I have been in a relationship for about a year now.
I’m turning 21 in a few weeks and I just graduated technical school. I really love and care about the female I’m with, and I receive back the same mutual affection. We both lost our fathers, however, mine at a younger age than her. So, when she hurts, I know how she feels. We don’t have any problems, but a few arguments here and there, but it’s all normal.
I plan on proposing to her in the near future. She doesn’t have children and neither do I. But, the problem is seeing how I just graduated school and I have one prior conviction that I am working on with my lawyer about having taking off my record. It’s been extremely difficult for me to find employment. She wants me to move in with her, and she tells me don’t worry about the bills or anything. But, I feel as a man, and being in a relationship that I should be able to contribute to the household and take care of my woman. I also feel like if I move in with her and I don’t ever come across a job she will become fed up with me living under her roof.
I have other methods of sustaining and being able to provide for her, but seeing where it got me before I really don’t want go down that road. I sometimes feel as if she can do better than me, and I feel awful when we go out on a date and I can never pay. It really takes a toll on my pride and makes me feel less of a man. She tells me don’t worry and just keep searching, but it’s nothing here for me. I’m not picky either. I will take any job that will have me. If I have to shovel s**t I would. Anything I can do to be able to provide for her, and be able to get her that ring that she deserves. I just wanna know what do you think I should do?? From Young Man Just Trying To Find My Place In The World
Dear Mr. Young Man Just Trying To Find My Place In The World,
I applaud you! I truly do salute you, my brother. It takes a real man to be able to admit his downfalls, weaknesses, and take ownership of his responsibilities and mistakes. That is truly commendable, and I say that your girlfriend is truly a blessed woman to have you in her life.
I, along with all the Bossip readers, give you a loud thunderous applause! Go head boy!
Now, let’s move forward. I strongly agree with you and that you should not move in, right now. I know the offer sounds tempting, and it will allow you the opportunity to be with your girl, but don’t start playing house just yet, and definitely do not lay up in someone’s home without the ability to contribute to the household. I’m a firm believer that lovers/couples say those things of, “Boo, you can move in, and I will support us. I will take care of everything. You just focus on finding a job.” And, then six months, or a year later and you don’t have a job, and they begin to resent you. And, those little fights and arguments over the littlest things began to exacerbate because they come home and you’re laid up on the sofa. Or, there is no food in the fridge, and you can’t even buy or replace the milk, and they start making little snide comments. Then a big argument ensues, you fight, they call the police, you get arrested, and you’re right back where you started from. Yeah, it’s not cute then. So, slow down, and get you together, first!
I suggest that you sit down and come up with a plan. Work on one thing at a time, and focus on one thing a time. You’re already working with your lawyer to have your prior conviction taken off your record. Let him do his job, and you do yours of showing up for court ON TIME! Provide all the necessary paperwork for your court proceedings. And, DO NOT GET INTO ANY MORE TROUBLE!!!! The last thing you want to do is have all this work done in vain, and because of your pride and ego you go out and do the same damn thing over again, and get locked up. DON’T DO IT! You’ve come too far, and done too much to not venture down that road again. Resist the temptation. Resist the streets, and find some other things to preoccupy your time.
If you want to know how you get hired on a job – volunteer or intern. I know it’s not giving you any money, but you gain a world of experience by having on-the-job training, and you’re working within the company. So, if a position becomes available, guess who they will think of and want to hire – YES, YOU! Call up some companies that you’re interested in and see if they have internships. Find out how you can apply, and get your feet in the door. Besides, some companies do compensate their interns with other things besides money. They offer tickets to concerts, coupons to restaurants, gas money, or they feed you on the job. It’s a start, and it’s a way for you to get your feet in the door and make some necessary contacts.
Also, take advantage of your school’s resume writing, and career placement. Ask the guidance counselor to help you format and build your resume. Trust me, you’re competing against so many people who are out of work, and trying to get back into the workforce. So, you have to make yourself shine not only on paper, but in person. So, brush up on your interviewing skills, and techniques. Learn as much as you can, and become the top contender for a job so that they can’t tell you, “No.”
And, every day commit to filling out 10 applications a day. Commit to searching and researching all resources, companies, and opportunities. Utilize your school’s employment office. Check other cities that may be nearby, and the companies in those cities. Go to every Family Dollar, .99 Cent Store, CVS, Wal-Greens, Wal-Mart, Applebees, Friday’s, and every fast food restaurant in your area. Go to the movie theaters and apply for a job, the malls, or sign up with at least 5 temp agencies. Be proactive and don’t leave any stone unturned. Someone is hiring, and you’ve got to be out there, and in the game in order to get placed.
Also, you mentioned that you are turning 21 years old. So, I’m not sure if what you did happened before you were 18 years old. In most states, if you have a conviction as a juvenile, then you don’t have to tell an employer of your arrests or convictions. Your record/s should be sealed. That is something you may want to explore as well.
I do strongly urge that you sit down with your girlfriend and explain to her how you feel. Let her know that you don’t feel comfortable, as a man, moving in her home, and letting her take care of the bills, especially since you’re not engaged, or married. Anything can happen, and you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you promise someone something and they change their mind, or you change your mind. Devise a plan and tell her that you appreciate the offer, and her support. But, as a man you want to do things the right way, and playing house and moving in right now is not the best move. You have to work on some things and get your life in order. You’ve completed school, now the next step is securing employment. And, if you move in, and you haven’t resolved your issues around your pride and ego, then you will go right back to doing the very thing that got you locked up before. And, that is something you don’t want to happen. You’re still young and the temptation to do wrong lurks at your door every day, and it’s a battle that you are going to have to fight every day. So, don’t create a problem when you can knowingly avoid the situation. I’m sure she will understand that, and will continue to support you.
Lastly, why don’t you find a church home, and surround yourself with other men who are doing positive things. There are lots of men in your community, or within a spiritual institution who can be a support system for you. Don’t feel as if you have to do this alone. If you talk with other men I’m sure you will find that many of them have been in your shoes and can offer lots of advice, and support. Also, you might find someone whom can become a mentor to you, and/or some men who may have contacts to jobs and employment. This is something that I’m a big advocate of, and I strongly believe in – If you put yourself in the right situation, with the right people, they will be more apt to help you because they see that you want to do the right thing. People love helping others, especially young people, who they see that are focused and have some goals. I’ve met so many wonderful mentors, and advisors when I was younger because they took interest in me because I wasn’t in the streets acting out, or doing what the other kids were doing. I had a dream, and I wanted to make something of myself. When people see that, they want to be a part of helping your dream become a reality. They will share their resources and networks with you. But, you’ve got to show the initiative.
And, let me say this, your situation is temporary, not permanent. It will not always be how you see it, but you’ve got to change your outlook on the situation. Don’t look at it as a negative, or a take a victim’s approach. Become a victor, and claim victory. Be a winner, and choose to win the race. No one can keep knocking you down if you don’t allow yourself to be knocked down. The only obstacle and hurdle standing in your way is YOU! No one can take away what God has in store for you. And, no man can prevent you having what God has made available for you. Claim what is yours today! Claim that you are smart, wise, intelligent, and a victor. Don’t give up! You can do it. Believe in yourself! – Terrance Dean
Hey Bossip Fam, what do you think? Share your opinions and thoughts below!
Follow Terrance Dean on Twitter: @terrancedean
Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15), and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!