QUESTION: I finally introduced my new man to my friends this past weekend. He’s 18 years older than me, and much, much wealthier. He’s bought me plenty of gifts already, and he never lets me pay for the bill when we’re out together. My friends are probably blunter than they should be, but they’re saying he’s a sugar daddy, not a boyfriend. I think he and I have a connection, but now I’m starting to see how they could get that impression. How do I know if I have a sugar daddy or a boyfriend? Is there really a difference?
CHELSEA SAYS: There’s definitely a difference between having a sugar daddy and having a boyfriend. A sugar daddy has one key function in the relationship: money. There may be sex, and there may even be some feelings, but there’s always, always money. And if he’s throwing money your way in the form of expensive gifts and fancy dinners, but expects nothing in return, there’s a good chance he’s not looking to get serious with you. He’s just looking for a hot younger woman to have some fun with.
On the other hand, just because he’s spoiling you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he isn’t boyfriend material. Doesn’t every girl want her boyfriend, regardless of how old he is, to treat her like a princess? There’s nothing wrong with that. There are a few things you need to ask yourself:
• Is he seeing anyone else? Unlike boyfriends, sugar daddies and monogamy don’t always go hand in hand.
• Is he insisting on hopping into bed together? Sugar daddies often want sex out of the relationship, whereas boyfriends are more willing to wait if they’re genuinely interested in you.
• What kinds of things do you talk about when you’re together? If he’s only interested in being a sugar daddy, the conversation will usually always revolve around sex and money, but if he sees himself as your boyfriend, you should be able to talk about other things, like your careers, goals, and future plans.
• What kinds of activities do you usually do together? If you’re always going out on extravagant, expensive dates that involve spending money, you’re more of a sugar baby than his girlfriend. Suggest doing low-key, inexpensive activities like watching a movie at home or going for a walk through the park. If he’s genuinely interested in a relationship, he’ll be down for anything as long as it’s time spent with you.
If you’re still unsure about whether he’s your sugar daddy or your boyfriend, just talk to him. Ask him how he thinks your relationship is going and if he’s happy being with you. You can usually gage his feelings by how he talks about you and your relationship.