Wedding Woes

My boyfriend has not acheived his Hollywood dreams

Dear Prudie,
My 32-year-old boyfriend is a great guy—cute, funny, smart, and loving. However, he is unhappy because he hasn't achieved success in his field. It's a hyper-competitive industry, known as “the industry” around here, and he works in a retail job he hates in order to make a living. A guy he went to school with has achieved massive success due to a project he created while in school (my boyfriend helped him perfect it in class, but they were never close). Now whenever that guy's name comes up, or he achieves more success, it sends my boyfriend into a downward spiral of depression. It breaks my heart to see him unhappy like this. I can't believe how much power he lets this successful guy have over him (the classmate hasn’t responded to my boyfriend’s emails for years). I honestly don't know if he will ever make it in this industry. He will almost certainly never make it the way his schoolmate did. How can I help him to help himself accept this and find happiness anyway? I am also trying to break into the same industry, with somewhat more success than my boyfriend is having, but seeing my schoolmates and peers make it just doesn't affect me the same way.

—Heart Aching for Him

Re: My boyfriend has not acheived his Hollywood dreams

  • You can't, Mrs.Conn. ;)

    It's really, really easy to be jealous of others' successes in a hyper-competitive industry - especially one where, by 32, you're really looking at putting that dream away. And I believe Hollywood types are not like writer-types: they probably don't celebrate others' successes in the same way or come together to support each other like a lot of writers do. 

    But the boyfriend has to make the choice not to be bitter. Could I wallow all day in resentment because E.L. James has made a fuckton of money? Sure. Would that get my novels written, published, or promoted? No. Being jealous and resentful of other people doesn't lift me up, so I choose not to do it. It's a choice he has to make - Girlfriend isn't going to be able to force him to let it go. 
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  • It's tough to live in the shadow of the greats like James Deen and Ron Jeremy.
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  • he needs to find a new dream if his dream to be in the industry has not happened yet maybe he could find work doing other things in the industry he needs to find his passion. maybe a break from retail for  a while take a long vacation like 2 months. go places and do as much as you can. otherwise you will live your life unhappy 
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