Dear Coleen: Our mothers both think that we shouldn’t be dating

Dear Coleen

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about five months now and both of our families know about it. However, my mum has said she wants me to date other guys and that I can’t possibly know he’s ‘the one’, as I don’t have much to compare him to. I’ve been on plenty of dates, though, and I just know that we’re right together.

He recently came out of a three-year relationship, which was long distance for a while. A few weeks after they broke up, we started dating and his ex didn’t like it and tried to harm herself.

We’d known each other for about nine months before they broke up and, although we were attracted to each other, we never acted on it because he had a girlfriend.

His mum is also very negative about our relationship – in fact, I know she doesn’t really like me. She told him not to date me because he needs to be single and take time out between relationships.

I don’t understand why our parents can’t just enjoy that we are happy.

Coleen says

I don’t think it’s that his mum doesn’t like you necessarily, I think she’s just being sensible and trying to advise her son not to jump straight from one serious relationship into another. And that’s not bad advice.

It sounds as if things were very difficult when his last relationship ended, especially if his ex tried to harm herself. He might need time to process that. So I think both your mums are just trying to be cautious and advising you take things slowly, as you and your boyfriend sound young.

So perhaps rather than feeling persecuted by your mums and thinking they’re out to spoil things for you, talk to your boyfriend about why they might be giving you this advice.

It’s not a race to get to the finishing line and you’ll probably have loads of other stuff in your lives to focus on like college work, jobs, friendships etc.

I think it also helps to get to know each other’s families and show you can be mature and listen to advice. Don’t just dismiss what they’ve got to say.

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