I Don’t Need To Be Spoiled — I Just Need To Be Loved & Respected

Whenever I go on a date with a new guy, I’m often told that he’ll make me feel like a princess. It sounds nice in theory — or at least, it might to some women — but personally, I don’t really care for guys who want to shower me with fancy gifts or take me to expensive restaurants. This is why I’d much rather be spoiled with love than with material things:

  1. Objects are ultimately worthless. I appreciate goodies as much as anyone, but I won’t be clutching those items to my chest during my final days on Earth. What sticks with me will be the memories of being loved unconditionally. That feeling will be far more valuable than anything I can hold with my hands.
  2. You can buy me all the diamonds in the world and still be a jerk. If you treat me like crap and then buy me something shiny to fix the problem, that gift doesn’t negate your BS. You could dive down into the ocean and hand me that gaudy “Titanic” necklace, but if you don’t also treat me with respect and love, I’m throwing it right back into the sea. Gifts don’t change your behavior, and that’s what matters most.
  3. Affection is priceless. Actions speak louder than words, and they also speak louder than money. When you’re affectionate with me through physical touch or kind actions, I know how you feel. You’re showing me how much you adore me without even saying a word, and that’s something money can’t buy.
  4. The little things matter most to me. A well-timed kiss is more precious to me than any jewelry, and the memory of getting lost in a new city with you will last longer than a vase of expensive flowers. I don’t need extravagant displays of affection or expensive gifts to be happy. The most romantic moments are the ones you don’t see in the movies, but they’re the ones that make my heart swell with happiness.
  5. I can buy my own dinner. Don’t get me wrong — the path to my heart is through my stomach, but you don’t need to pay the bill every time to get there. I have a job, I have my own money, and I can buy my own meals. Treating me to fancy dinners all the time isn’t what I need. What I DO need is lots of kindness and affection… and yes, the occasional plate of pasta is definitely appreciated.
  6. The best thing you can give me is a solid compliment. Want to make me truly swoon? Put down the dozen roses. Look me deep in the eyes, and tell me I’m a feminist icon in the making. Tell me I have the strength, brilliance, and ferocity to claim the Iron Throne. And when you offer those compliments, make sure you mean them. My BS detector is exceptional.
  7. Money can’t buy my attention.It’s insulting to assume that money and flashiness are enough to keep me interested in you. I’m not searching for a partner who can buy me whatever I want — I want someone who is good right down to his core. I want someone who makes me laugh and loves me for exactly who I am. If you’re not that guy, then quit bragging about your salary and be on your way.
  8. I don’t need you. I don’t need a significant other. I have myself, and I’m very aware of how valuable I am as a human being. What I’m looking for is a teammate, because life is fun when you can share it with someone you adore and who adores you right back. I can spoil myself if I want to, so if you want to be with me, you’re going to have to offer me something I can’t give myself.
  9. I don’t owe you anything. I won’t be pissed if you choose to shower me with gifts or fancy dates, but remember that it’s your choice to do so. I don’t owe you any part of my body or any amount of affection in exchange for presents, meals, travel, or anything else. If you’re expecting to get laid just because you wined and dined me, you can GTFO.
  10. This is a two-way street. If you give me all the love I can handle, I’ll give it right back. I’m going to use our time together as a way to treat you the way you deserve, which is why I expect the same from you. I’m not asking for the moon — I just want to receive the same kind of love I’m willing to give.
is a freelance writer for Bustle and Petcha, and editor for Wise Bread. She suffers from separation anxiety, and can't bear to be away from her dog for more than 20 minutes. Her dog doesn't seem to care either way. Sweater season is her favorite season.