Dating Someone Who Has No Ambition


He said he wanted to be a writer, but he never moved ahead with it. My sister gave me some bad advice: He could be my stabilizing force and I could be the star! Fifteen years later, that boyfriend who I broke up with shortly after my sister gave me that advice is still doing nothing with his life. And traveled, and bought and sold a couple of houses. Is your relationship the best fit for you? What will that effect be? It depends on you and how determined you are to achieve your own goals and plans for your life.

Listen to that still small voice, your gut instincts You need to listen to your inner voice. While no man should always be expected to plan five-star dates, at the same time, the romance shouldn't just completely fall off a cliff at once. These changes in effort can be very foretelling of how he will be a year or two down the road. Always play close attention to how a guy's behavior changes once he has had sex with you for the first time.

If he truly cares about you, his good behaviors will grow stronger. Those who back down and start getting lazier after having sex for the first time were probably only after one thing to begin with. Anyone, regardless of gender, who asks for help paying bills early on in a relationship should raise red flags. Don't let yourself be used. By paying for him early on, you are setting the tone that it will be this way for your entire future.

Be very wary of men who talk up a big game of what they plan on doing with their lives. Some men with no ambition whatsoever like to talk up a good game, but at the end of the day, they are just saying what they know women want to hear. There is nothing wrong with a guy who wants to grow into a better person, just make sure that he's genuine. In my book, living at home up until age 25 is acceptable, provided the guy was going through schooling or saving up money. But anyone who has been working for a couple of years and still lives with his mother past this age is never going to grow up.

The "sorry, I'm not a big phone person," guy. Some men may not like being tied down to a phone, but responding to your text messages or phone calls shouldn't be annoying; it's common courtesy and respect. This is a warning sign of future selfish behavior. The opposite of number eleven, the over-controlling guy must know where "his woman" his every second of the day and approve of who she is hanging out with.

Run from this type of man immediately. One day, he wants a relationship. If you could truly be happy to take the lead and be the breadwinner, that would be fine. But if it is important to you to be part of a power team and you need a husband who shares your passion for goals and success, then this kind of difference can truly erode your future: You might end up feeling contempt and disdain for his lack of ambition.

You might feel ashamed of him in the presence of your friends and colleagues. If you have children, these issues come to bear in your parenting style. Some parents push their kids to achieve; others take a hands-off approach. This is yet another realm where you might butt heads. Look inside yourself to see if this will be an ongoing source of disappointment and frustration for you, and if you will always wish to turn your man into something he is not. It might be worth exploring this issue with a couples counselor, who could shed further insight with an objective third-party view.

Gail Saltz is a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital and a regular contributor to TODAY.

Dating a Guy with no Drive or Ambition

He has no goals. How can I tell if he'll ever be motivated?

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