Ask a Dude: Am I a Trophy Girlfriend?

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Dude,

I am dating this guy who everyone else thinks is this amazing guy. And I guess from what they see, he is pretty amazing. He is constantly telling me how beautiful I am, how wonderful I am, and how lucky he is. Now, that’s all great and sh*t, but I guess I should tell you a bit more…

He does that stuff all the time. Treats me nicely. Takes me on dates. Cuddles with me. Blah blah blah. BUTTTTTT, there’s this other side to him that no one knows about except me.

He does NOT invite me to hang with him and his friends… ever. He never wants me around them. It’s not like his friends are drug dealing murderers, either. I’ve met a few of them and they’re great guys! Sometimes I’ll call him and he’ll say, “Well I’m just over here at Josh’s. We’re having taco night! It’s so much fun!” And on the other line I’m waiting for him to invite me over. I like tacos, too!! One night I got frustrated waiting on him to invite me so I just went over. And it was so super awkward. He like latched onto me for dear life and made me feel like I had just crashed boys night. It’s not like I was the only girl there, though! Some of their friends who are girls were there, too.

Another thing – he doesn’t spend time with my friends either. If they are around, he says things to me like, “I wish it was just us, that’s all.” My roommate is my best friend and he makes her feel uncomfortable in her own home. It sucks. I don’t know why he’s acting like that.

It’s not like we’re having some secret relationship where he doesn’t want his friends to know we’re dating. He shows me off to everyone! I just feel like a trophy girlfriend. I feel like he sees only the surface and not me for who I really am. What do I say to this guy?? Am I overreacting?? Is this normal? Do guys do this all the time? What’s really going on here???

HELP.
— Left Out Dear Left Out,

Trophy Girlfriend: One that is paraded around to enhance a man’s ego amongst his peers and strangers. She is treated more like a pet than a person. He shows her off but does not include her. He uses her to create a positive reflection of himself in the eyes of others but does not make a reciprocal effort to be apart of her life.

Does this sound like you? It does from where I’m writing (a secret Dude bunker in a Tunisian cave?) I fear that you’ve found yourself in a position where you might as well be covered in gold plastic with a crappy plate at your base saying: Best Girlfriend. Unfortunately, you’re not a girlfriend. You’re the key to his status as an “alpha-male.” Dump the loser.

Usually I try to keep a level of objectivity in the column. Not this week. This is the kind of guy I loathe. Dump him fast and dump him brutal. Tarring and feathering may be a bit outdated, but if shoulder pads can make a comeback…just trying to give you options.

Yes, a boyfriend who wants to show affection to his better half can do so by giving her compliments on how attractive he finds her. But he’d also make it a point to make her feel included in his life, to integrate their relationship with at least some of his friendships, and to assure her that she’s a top priority, if not the top priority. Now, the d-bag narcissist who sees the gal on his arm as an accessory meant to accentuate his awesomeness, well, he’ll just off empty words. He’ll rattle of compliments to make you seem appreciated so that you’ll smile when he takes you out. He’ll spend money on you if he can afford it to showcase that he has means to shower on a hot girl. Finance becomes a laurel to enhance the trophy girlfriend which is used to enhance himself. Do we see a pattern emerging?

He’s got a one track mind: him. You’re the Armani suit he breaks out to make himself look good to others. Dump him. All he’s doing is undermining your sense of worth and confidence. He’s reducing you from person to toy poodle. Don’t let it continue. Neuter the relationship. “Fix” him before he “fixes” you. This is about protecting yourself now, not about trying to avoid hurting him. Then you and your roommate go out on the town and celebrate being d-bag free. Trust me. You’ll see…

It’s all happening,
The Dude

[He's good, right? Check out The Dude's other insights into the male mind right here.]

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