My boyfriend is not as motivated toward achieving things in his life as I am. He is content with his life as it is. He has a dead-end job, but he really enjoys it. He’s great in every other way, and we get along well, but I’m really ambitious, and his lack of motivation bothers me. We’ve been dating about two months. How can I motivate him to do more with himself and his life?
I remember this story! Once upon a time, a princess found a talking frog. He was a wonderful companion, but he was a frog. She wondered what other people would think. Then one day she was seized by a brilliant idea: If she kissed him he might turn into a prince.
In the fairy tale, the kiss resurrects the prince’s memory of who he really is: a prince! And then they live happily ever after because kisses are magical and solve everything. In reality, though, there are other problems. If your man has chosen a simple life and is content with it, why impose your values as if they are better than his? Doing so will only lead to arguments, discontent and a breakup. Or, if he’s a pleaser, he may buckle himself into a career he disdains just to make you happy, although resentment will likely build steadily and eventually separate the two of you anyway. Is that what you want?
There are certainly princesses (and princes) who choose partners to feed a need for constant improvement. At a deep level, many of these royal types believe that they are unlovable. If they can, through “love,” transform someone from a slacker into a success, that person will be forever grateful, love will never die, and the two will live happily ever after. Although it’s natural to support those we love in achieving their goals, it’s manipulative to enter a relationship with the idea that your partner just needs a makeover. My suggestion: Examine your own motivation for motivating your man to change. It would be healthier to redirect that improvement energy back toward yourself and channel it into volunteer work in our community.
I read your columns online, and I liked the way you responded to the father who was worried about his teenage daughter’s use of herbal products for breast enhancement. I am embarrassed to talk to anyone else about my problem, but I think you can help me. I am a guy in my early 20s, and I have no trouble meeting women. The problem is that I don’t take the connection very far because my penis is undersized. A woman once said something about it during sex, and I still feel really uncomfortable about it. Any ideas?
You were born too late! There was a song back in the 1970s that said, “It ain’t what you got; it’s how you use it.” In your case, you need to stop using your perceived penis size against yourself. Don’t let one woman’s criticism stand as truth. Don’t imagine her to be the spokesperson for the entire female population. Maybe her capacity to connect emotionally was too small!
Stop believing that size equals pleasure. Take a course on human sexuality or immerse yourself in some good books on the subject. When you learn more about the pleasure points in human anatomy, you will gain confidence. Besides, genital-only sex is passé. The entire body is available for joy. Once you have a committed relationship with a partner you love and trust (and who feels the same about you), you can explore without reproach. When you do, you’ll quickly discover that your critic was very, very wrong.