I’m currently just finishing my third year of college, and I’m dating someone in the military. We have our rough moments, but all in all, He is genuinely the guy that I want to be with for the rest of my life.
I also have my mom who is my best friend. She is the person that I want to be able to go to (and before this relationship the one that I would go to) for guy advice, and she is my rock. Lately, she’s been more focused on my brother lately, but I don’t mind because it’s helping me not to be so afraid of being on my own one day (honestly that’s a big fear of mine, is to one day be separated from my mom).
Since my mom has been kind of distant lately, I’ve been turning to my military boyfriend (Patrick) for support. He’s been nothing but supportive of my law school entrance journey, and I’ve appreciated everything he has done for me since my mom’s focus is elsewhere.
This itself isn’t the issue, what is though is that my mom is not super supportive of this relationship. My boyfriend, I’m not going to lie, does come off as a “mans-man” type of guy with a mildly stern persona. My mom took that immediately as an ominous sign, and since day one has had a varying opinion on him and does not hesitate to tell me about it.
My question is that I’m not sure what to do now that my mom and my boyfriend aren’t on good terms.
I don’t know if I can have this be the case for the rest of my life, but at the same time, I love them both so much. Even though this isn’t my mom’s relationship, I’ve called her crying one or two times, and she’s been mad at him about that (even though I’m a natural cryer haha). I know I can’t just snap my fingers and have her change her mind, but what do I do to at least help the situation?
First of all, you don’t have to make any decisions right now about spending the rest of your life with him. I think that’s important to recognize. You are still so young (I know you probably hate hearing that, but it’s true!!) and there’s no need to decide right now whether this is the guy you want to marry. It’s great that you see a future, but don’t stress about spending your whole life with him because you don’t even need to know that yet.
I say this because I had a college boyfriend for almost 7 years who I planned on marrying. There was really nothing wrong with our relationship, but I remember my mom always asking me questions that made me feel like she wasn’t sure he was the one. As time went by and I continued to grow personally, I realized there was something missing from our relationship. I didn’t know what that was, but I had a gut feeling that there was more growth for me to have and more for me to experience, so I went with it. I was 25 at the time and now at 29, I couldn’t be happier with that decision. I’ve since met the RIGHT guy for me and I’m so sure of it because I’ve had that time to grow and understand exactly what I need.
I know our situations aren’t the same and I don’t know what your relationship is truly like, but I would just say, there’s no need to make any big decisions right now.
Now, as for your mom not approving, I totally get how tough that can be. As we grow up, we realize more and more that our parents are just people and that our life is a separate thing from theirs. So if you are truly confident in your relationship, then you have to learn to be strong enough to not let your mom’s opinion affect you. Easier said than done, but this won’t be the first time that your mom’s opinion differs from your own. If there are specific things she says or does that makes it harder for you, then you should talk to her and tell her that even if she doesn’t agree, she needs to support you. And that these things she says or does make it really hard for you. Tell her it’s important to you that she trusts your decisions and lets you make your own decisions. The more you can talk openly about this, without getting upset with each other, the better. So keep the communication alive.
Also, I just wanted to note, I’m also a natural cryer. I cry SO easily, seriously. And I can honestly say that, while I’ve certainly cried during conversations with my boyfriend, he has never made me feel like he’s not on my side. So just keep that in the back of your mind.
Photography by Tait Campbell