Advice

Please Advise: My girlfriend patronizes me endlessly.

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Nerve readers help out a guy whose girlfriend looks down her nose a little too far.

Each week, the inbox of our venerable advice columnist, Miss Information, is flooded with queries. And although she makes a valiant effort, she cannot answer them all. To deal with the surplus, we've decided to turn to you. So, don your spectacles and help this woman out. You can give her advice in the comments below, or, if you'd like to share what you wrote with your friends, on our Facebook page.

 

Dear Nerve,

I'm currently dating a girl who I've known for a while. (We met in college and have dated on and off since then.) Right now, my life revolves around waiting tables and shopping my novel around, and she's working her way through med school. She's a great girl, and we have a lot of fun together, except she has one habit that's been annoying the living hell out of me.

I don't know if it's that I'm currently the stereotype of a "struggling artist," or that she just thinks her profession occupies a higher place in the world than mine, but she's constantly patronizing and speaking down to me. I listen attentively to her talk about med school and what she hopes to do with her life, but whenever the conversation switches to my life, she's very dismissive of my work, even though she a) hasn't read any of the novel, and b) actually makes less money than I do right now (just to make clear that this isn't entirely a financial issue). There's always the implicit condescension in her voice that I'm going to have to "find a real job" or move on to something more stable and some point, and it's really irking me.

I've teasingly asked her why she feels like this, and even pointedly made it an issue the first time we broke up. Lately though, it's been less overt "truth-disguised-as-joke" statements and more subtle attempts at undercutting me and what  I do. (Perfect example: she recently casually mentioned an article she read online about how little working novelists actually make per book, without explicitly mentioning me or my book.) What's the best and most constructive way to finally put a stop to this, the dark spot in an otherwise bright relationship?

— Get A Job, Hippie