Have you noticed how many grown men—40-something adults—are living with their mothers? They don’t have jobs or anything steady, they own broke-down cars or only have a vehicle they can borrow here and there. They get with a woman, move in and when it doesn’t work out, they move back in with their mothers. It seems like most of the guys I meet online are like this. They seem so good at first, but they are nothing like they appear to be. What is going on with men?
They are passionate about inspiring you into a dating diet. So, from here forward, don’t date a man who is dead weight. Just kidding, but it’s too easy to pretend that men are the problem. They’re just living their lives (boomeranging back to Mama, included). Once you realize that a man’s values don’t sync with yours, stop dating him. It’s hopeless to imagine that if he really, really loves you, he will become the kind of man you desire. OK, maybe it’s not hopeless. It’s a fairy tale, it’s romantic, it’s Hollywood and it’s extremely rare. This is reality: The man you see is the man he is. So no matter how amazing you are, your astonishing amazingness cannot magically jolt him into becoming the partner of your dreams, unless he also wants that for himself. Your motivation is not sufficient to power your engine and his.
So are you willing to enjoy being single? To discover the many pleasures of independence, solitude and clarity about who you are? Stay open to meeting a man you want to date, but don’t be so desperate that you accept a date from a mooching mama’s boy (all while disparaging him for being a mooching mama’s boy). And, if Mr. Right doesn’t appear on your timeline, toss out your schedule. Trust the rhythm and timing of your own life instead.
P.S. Dear Retirement-Aged Mamas with 40-something-year-old sons: While you praise your child for helping you out in exchange for room and board, consider whether you have bred a streak of something else entirely into your sons that keeps them stuck in adolescence and unable to commit to adulthood. Don’t malign the messenger, please. I’m just curious.
My parents are divorced, and my father moved in with his girlfriend of five months and her three kids. I am 15 and have to spend Christmas with my dad. He told me that I have to call his girlfriend’s kids my “sisters” and call her “Mom.” I don’t want to. I told him, but he just started yelling at me and telling me that I am ruining his life. I cry every time I think about Christmas at his girlfriend’s house. What should I do?
Realize that your dad is afraid that he has ruined his own life. His denial about this is so deep that he can’t take responsibility, so he blames you. Shake it off. After all, there is no evidence to support his drama. You can’t blame yourself for your parents’ divorce, either. The dissolution of a marriage is always about a couple’s inability to work through their own problems. If they argue about a child, it’s proof of their inability to parent cooperatively. That’s not the child’s fault.
Don’t let your dad push you into intimacy that you are not ready for. Your resistance is not insubordination. It’s self-care. Ask your mom to intervene on your behalf. If she is unwilling or unable to do so, ask a counselor at school for help. And stop scaring yourself with thoughts of Christmas at your dad’s. When your mind raises the ghost of Christmas future, pull it back into the present moment where you are fine and all is well.