Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

The Princess Syndrome and Getting Spoiled…WTF?

The Princess Syndrome and Getting Spoiled...WTF? just a story  princess grace2So here’s the thing, I really don’t get it.  I’m not saying I don’t get it to be provocative or funny.  I really, really don’t get it.

In the comments to this week’s poll, a reader mentioned ‘The Princess Syndrome’

“where we’re made to feel like the best guy is the one that lavishes you with praise and attention”

I have never been made to feel that way.  And, honestly, I have never wanted that from a relationship.  Or had it.

Which leads me to this story – last night, I was leaving an event with a friend (it’s Blogher 10 here in NYC and even though I bought a full pass I’m both too busy and too overwhelmed with personal life stuff to go to much) and he was telling me a about something that happened on a , years ago. Early in the story, he said, “…and she asked me to give her a foot massage”. I could barely hear anything he said after that, because I couldn’t quite get my head around the idea of a woman, who wasn’t his girlfriend, ASKING for a foot massage (I wouldn’t really get it if it were his gf, either…).

This seemed implausible to me.  Forget about the fact that he happily said yes.

Never in my wildest dreams would I ever, ever ask a man for a foot massage. Unless we were in a serious, committed relationship and I’d just done something really nice for him.  And even then, I’m not so sure.

I just wasn’t raised that way, I guess.  No, I know.

I was raised to believe that you don’t ask for things.  Well, other people can.  And I should deliver.  But I shouldn’t ask.  And I damn sure shouldn’t expect to be treated like a princess, by anyone.  Ever.

Anyway, last night, when I told my friend that it seemed implausible to me that a date would ask for a foot massage he responded by saying that maybe I could use a little pampering.  Or something like that.

I don’t know how I feel about the whole thing.  Uncomfortable, I guess.  I don’t think this has anything to do with my . It took me a long time to fight those demons, I won’t lie.  But I fought them and won.  I genuinely like myself and who I’ve grown up to become.  I like the way I look and the life I’ve created (go ahead, call me arrogant, I won’t care).  I’m good with me.  I know I’m not perfect and if someone handed me a thousand dollars and told me I had to spend it on self-beautification I’d know exactly how to spend it, but…

Like I said, I really don’t get it.  Would someone care to explain?


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18 to “The Princess Syndrome and Getting Spoiled…WTF?”


  1. HopeClary says:

    I feel thus is about a comfort level and feeling safe. I have asked many a men in my life to massage me. I am also a person that will reciprocate such requests and have. Sometimes there is a sexual tone to it, but there have been many times that there hasn’t.

    • Simone Grant says:

      It’s not the massage that I find odd (although, to be honest, I see nothing even remotely sexy in a foot massage – but that’s just my thing), but the request. Asking for things, favors, whatever – the thought makes me uncomfortable. Even if they will certainly be reciprocated.

      • HopeClary says:

        I don’t consider asking for what you want or need being a princess unless your always asking a person to go fetch for you. For me it comes down to being comfortable with a person to ask for what you need & can’t provide yourself. I am thinking the massage thing threw me off because I have a license in that, & because I give good massages, guys & women in my life request that if me all the time. I do on occasion request things I need for myself & I do this not because I feel I am being a princess (although I am sure I do & have fallen into that catagory on occasion), but because I feel I give enough of myself to receive every once in a while. Wether it’s with someone I am intamate with or just a friend, for me my level of comfort with a person allows me (in my head) to task for things. I feel they have this same right with me, & to except this quality in me is to also to love me (or you’ll just hate me). I think this is part of my personality & no-one has ever called it The Princess, but they have called it – she is a straight shooter or tells it like it is. I think maybe this is just more of a bold personality?

  2. anonymous says:

    I agree with you – I have never wanted to be treated like a princess, nor do I expect to be treated that way. I expect respect and common courtesy, but I don’t require full-on attention. I don’t ask for much, but will usually do things if asked. And in regards to your post, I would be completely uncomfortable asking a guy to touch my feet, especially if I wasn’t seriously committed to him.

    One of my best guy friends dated this girl a while back, and she would make comments to him like “why didn’t you hold the door open for me?” or “why didn’t you pull out my chair for me?” It was really bizarre, at least to me, because I am fully capable of opening a door myself and would never point out such things to a guy I was dating.

    I don’t get it either…but here’s to us, the low maintenance girls! :)

    • Simone Grant says:

      I guess it really is about expectations. I know some people (men and women) who are raised to believe they deserve certain things. Whereas I get uncomfortable when I date men who buy me gifts, etc.

      Yes, here’s to us low maintenance girls.

  3. Esme says:

    I agree with you. I have never been treated like a princess, and I don’t ever expect it. I just want to be treated like an equal member in the relationship! THAT alone will make me feel loved and wanted.

  4. Sequel says:

    Being treated like a princess always gets me into trouble. I lose my head. My heart falls hard. It never ends up pretty.

  5. Sandyvs says:

    I’m kind of shocked reading this. I never considered any kind of massage a pampering. With one guy, I knew that if he started massaging me, I was going to get nailed, which was fine with me after I got the massage. It’s probably because I’m a very affectionate person and people (men and women) I know as well as even strangers touch me all the time. It’s just been such a fact of my life that I accept it. I ask guys that I date to rub my back all the time and don’t think twice about it. Sometimes where I work, a guy will come up and start massaging my back. Yeah, I know that can be considered harassment, but I won’t turn down a back rub from anyone!

    • Simone Grant says:

      I have no problem with a man voluntarily giving me a massage – none at all. I quite like it (in whatever context). But I’d never ask. ESPECIALLY for a foot massage which seems like an especially princess-y thing to ask for. I’m not sure if that makes sense.

  6. LadyD says:

    I’m 44; I have never asked for a foot massage; I don’t like my feet to be touched. I also do not ask for a massage, mainly because unless you’re a professional, it’s just doesn’t feel that good to me. Like Simone, I was raised to not ask for things lest you be seen as selfish; I’ve gotten much better about this and am no longer afraid to ask for what I need or want (but it was sooo hard to learn that it’s OK to ask!); I’ve been completely on my own since I was 19, never had “help” from a man for my survival. After dating for barely 2 months, my last BF was upset that I didn’t want him to pick me up from the airport from a trip – I had to explain to him that (a) I don’t know him well enough to have him see me at my worst (grubby, grumpy, exhausted); and (b) After spending hours stuck in a flying bus, the LAST thing I want is to be gooped on and have to be charming! Just point me to a taxi, and let me decompress in peace! Needless to say, we broke up at 90 days; I honestly think he really wanted a “Princess”! He’ll learn . . . eventually – probably after a brutal divorce – that “Princesses” are just selfish little girls . . . That’s my $.032 cents.

    • Simone Grant says:

      You bring up a good point, I’d imagine that those of who are comfortable asking for things are also highly independent and need our time to decompress, etc, rather than be hovered over by someone to solve our problems. Again, it’s how we are – we solve our own damn problems.

      If someone wants to be a princess, let her be. I don’t know if she’s selfish or just practical. Maybe she’s learned something that I never did (that men like to be the caretaker and that it’s easier to just let them). Whatever, to each his/her own.

    • HopeClary says:

      I am sorry, I don’t think this man wanted a princess! I think he wanted someone real, to open up and not care about surface. Most people request to be love for who they are not what they look like after a flight. You may just not be looking for that kind of comfort & always need your pretty face ( or pretty emotional face) on when you are with someone. Sometimes the beauty is in tge imperfections & you only really are perfect with someone when except & appreciate those quirks. This is why I feel we aren’t all perfect for each other!! !! By the same token you may not want a man who wants these things.

      • Kayle says:

        This is kinda of true, but you have to realize that there are people who just aren’t able to recoup or relax while someone is staring up their ***, and it has nothing to do with fear of intimacy. It has to do with overstimulation.

        And as one of those people, it’s really annoying to repeatedly get cast as emotionally unavailable or afraid of being myself when i am being most vulnerable and being most myself.

        When other people are there I can hear/feel them (I get irritated when it’s the fan or the fridge or the TV too, so don’t try to analyze me over this one). And with some people, the expectation of their personality, the need for constant stimulus or to inject constant stimulus into your interactions because they get stimulus out of “seeing what happens” or “making you happy” is so overwhelming with some people that I can’t be myself around them or relax when they’re in the room.

        Sometimes with those people, it takes days to get rid of the lingering effects, especially if I feel like they’re trying to be “closer” than I want them to be (manipulating or pressure me into being on their side or being their partner, etc. by amping up their feelings or flattering me, particularly if they are being verbally indirect but refusing to hear a non-verbal (or verbal, doesn’t matter) NO or STOP. And I can only guess it’s mostly because they’ve already assumed that I’m emotionally stupid because of the same personality traits we’re already discussing and am therefore not really communicating what they think I couldn’t possibly be in touch with. They jut think I’m emotionally insecure or indecisive. (Try having “low-key” and “outside the box” while simultaneously being labelled as a “harda**” “aloof” and “stubborn”. It makes for being on the receiving end of a LOT of persistent jacka**ery).

        What those people don’t realize is that they’re “getting closer” to someone who doesn’t exist. They just don’t believe that being together all the time or doing me favors is NOT going to change who I am or how I act. It will just make me hyper aware of the other person’s energy and stimulate/irritate/confuse me until I can’t feel my OWn feelings or find my natural balance. Then I will just resent them running me down…if I ever get enough energy to realize that that’s what happened. And I certainly wouldn’t be in any shape to give back authentically if I wanted to. This goes for platonic relationships as well as romantic ones.

        As a result of my own fastidiousness, about my energy I prefer to only ask for favors from people who have signed up for them in one way or another and who I know definitely have the resources and a healthy and/or circumspect motive. I’m not saying I don’t accept things graciously when I have nothing to give, but that there are people who give from selfishness and insecurity and I’d rather not have them around when they perceive that I do have something to give, even if it’s just profuse thanks.

  7. Vendetta says:

    I have no problem asking for a foot massage, my feet hurt! This is what 12 hours on your feet as a nurse does to you, I won’t lie, I’d BEG for a foot rub when I get home. Instead I settle for the foot bubbler spa thing that I have to do myself.

    As to being treated like a princess, I don’t expect it, I don’t ask for it, but it’s nice when someone spoils you of their own accord. At leas ton special occasions. I think if they did it every day, all the time, I’d get annoyed with it, but when I deserve it, or just as a romantic gesture, it’s a great feeling. My ex in college use to love to rub my feet, but it was his version of foreplay, and who was I to complain? It always worked like a charm!

  8. I find it hard to ask for something as simple as a cup of coffee and not feel like the favor will be expected to be repaid at some future date. Kinda ate up, but keeps me fiercely self-reliant. Probably to a fault :-)

  9. Dazediva says:

    Getting spoiled or pampered is a good thing most of the time especially when it is a voluntary action – and not something you are asking for. However saying that – I think when one is comfortable with themselves and/or with the person they are with (whether its a friend or a boyf or a fling etc) there’s no harm is saying / stating (or as some might put it – asking) for what you want.

    I’ve grown up with guys being my best friends – they’ve treated me like one of the boys AND yet always pampered me too .. A gay friend of mine told me after meeting 2 of my boys that the men around me would have a hard time matching up to my best mates as they spoil me in their own way …

    One of my exs’ best mates from years ago still calls me ‘princess’; one of my best friends calls me by princess or beauty – and I always laugh and brush it off .. but honestly, it just feels good knowing that someone cares enough about me to think I should be called that .. and they don’t mean it in a way like I’m a spoiled brat – its just a term of endearment for them

    The fact that you have been so independent means that its difficult to accept when someone goes out of their way for you or wants to do things for you .. I know where you’re coming from .. it may feel weird to ‘want’ someone to do something nice for you but really its natural and its okay to be spoiled every now and then … ask Sunday boy for a shoulder massage whilst sipping wine in Central Park .. I’m sure he won’t say no and I can guarantee that you’ll feel pretty great :)

    p.s if he’s a bad masseuse I will apologize in advance and promise to give you a Diva special when I come to NY