The rise of the tiger girlfriend

They’re feisty, fearless and on a mission to improve their man

You’ve probably heard of ‘tiger mums’ — those women who relentlessly try to hothouse their kids to success. Now it seems they’ve spawned a new breed: tiger girlfriends. In fact, the phenomenon has been around for a few years, says psychotherapist Terence Watts, and the pioneer in this was Victoria Beckham. When she first met David back in 1997, Posh was already a household name, then suddenly his career skyrocketed on and off the pitch. He spoke differently, he dressed differently, his international career flourished — all thanks to his new woman. Ever since, she’s continued to push him into becoming a mega brand.

And now tiger girlfriends are on the rise elsewhere. «I’ve seen more and more men who are anxious because of pressure from their partners to be a certain way,» explains Terence. «They feel like success is essential to their relationship, and that if they don’t live up to that, things will go wrong.

«Women are often turned on by success in their partners, and I’ve had men tell me their women don’t want to sleep with them unless they get that promotion or show some other improvement.»

But Terence stresses that the ‘tigers’ aren’t necessarily trying to be ball-breakers: «It’s often that, if they feel they can’t be successful themselves, the next best thing is for their partner to do so» Plus a lot of women are turned of by their man acting like the child in the relationship rather than a powerful alpha male who takes control of his own life.

As for us, we’re all for supporting our partners to help them reach their full potential, but can you imagine the uproar if men constantly tried to mould us into an uber version of ourselves? He doesn’t have to be David Beckham to be the best in your world. Easy tiger…

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