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The Princess Complex 

Here’s a recent ad from Match.com for a 37 year old woman in the Washington DC area:

“I’m a fun girl who looks young and acts young! I want to find someone to have fun with and he has to be cool! I know I’m supposed to say deep meaningful things but I think that people take life too seriously! I just want to have a good time and enjoy! I’m not into kids cuz I’m kinda still a big kid myself. I’m telling you now that I’m not into commitments but I like to have guys take care of me. I know I deserve to be spoiled cuz I’m worth it!”

Is is pathetic that a 37 year old woman is just a really shallow girl who sounds like a spoiled 14 year old? Perhaps, or perhaps not, depending on your point of view, but the reason we noticed this ad is really the last two lines – 37, and she still thinks she’s a Princess that needs to be taken care of. This woman, like so many other attractive women of her age, has never been married, and there’s a reason for that. There is a phrase for men who never grow up – the Peter Pan complex, but what can we call the growing horde of women who are still waiting to find the man that will put a tiara upon their head, and take care of them for the rest of their lives?

These modern day Princesses just don’t get it; perhaps they were spoiled by daddy (and still are). As attractive young women, they became used to men lavishing attention on them, but they just don’t understand that the Princess of 21 is supposed to evolve into a more mature and sophisticated woman, and being a Princess – being taken care of and “spoiled” by men – is just not going to fly. So they remain single, wondering why Prince Charming has not arrived in his Mercedes convertible to sweep them away. Eventually, they become aged and wizened Princesses, pouring out their empty lives to the only one who will listen, mainly paid service providers like hairdressers and manicurists.

How can men recognize the Princess complex? Here are some tips:

  • She will never pick up a check or will only do so once you have noted the fact that you have paid for the last ten dates and, she then will only do so reluctantly, with a frown across her pretty face.
  • Scheduling a Princess is not easy. Despite the fact that they are promoting themselves in advertisements online and in expensive dating services, and generally bemoaning their lack of a man, they want to make it clear that they’re really too busy to date. They are either going away for the weekend, having dinner with girlfriends, tending to their hair or nails, etc.
  • Princesses don’t call you – you call them.
  • Once in a relationship, Princesses expect the world to revolve around them, no matter how busy you might be. And to disappoint a Princess is to face certain retaliation. For Princesses do not believe in the sort of give and take that characterizes healthy adult relationships, nor do they forgive a mistake on your part.

I’m not sure exactly why you would put up with a Princess – there are a lot of pretty women out there, and the Princesses of the world are really far more trouble than they’re worth. And if you’re going to go to that amount of trouble, why not focus on the younger Princesses – women in early to mid-twenties? As they age, Princesses don’t get any easier, just older and more demanding.

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