‘My parents won’t stop bugging me about my boyfriend’s lack of ambition’

Dear Coleen

I’m a 26-year-old woman and I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 18 months.

Things are good and we’re in love, but it worries me he has little ambition. My parents nag me about it all the time and don’t think he’s right for me.

I was always academic at school and have a good job and want a successful career, but my boyfriend works in retail, doesn’t earn much money and is happy to carry on with the way things are.

I try to encourage him to apply for things or even go back to college, but he just clams up.

I’m always telling him how great he is and how much potential he has, but he doesn’t seem to see it.

I do think about the future and about money and I like to plan as much as possible, but he seems happy to drift and just see how things turn out.

I hate to admit it, but I do worry about the future if we stay together because I think I’ll be the one supporting us financially.

It doesn’t help that I get pressure from my parents, which only makes me doubt him more.

Coleen says

Firstly, I think you have to zone out all the noise from your parents – they’re not going out with him, you are.

And it sounds as if he must have a lot else going for him because other aspects of your relationship are good and you love him.

You could be dating a high-flyer who’s boring or doesn’t treat you well, but has ambition and bags of cash.

Maybe your boyfriend just hasn’t found his thing yet, or maybe he suffers from a lack of confidence, which stops him from trying.

So, while it’s good to encourage him and build him up, if you’re questioning his choices and seeing his job as a problem, then it could have the ­opposite effect and might make him feel a bit useless or not good enough.

Also, he might actually be very happy doing what he’s doing and if you don’t think this is going to fit in with what you want in the future, then perhaps you need to consider how compatible you are.

But, whichever decision you make, it should be because it’s what you want and not what your parents want. You can’t choose a partner to please other people – even your parents!

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