Wedding Woes

I want the love my BF's paying companion gets.

Dear Prudence,

I am gay and my boyfriend is an artist. We’re both in our late twenties, and he avoids starving by having a “patron.” This woman is 17 years older than him and filthy rich. They don’t have sex, and she only wants “companionship and romance.” He writes her poetry, surprises her with roses, takes her out dancing, and basically does things out of a cheap romance novel. He told me her husband was a heel and she has no real family, only some greedy cousins waiting for her to die. I have met this woman three times. She was open, enthusiastic, and very generous. I mentioned I was missing my high school reunion because I couldn’t afford airfare. She wrote me a large check the next day so I could go. My boyfriend and I are getting more serious, but I can’t get over his patron. I understand it is his job, that he couldn’t afford to do his art full-time without her, and there is no sex, but I am jealous she gets the poetry while I get the “please get milk” conversations.

—Leftover Love

Re: I want the love my BF's paying companion gets.

  • I feel sad for both.

    I'm wondering if LW has mentioned any of this as an issue before? Even as a "curiosity" question - "hey how come this woman gets x, y, z and I don't?"
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  • LW says he's doing things "out of a cheap romance novel" like it's a bad thing but then he says he wants those things? 

    If they're serious, I'd be surprised if this hasn't come up. I mean, is BF going to court this woman until she dies, or is there some kind of sunset period to this "job"? Maybe figure that out so you know the scope and then decide what to do.

  • This woman is what, maybe late 50s? Unless she has some terminal illness it's not like she's on deaths door. This could go on for years potentially and it sounds like the BF is upfront about the parameters of the arrangement. LW has to decide if he can handle it or not.  
  • This woman is what, maybe late 50s? Unless she has some terminal illness it's not like she's on deaths door. This could go on for years potentially and it sounds like the BF is upfront about the parameters of the arrangement. LW has to decide if he can handle it or not.  
    My math got mid-40’ first thought was unless she’s ill she very well could live for several decades.
    LW should ask his boyfriend if this is something he imagines going on for the rest of the woman’s life, or just the immediate future.  I feel bad for LW if the boyfriend is dishonest.  I don’t feel bad for the woman, as long as her arrangement makes her happy.  And the boyfriend seems to get the best of both worlds.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think LW needs to have a conversation with BF.  It seems as if, generally, LW is ok with the arrangement.  But the conversation needs to be about the romance that LW is missing out on.  It also needs to be understood how long this arrangement will continue for, since as PPs have mentioned the benefactor could be around for a few more decades.
  • I was rethinking this post in a more personal perspective .... still at the LW needs to have a convo with BF but could also look at maybe the small personal things bf does.

    M isn't a hugely romantic person in the typical way, and often I get jealous when I hear friend's, etc getting romantic things from their spouse.
    I then force myself to remind myself of things that M does that's thoughtful and it makes a huge difference.
    Example - we opted to do nothing for actual vday, but he looked up and made dinner that would help my indigestion. The fact he put serious thought and effort into it to make me feel better/comfortable, made me feel more special than if he had done something else like taken me out for a romantic meal.
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  • This letter is the embodiment of the  "Me: Also me:" memes. 

    If his BF is all, "Oh god I have to do all these cheesy things for this lady" and LW is all, "Yeah. ugh so horrible!", but also inside all, "But I want that," he needs to tell his BF.  It really has little to do with this lady or that he's being paid to do this. 
  • idk how I feel about this... I am somewhere in between “I wish someone paid me to be romantic” and ”I wish I could pay someone to be romantic”. 

    You are my kindred spirit, lol.

    It may not be a "typical" relationship, but I think it sounds like a lovely arrangement for both the b/f and his older benefactor.

    It also sounds like EVERYBODY is fully aware of exactly what is going on.  Even to the extent of the woman giving the LW a large check so he could go to his reunion.  She sounds like the wonderful, generous lady that even LW describes her as.

    Like some of you, I'm actually not quite clear on what it is the LW wants.  Does he want the b/f to end the relationship with this woman?  Or does he just want the b/f to step up his game in their relationship?

    I suspect, if the b/f would start giving the LW some of that same type of romantic attention, the LW would be happy and mollified.  So the LW needs to speak up!  Tell the b/f what he wants.  They can both work on ways to spice up the relationship and keep the love alive.

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  • kerbohlkerbohl
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I wonder if LW's boyfriend would also like some grand romantic gestures. He is paid to do it for this benefactor, but is LW doing it for him?  I bet he would like some of the cheesy romance-novel antics. Sometimes you have to be the change you want in the world/relationship.
  • I'm actually really how do people get hooked up with these gigs? Do you apply or does it kind of fall in your lap? If it falls in your lap, how? I mean does someone just say "hey I'll give you a monthly stipend to treat me like a girlfriend, even though I know you're gay, and we'll go out at least twice a week"? I mean what?
    .... And how does one sign up for this?
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  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I wish spending time with me was worth money.....

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