My boyfriend returned from a wonderful two and a half year, round-the-world trip last year. He's still at home, and while he is keen to settle down at home, he's very restless. I don't think he has found his 'place' in the world yet.
I really want to help him in any way I can, but I haven't travelled on that scale before. Hopefully someone here will be able to give me some advice?
"...he is keen to settle down at home, he's very restless."
Sorry - that comes across to me as a real contradiction! Looking back on my own young wander-lust days, I found out that it is neigh impossible to have it both ways - trying to be both a committed, rooted-in-one-place domestic partner and a wandering soul at the some time.
Question aside about how your boyfriend is currently managing his finances and advancing his career interests (it's probably none of my business and for all I know he could be independently wealthy), is the question of how you see your role in this situation.
Do you share his penchant for exploring the world? Do you have practical reasons why you could not join him in his explorations? What comes to mind is a possible scenario like the two of you together in an RV on the road for some mutually agreed upon period of time.
I believe that you and he have much talking and soul searching coming up. Unless of course the thought of you yourself engaged in his desire to "find his place in the world" is unsettling or impractical for you. If that is the case, you may find it necessary to permanently parachute out of this "romance with Indiana Jones".
He wants to settle down at home and has no intention of going out on the road again - at least not in the near future - but the problem is, I don't think he has properly adjusted to being home yet. At home, his life is very different to life how it was on his travels. He wants to be here and to settle down, but hasn't yet acclimatised.
Do you have any practical tips?
I think your boy friend consciously - or subconsciously - wants to travel again. He knows that you would like for him to settle down so he may simply be giving you the answer he believes you want to hear: that he wants to settle down. My guess is you need to to give him both time and space so he can figure out what he REALLY wants to do. And if he feels you're putting pressure on him, deliberately or not, that's not a recipe for a healthy longterm relationship.
Thanks bgl for restating my own sense of this situation - nice job!
ulidia_70 you said:
"At home, his life is very different to life how it was on his travels. He wants to be here and to settle down, but hasn't yet acclimatised."
How do the two of you see the shared domestic life? The 9 to 5 employment routine? Raising a family? Tending to everyday stuff like mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool or fixing the car? All of the above?
To my mind, one of greatest differences between "explorer" vs. "domestic partner" is living spontaneously and for the moment as opposed to having that regular daily routine. I could well imagine that your boyfriend is still in "spontaneity" mode and perhaps has not established a conventional routine that comes with city life. Otherwise, I could ask you, what are you seeing that you think is lacking in his lifestyle "back on the ranch" with you?
I believe it is true that some people can use assistance from others to "get their act together". Other people are more independent types and will resent being pressured. Not knowing your boyfriend personally, there is no way for me to know which category he is.
If he genuinely welcomes your involvement in his current situation - well and fine. But I believe that bgl and I are in agreement - too much pressure on him at this time could have the opposite effect. He might decide to "up and go" and you could loose him for good. Walk the "tightrope" gently until he makes it clear what he wants and needs most. I could hope that what he needs most of all is you but for now the jury on that is definitely out!
You should go easy on him for now!
ulidia, I think your boyfriend is very lucky. Some people haven't found their place in the world too but they haven't had this precious experience of travelling around the world! I envy him! Have you found your place in the world? I think very few of us have. Just don't rush things. I think he needs time. Take care of yourself!