Dear D, My man’s not ambitious and I think it might be a problem (Part 2)

Last Wedneday, H in NYC asked Danielle about her lovely but unambitious beau.  This is the second part of their exchange.

Dear D,

I just don’t know how to distinguish between my “crazies” and the issues.  I love him and I know he loves me.  He is a good, honest, responsible, reliable man.  He will show up for me in a lot of ways.  But, will I always wonder if there’s better?  I know that I have lots of insecurities about myself and the kind of men I have attracted in the past.  I hate to admit that in my heart, I don’t believe that a man that has all his shit together would ever want me.  So, if “T” wants me, he clearly can’t be that great.  But there is also the realities of him having a hard time taking control of his life.  He wants lots of things but his own fears, insecurities, shortcomings get in the way.  I understand that, but I fear losing respect for him over it.  When he doesn’t push himself, I find myself getting angry

H in N.Y.C

Dear H,

You are addressing two separate issues-

:: self-worth and the feelings of worthiness. Wanting + Deserving
:: whether “T”is the right forever-match for you

1. You deserve what you want.  You don’t have to work to deserve what you want.   Make sense?

What do you want from a man?  What do you need from a man? (Now, hold up, sista.  Seriously. Answer these questions.  Like fo’ real.   Get a piece of crisp, white paper and write it down.  Clarify it.    Go!   I’m waiting for you right here.)


Look at what you listed.  YOU DESERVE ALL OF THAT.   Why, you may ask?

Answer-Just because.

Because you DO. There is not a fancy answer to this.  No magic tricks.

Simply–YOU DO.

There are a series of actions you can take to foster more self-love.  And we can chat about that if you like, but let’s focus on number two…the man.

2. If you are always wondering “if there is better” then he is not the best match for you.

I am not suggesting there is a flawless man/match out there.  Every relationship requires compromise + negotiation.  My “perfect” man may send you screaming from the room and vice versa.  Your guy will sync-up with you + just fit.  Imperfections and all.

Building Blocks of a Rock-Solid, Kick Ass, Legendary Duo:

Trust, admiration and respect are three of the most important elements in a successful, nurturing, long-term relationship. It is a red flag it you feel…”I fear losing respect for him over it.”   If respect is missing (potentially going to be missing, on the verge of zip-zap-poof!)  then the relationship will not thrive.

Anger is another red flag.  Unaddressed or un-managed anger will turn into resentment – another relationship life-sucker.


There tend to be two types of problems in a long-term partnership:  Solvable and Perpetual.  The presence of a perpetual problem doesn’t doom the couple however, more care-taking and awareness of each other’s hot buttons has to be at play on both ends.

Your boyfriend’s lack of ambition is setting up to seem like a perpetual problem.  (…it “angers” you)

You have a choice.

Either, identify the exact disagreement and learn to customize your coping strategies with a dash of humor and perspective OR end it now while the least amount of emotions, family + friends are invested.  (ouch.  I know.)


These decisions are not made overnight.  Let it simmer.  Perhaps you date a few more weeks and see how you
feel.  Sometimes all we need is a little more time under our belt to make the best decision.

This is your one and only life.  Either way….

Make  It  Count.



How do you deal with the your partner’s less-than-winning characteristics? Stay tuned next Wednesday for H in NYC’s final decision about her musician mister!


I’m a Los Angeles based relationship + life coach. I offer a sharp combination of keen insight, know-how + intuition.   Want more life + dating advice?  Jump on my newsletter.   Interested in laser focused one-on-one treatment?   Hire me.  You won’t regret it.

Do you have a pesky question burning a hole in your pocket? Email me at to submit a letter for my Smart Advice column.  Identities strictly confidential-of course.

© 2011 Danielle Dowling

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