Prudent advice

This from my favourite agony aunt, Slate's "Dear Prudence":

Dear Prudie,

I'm at loggerheads with all my close girlfriends. I am a few years out of college and have a wonderful job with real possibilities for advancement. The bone of contention is my boyfriend. Everyone is saying, "Run!" but I am absolutely crazy about him. I will be perfectly honest with you: He's gorgeous and great in the sack. What everybody is worried about is that he doesn't have much ambition and goes from one job to the next ... and these "positions" are not at a very good level. He kind of knows that my friends don't like this romance, but he tells me he's sure, in time, that he'll mature into a responsible adult. I would be interested in how my situation looks to an outsider.

-Pulled and Torn

Dear Pull,

Prudie would feel more hopeful about your relationship if the young man's attributes included more than good looks and sexual skills. Ambition and maturity are not going to materialize just because the calendar advances. What Prudie thinks you need to remember is that an erection is not a sign of personal growth. Bail out, honey. It has been pretty much proved that when one's inner circle agrees that a guy is bad news, that is exactly what he is.

-Prudie, maturely

Well, I have to say I disagree strongly with Prudie on this one, although I agree in principle about inner circles. My problem is that this particular inner circle seems to be a particularly obnoxious one, obsessed with social status and pay packets at the expense of the things which matter.

After all, this woman is in a position many men have been very happy in for millennia. If guys can be happy going out with unambitious women who are great-looking and good in bed, why can't a girl be happy with that sort of guy?

There's far too much pressure on women to only go out with men who earn more than they do. Ambition is not a reason to go out with someone: often, it's a reason to break up with them. This poor guy is obviously trying to say what he thinks his girlfried wants to hear; she should be telling him that she cares about him more than his business card.

And while she's about it, she might stop defining herself by her "possibilities for advancement." Once she's done that, I think she might find herself in a more sympathetic group of friends.

Home | Reply to Felix