A lengthy unemployment due to layoffs or career changes may make your Mr. Right seem less perfect, especially if he lacks the ambition to find a new job. Financially supporting your boyfriend can hinder the relationship and lead to negative feelings like anger and frustration. You can't force your boyfriend to find a job but you can encourage his search. Don't resort to threats or guilt tactics but be firm in your resolve and supportive of his genuine efforts. Overcoming these kinds of hurdles together may strengthen the relationship.
Set a time line in your mind for when you want to see results. This "probation period" may be one, three or even six months -- whatever you decide. Telling your boyfriend he's on "probation" may not be beneficial to the relationship or his ego. Keep the time line to yourself.
Talk to your boyfriend about his jobless situation. Tell him you believe in him and that you believe his situation will improve. Don't threaten him with a breakup to get him motivated.
Refuse to give him money to pay his bills or for living expenses. When he realizes that you are not his financial safety net, he will find employment or someone who will support him. If you share bills, pay your portion but no more.
Scan the classifieds together. Make the job search a project you share on Sunday. Utilize other job search resources as well, such as headhunters and online job search portals. Follow up on the leads Monday by helping him choose a suitable outfit for any interviews and reminding him to make phone calls.
Highlight your boyfriend's strengths. Encourage your boyfriend to recall what he's good at and point out additional strengths to boost his confidence -- a much-needed commodity when searching for employment.
Review your situation after the probation period has expired. If he still has not found a job, you will need to make a decision to break up or extend the period.
- Be understanding of your boyfriend's financial barriers during his period of unemployment -- in other words, don't expect any lavish or unnecessary gifts or expenses.
- Be willing to accompany him on job leads for moral support on days when it doesn't conflict with your own career.
- Be wary of loaning your boyfriend money if he has no means to repay you.
As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.