DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend was laid off 11 months ago and hasn't been able to find another job since. My problem is, he isn't seriously looking for one. Every time I suggest he get one he becomes angry, or if I suggest a specific job he gives me some reason why he won't take it -- such as the pay is too low. He has no college education and no other formal schooling. What does he expect?
I love him, and other than this our relationship is pretty great. But lately this is causing a major strain because I want more for him. I hold two jobs and will be continuing my B.S. in psychology next year. I have tried being nice, being rude, and discussing it with him. He just doesn't "get" that I'm losing respect for the man I once admired. How can I make him see he needs to do more with his life than collect unemployment? -- STRIVING HIGHER IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR STRIVING HIGHER: With today's job market what it is, it's possible that without further training your boyfriend may not be able to find another job that offers the same wages and/or benefits as the one he lost. Remind him that his unemployment benefits are finite -- they're not going to last forever.
He needs to understand that when that happens, you are not going to support him. He may be depressed, but the longer he sits around, the longer it'll take him to become motivated. Even if he can't find work right now, he can seek further job training. He can also do volunteer work, which would get him out and circulating and help him to make more contacts that could lead to permanent employment.