“Marry rich!” That’s the tongue-in-cheek dating advice that our older friends and relatives give to many of us.

Sounds great though, doesn’t it? Just marry into a higher socioeconomic class, and bam — your life has changed dramatically without you having to really work for it. But not only is it a pretty twisted thought, it also doesn’t typically work out too well. Allow me to explain.

What Makes a Relationship Work?

I read a lot of books. Lately, I’ve been diving into the category of dating and relationships. I keep reading about how relationships must be fair in order to work. To see this for yourself, think of all the couples you know. What are they like in relation to one another? Eh, I’ll just go out and say it: They're probably the same number on the hotness scale.

And if one is much hotter than the other, what do we assume? That’s right. We assume that the less attractive (or significantly older) one is rich. It’s probably true. Or at least, the less beautiful person has something else going on to add value to the relationship. Strong relationships are a balance. Like buying a car, no one wants to get a bad deal.

So what happened when I dated a girl who was not only very pretty, but also very rich?

What Is It Like Having a Rich Girlfriend?

In short, I couldn’t handle it. Having a rich girlfriend was just like what these books say about relationships: Even if one partner is okay with the imbalance, the other partner will go crazy with guilt.

Keep in mind, I dated this girl some time ago — exact timeframe redacted to keep myself from getting into any hot water. But everything was going swell up until I found out that her father owned a successful chain of restaurants that have now landed on two continents. And she was really close to him. It really made me feel like an ant.

At the time, I wasn't making enough money to even be taken seriously by myself (though of course, I was working hard to change that).

After I found out that my girlfriend was rich, I couldn’t stop talking about my relatively poor upbringing. The guilt was making me say these things.

I’d say stupid things about growing up on a farm in rural Nebraska. I would tell her that my neighbors raised pigs and that when they drove their tractors onto the road, pig manure would fly off their tires and I’d literally have to drive through shit on my way to school. Meanwhile, my rich girlfriend would innocently complain about not visiting Paris for nearly a year.

It was also tough because when it came to giving gifts, I couldn’t get her anything she didn’t already have, monetarily speaking. I could get creative, but creativity takes a lot of time. Keep in mind, I was spending so much of my time trying to level up in the world so that I could someday be taken seriously by her father.

Further Reading: “Should You Return Gifts After a Breakup?”

Can Dating a Rich Girl Work Out If You're Not Wealthy?

I didn’t exactly like the idea of working in one of his restaurants as that kind of son-in-law. He’d probably make me work some crummy job like a line cook or dishwasher. No. Not me. Not going to happen.

Did I panic? Maybe. Probably.

My experience with dating someone outside my financial league was stressful. I believe that — just as the books will tell you — a relationship needs to have balance. Maybe I’ll find this girl again after I have millions. Hopefully, she’s still single!