When your relationship becomes a tug-of-war for your guy’s attention, where does his mom end and you begin?
In the beginning of a relationship, a guy’s family-oriented qualities can be so endearing: he calls his mom without being asked, he shows his feelings for her mother with open displays of affection, and he’ll drop whatever he is doing to help her out. If the old adage is true, you may even fantasize that he will also treat you with the same reverence – and who wouldn’t love that?!
If, however you are finding the incessant phone calls irritating, the displays of affection vaguely nauseating, and his being at mom’s beck and call simply frustrating, here are some subtle (and not-so!) signs that you’ve got a major league Mama’s Boy on your hands:
1. Your family invites you across country for Thanksgiving, but he’s horrified¦ he’s never spent a holiday away from his mom.
You can’t cut the umbilical cord for your guy, he has to want to take care of it himself. Let him decide what to do about the holidays, but be clear about your preference. Ask him to consider how often you spend time with his family vs yours, and how much would it mean to you. Try not to use guilt, but express your feelings honestly. Depending on how long you have been together, this will also be an indicator of his commitment level: in it for the long haul, or one foot out the door!
2. He takes charge of things¦ by calling his mother to do it for him.
If he still relies on his mom to arrange all of his dental & doctor check-ups, if she buys and signs his name to family gifts, and delivers his freshly pressed button-down shirts weekly, you might need to evaluate how independent your guy really is. A reasonable amount of interference is normal in a respectful mother/son relationship, but beware the old she doesn’t mind, it makes her feel needed- he may actually believe it.
3. He admits that if his mom didn’t like his girlfriend, he’d end the relationship¦ and has a string of exes to prove it.
If he’s not ready to consider a twosome with you, independent from his mom’s opinion, better for you to know sooner than later. It’s a fine line between valuing a mother’s opinion vs letting her opinion influence decisions on a romantic partner. Your guy letting mom veto his selection of a life-mate (or right-now-mate) may indicate an unusually tight bond, one you’re unlikely to break.
The bright side is, mama’s boys are also known for being more sensitive to women than the average Joe, and better listeners too. So try communicating your discomfort with any of the above before you write this one off¦ But, if he offers to call his mother to referee: RUN!