I’m 18 with no job and my girlfriend wants me to live with her which I do want to live with her but want to wait until I have a job so I’ll have enough money to pay rent but she expects me to move in and start paying rent immediately even though If I did this It would completely drain my bank account. My parents want me to move in with them because they don’t really like my girlfriend and say terrible things about her and to her. Another issue is Both, my parents and girlfriend seem to think that they’re more important than what I want to accomplish in my life and expect me to do everything they want. My girlfriend will usually cry and say I don’t love her if I say anything about what I want to do in my future because she doesn’t want me to leave and go to college away from where she is (it doesn’t necessarily require college but the job I want includes lots of travel). And my parents don’t want me to go to college for what I want or try to accomplish my goals because they do not believe it is a good career path because its not really a career field that makes you a lot of money. I feel very depressed and worthless. I also just feel like my girlfriend and parents are both not happy and very angry because of me. I’m also feeling overwhelmed because I am looking for a job but while I’m doing this everyone including my girlfriend’s dad keeps yelling at me telling me to do it faster. I am also busy trying to follow my dreams and create art, music, and comedy. (age 18, from US)
You are in a difficult situation and it will only get worse if you continue trying to please your girlfriend, your parents and yourself. It may be impossible to make all of you equally happy, so you will need to prioritize. What is most important to you?
It can be hard for parents to support their children’s goals when they have concerns about the feasibility of them. I’m sure they want you to have a stable and successful future. Your girlfriend just wants to be with you and not fear that your schooling or career will take you away. You just want to pursue your hopes and dreams.
You are still young enough that it’s not a bad idea to listen to the advice others have for you, such as parents, teachers, college advisors and mentors. But, at the end of the day, you have to pursue your own path and learn your own lessons. Most artists find a way to have a job that pays the bills while pursuing their creative activities. The job does not have to be perfect or define you. It just needs to generate income. If you want those closest to you to respect your choices, then show them that you are serious and determined to make it work. Dreaming is one thing, action is another.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts