How To Build A Relationship With A Guy Who's Unsure About His Future
When you get into a serious relationship, more often than not, there are going to be many relationship milestone conversations you have over the course of your time together.
You ease from the casual conversation you had in the beginning of your relationship — when hobbies, movies and favorite places to eat were hot topics — and you gradually start hitting the hard stuff.
Some conversations could be about religion, politics, whether or not you want children or where you want to live one day.
Being in a relationship is big dance where you step on each other's feet, listen to the wrong music and try to find a way to get your bodies perfectly in sync so you become one.
I like the challenge of finding the right partner as much as the next person.
But what happens when you've potentially found that right partner?
What happens when you find someone who can lead you in an ill-timed slow dance, but also bust out into the funky chicken?
You found that person you can dance to more than a few songs with, but instead of being the person who leads the steps, you don't know where you're going.
What happens when you're 25 and you're planning your future, setting your ambitions and starting your career, and your guy tells you, "I don't know."
These are the three words a woman dreads hearing when she's thinking of sharing her life with someone.
Don't get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with not having a plan.
Many people live full-fledged lives with no plans, no schedules, no set obligations and no arrangements for what their day-to-day lives consists of.
Many of us have always been in awe of these people, the floaters who take each day as it comes and each job that comes their way.
They just go on living happy existences.
We commend you.
Unfortunately, for us Type A personalities, we need a plan.
For those of us who live our lives out of planners, we like structure, organization and knowing or being able to anticipate what's going to happen.
We're not crazy control freaks, per se.
We know how to let loose, pop a bottle and let our hair flow free, but we still want a plan.
For some of us, plans are safe, even if things don't turn out like we hoped.
We can accept this, and we know we can't be in control of every minute of every day.
The biggest challenge we can encounter is being with a partner who does not live out life like this, who has a foggier view of the future or maybe no distinct vision at all of how to get there.
These kind of people could drive a goal-oriented person up the wall.
If we're in a relationship, we want to be able to envision a future with our partners, and that requires planning.
How to remedy this situation is even trickier because you don't want to seem pushy and make your partner hate you for trying to change him or her.
However, you also don't want to commit yourself to a relationship with someone and compromise your own views or values when it comes to the future you want for yourself.
This conversation can be an uphill battle, and it's one you have to approach with an open mind, all while respecting each other's individuality.
One of the first things to try is discussing that person's hobbies, interests and passions.
Once you can establish what makes that individual person happy, you can progress to researching jobs, degrees or professions you think he or she would enjoy.
You can kindly suggest these without seeming overbearing.
You never want to be the mom or dad who's pushing that "What do you want to do with your future?" button.
At the same time, a little pressure is necessary to get the ball rolling.
The important thing to keep in mind, which we all tend to forget, is that you cannot change a person.
You can't make an unambitious person want the things you want, you can't make a person determined and you can't make a person want to be successful.
That's a hard truth to accept, but it's one we all learn at some point or the other in our relationships.
You have to be accepting of who your partner is, and if you can't be, maybe it's just not meant to be.
And that's OK.
It's OK to have different ambitions and goals in life.
Maybe that person doesn't want to be a future CEO. Maybe he or she wants to sell piña coladas in Maui.
The pursuit of happiness is a steep slope to climb on your own, and it's even more difficult when you're dragging another person up there with you.
There is beauty in "I don't know," and if you ever hear it, weigh your options and prospect before heading for the door.
"I don't know" is sometimes exactly what we plan-oriented people need, whether or not we want to admit.
How long your willing to let those three words live in the relationship all comes down to you.