What do you do when you're dating a mama's boy?

Answer

When dating a man who has an excessive attachment to his mother, it is important to determine whether the attachment is dysfunctional enough to require therapy or if it can be addressed casually. In most cases, all that can be done is to encourage your significant other to set healthy boundaries with his mother.

Chelsea Kaplan of The Frisky explains that there are some signs to look for to spot the difference between a healthy or a dysfunctional relationship between a mother and a son. The frequency of contact does not determine the health of the relationship, but rather the quality of their interactions. If he is unable to say no to his mother or set firm, healthy boundaries, the relationship could be unhealthy. Pointing out that a parent-child relationship is unhealthy can be difficult for new relationships, so consider enlisting the help of a friend or family member who can back up your observations.

It is important to consider the distinction between a mama's boy relationship and a codependent relationship. WebMD explains that codependent relationships are marked by a complete lack of personal boundaries and excessive interpersonal dependence. While most people associate codependency with romantic relationships only, codependent parent-child relationships are actually quite common as well. If the mama's boy relationship is truly codependent, only therapy and distance can begin the work of repairing and creating a healthy mother-son dynamic.

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