:You adore your boyfriend and think he’s the best thing since organic, multigrain, gluten free bread. He’s cute. He’s sweet. He writes you little love notes and well, he’s great in bed. So, why doesn’t your mom see all those things in him? OK. Maybe not the ‘great in bed bit’. It doesn’t make any sense to you.

Moms’ expectations

Moms want and expect certain things from their daughter’s boyfriends. It’s important, when talking to your mom about your boyfriend, to be very aware of this and to make sure that you aren’t setting him up to fail. It’s even more important to keep that in mind when she meets him for the first time. Moms have very long memories and first impressions definitely help form lasting opinions. If the damage is already done, it can be very difficult, even impossible to fix.

Here are some guidelines to help you navigate the mom/new boyfriend relationship.

  1. The first time you mention your new boyfriend to your mom, do not talk to her like she’s your friend. Talk to her like she’s your parole officer. Give her as little information as you possibly can without sounding too shady. If she starts asking too many personal questions like ‘how old is he? and ‘does he have a job?’, pretend that your phone has run out of charge.
  2. Whatever you do, don’t outright lie about anything about him. She will find out and she’ll blame him. There are ways of giving her information that will help his case without helping her to think the worst of him. So, if you met him in a bar when you were both drunk, you could say that you discovered, through friends, that you have a common interest and started talking on that basis. The fact that the common interests were beer and sex do not need to be relayed to her at this point.
  3. Do not tell your mom you’re thinking of getting a tattoo with him or even that he has tattoos if he has them. Don’t tell her that he’s got a motorcycle. Do not tell her that he’s in a band. Do not tell her that he works as a barista. None of those facts are important or useful for her to know. If she asks, you can say that you are considering purchasing art together, he loves taking you on long romantic drives, has a specialist interest in music and works in customer services. None of those are lies. Not really.
  4. When he meets your mother for the first time, make sure you’ve scrubbed him up nicely, he’s dressed appropriately and you’ve briefed him on things she likes. If she likes church, get him to ask if he could join the family at church on Sunday. If she likes men who treat women as equals, get him to offer to do the washing up after dinner. And if she likes hot musicians with tattoos and motorcycles, do not take him to meet your mother.
  5. Finally, and most importantly, if you ever have arguments with your boyfriend, do not call up your mom to complain about him. Once you’ve crossed that bridge, your mother will burn it and there is no turning back. She will hate him forever and your boyfriend may even have to take out a restraining order against her. Moms are very protective of their daughters and if they even sniff a sign of heartbreak on the horizon, they can become ferocious.

The good news is that if you follow these basic rules, once your mom likes your boyfriend, she will eventually warm to him and welcome him into the family. Just beware that if she likes him too much, you may have a hard time getting rid of him if you ever tire of him yourself. Moderation in everything is always the safest bet, especially when it involves moms and new boyfriends.