20-Something Question: When To Shake It Up Or Break Up?

Dear 20-Somethings, 

I’m feeling a bit lost. I’m in my mid-20s, been in a relationship for about a year now. I love my boyfriend, but I’m starting to get that slightly bored, antsy feeling. I’ve had this feeling in the past a few times and it never worked out.

My question is, how do I tell the difference between being a bit bored in my relationship and needing to push passed that phase, or coming to terms that I might not be in love with him anymore?


Dear 20-something,


You’re in your 20s. Relax and enjoy life. In the meantime, I suggest doing some work on yourself — therapy, meditation, group sessions, reading self-help books or blogs — methods to understand better what drives and motivates you and where your own issues may be coming into play. Understanding yourself better is always a great idea no matter what! Once you’re the person you want to be, you’ll attract the most optimal partner to you. – author, editor, speaker, life coach, Los Angeles, CA


Dear 20 something,

Ask yourself a few questions:  By “bored” do you mean:

a) the time you spend together is dull?  Too much comfortable, sitting at home time watching TV? ;

or b) that no matter what you are doing together, including sex is, it’s not ringing your bell? 

If the answer is number 1, shake things up a little and see if it changes your feeling of boredom.  Turn off the TV, go out, have friends over, cook dinner together etc. If the answer is number 2, move on.  It is rare that these feelings change.- 40-something, PR, Chicago


Dear 20-something,

It is time to look inward at yourself.  What is the feeling of boredom you are feeling? Is this a feeling you have had before even not in relationships? It is a fear of something? Is he causing it or is it a sign that you are missing something in your life that you can take charge of or get comfortable with on your own?


If you were not with him how do you see your life being different? Is it in more superficial ways (e.g. I’d be going out more, I’d be getting attention from other guys)?  Is that a feeling you think some other guy could fill? Then you are just replacing one filler with another.

Is it that you are not doing things that you want to do? Are those things you can do together or do without him without needing to break the tie. So often you see people break up and then start doing the exact things they would have done together on their own …just apart. And know that you don’t have to have him fill every gap in your life. You may be disappointed he doesn’t want to go with you to the flea market (fill in the blank) but is that going to be a deal breaker? There will be disappointments in every relationship.

Or is it something about being bored with your life and that you need to grow? Is that something you can change? Then if he grows with you or changes with you …that is great. If not that means that would have come out sooner or later and you would either be frustrated or delaying your growth. You will have moved in the direction you need to go.

Therapy, getting outside your comfort zone or finding some sort challenge can often help bring this to light. – 40-something, consultant, NYC

If you are curious about relationship boredom, you would also find this interesting: What is the Difference Between Relationship Doldrums and a Dead End.





Question 2

I’m curious what people advice people have to give to chronic career-changers. I guess that’s kind of a misnomer. I graduated with a degree in Journalism from NYU and promptly decided (in an ideological way) that I didn’t want to be a part of the media.


I also had a passion for social justice so I went back to school for an MSW. I now feel completely lost. I’m on my third social work job and have found the profession to be thankless and feel like I barely use my skills. I don’t know if I want to go back to my Journalism career (or even HOW I WOULD) but I’d love to be happy at work.


I’ve never known that feeling (a frequent sore spot between my fiance and I, since he has ALWAYS felt at peace with his career choice) Mostly I’m just embarrassed that I may have wasted two years in grad school only to come to the conclusion that I was put on the planet to write. Anyway, feeling lost. Tips?



Dear 20 something,


Life is a never ending quest to find out who we are and this means trying new things and changing.  Going to school is most often not a waste of time, and skills earned can be used many places in life.


Sit down and make a list of your likes and dislikes, your interests and goals and your strengths and weaknesses, put the pieces together, and see what comes up.  Can you combine your love of writing with your passion for social justice?  In my experience, the people who love what they do to make money are the happiest. – 40-something, fashion / design entrepreneur, Brooklyn, NY



Dear 20-something,

Change is good, don’t beat yourself up.  Find a mentor to assist you with career counseling. Ask yourself: what is your passion?   Then make a career out of it. – 40-something, PR Director, NYC

Dear 20-something,

First…stop beating yourself up for “wasting time” in school. It was an investment in your and certiainly you got something from it. Write a list of the skills you learned. This about how you can transfer those seills elsewhere ro talk about what you learned and how it prepares you for xyz.


Second. Just do something. Most people don’t know ‘what their passion is’. Was there anything in both of your studies that you gravitated toward — one thing that overlapped in your interests or your strengths that led you to choose those to begin with? Dig into that. Are there other ways you can apply those strengths or interests?


How do you spend your quiet time? It could be anything at all, whether it’s reading about a certain topic or going to the museum or eating. There are industries built around “enthusiasms” so you just have to nail it down.


Then, go in a direction. Don’t get stuck trying to decide. Get started and once you get into a direction, you’ll find another direction. It’s okay to change directions many times. People get stuck because they think they have to know for certain. Everyone knows for certain at some point and it’s always wrong. You may change directions ten times so you better get started. Right now. Give yourself ten directions.”  — 40-something, entrepreneur, NYC


If you found this helpful, you may also like this: A Path To Finding Your Thing


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