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having a boyfriend vs. nursing studies


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Up2nogood RN, RN

Specializes in pulm/cardiology pcu, surgical onc.

So you're growing up and he doesnt want to. There are many occupations that don't require college ie garbage hauler, bus driver, city worker but it doesn't sound like your guy is motivated to do anything. You need to focus on you. Don't let him drag you down. Some men can be very manipulative and want you to be miserable so will tell you anything you want to hear to get you to do what they want. Been there done that. Don't let your dreams die because you're afraid of hurting someone. Do what you have to to be successful. You may have to study instead of going out but that's really all part of being a grown up. If he can't understand that then dump the chump.

Idk WANNA BA NURSE.. I personally like knowing that my man makes significantly more than I... Makes me feel even more secure.. Plus if I decide to pursue even more education, It's nice to know my income is not needed to maintain the household going.. That is a blessing Especially in this economy.. Plus my mom would kill me if she knew I was supporting a man!( she is super old school! Lol!) Like one poster said, men are designed to be providers..physically and anatomically..


Specializes in Med-Surg.

Wow, i was practically crying reading this... i feel like you just described my life. Although I am in my 3rd year of nursing school now, i think my dedication has inspired my boyfriend to attend school now. He has chosen to become a machinist apprentice (FINALLY). I decided to give it until the end of nursing school to figure out what I am going to do. I love my boyfriend as well, but i worry with todays economy he will have a tough time getting someone to pick him up as an apprentice and I will be the one bringing in all the money and the career blah blah blah.

I too have been with my boyfriend since 17 (just before gr 12 started), and I am 20 now. 3 years... it has been difficult.

I figure if he hasnt committed fully to something by the time i grad in 2012... we will be over :( It is sad... but, I sometimes wish he had more direction like myself. However I still love him to bits.

I hope everything works out for you

Thank you all for the replies. The posts definetely gave me some insight of what I need to do and even stories that related to mine. I will try to focus more on myself rather then go out every night but it is easier said than done. We will see where the future takes mee...

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 12 years experience.

I respectfully disagree with you AirforceRN. Men were designed to be providers. That's how the first man was built and that's how the last man will be built. Yes, things have changed and households often require two incomes, but the fundamental things that make a man feel like a man have NOT. Being in an "upside down" marriage myself, I know that it causes conflict. It blurs lines and complicates things. Ha ha ha, maybe I should save this for the counselor! Seriously though, it's not just my marriage that I know with this issue. I think the OP knows what she can handle and apparently the burden of being the breadwinner is not one of those things.

My advice to OP is to get your school on!!:D Either he will step up to the plate and show you he can be what you need & want him to be OR ...he can go kick rocks LOL:twocents:. Kudos to you for knowing what you want and don't want for both yourself and future your life partner at such an early age. Stay true to yourself and DO NOT compromise!

OP-I made $75k in my first year of nursing with just a few shifts of overtime. Not many 23 year olds can make that kind of money--your attitudes towards the money-making seem a bit unrealistic unless you want to marry a lawyer, doctor, or one of the lucky wall-street guys (none of which are 23, btw, except in super rare cases).

Quote-My husband is going to become a school teacher for a few years (in the process of getting his masters right now) but his salary will cap out at around $50k. He loves being the house-husband and cleaning up the place and making me dinner every night--he will probably be a stay-at-home dad when we have kids because I earn so much more than he does and I love my job. Honestly, your views seem very sexist in today's world. There is more than one way to provide for a family.

After reading most of these posts, I would like to say be sentimental and true love conquers all and all that good stuff people say, but that would be my heart talking.

My head says, take a step back and look at things objectively(that may be hard to do, but try). If counsellors are to be believed, they say the number one thing that breaks up a home is money. So you would want to know that your bf was also making something of himself.

Again,from a comment you made on wanting him to be the major provider in the family, you might very likely become resentful when he is not and you are.

I truly do not care how many people choose to deny it or call it old-fashioned, the guy is and should be the provider in the family.Things may happen, which makes you provider for a while, but that's okay too, as long as he bounces back and takes over.

Both incomes are needed very true, but let him be the provider.No one is saying dumb down your skills/intellect or anything like that, but be supportive in what he wants to do but let him decide already!

And truth be told, some women cannot handle it when they become breadwinners(I've seen a lot of it), it just simply gets to their heads and they ridicule the guy over it. Way to go-hit someone who is already down.


Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

OP: You have already received so much good advice, but I have some I would also like to give. I also got cought up in a guy and I actually married at 18. Had my first kid at 21 and my second at 22. I was divorced by the time my 2nd child was a year old.

Fast forward 18 years, I am now 41 and just finishing my pre-reqs. I have stuggled for years and years to just keep from going homeless. My point it this: get your education NOW!! Before you get pregnant, not that you can't go to school with a child but it is so much harder and many do not end up going. As far as your boyfriend goes, he is pretty much just acting like a typical 19 year old. They mature much later than females do, but just like someone else said , there is no reason he could not start college and just take the general classes required for any path he may choose later. If he is truly in it for the long haul with you, he will support you and could even help you out with your studies. Making time for a social life, from what I hear, once in nursing school will pretty much be taking a back burner. But, since you must study you could try to incorporate him as your "anatomical model" when learning Anatomy and Physiology, for example. It sounds like you know what you want, but this love thing just keeps getting in the way.LOL Nursing school is just so important and even though it seems like it will take forever, it's only going to be a few years compared to the rest of your life. If I were you I would continue with your plans for nursing school, let your boyfriend know just how much time you will need to study and based on his reaction you will need to either decide it he is going to help you or hinder you, but don't let this relationship put up a wall in which you can't get past to achieve your dreams.

Good luck, and one last bit of advice....listen your mother, they are most of the time right and she only has your best interest at heart. Don't let this situation cause yours and your moms relationship to go south. Cherish the time with her because one day she will not be here. My mother is currently in hospice and dying of cancer, which has already moved to the brain. I can no longer call my mom and ask for advice, she is child like now. I know very soon I will be attending her funeral. How I wish I could just talk to her again. Family is forever, boyfriends come and go-at least most of the time. God Bless..:redpinkhe

I am in the same situation to an extent my boyfriend keeps switching between what he wants to do in the future. I sat down with him and made a list of all the things he wanted to do, how much schooling would cost and how long it would take, also I wrote down the salaries. We crossed the ones out he was most likely not to do and we came up with a conclusion he wants to go to school for game design. He loves computer games and I think he would be more willing to do this then other careers he would most likely do bad in school because he is not interested in them. So (its just a suggestion) you sit down with you boyfriend and make a list of careers he is interested in with salary, how much schooling and cost it would be and try decide what path is best for him. I love my boyfriend and spend most of my time with him but I know that Sometimes I have to be a little selfish and put myself first.

You can't make a person use their potential or see things the way you see them. You just can't. It won't happen. I had to learn that the hard way, and I doubt there's any way I would have learned it otherwise. I was too much of an idealist and a dreamer when I was 19 :). Now I'm a realist, and I understand that people don't change. They can, sure, but you're not going to make it happen. I am committed now to being with someone I really match well with, and whatever faults they have, I believe I just have to be okay with those. There are some faults in others that we can put up with as individuals and it doesn't matter much to us - but there are other faults that some people have, or maybe not even faults, but just character traits, that if we live with long enough will come to dominate us and steal our joy and what makes us "us." For me, diligence and work ethic are a huge deal - even if a guy doesn't make a ton of money, I will respect him, admire him and be immensely attracted to him if I see him truly dedicated to working hard to provide.

So, no one here can make your decision for you, but I will say just remember that YOU come first. You must honestly assess your personality and what you want in life, without any other person in mind. You are the one living your life and you deserve to be able to make it what you want it.

Oh, and believe me, there are PLENTY of fish in the sea! There is a quote I heard once about fish in fact...something like, God, please help me to catch a fish so big that when I tell the story of it I don't even have to lie. That's what I want in my future husband - a fish so big and great that I don't have to make excuses for or lie about - he stands on his own and speaks for himself and I can just stand by and admire. :)

Edited by scrubbee

One more thing...don't let the "you're sexist" sentiment get to you. Believing that the man should be the breadwinner is neither right nor wrong - it's simply what you believe and are wired/conditioned to expect. I am the same way. Others may not be, so being in a relationship where the woman is the breadwinner would be fine with them. The point is not whether it's okay with anyone else but whether it's okay with you - so keep in mind who you are and don't live life the way someone else would just because society says it's how you should live. There are lots of ways to make "things" work - but we each will thrive under conditions suited to our own individual personalities.

Truly that goes for everything in life - there are very few true moral right/wrong issues; the majority are mere preferences and we should not confuse those if we want to be happy in life.

It's not always easy to find a full-time job. I know someone who's been looking for two years. And the only people I know who have full-time jobs (that recently got them as young, just out of highschool) are working for their families.

I didn't say it'd be a good one! There's always the multiple part-time jobs option too.

The amount of projection in this thread is staggering.

I'm not going to touch on the gender issues, though I have strong opinions on them. I will give a piece of practical advice totally free of emotion. Focus on school. The reason I say this is that, statistically, no matter if you are both on the same page and everything seems perfectly laid out to succeed, relationships of people at your age lasting is extremely rare. This isn't a good or bad thing, just the truth. This shouldn't mean not to have a relationship either, as relationships are important and help us grow as people, but, at this point in your life, understanding this reality can help you set your priorities appropriately. Good luck.

The amount of projection in this thread is staggering.

I was thinking the same thing. And they are all so young to really know about love and committment......

Bold advise here, put your education first. Nursing schools has lots

of demands and to be a free agent (single) can be an advantage.

If he truly loves you, he will be a man, decide what career choice

he needs to be a responsible father and husband. If he is stuck in

the neutral drive, he is not the right candidate.

So be bold, be independent get your nursing education and

the relationship issues will sort itself out.

my fiance' owns his own business, a very small business, but it brings him great pride and a sense of happiness. he truly loves what he does for a career.

my eventual goal is to be an fnp. there may come a time when my income potential exceeds his income potential, since his income is based on business. his business is doing well now, and has for 15 years, but we always think ahead.

i am okay with making more than my husband, but i believe deep down he really wants to be that one making loads of money. he has a strong sense that a man should care for a woman. his father left when he was 12, so i believe watching his mother really push through and struggle influences his desire to care for women.

i believe that rather than focusing on $$ amount it is ideal to focus on goals, and being a productive member of society.

if a man is a burger king gm, happy, contributes to the household, etc, then i am okay with that. not everyone is able to work at a job with incomes in excess of 80-100k+, but if they strive to reach their max potential then that is all i ask.

ultimately, i believe your b/f should have goals, aspirations, dreams, and ideas regarding how he can be a vital contributor $$ to the relationship. if this means being a bk manager so be it, but something, *anything* which shows he has a passion to contribute to "us".

as a side note, my uncle is a bk gm, he makes 75k a year and receives free insurance for his entire family!! not too shabby. oh, and a 2 week vacation to hawaii every year.. can i get that benefit too?!

i am becoming rambly.. my point is that while your income could exceed that of your potential husband, what really matters is that he is driven and contributes to the stability of the relationship. this is what i value, and i have been with my fiance' for 7 years. we are getting married september 12th! :)


Specializes in Health Information Management.

At your age, I strongly urge you to stay in school and focus primarily on yourself and your own needs. You and your boyfriend seem to have differing needs and goals for the future. You clearly value this relationship, so it sounds as though it's time for a clear, open talk between the two of you. I suggest you make sure you have your personal goals and your goals/expectations for him and the two of you as a couple well-organized in your mind before you start. If it helps, write out everything so you have your thoughts at hand. Then the two of you can then work towards outlining a common set of goals and a plan for reaching them. If your boyfriend truly loves you and values your relationship as deeply as you do, he'll stay with you and take the steps necessary to accomplish the goals you two set. If not, it's better that you find out now how shallow his feelings about the relationship really are.

As for your mindset on roles within the relationship: I don't happen to agree with your outlook, but it's your life to live. However, have you ever asked yourself why you believe it's the "man's role" to provide for the couple/family, or to at least have the upper hand in doing so? Is it something you've internalized from your parents' relationship and/or the exhortations of religious leaders from your church? Or is it something you not only believe but have actually evaluated on its merits?

My husband and I long ago reached an agreement that we were in a partnership and it didn't matter which of us made more money. We've each taken turns as the primary provider in the seven years we've been together. At the moment, he's bringing home the sole income while I'm in school. After a year or two in the field, I'll probably make more than he does. But it doesn't matter because we're in it together. We've already settled on how we'll handle conflicting career advancement matters, and neither of us has an issue with a female making more than a male.

Now, that doesn't have to be the attitude you take. Many people prefer traditional roles; others take pleasure in deliberately breaking the traditional-role mold. What's important is to know WHY you believe what you believe and to come to terms with the advantages and disadvantages of your preferred gender role arrangement. While you're evaluating your relationship and personal/professional goals, it might be a good time to also evaluate your perspective on gender roles within relationships (if you haven't already done so).

You have my best wishes for a successful and happy future!


Just keep on with your plans. Don't take on too much future worries right now.

You say you are concerned about the part of not being able to go out all the time anymore. You guys are young so I can see how this issue might boil up. Sit him down really soon and tell him you have to cut back on going out, that you need time to study and practice to get things right for work, that you are nervous about all of it and want to be sure you do well. If he balks, just remind him that when he decides to start school, he'll be sitting you down and telling you the same thing. See if the two of you can figure out quality time together, maybe not so much clubbing if that is what you used to do.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 12 years experience.

One more thing...don't let the "you're sexist" sentiment get to you. Believing that the man should be the breadwinner is neither right nor wrong - it's simply what you believe and are wired/conditioned to expect. I am the same way. Others may not be, so being in a relationship where the woman is the breadwinner would be fine with them. The point is not whether it's okay with anyone else but whether it's okay with you - so keep in mind who you are and don't live life the way someone else would just because society says it's how you should live. There are lots of ways to make "things" work - but we each will thrive under conditions suited to our own individual personalities.

Truly that goes for everything in life - there are very few true moral right/wrong issues; the majority are mere preferences and we should not confuse those if we want to be happy in life.

It is definitely true that it's not a wrong perception to personally have, but it IS wrong to project that onto other people and society in general. We are all allowed to have our own opinions, how ever much we disagree.

But I think that this particular mode of thinking is seriously selling herself short. What if there is a fantastic guy out there waiting for her, working hard, doing his dream, making a little bit of money, but not quite as much as she does? Does the OP actually dismiss him? If she does, she probably didn't deserve him anyway, but it's still very sad to me that she would potentially do something like that. And to be honest--a little "princessy" to demand that the guy makes more than $60k off the bat.