Ask Amy: Boyfriend's lack of goal-setting is a turnoff

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Wire services
  • February 11, 2013 - 1:41 PM

Dear Amy: I am a 21-year-old female, and I’ve been dating my 25-year-old boyfriend for over a year. It’s a very healthy relationship. We get along very well. We haven’t discussed marriage or children because we both feel we’re too young.

My parents raised me to be an extremely hard worker. They taught me to set goals and to achieve them. My parents taught me that I could do anything I wanted to, as long as I worked hard enough. With that mind-set, I’m extremely successful. My parents are proud of me, my boyfriend is proud of me, and I am proud of me.

My boyfriend is not as goal-oriented as I am. He does not care to work hard to achieve his goals. In fact, he no longer sets goals. I’ve tried to talk to him about setting goals and achieving them, but he seems to think that his goals will not be met, and so he doesn’t set them.

I truly love him. However, his lack of drive is something that will be an issue if we decide to stay together.

I can’t change my views on working hard because it is extremely important to me. Can this issue be mended?

Amy says: This can be mended, but only if you change. There is nothing “wrong” with operating as your boyfriend does. Not everyone is driven, a goal setter and achievement-oriented.

You and your guy have very different temperaments. You two might be perfect complements to each other just as you are, except for the fact that you don’t want him to be the way he is. You want him to be the way you (and your parents) are.

The way to mend this would be for you to respect your differences. Even though ultimately this might be very good for you as a person, you declare that you can’t do this (nor do you want to), and so for long-term success you’ll probably have to find someone else who is more like you.

Catering to needs

Dear Amy: Responding to the letter from the wedding guest-to-be with dietary restriction, I am also a gluten-intolerant vegetarian. I try to arrive not hungry to such events if I feel at all uneasy about what I am to be served. I may also have some gluten-free bars tucked away in a pocket or purse that I could slip away to eat if I think it will be a lengthy affair.

These days, more and more caterers are better aware of how to handle guests with different allergies and food issues. Usually they come up with creative workable solutions.

Of course, the main point of coming to the wedding is to share in the joy of the couple getting married. You can always eat when you get home!

Amy says: Caterers have told me that they can usually accommodate reasonable last-minute food requests. The idea is not to trouble the hosts too much with special requests — and to enjoy the day!

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at

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