Vaporize (kalakumari) wrote in debunkingclass,
Vaporize
kalakumari
debunkingclass

Dating & Relationships

Has anyone ever had problems with class differences in dating and relationships? I'm thinking specifically about the effects of Cotillion or other similar "etiquette" education.
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Absolutely. Basic stuff around the kinds of things we were able to do or not... events, purchases and such.
The relative ease with which they could do this stuff, and the expectation that that be the case.

Trying to put *them* at ease about the fact that i couldnt do/have certain stuff...and that generally that was actually OK lol.

Explaining that while sometimes its stressful when i dont have enough money for my basics, i just dont live a costly life, and it actually doesnt stress me out to not have new fancy shit.

Watching them spin out of control when a money source dried up, or threatened to dry up, and being some kind of support for them during their crisis around it because theyd never had to deal with that before.

Even though i'm generally able to take care of my financial needs (you kind of have to be good at this shit when you have very little), feeling like no matter what i say or do, folks ive been with who have more bucks/ access to more bucks just dont get that. Thats one that i just cant stand. It's this assumption that i dont know what im doing with the little money i have, i couldnt possibly be skilled at budgeting, and couldnt possibly be able to decide for myself what is a priority. Thats the one that has bugged me the most, because its about not being taken seriously, not being seen as an autonomous person able to make choices for myself. ew.
IAWTC completely.


When I was in my early 20s I dated someone who showered things on me when he was kind of in the "wooing" stage of the relationship, then got irritated when I couldn't pony up "my share" later. Granted, it was an emotionally abusive relationship, and that was just one of the many examples of power imbalance/power abuse within it.
Yes. I have always had problems with this, in both friendships and earlier romantic relationships. I was a very smart child, so I was placed in advanced/gifted classes throughout elementary school. I also lived in a trailer and rode the bus wtih the trailer park kids. None of my "smart" friends had a similar background - my very best friend in high school had a family car that cost 4x what the trailer I lived in did. I never had friends over because there wasn't room with the other 5 members of my family crammed into our living space.

I didn't get a lot of the social cues and mannerisms that come with an upper class upbringing, or even a middle class one. I didn't know what a salad plate was until college. I didn't know that you should bring something when invited to dinner at someone's house, because we often did potluck things.

abydosangel

February 21 2009, 22:30:31 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  February 21 2009, 22:35:13 UTC

This is a difficult question to answer for me, because I have found that assumptions based on race translated into where people thought I "fit" in class structures. Usually, it made whites more defensive/uncomfortable/likely to flip out and intra-racially brought up problems that I don't like to get into in non-POC spaces.

The good news is, is that eventually I found it easier to just pay attention to the social cues of others so situations people may not be comfortable in could either be avoided, or negotiated better.

One thing that has apparently stuck with me is the idea that it's 'bad form' to discuss one's financial status, judging by my discomfort with this question.
My lover, bless, is from a higher social class than I am.

A lot of it is a lack of shared experiences. I grew up as a latch-key kid, he always had someone at home. His family took vacations, mine didn't. Both of our families have different attitudes about women - his mother thinks it's a bad sign when women work, my mother thinks it's a bad idea when women don't.

I am awkward around his family because I don't know how I'm supposed to act. The rules are unwritten, so I break them all the time. He doesn't care. His mother pretends not to care. It's awkward.