactly why his mother kicked him out–I would venture to guess she had good reason, and it isn’t exactly child abuse, considering the guy hasn’t been a child for four years. No need to take that much pity on the guy.)

It sounds to me like this guy needs some tough love. If only he could have had the laptop-shooting father, then this never would have been a problem. In the meantime, sit him down and make him understand that you are not just one giant breast waiting to be milked. You’re a person, and you need your own money more than he does.

Oh, and both of you try to get jobs. Like, today.

Dear Princess,

What the hell! I had a lovely summer romance with someone, and it didn’t work out — but 7 months later and here I am still stalking him on the daily. I’ve dated other people, I’ve flirted, I’ve done everything a fun single person should be doing but I still can’t seem to get over this stupid 2 month blip I had with him. I miss him! What do I do??

Stuck On Him

First and foremost, cut off any and all access to his social media. Today. No more torturing yourself by looking at his newly-tagged pictures and slamming your head against the keyboard as you cry out in agony, cursing Zeus for having taken him away from you. That kind of behavior only goes in one direction, and that direction is Maury. Once you’ve gotten rid of that, you can begin to address what’s going on that’s making you so obsessed with him. Maybe he was really amazing emotionally, really funny, great in the sack, or any combination of the three. Either way, he’s gone. Gone, gone, gone. And nothing makes you less attractive — to him and to every other potential mate you could possibly come across — than being desperately fixed on a guy you broke up with 3.5 times longer ago than the actual relationship lasted.

So get rid of any and all means you have to obsess over this guy, remind yourself daily if you have to why it didn’t work out, and force yourself to get out more and more with new people. I would give you the standby advice of go out dancing in a circle with your girlfriends as you take shots and squeal in unison over how lame this ex was, but often that seems to end in Adele/ ice cream/ crying/ texting. Go out on some more dates and get some perspective.

And get laid, while you’re at it.

Dear Princess Fagan,

I only have one year of legal adulthood under my belt, but I feel pretty mature for my age (even though saying that gives me a ‘real age’ of, like, 13). Or at least “mature” (maybe just boring…) enough that I don’t really like boys who are my age, and don’t really get along with them as far as dating stuff goes. I prefer men. But men (~25-29 yr old men… men/ guys. I don’t know, f-ck) have this tendency to immediately friend-zone or write me off completely because of my age. Once people have an opinion/ first impression, it’s nearly impossible for that to change. I don’t want to lie to guys when I meet them about my age, or skirt around the question (because that’s obvious). I’ve been trying the “just wait until they realize how on-their-level I am” tactic, but that only works if I’m friend-zoned — not if they write me off — and it takes forEVER for them to realize, “Oh, maybe she IS ‘old’ enough to date.” Is this just something I have to deal with because I AM younger? Or is there something I can do (or say) to show/notify them that they shouldn’t immediately put me in the too-young category? That’s really what I’m wondering — what (if anything) can I do when we first meet to stop them from automatically forming that too-young-for-me impression and putting me in the non-date pool? Am I doomed to guys my own age?

Ugh, thanks for your help, Princess.


I hate to break this to you, but judging by the way that letter was written — and several key things said in it — I highly doubt you are that mature for a 19-year-old. I could barely follow your train of thought, so soaked it was in raging hormones as you dreamed of a guy with a little world-weariness, a little perspective, a 25-year-old. (And I’m going to let you in on a little secret here — guys in their 20s are rarely what women would consider a “mature, stable man” when looking for a potential partner. Usually 20-something guys are very much in the middle of getting their emotional/ financial shit together and, like 20-something girls, are not the ones to turn to if you’re looking for a port in a storm. I guess the exception being if you’re 19, but I would feel like a babysitter if I dated a 19-year-old guy, so I guess I’ll never know.

But I was once in your shoes! I know the appeal. At the tender age of 20, I dated a guy who was a full 10 years my senior. My mother warned me, despite the fact that she knew and loved the guy for some time, that any 30-year-old who would date a 20-year-old is not the guy you want to date. I ignored her, I was wanton, it was twoo wuv. We quickly found out that the logistical problems raised by that kind of age discrepancy — especially at those particular age groups — is not something even the most “mature” people can conquer. It didn’t work out, we remain friends to this day, and now we’re both dating firmly within our age groups — and can laugh at how ridiculous we were at the time.

And I got lucky. My mother was right in that most men of that age who would consider dating a teenager are, in general, people you want to stay away from. I’m sure if we hadn’t known the guy very well, she would have straight-up forbidden me (likely giving me even more impetus to disobey, but whatever). I likely could have ended up with a humongous toad who was using me for my naiveté and perky teenage boobs. I dodged a bullet, a bullet you are likely to get square in the chest if you continue on like this.

Work on yourself, grow at least 2 years, and then start dating older guys. (You at least want to be able to get into bars with them, otherwise it really is straight Pedobear status. Trust me.) Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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