What to do when your boyfriend’s mother just doesn’t like you.

Scarlett4 asks:

My boyfriend and I have worked through a lot of problems, including him making some big mistakes in the past.  But now there is a different problem – I don’t think his mom likes me that much. She is just talking with me regularly just for his child’s sake.

Hi Scarlett4 –

Yeah this problem is REALLY common – about as common as fathers not liking the boys their daughters bring home!  It’s not necessarily a bad thing – I think it usually stems from that parent having two experiences: first, having been the person in love with their kid longer than anyone else (falling rapturously mad over the baby, then the toddler, then the sweet kid, then the rebellious teen… ALL of those!); and second, having been the person who took care of that kid all the time, the one whose whole life was built around their child.

So after all that, how could anyone the young person brings home ever seem good enough?!  I can certainly tell you that my human friend Handsome has brought lots of girlfriends to me over the years, and not one of them has ever offered to spend all day guarding the house against prowlers, or chased the squirrels and cats out of the yard, or curled up and lay protecting him through hundreds of nights.  Not one!  So how could I ever say they’re good enough for him?!

Well, there actually is an answer.  And that’s for you to win her over.  For you to be such delightful company, to be the daughter she always wanted, to be her new best friend.

I see it all the time.  Sure she loves her son more than anything in the world, but you’re way more fun to go shopping with.  And besides, hanging out with you is a way of staying close with him, in a way she hasn’t been able to since he started insisting on going out with friends and not telling her everything anymore!

You two can even start to talk about MEN together!  Don’t get too insulting about her baby boy, but you two can definitely roll your eyes at each other about how they’re all obsessed with sports or unable to talk about feelings or never notice your new hairstyles or… you get the idea!

Now maybe I’m wrong, and she’s not this fun loving mom, but rather kind of mean and judgmental.  Well in that case, I’d recommend doing THE EXACT SAME THING – warm her up by being delightful.  I can’t tell you how many times it’s worked for me (often with people who simply don’t like dogs!).

At least give it a try.  And if nothing works, then maybe you can get your boyfriend, who (from your previous letters I know) needs to make up for some stuff, to pay a little bit of his debt by talking to her and getting her to cool it with you.

But first try being her new BFF.  That’s the best way, and so much more fun!

Good Luck!


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