In this week’s Hola Papi!, the advice column by writer, Twitterer, and prolific Grindr user John Paul Brammer, a reader writes in to lament that his boyfriend isn’t growing up quick enough for him.
The pair have been together for about a year and during that time the boyfriend has shown little gumption towards working or pursuing any dreams at all. And this reader wants to know:should he stay or should he go?
But before he makes that choice…our dear Papi has some tea for our reader about himself that he may need to sit down for. We did.
If you want his advice, just email him firstname.lastname@example.org your question. Just be sure to include SPECIFICS, and don’t forget to start out your letter with Hola Papi!
I’ve been seeing this guy for around a year and he’s everything you could ever want except he is massively lacking motivation. We go together great, but I’ve noticed that he really isn’t adept to handle adult life. We’re both only 21 and so I understand that each of us still has a lot to learn. However, I feel like he really can’t look after himself.
Since starting dating, he’s dropped out of university, was unemployed for around 6 months and has only recently found a job that you can barley called part-time. His decisions are starting to affect us since we can never do anything exciting, as he can’t afford it! I’m sick of waiting around for him to get his act together and I have told him this. He always promises he is going to stop letting me down, and every time I believe him. But now I’m starting to wonder if I will always be waiting for him to get it together.
I feel like I’ve grown up a lot and I’m looking to be with someone that I can see the world with. With this one I’m lucky if we even go to the pub. Do you think I should try to be more understanding, or should I ditch him and move on?
I think you are looking at this as a temporary problemyour boyfriend is underemployed, and he has some growing up to dowhen it might be a more fundamental difference in personalities. In other words, he isn’t very motivated or ambitious, and aside from pleasing you he doesn’t really have a desire to change those things.
So, first thing’s first, figure out if that’s the case. Is he upset that he can’t find a job? Does he talk about passions he wants to pursue? Or is it, as I suspect, not a big deal to him? If it’s the latter, you can’t really change that, and a long-term relationship with him (you seem to be looking into a future together) could prove frustrating. You have different values and expectations.
For me, I don’t need a guy to be successful or economically well off to be interested. But as an intense person, I get nervous at the prospect of being with a guy who has no drive or pursuits. One isn’t necessarily superior to the other. There are many virtues to being extremely laid back. It’s a lifestyle thing! And it sounds like your lifestyle (I want to go out, and not just to pubs) is incompatible with his (but lying on the couch is free, babe).
I think it’s important to note that our worth as people ought not be defined by our output or our jobs. We shouldn’t approach people that way. But when one partner isn’t self-sufficient, it can turn the other into a babysitter, which is not the tea, especially at 21.
And not to go all “investigative journalist” on you, but whom exactly is funding his lifestyle if he’s only barely got a part-time job? Is it you? If so, then I must stress that Papi is single.
In any case, you can’t parent this guy, and you can’t want things on his behalf. Twenty-one is young enough to have plenty left to learn, but it’s old enough to take responsibility for your decisions in life, like dropping out of college, for example, and taking six months off from the grind.
So while I don’t judge him for his choices or his lack of gumption, my assessment of your dynamic is that if you’re not willing to put up with this current frustration you’re feeling, it’s probably not going to work out in the long term.