Motivation vs Handout: What’s He Really Looking For?

So it’s a common thing when we get into relationships to want someone who makes an effort to care about what we care about or at least helps motivate us as we try to achieve our goals. Nobody wants to be with someone who shows no interest in their life or doesn’t care about if you are achieving your goals. That usually is a sign that that person isn’t going anywhere themselves or their too caught up in themselves to take the time to be there for you; both major turnoffs.

However, I’ve begun to notice that there is a new epidemic emerging. All of a sudden people are starting to demand you be more than their personal cheerleader. It’s as if they want you to abandon what you are doing for yourself, to focus on helping them accomplish their goals as if their goals were more important than yours.

I’ve always seen motivating your partner to include:

1)     Figuring out what it is that they are passionate about in life

2)     Finding out how far along they are in their process

3)     Brainstorming ways they can continue to excel

4)     Checking in from time to time to make sure they are still on track

5)     Listen to them and encourage them when they run into an unexpected barrier

6)     Helping out where you can, when you can

I thought by doing this I was doing my part, putting in my effort and showing that I cared, but after being told that I did nothing and I didn’t care about their dreams, I was stumped and I had to go back and do some serious re-evaluations. I even had to conference with a few of my male and female friends because for a little while there I started to doubt myself, I started to feel like I was lacking somewhere.

I don’t know when this happened or why, but it’s starting to look like a trend. After picking a few friend's brains, we’ve come to the conclusion that some men are taking motivation to a whole other level. After sharing our experiences and having some intense group discussions, we’ve concluded that this pattern seems to occur with men who possess one or more of these personality traits.

The first one is when he feels like the world owes him something. He walks around acting like everything in life is supposed to land in his lap, without having to put too much hard work into it, and when the grind gets real he either complains about it and start putting in a lot less effort or just gives up on it completely and becomes unmotivated and miserable.

 If he walks around feeling jaded by the world and expects everything to just come easily, he probably thinks you owe him something too and the one thing you don’t do, will definitely be a problem. It is likely he will attribute part of his failure to you not doing enough if you haven’t exhausted your time, effort and resources to his achievements. As if the world was supposed to revolve around him and his needs and as if you weren’t trying to build yourself up as well.

 Then there’s the guy who is very indecisive about his life. He has a whole bunch of goals he hasn’t started yet, because he hasn’t taken the time to focus and start building on one particular thing. Now I used to be really lenient on this simply because it took me a long time to figure out where my life was headed, so I didn’t want to judge anyone, but I realized I didn’t know how to motivate someone like this, especially when they didn’t even know which goal was more important or which they were more passionate about. A lot of times it was hard to check in or to provide reassurance and encouragement because let's be real, they weren’t making any progress because they didn’t start working on anything!

I often found myself though having arguments about me not caring if he got his life together or I wasn’t giving him any solid advice that would help him figure out what to do. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, we’ve brainstormed a million ways for you to start at least one project and you’re still sitting on the fence, what else can I do? I started to feel like the only way I could be supportive was by doing the footwork and get a project started, but how was I supposed to be responsible for his dreams and mine all at the same time? There were only 24 hours in a day and I couldn’t possibly work on my goals and his and stay sane.

 Lastly, there is mister fast money. He wants it all and fast, he’s too impatient to put the time and the effort into the grind, that’s just too much work. He'd rather do whatever it takes to get him to that quick come up and if you aren’t about the madness, then you aren’t real or you don’t have drive or ambition, you’d rather be broke. In all reality, you’d rather not risk it all for fast rewards but you put in the time and effort and accept that achieving your goals can be slow and daunting, but well rewarding. You'd rather take your time and build instead of selling your soul and dignity for it, but he just won’t see it that way.

You’ll hear you want to hold him back, you’re a negative influence in his life or you just want to be basic. How do you motivate or work with somebody who feels that there is only one way to succeed? You can’t and it will be a source of tension in your relationship. Trust me your opposing views will be the reason why you guys don’t last and you will hear in the end that you weren’t any good, even though you tried your best.

After multiple conference calls and some personal reflecting, the best advice I can give any woman who’s dealing with a man with these issues… RUN! Run as fast as you can and save yourself some stress.  He’s not looking for a partner or someone to help him build and someone he can help build in return. Instead, he’s mister center of attention and wants you to pull his weight for him; girl don’t do it.

You can’t abandon your own goals to put in all your time and resources into making sure that he gets to where he wants to be. He’s got to put in work for himself and if he is unwilling to do so and sits there complaining expecting you to carry the burden, he’s not worth it. If he expects you to put your morals and values on the line for his goals, he's not worth it.

A relationship is a partnership it’s about the both of you, not just one person. If he can never carry you, but always expects you to carry him and always put in the extra effort for him, but because you aren’t literally sacrificing all of yourself for him you aren’t doing enough, girl it is not motivation he’s after it is a handout.

He feels like success should just come to him and while he’s waiting if you love him, you’ll go out there and chase it for him. You’ll put together the plan, do the networking, build the contacts and then hand him the finished product while patting him on the back saying, “Good job baby.” That’s not realistic and if you’ve ever had to deal with someone like this, then you’ll understand that it is beyond draining.

There will be many moments you lose yourself on the road to keeping him happy. You are worth much more than one man and his inability to get his own life right and the inability to see just how much you actually care, just from a different perspective.

If he actually values you and loves you, he will never ask you to put your dreams on the back burner so you can work on his. Instead, while he is chasing his dreams, he’ll be making sure that you are chasing yours. I’m not saying you can never help your partner out if you see that he is going through a particularly rough period or to withhold a connection you have, that can benefit him, I’m saying you shouldn’t have to do everything for him.

As much as you may love him and regardless of the many excuses you can make for him, sticking by a man who is looking for a handout, who views the basic definition of motivation and support as not enough, is detrimental to your own progress. You will lose yourself and stunt your progress and it will all be for nothing. You can’t keep somebody like that happy trust me.

He will always want more; there will always be something that you haven’t done. You will deplete yourself and when it does eventually end, he will be way farther along than you, because of you, but now you have to start again from nothing and you better not be out there expecting that he’s going to give you any credit or actually remember he wouldn't be where he is without you. You will be bitter and stuck feeling like you wasted your life like you let yourself down and honestly if you let it get this far… you actually did fail yourself.

No one is worth losing yourself for or potentially missing out on opportunities and progress.  Be patient and wait for someone who is willing to invest the same amount into you as you are willing to invest into them. Don’t buy into the hype or the sob stories you will regret it! We all have a choice to make and just like you can put in the time and you do what you need to do without expecting anyone to do it for you, anybody you are in a relationship with should be able to do the same thing for themselves. Of course, there will be times that you may have to carry each other, but that shouldn’t be an everyday expectation or burden.