I’ve heard warnings about using those ancestry DNA kits because the companies can use and sell your personal information, but I’ve never heard people warn us not to use them because they have the ability to go straight to people’s heads and ruin relationships. But this story, posted to Reddit’s Relationships subreddit, might just serve as that warning.
OP, a 23-year-old woman, explains that her 27-year-old boyfriend recently got one of those ancestry kits from his friends as a gift for his birthday. Ever since getting his results, his behavior has been abhorrent.
According to his girlfriend, his results weren’t that crazy (“about 95 percent European and mostly just from England, where we live”), but he was messaged by a group of people about a relative that they shared. Turns out his “great (x10) grandfather can be linked to royal lineage.”
At first, it was cute that her boyfriend was so excited about this connection to royalty. But at this point, he’s taken it too far, and it’s clear he’s gotten a terrible superiority complex about this. OP enumerates all the things he’s done, and they’re, frankly, ludicrous.
First, he quit his job with no notice, just saying that he “doesn’t believe the 9-5 life is right for him.” Then, he began insisting on using a condom when they have sex, which they didn’t previously because OP uses birth control. “He has started making a few comments alongside this about how I’m trying to ‘steal his genes’ and implying that I want his bloodline.”
He also won’t kiss her in public or around their families anymore, something that had never been a problem before. He’s also asked OP to look into her family history, which she has no interest in. She declined, and he made jokes that she “must be scared to find out” that her family doesn’t “match up” to his. “As a side note,” she writes, “by traditional standards my family are a lot better off and more ‘middle class’ than his although this has never affected our relationship.”
He clearly must have been harboring some insecurities about his station in the world or his relationship because the shift in his behavior when he learned that he was (so! very! distantly!) related to royalty was instantaneous. OP came to Reddit for advice about how to approach this situation. According to her, this is the first time they’re having problems in their relationship.
Unfortunately, I don’t think these new problems are going away anytime soon. He clearly thinks his station in life has transformed overnight and that he should now be treated like royalty in every area of his life.
“He needs to get off his high horse,” one commenter wrote. “He can’t have been that royal that he didn’t know about his ancestry until he did a DNA kit. I doubt he’s inheriting castles anytime soon.”
“Sounds like this info might have triggered some sort of manic episode or [something] similar,” another person suggested. “No one leaves a well paid professional job on a whim without something else going on. I’d get him to talk to a therapist about this new identity he seems to have picked up.”
One person suggested that “the best way to respond to this stupidity is with stupidity.” You can, according to them, order a title online. For about £20 you can become a “lord” or “lady” of a piece of land in Scotland. This person thinks OP should buy herself a title. Then, once she receives it, they write, “tell him his distant lineage isn’t good enough for your ladyship and everything needs to go back to normal.”
If she still wants to remain in this relationship, my advice would be to tackle this problem head on. Explain to him why his behavior is unacceptable, and tell him he must seek therapy and/or accompany you to couples’ therapy. He needs to realize that his sudden distant connection to royalty means, well, literally nothing.