Relationships can be exhilarating, especially when you have just begun to spend time together. Over time however, it’s natural to want to spend even more time with your girlfriend, but her mother may not agree. Before coming between your girlfriend and her mother’s decision to limit her time with you, it’s important to see both sides of the story. Even if you are extraordinarily responsible, your girlfriend’s mother may be cautious for a variety of reasons, including helping your girlfriend to maintain her grades in school. Showing your girlfriend’s mother that you are mindful of acceptable behavior can increase her ability to trust you. Over time, this can translate into increasing amounts of time she lets your girlfriend spend with you at your house.
Respect your girlfriend’s mother’s decisions to limit her time at your home. Although it may be tempting to protest her rules, doing so is an act of disrespecting her decisions. Instead, adhere to the time limits and avoid complaining to your girlfriend or anyone else in her family, which can create additional conflicts. Keep track of the time when your girlfriend is over and set a silent alarm or similar reminder to keep you aware of when it’s time for your girlfriend to leave. This simple act conveys a message to your girlfriend’s mother that you respect her role as a parent.
Make an informal but thought-out request to your mother’s girlfriend to increase the frequency of your girlfriend’s visits. Preface your request with a statement of willingness to demonstrate to your girlfriend’s mother that you can handle the additional responsibility of having your girlfriend over more often. As an example, explain to your girlfriend’s mother “Mrs. Smith, I feel that you have concerns about Heather spending more time at my house, is there a way we can discuss them?” This approach opens the channels of communication and lets your girlfriend’s mother know that you are willing to make changes to help her feel more comfortable in order to facilitate your girlfriend coming over more.
Spend more time at your girlfriend’s house, when and if possible. You can demonstrate a higher level of responsibility to your girlfriend’s mother by being around her more often. This gives your girlfriend’s mother time to get to know you, allows you to spend more time with your girlfriend and provides opportunities for you to act in a responsible fashion. Assist with tasks around your girlfriend’s house, ask if you can lend a hand with dinner or spend time with other members of the family at your girlfriend’s home. Your girlfriend’s mother and other family members can observe you on your best behavior and not feel that the only reason you are around is because of your girlfriend. Over time, your girlfriend’s mother will be able to increase her trust in your behavior and in your intentions.
Act in a way that is responsible, regardless of whether you are accompanied by someone or alone. Being a responsible young adult, explains Iowa State University in their online publication “Teaching Responsibility to Young Teens,” is accomplished through trial and error when making decisions, which leads to learning. Making a more mature decision, for example, by choosing to complete a homework assignment rather than abandoning it to go to the movies, is a way to demonstrate to your girlfriend, her parents and your parents that you need less oversight. Avoid assuming that your actions aren’t in some way monitored by people around you. If you make a decision to take out the garbage, your responsible choice will be obvious to your parents when they arrive at home. Acting more responsibly also provides you with a boost to your self-esteem and your feelings of self-efficacy.
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.
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