In this article, we discuss why your boyfriend has no ambition, the impact of his lack of ambition on your relationship, and what you can do about it.
You have finally met the man of your dreams. He is great in all aspects, but as you get to know him better, you realize he has no ambition.
In a 2012 study, ambition was explained as “The persistent and generalized striving for success, attainment, and accomplishment.”
This is something that many people in relationships deal with; you are not alone. If your boyfriend has no ambition, you may feel like you will not be compatible, and the relationship may not work.
However, our ambitions are different; what you see as a lack of ambition maybe your boyfriend’s dream.
For instance, your boyfriend could be in a dead-end job or unemployed and spend his time gaming. You may have an issue with this, but to him, that is the life he wants.
When you look at life with your unambitious boyfriend, it may bother you. We all want an ambitious man who can pave his own path in life and be successful.
So naturally, you will have questions about how you will handle your bills in the future and how he can provide for a family if you ever decide to have one.
The Impact Of A Lack Of Ambition In The Relationship
Ambition is important in a relationship as it keeps things lively. When you start living with your boyfriend, you may find some aspects of him you may not find appealing.
If your boyfriend is not interested in working towards a better life, you may have a hard time working on your relationship.
If your boyfriend lacks ambition, it will negatively impact your relationship. Here are some ways a lack of ambition can affect your relationship.
1. You Get Stuck In A Rut
If your boyfriend does not have ambition, you will be stuck in a rut. We all want to upgrade our life and work hard towards getting the good things in life.
So you wake up each day striving for the best and chasing all the available opportunities to get the best life.
However, if your boyfriend has no ambition, he will be comfortable in his life and may not see any need to improve his lifestyle, and this will drag you down as you will be forced to stay in a boring lifestyle or upgrade it by yourself.
Moreover, if your boyfriend has no determination, he will not want to improve the relationship. Therefore, he will stop making efforts in the relationship, and you will find yourself in a mundane relationship wondering how you got there.
2. It Kills Motivation
Dealing with a partner who lacks ambition, will leave you feeling demotivated. When you are around someone with no ambition, your morale will go down, killing your productivity.
When you are in a relationship, you want your partner to be your cheerleader and motivate you to do better professionally and in the relationship.
However, if your boyfriend has no ambition, you may feel down and put little into your work or profession.
For instance, my boyfriend is ambitious; he does everything possible to better our lifestyle and takes any opportunity granted to him to be a better professional and partner.
Moreover, he is my cheerleader; when I get a new job, he is the first to clap for me, making me feel appreciated and special. He motivates me to do better for myself and our relationship.
Sometimes you need someone to nudge you in the right direction for you to get the best version of yourself. If your boyfriend has no ambition, you will not have someone to motivate you.
3. It Makes It Hard To Prioritize
When you are ambitious, and your boyfriend is not, you will have a hard time prioritizing goals in the relationship.
For instance, if your boyfriend lacks ambition, you may find that your priorities will not align. If you want to upgrade your lifestyle, for example, he will be okay with how things are.
It can be very draining when you are never on the same page with your partner. When you want to do something for your future, he will bring every possible reason why you should not do it or why it is impossible.
Caroline Da Costa, a life coach, says, “Ambition, like other characteristics, isn’t a quality everyone has. It’s not even a quality everyone desires, but it’s been given a lot of importance in modern society.
When there is an imbalance, it can cause resentment in the partner who feels that the other’s lack of ambition is slowing her down.”
So if your boyfriend lacks ambition, he will slow down the development of the relationship.
4. One Partner Makes All The Sacrifices
According to Jean Huber, a counseling psychotherapist, when your boyfriend has no ambition, he will always feel like he is making all the sacrifices in the relationship.
For instance, if you are ambitious in your career, and your boyfriend is not, he may feel like he has to support your ambitions all the time.
You may travel for work, or you spend a lot of time in the office, and he is left home. He may feel like he is the only one caring for the home when you are not around.
If you are more ambitious than your boyfriend, he may feel like he has to sacrifice his ambitions to support your ambitions which may not sit well with him over time.
Huber says you should ask yourself the following questions to know if one partner is making all the sacrifices in the relationship.
- How much do you contribute to the household chores?
- Does your partner attend all children’s activities?
- Are you involved in the decision-making for the household?
- Do you feel your partner could do more to achieve their full potential?
5. Creates Resentment
According to Huber, when there is a mismatch of ambition in a relationship, it creates resentment as one partner sacrifices more.
For instance, if your boyfriend is less ambitious than you are, he will tend to do more around the household because you are often held up in the office or traveling for work.
You may not realize your ambition’s impact on the relationship and may end up breaking up because your boyfriend resents you.
Reasons Your Boyfriend Has No Ambition
When in a relationship with someone who lacks ambition, you may wonder why they are not ambitious. Here are a few reasons why your boyfriend may lack ambition.
1. Low Self-Esteem
If your boyfriend has low self-esteem, he may lack ambition. When you believe you cannot accomplish your goals, you will not have the motivation to start.
Low self-esteem makes your boyfriend doubt his abilities; therefore, he sees no need to try doing something if he cannot accomplish it. Consequently, he will not take the risk because what’s the point anyway.
You can look out for some signs of low self-esteem in your boyfriend; they include the following;
- He is sensitive to criticism– if your boyfriend is very sensitive to criticism, no matter how well meant it was, he could have low self-esteem. He takes constructive criticism as a confirmation of his weakness.
- He is defensive– if your boyfriend becomes defensive when criticized, he may have low self-esteem.
- He is withdrawn– if your boyfriend is socially withdrawn, he could have low self-esteem. However, he may only be introverted, but even if he is introverted and gets more withdrawn than usual, he may have esteem issues.
2. He Is Depressed Or Anxious
If your boyfriend is depressed, he will lack ambition. Depressive disorder drains the willpower to do anything from a person, so if your boyfriend has a depressive disorder, he may lack ambition in his profession and the relationship.
On the other hand, your boyfriend may have no ambition because he has an anxiety disorder. When one has an anxiety disorder, it makes it hard for them to do simple tasks because it drains all their emotional energy.
Moreover, if your boyfriend has anxiety or depression, he will be bombarded by negative thoughts, which make him unable to do anything constructive.
3. He Is Overwhelmed
Sometimes your boyfriend may lack ambition because he is overwhelmed by the things in his life. For instance, if he has a lot on his plate dealing with a family crisis, he may feel overwhelmed and lack the aspiration to push his career or the relationship forward.
Moreover, if he is overwhelmed at his job, he may lack time to push for his professional and lifestyle upgrade because the job at hand consumes all his time and energy.
4. He Lacks Motivation
Your boyfriend has no ambition because he lacks motivation. If your boyfriend does not have the right motivators in his career, he may lack the ambition to move forward.
There are two types of motivations; intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is motivation from within, where one does things because they believe in them.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is motivation from external factors. For instance, if you do something because you fear the negative consequences that may occur if you do not do said thing, or the positive outcomes if you do it.
Intrinsic motivators give you the energy to pursue your long-term goals, while extrinsic is short term. For instance, if your motivation for doing something is the reward, if someone takes the reward out of the picture, you will no longer be motivated to accomplish the goal.
Signs Your Boyfriend Has No Ambition
There are days when you may be biased towards your boyfriend, and what you deem a lack of ambition may not be. If you are wondering if your boyfriend has no ambition, here are a few signs to look out for;
- He is comfortable being jobless or at a dead-end job– if your boyfriend is too comfortable being jobless and does not find anything wrong with sitting on the couch and playing games all day, he has no ambition.
- He spends everything he earns– if your boyfriend does not save and spends everything he earns as he earns it, then there is a problem. He lacks ambition if he is fond of spending beyond his means and buys expensive things to impress his friends.
- He has misplaced priorities– your boyfriend may have no ambition if he has misplaced priorities. For instance, if he does unconstructive things all through the day instead of concentrating on his work or family has no ambition. For example, he may spend the day hanging out with friends and having fun while he has pending projects at work or misuse money meant for the family.
- He is risk averse– ambitious people are risk takers, so if your boyfriend is afraid of taking risks at work or in life, he is not ambitious. For instance, if an opportunity comes his way, he will shy away from taking the risk and let the opportunity pass him by. As we know, opportunity only knocks once.
How Do You Handle Lack Of Ambition?
If your boyfriend lacks ambition, you may want to help him and wonder how you can address the situation. Here are ways you can address the issue of lack of ambition in your boyfriend.
1. Assume He Won’t Change
There is a popular saying that the only man you can change is the one in diapers, so do not expect your boyfriend to change if he lacks ambition.
It will be particularly hard to change a man who lacks ambition if he is comfortable with the ways things are. However, if he is willing to change, you can push him in the right direction.
If he wants to, he will change.
2. Talk To Him
If your boyfriend is not ambitious, you can talk to him. First, sit him down and discuss his lack of ambition calmly. Then, tell him how it is negatively impacting your relationship.
Tiffanie Brown, a therapist, says, “communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship, and one of the hardest. That’s because being open and honest with your partner means being open and honest with yourself.”
When talking to your boyfriend, ensure you follow the tips for having a difficult talk with your partner—some of the recommendations by Susan Kraus Whitbourne, psychologist, and author of Identity and Intimacy in Marriage include;
- Don’t avoid hard conversations.
- Avoid “but” statements.
- Plan what you need to say beforehand
- Prepare your boyfriend for the difficult conversation.
- Stay positive throughout the discussion.
3. Understand You Are Not the Problem
Many people may think that you are a gold-digger when you want an ambitious boyfriend. However, you are not the problem; there is nothing wrong with wanting an ambitious boyfriend. We all want a secure future for ourselves and our families.
If you are ambitious, can stand up for yourself, and provide for yourself, you need someone who can provide the same for you.
4. Seek Professional Help
If your boyfriend has no ambition, you should seek professional help. Your boyfriend may lack ambition because he has anxiety or depression. A professional will help you know how to support your boyfriend through his healing journey.
A therapist will also give your boyfriend the right tool to help him overcome his disorders.
5. Support Him
If your boyfriend lacks ambition because he is overwhelmed, support him. Ask him what you can do to get some things off his plate.
For instance, if he is overwhelmed by a project at work, you can tick off some of the tasks on his to-do list. This will give him time to concentrate on his work and reduce the burden on him.
If you can help him with his project, the better. Work with and help him complete his task.
However, if you cannot help complete the work, be his cheerleader; sometimes, all one needs is a little support and motivation to get things done.
Ambition is the persistent and generalized striving for success, attainment, and accomplishment. If your boyfriend has no ambition, it will affect your relationship.
It kills your motivation, and your relationship gets stuck in a rut. He may also feel like he is making all the sacrifices in the relationship while you pursue your dreams.
Moreover, if your boyfriend lacks ambition, there will be problems with prioritizing in the relationship. He may prioritize things that are not important in building the relationship or upgrading their lives.
There are many reasons why your boyfriend may lack ambition. For instance, he may lack motivation, have depression or anxiety, have low self-esteem, or be overwhelmed.
You can address the lack of aspiration in many ways. However, it would be best if you understood that your boyfriend’s lack of ambition is not your fault, and there is no problem with you needing someone ambitious.
That being said, you can support your boyfriend by motivating him and being his cheerleader. You can also help him with some tasks if he is overwhelmed. Moreover, if he has low self-esteem, depression, or anxiety, you can help him seek professional help.
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Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.