Are Her Goals Enough for Him?
Q: I've been dating someone steadily for almost a year and things are going well. We both do improv and have similar interests. I'm a tech dude, I don't make a lot of money, but I feel confident with my earning potential and see myself with a stable future. She, on the other hand, is a barista and does comedy. She goes on some auditions and does get some work, a commercial here and there. She says she is focusing on her career but I'm not exactly sure what that is, the coffee or the acting?
I do love her and have fun but something is stopping me from totally immersing emotionally. Is this a pipe dream for her or is this something I should continue to encourage? Of course I do want her to be successful, for her, but I would like a partner who has more solid career goals. I feel somewhat guilty saying that. — Scott, 33
Dr. Susan: This would be a good time for the two of you, separately and then together, to ponder what your future might look like. I appreciate your feelings of guilt about questioning your girlfriend's future money-making ability. A career in show biz will never be easy or as straightforward as many other kinds of work. If she says she's focusing on her career, and she goes on auditions and gets some work, then if you want to be with her, you need to be supportive. If you can't handle the unsettled nature of her chosen line of work, then you probably need to be with someone else entirely. The thing is, life changes, women have babies, catastrophic illnesses and accidents happen. So if you find yourself trying to steer her career, as well as your own, you could be heading for disappointment.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.