I dedicate my life to my Love Islander boyfriend – whatever he wants he gets
There's a new TikTok phenomenon where young women share their apparently stress-free lives. But rather than funding their beauty regimes and visits to the gym with a high-flying career, they’re using their boyfriends’ credit cards.
Known as stay at home girlfriends, or SAHGs, their “job description” is to care for their homes and men – and their own appearances. Their social media posts are attracting thousands of views and polarising opinions, as some people express jealousy and others describe the lifestyle as unfeminist and backwards.
While the idea of a housewife or stay-at-home mum is nothing new, the shock factor here stems from the fact that there’s neither a ring nor a baby in sight.
“On the surface it seems like bliss,” says relationship expert and Celebs Go Dating star Anna Williamson. “But it’s a potential breeding ground for power struggles. There’s nothing wrong with just one partner working, but there needs to be clarity, respect and independence at all times for both.”
She advises SAHGs to carve out separate roles for themselves and their “bank of boyfriend” partners so they feel equally valued and can avoid red flags like codependency or financial abuse. “With no access to money it can make it much harder for these women to leave the relationship.”
Summer Hawkins, 28, quit work and moved hundreds of miles to be with property mogul Biggs Chris, 27, who appeared on the sixth season of Love Island. She believes they’ve got it sussed…
"Every morning without fail I get up before my boyfriend Biggs and turn the shower on so it’s nice and hot for him when he gets in. I make him a hot chocolate and he tells me what he wants for breakfast. Whatever he wants, he gets, whether that’s chicken and rice or an egg sandwich.
After giving him a kiss goodbye as he heads off to work, I begin my cleaning routine. I start in the lounge, then do the kitchen, the bedrooms and finally the bathroom. Despite cleaning every day, I never feel like I really get on top of it. Sometimes, Biggs pops back for lunch, ringing ahead first to put his request in. It’s usually pizza.
I’ll spend the afternoon doing errands like walking our dog, Prince, shopping, going to the gym or getting beauty treatments. I have my eyelashes done every two weeks, my nails every three weeks, and the odd sunbed.
When Biggs gets home we spend quality time together, going out for a film and dinner, or just chilling on the sofa with snacks. Biggs shows me how much he appreciates me by occasionally washing up his own plate after breakfast. He brings me flowers, teddies and chocolates and says, “Thank you for making the house a home.” On special occasions he’ll spoil me with designer bags and shoes.
I don’t have an allowance. He pays for everything and gives me money when I need it, like to pay parking tickets. If we’re going out together he’ll transfer me money to buy a new outfit. I wait to see how much he gives me and then I stick to that budget. I never want to seem like I’m using him. I’m reliant on him, but I don’t mind that. He looks after all of what I call the manly stuff, including the mortgage, bills and petrol, and I take care of him. He’s like my son sometimes.
My life wasn’t always like this. I used to have a career as a teacher at a primary school in London. But I was stressed and only just getting by due to my expensive rent.
I met Biggs last year on social media and we arranged to meet at a nightclub. He arrived after me and later confessed he’d got a friend to check me out so he knew whether I was worth the effort of turning up for! We spent all night together, followed by the whole weekend and around five months into our relationship he asked me to move to Glasgow.
He said, “I’ll take care of you.” I think every woman would be delighted by that offer. There aren’t any firm expectations from either of us. If one day I haven’t done the laundry he won’t mention it – and he never makes a big deal about the fact he pays for everything.
We’re a team. I don’t have a single stress in my life, so when Biggs is stressed I can give my complete attention to him. It can be lonely as he works up to 10 hours a day and at weekends sometimes. I wouldn’t complain to Biggs because he’d tell me to get a job and that’s not what I want. I could go back to teaching but I don’t have the desire.
My family and friends initially had some reservations. Even my mum, who has always worked, said, “You’re like a 1950s housewife.” Now, they’re happy for me because I’m happy.
Our life makes sense to us. I just want to focus on getting to the next milestones of marriage and babies.
I was put on this earth to be a mum. If we had a daughter, I wouldn’t mind her being a SAHG as long as she had a nail tech qualification or something in case they broke up. We’ve even talked about her being the partner of a footballer.
Women fought to vote, to work and to have choice. This is my choice, and I love my life."
"I was frustrated by my lost independence"
Katie Langford-Foster, 31, became a SAHG by default because of her mental health issues. but she soon realised it wasn’t for her…
"I was six years into my dream career as a journalist and television booker, but I’d struggled daily with depression, anxiety and hypomania [periods of intense energy] for half my life. As I hit my thirties, I was at breaking point.
Luckily, I had a small redundancy payment from a previous job and my partner was working as a teacher. So I quit work to seek the long-term help I needed.
Crippled by depression, I just slept. But as my treatment took effect, I spent my days doing little things to help myself, like exercising and spending time with my niece and nephew.
Then I started to get bored. I don’t have kids, so I’d walk my dog, Drax, sit down with toast and coffee to watch Drag Race, and think, “What now?” I had no spare cash and all my friends were working.
I cleaned the house every day. It didn’t need doing, but otherwise I’d feel guilty when my partner came home. What else did I have to do?
He was super supportive and helped me financially when my money ran out. I was grateful, but I felt I had no say in anything. I was frustrated by my lost independence. He’d pick up the bill on date nights, leaving me feeling guilty. I missed telling him about my day at work.
When I finally felt well enough to restart my career, it was nerve-racking. But I remembered how much confidence and satisfaction work gives me.
With my own income I now enjoy what I want without feeling like I owe anyone. And I contribute to household bills again. Many people can’t, or choose not to, work, but for me it’s a big part of my identity."
Anna Williamson appears in the new series of E4’s Celebs Go Dating, which starts on Monday 28 November. See therelationshipplace.co.uk for video coaching plans on boosting self-esteem and relationship red flags
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