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The Effects of Dating a Mama's Boy

by Sarah Casimong, studioD

Dating a mama’s boy can have its advantages, but it can also have its challenges. A man’s close relationship to his mom can cause some problems in your romance with him if you’re not ready to accept the dynamics of their mother-son relationship. However, your relationship with him may benefit from some of the positive effects that a maternal influence can have on him.

Emotional Openness

Dating a mama’s boy can mean that you’ll be in a relationship with an emotionally mature man. A study done in 2010 by Carlos Santos, assistant professor of counseling and counseling psychology at Arizona State University, found that males who are close to their mothers are more "emotionally available." Santos studied the link between middle school boys’ relationship to their mothers and the stereotypical gender qualities that they possessed. He found that boys who had close relationships with their moms were less likely to act “tough” and were more emotionally open and communicative.

Dependent on Mom

While dating a mama’s boy may mean he is more in tune with his emotions, it could also mean that he relies on his mother for emotional support. Being dependent -- emotionally, financially or in other ways -- on his mother can mean problems for your relationship, according to Psychology Today’s “Married to Mama’s Boys: Make Great Friends, Bad Husbands” by clinical psychologist Seth Meyers. A close mother-son relationship should not be a concern unless he and his mother have not set healthy boundaries in their relationship. Your boyfriend’s attachment to his mom may be unhealthy if he to seeks her approval for everything and if he depends on her daily.

Mom Is Part of Relationship

A down-side to dating a mama’s boy is having a third person in the relationship: his mother. His need for her approval and dependency on her might mean that she’ll be involved in different aspects of your relationship. You may resent your boyfriend’s closeness to his mom if she gets involved in decision-making or arguments between you and your partner. If he has no limits on what he tells his mother, he may divulge details of your relationship that you might not be comfortable with.

Second Place to Mom

You might feel like the odd one out or the third-wheel in your own relationship. Psychologist Debra Mandel refers to some mama’s boys as “pseudo-husbands” to their moms, which may mean your man will prioritize his commitments to his mom over his commitments to you. This could be frustrating, because he will always side with his mother over you if there are any disagreements or criticisms, says Mandel.

About the Author

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".

Photo Credits

  • Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images