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What would you do if your partner told you they didn’t think they could achieve their goal? Aren’t we supposed to be there cheering for them no matter what? Or what about when they need a reality check?
A Reddit user shares her story of having to tell her boyfriend that she doesn’t think his goal is something he can achieve.
The original poster (OP) explained that her boyfriend is trying to get a Ph.D. in his field and that this is his third year applying. OP said that she and he were not together the first time he applied, but that she was with him the second time and saw him make some “foolish” mistakes when he was applying that she said she wouldn’t have expected from someone wanting a Ph.D.
Her boyfriend said that because of his ADHD, he has organization issues and asked if OP would help. She agreed but said that when the application time came again, he was making the same mistakes as before. OP would remind him of the mistake he was making and point out that it had happened before, but he would just give her a “blank look” or an argument about how OP was wrong.
OP decided she wasn’t going to help anymore if he was just going to ignore her. He realized he had missed the deadlines of several schools that he really liked and was very upset. OP said she was frustrated because she had warned him about this a few months ago, and he just said, “December? For Fall 2023 admission?? Huh??” as if that isn’t normal.
He admitted that maybe a Ph.D. wasn’t something he should pursue after all, and OP thought he was serious about pivoting to something else. so she told him that there are other things he could do and that most people don’t get a Ph.D. and are totally fine.
OP said her boyfriend looked hurt by what she said and asked if she really felt that he should give up. OP decided to tell him the truth and said she thinks he’d be better off doing something else because he still doesn’t understand the things he needs to do to even get through the application process and that the work will only become more challenging without someone there to hold his hand.
He argued that if he just got his organization under control, he would be fine, but OP told him that it wasn’t just the organization that was the issue; it was the fact that he would continually dismiss any information that didn’t fit his “preconceived ideas” to the point where he wouldn’t even look at the school admissions website because he was convinced he already knew what to do.
OP said her boyfriend wants to do high-level scientific research but struggles with low-level information gathering that he needs to do right now. Her boyfriend got more upset, and OP apologized and said that she wasn’t trying to hurt him. She feels bad that his Ph.D. journey hasn’t worked out.
Was OP right to be so blunt in her assertions? Should her boyfriend give up on his Ph.D. dreams? How would you have reacted in this situation?
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