My boyfriend has no interest in going to college or trade school. I'm upset and worried, what do I do?

I am about to graduate college. We have been together for 5 months and are both 23. He started school but stopped because he didn't enjoy it. He is more into hands on stuff, so I suggested trade school and he said that is a lot more likely for him. So he researched schools, said he was going to go back. But all of the sudden he has changed his mind.

So now he's only going to have a hs diploma. The thing that bothers me the most is that he is really smart and a very hard worker. His work gives him tremendous responsibility but will not promote him. I have no faith that management will ever move him up because then they'd lose him to another store who needs him more.

I am torn. College/education is very important to me. Plus, I want to be with a guy who has a good paying job and can support me and our future family. I'm worried he won't be able to get a good paying job, is going to have to work 93498x harder for less money, and he'll have nothing to fall back on if something ever goes wrong.

His options are so much more limited without a degree/training of any kind.

He is perfect in every other way except for this one.

What should I do? I'm really disappointed in him for not going further and living up to his potential. I think part of the problem is that nobody in his family went to college and none of his close friends did. So nobody pushes him except for me and a few other people we know who see the potential in him just wasting away.

Anybody have any advice? I really see this being a problem in the future when I am ready to get married and have children.


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  • I have a feeling, given his background and his upbringing, he's not going to change, no matter how much you push him. Getting an education and better himself just isn't something he's passionate about and you cannot create passion where this is none. He needs to want this himself.

    Most likely you are right and I've seen the same thing myself. People tend to become content with a similar lifestyle that they grew up in. People in poverty stay in poverty, people in the middle class say in the middle class, and the wealthy stay in the upper class. People become accustomed to a lifestyle and will naturally try to simply maintain it. Not everyone is driven to move up.

    I realize the rest of this guy is "perfect", but you have to decide if this particular trait is a deal breaker. If it is, then the rest doesn't matter, otherwise it defeats the purpose of what something means to be a deal breaker.

    You have to understand that by this point, this guy isn't likely going to make any big changes. He's had plenty of time and chances, as well as great ideas (trade school was a good suggestion). You basically have to decide if you are OK with his current career path or not. If the answer is no, I don't think you have much choice other than to break up with him. It's probably best you also do it sooner than given your age. You'd hate to waste a couple more years with this guy only to realize that he's not marriage material.

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    THIS IS NOT RELEVANT ANYMORE
    • Agreed. Don't waste time. This already bother you and I believe by 25 a person brain has been developed. So what you see is really what you get, you know? I met a guy who was lukewarm at 24. He has been like this most of his life and continue to be like that in his future. Accept what you see as what you get.

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    • It just bothers me that is content with where he is at and not living up to his potential.

    • Agree, he wouldn't be the first person who had the potential for greatness but let it go to waste.

      Obviously you need to be careful that you don't judge a relationship entirely on money, but at the same time, its not too much to ask to have realistic expectations of his financial security. I'm not sure exactly what he does and how much he makes. Look at this in a broader sense. How will his career choice effect your family as a whole, not just your bank account. Factor all that in.

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What Guys Said 2

  • Perhaps you're right. Statistics can look rather scary when you consider that those who have a college diploma make (on avg) 45k; and peons who work hard labor make half (if that) of said income. So where's it really at? Heart.

    I'm willing to bet my retirement on the fact that a doctor might live his life and be content, but will he be happy? I'm will to bet that he's not and err on the side that he's absolutely miserable with his life, and if he ever was fired from his job / lost his license to practice, he would have no direction and/or be completely lost.

    Heart is where it's at for me. Does your boyfriend WANT to work? Does he WANT to run his own business? Etc... Not just want, but is he fighting for it - slowly/steadily/etc doesn't matter but getting him started will have a cascade of events much more powerful than some 150k job as a doctor. People often tell me "i won't amount to much"... Look at mark zuckerberg who dropped out of harvard to pursue Facebook. He's a billionaire. Now take a billion, divide that by 150k / year and it would take you roughly 6666.67 years to attain his net worth (excuse me, one / 14th of his net worth).

    Sure, there's a long shot and only a few really creative people make it to the billions.. But what about making a sustainable income from what your heart wants to do - versus what you feel forced/required to do to provide for your family. I think the pros outweigh the cons, sure it's a bit risky at times and it feels like you have all your eggs in one basket. They preach diversification in investment courses and with the right mind it's entirely possible to attain income. In Oregon (2013), you're currently allowed 7.8k unfilled earned income before law intervenes for a mandatory business license and insurance (liability to cover employees and lawsuits). That would be about 1/2 (if that) for a 2 month period. The way pros are making it large is by investing first, filing later; and investing isn't limited to the stock market. Consider car sales/etc.

    And all this coming from a guy who is like your boyfriend. Sure it's a bit rough at first and my facts weren't/aren't 100% accurate. The concept is what matters and it's entirely achievable with the right desire. Right now I'm working towards attaining my 7,800/year income to file for a business license while researching more about the insurances. And I do a variety of landscaping work on the side while maintaining a spot with stable income (general labor hand). Not to mention that his experiences in his current/future jobs (if he plans it right) might give him an educational edge and/or opportunity to apply them at later jobs.

    Hope the info takes the concern off of him. Simply said, make sure he's not a lazy douche bag that wants to be a sit-at-home-dad playing black ops 2; past that, just stand beside him regardless of what he chooses and he'll more than likely surpass the expectations set forth.

    ~ ArtistBBoy

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    • Ughhh part of me just wants him to do what makes him happy but I think he will be so much better off getting some sort of training. He can still do what he wants by going to trade school, it will just make him look like a better applicant and give him the opportunity to make more money.

      He's not lazy, he's a very hard worker. He does way too much for the company he is at now and they have not given him a raise and kind of skipped right over him for higher position interviews. The manager has

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    • Yes I have. He agrees that they are using him and has decided to do them no more favors. He doesn't want to be in the position they have placed him in anymore because of the fact that they are using him but he is going to stick with it for now. If he could work his way up that'd be great but I don't think the manager will assist in anyway, (like he previously said he would). I think he's decided not to stay with the company and work his way up anymore. He wants to apply to energy power plant jobs..

    • If "he" wants to work there, maybe you could entice him that before he gets his foot in the door that he would stand a better chance at running higher end positions with schooling; additional benefits being that he could have schooling quite literally paid for with how hard they're pushing "clean energy" right now. Wish I could be of more help but if he's like me, it's likely he's stuck on doing it his own way. Let him learn what hard work will get - then he will value the education also :)

  • Does he have connections? A lot of skill?

    Is there a trade school he could go to instead of a full-blown university?

    It's a double-edged sword. Yes, he *might* have better chances in the job market with a college degree. Or, he might get snubbed for not having the extra 4-8 years of actual job history. Also, the path he's taking won't lead to $50k-$100k of him drowning in debt.

    And consider also that these days, it seems "diversity" has more and more of his money devoted to it every year - with fewer and fewer constructive real-world results to show for it. Universities are money holes. They want all sorts of your cash to tell you that the world is bigger than outside your backdoor (well duh!) And to ram the gay agenda down your throat. And to throw pity parties for blacks and Muslims for things that happened centuries ago.

    But what about ensuring you actually know what you're doing, and can get paired up with an employer? You know...the thing you actually went to college for? Nope. You're lucky if they even care once you've graduated. Have fun drowning in debts you can't pay!

    Oh yeah, and at least half of your college debt is for the general ed and diversity requirements, not for...your actual program.

    And don't think community colleges are the answer either. I already tried that route once. Classes get canceled because an academic adviser sneezed funny, and then you have to linger around an extra year to get your associates.

    So it's his choice: Be discriminated against for not going deep into debt while learning Marxist fallacies about why some random guy with a beard in the Middle East wants us all dead, or be discriminated against because he hasn't been working as long in a full time position, which resulted in him defaulting on his loans. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Just look at it that way.

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What Girls Said 3

  • I read a research that states that amount of income of the two spouses has to differ so that the woman earns less, in order to maintain romance and sexual attraction (on both sides) in the relationship. If she earns more or supports him and he takes on more than half domestic responsibilities marriages turn "colder". Now, that could all be just crock of sh*t, but I've also seen it redone in several countries with the same results. So maybe you should keep this info in mind as a possibility as well.

    Also, for your own reasons you mentioned in your post, if this is bothering you now, you should not expect him to change his mind. Not now, not later. You may end up screwing yourself and your future family over, by finally exploding in his face, as he hits his all time low. Keep in mind you are gambling here and if you love him enough to want to do that, that's entirely up to you.

    And if you want to get him to change... Just accept he will never go back to school and tell him how you see your future with you supporting him. Tell him what you told us, but only as something that WILL happen.

    No amount of cheering for him will help. He has to want this on his own.

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    • He knows. That's why he was looking at schools and has researched jobs to apply to... because he knows I want to settle down by 25 (in 3ish years) He has said himself-- I'm not dumb, I know that if I don't have a good paying job by 25 you'll be outta here. I know I've kicked him into gear a little bit just by getting him to actually start thinking about his future career, so that's good. Pretty sure school is out by now. He's annoyed that I keep pushing it and that I'm so angry over it...

    • Then stop pushing it. If you've driven him to a point where he is getting angry, it means your pushing has lost practical purpose. From now on it can only do damage. Of course it's one thing to ask what he is doing, to cheer him on, it's a whole other to command he does something and repeat it when it becomes irritating. Don't try to influence this. It's his choice and his willpower that has to come into play. You only have your own choice: stay, or leave.

  • You unfortunately can't make someone do something they don't want to do.

    If it's bothering you a lot this far in, it's going to be a lot worse later on when you're sharing incomes or else still resenting him for not being educated.

    If you're going to be with him you should be 100% okay with him not being educated.

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    • Agreed.

    • Yeah, It's something I'll just have to learn to accept so for now I will. We'll see what happens in the coming months. He better make some progress

  • yeah. He's supposedly perfect in every other way and you really love him. your only concern is being able to support a family on his measly income because he refuses to go to school.

    So, you have the university diploma. you go to work with a decent high paying job. let him stay home and take care of the kids. voila. problem solved.

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    • Eh he doesn't want to do that anyway. I want to stay with the kids lol. I'll be making 60-70k at my job.

    • if he makes less, hell have to stay with the kids. imo you're wasteful to stay home if you know can definitely bring in 70 k. times are hard. even if he goes to school you dk he can necessarily bring money in.

      anyways you either want him or you dont.

      if he's not going to school, you both have to be practical. he takes care of the kids, or you don't have kids. or you break up.

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