Dear Sugar --
My live-in boyfriend of five years has had trouble landing a full time job since he graduated from his master's program last July. I am a very dedicated and determined person who has never had any trouble finding a job. He is much more shy and laid-back and is a bit of a procrastinator.
I must say that most of the time I love his more relaxed perspective, but he spent all last summer and fall looking for something permanent with little luck. He finally landed a part time position, making enough to pay the rent but little else. I suspect that his whole heart wasn't into finding a job because it took a great deal of nagging to get him to do even simple things like calling to follow up on job leads or buying resume paper.
My problem is that he has recently started the full time job search again and I can feel myself getting frustrated with his job search tactics all over again. I know that I shouldn't blame him solely for his lack of luck, but supporting him and a good portion of the bills definitely puts a strain on our relationship.
How involved should I be in this year's job search? Should I just mind my own business and love him for all the wonderful aspects of our relationship, or do I have a right to get annoyed? I don't want to be a control freak, but I can't help but think how much easier things would be if he landed a job. HELP! --Breadwinner Brenda
To See DEARSUGAR'S Answer, read more
Dear Breadwinner Brenda--
Your boyfriend is lucky to have such a supportive and patient girlfriend like you, but yes, you do have a right to get annoyed by his lack of motivation and his failure to pull his own weight financially.
Your involvement in his job search really depends on both of your comfort levels. If he genuinely seems to appreciate your help and support, and you don't mind offering it, then by all means do what you can to help him out. If he seems to resent your involvement, I would back off. Chances are, he is just as frustrated as you are with his lack of success in the job hunt and may not need the constant reminder of his bad luck from the woman he loves.
Dating someone that does not have the same work ethic as you is bound to be problematic in your relationship. You need to ask your self a few questions: Do you see this as a temporary problem that will be solved once he has landed a promising long-term position and regains his self confidence? Or, do you think his lack of motivation is something that will continue indefinitely?
If all he needs is a little push in the right direction, be as supportive as you can and try to project your frustration elsewhere. If you feel his lack of motivation is a deeper issue, you need to ask yourself if you can accept him for his good, and bad qualities. I wish you both luck.