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Author Topic: Different goals
Animica
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I've been with my boyfriend for over a year. Like every couple, we have our differences, and I can overlook or accept all of them...except one: my boyfriend lacks motivation to get a degree in college. He doesn't care much about doing his assignments, hardly studies for tests, and pretty much hates going to class. There just isn't one day when he's happy to go to college. I don't know what he wants to do with his life. It worries me that in the long run, he might shirk his duties/responsibilities, and I feel like I'll have to carry all the financial weight. I'm very goal-oriented, and very ambitious when it comes to chasing my dreams, and right now I feel limited. We've talked about this before, and he's tried to change, but he always falls back into the same thing.

Advice, anyone?

Posts: 132 | From: La La Land | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OWL Dan
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Have you asked yourself recently "What am I looking for in a long term relationship partner?" and determined what things are negotiable and what are deal breakers? Is this one of the negotiable areas or is it a deal breaker? He has, over the last year, already shown you where he is with this issue. Now it is your turn to decide where you are with this; only you can make this decision. My main piece of advice for you is to be true to yourself and go with what is best for you. I wish you well with this.

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Dan

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Animica
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Well, I've figured that if the issue continues, it might become a deal breaker, but right now, I'm up for negotiation. See, he's an all around nice guy (particularly, he's very supportive and communicative), it's just that that his lack of motivation kind of disappoints me. I've considered the possibility of a platonic friendship, if it doesn't work out, but I like to think it'll work. I'll just have to see what happens. Thanks for the advice. [Smile]
Posts: 132 | From: La La Land | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OWL Dan
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You are welcome! I am glad to hear that the balance works. [Smile] Any time you are questioning something about the relationship, simply step back for a moment and take another inventory.

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Dan

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KittenGoddess
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Also, have you talked to your partner about WHY he is unhappy in college and what it is that he really wants to do?

While I'm very much in favor of higher education, it is not something that everybody wants. I've had students (in the past & now) who quite frankly don't want to be in college but are there for a host of other reasons. Many of them are unhappy and feel unable to figure out how to change the situation without being framed as a failure or a quitter. This always makes me sad. I feel like "we" (as a society & within higher education) are doing these students a disservice by acting like a degree is the be-all-end-all and the ONLY way to be successful in life. We push people to rack up huge amounts of debt in the pursuit of something which they may not enjoy or even be very well suited to do. Maybe that student had a passion for cooking or art or a skill at repair or building...and instead of nurturing that and helping them be in a place where they CAN feel like they want to succeed, we cram them into a shoe that doesn't fit. Having a college degree is no guarantee of financial stability or future success.

I obviously don't know your partner. So I can't know if he truly is just generally unmotivated about everything...or if it's simply that he is so unhappy about being in college and isn't sure how to solve the problem that he has given up. But I do think that you should probably think about what criteria you're using to judge his motivation level. So I think it's worthwhile to consider why he is so unhappy. And, as Dan noted, you also will want to consider what your "dealbreakers" are. Does that mean a college degree, etc.?

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Sarah Liz

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TheTasteOfPurple
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I think KittenGoddess brings up some really good points. College definitely isn't a good fit for everybody, and as someone who has been non-schooled basically her entire life and isn't particularly interested in going to college currently, I can say for sure that somebody can be motivated in general and be successful in life without enjoying college. (For example, I'm currently interested in and actively learning about linguistics, storytelling, cooking, carpentry, sewing clothes and costumes, investing in the stock market and a host of other things, as well as having had a job in a theater for two years and looking for another after moving to a different city now). I think it's really unfortunate that so many people go to college because they feel like it's expected of them, rather than because they actually feel like they have something important to learn there.

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Julia

The highest result of education is tolerance. -Helen Keller

Posts: 50 | From: Halfway down the California coast | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Animica
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Thanks.

I think I know why he's not motivated. In simple terms, he doesn't like his major, and he thinks it's a waste of time. It's not that he doesn't want an education, though. It's just that 1)he's not getting any support from anyone (except me), and 2) his financial position right now doesn't allow him to get the education he does want.

In my ideal world, he'd be at the college of his choice, majoring in what he wants...Sadly, other people from whom he needs support don't see it that way.

I'm giving him some space right now, for him to be able to think. Perhaps in a few days we might be able to talk about again, if he's up for it. We're always honest with each other, so I'll be sure to tell him what I've been thinking about next time we meet.

Thanks again for the advice everyone. [Smile]

Posts: 132 | From: La La Land | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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