Mothers and Daughters and Daddy Issues
I keep getting into relationships with men who I think are ok. Then I’ll tell my mom. And she’ll tear the relationship down over the course of the next few conversations we have. To the point that I have to break up with the guy because every time I look at him I only see the flaws my mom has pointed out. Help!
Easy- don’t talk to your mom about your relationships. Problem solved.
Ok ok ok, all the moms out there who are about to flood my inbox (Hi mom!!), let me just say that I’m only being partly serious. What you actually need to do, Swayed, is to think a little about your relationship with your mom. A young woman has to find her boundaries with her mother, find where she feels comfortable taking a conversation and more importantly, which topics of conversation should just quietly be left off the table. As shocking as this is to discover (no irony here, really), our mothers are just people like the rest of the world. They’re good at some things and bad at others. You know how you have those friends who are maybe great for a night out on the town, but no good at lunch dates? Or maybe you love talking politics with another friend but find them insufferable when the conversation turns to music. Mothers are just like friends- they have their strengths and weaknesses, and in order to not drive yourself crazy, Swayed, you need to find out what they are and not rely on your Mom to be awesome at everything you throw her way. Maybe she’s not a great judge of men. Maybe she’s neurotic when it comes to relationships.
ZOMG! Gilmore Girls!
Or maybe she’s not. Maybe you’re neurotic when it comes to your Mom. Maybe she has your best intentions in mind and sees you making a lot of the same mistakes that she made with men and doesn’t want you to go through the same hurt and heartbreak that she suffered. Maybe you’re making some bad decisions that anyone with half a brain can see, but your Mom is the only person in your life with enough guts to tell you that to your face.
Set aside your pride. Take a step back and evaluate, really evaluate, how you feel about your mom giving you (sometimes unsolicited) advice. Picture a chart in your head, a crazy chart, if you will, and pinpoint exactly where you and your mom fall on that crazy chart. Are you 30% crazy and she’s 70% crazy? Are you 90% crazy and she’s 10% crazy? My expert guess is that you’re 50% crazy and she’s 50% crazy, which seems to be the case with 87% of Mother/Daughter combos in the world. (Ed. note: please see the following graphic representation of all the math and science that was just put forth in the preceding paragraph.)
So, once you’ve figured out just exactly how crazy you both are, a weight will be lifted. You’ll be able to graciously accept your Mother’s advice, glean from it the advice that you find helpful, and let the hurtful stuff roll of your back. You’ll be able to see your mom’s strengths and weaknesses with a little more clarity, and be able to selectively ask her advice on matters that you find her advice to be helpful. And ideally, she will feel less pressure because her daughter won’t be going batshit-loco over some (in her eyes) innocuous comment she made about your latest boyfriend, a comment which clearly set off your batshit-loco radar.
And finally, if none of that works- who cares what your mom thinks about your boyfriends? You are the one who has to date them, so make up your own damn mind about them!
I’m a 16-year-old female, and I’m totally freaked out by this idea of “Daddy Issues”. Do they really exist? Is there a way around them? My dad left when I was 3 years old and I’ve never had a real father figure in my life, and I’m totally terrified of turning into “that girl”, you know?
Dear Daddy Issues,
Ahh, yes. The ol’ “Do-I-Have-Daddy-Issues” conundrum. We all go through it at some point in our lives, and I’ve always wondered why there’s nothing out there that a girl could point to that would allow her to decide conclusively that she DOES or DOES NOT have daddy issues.
So, without further adieu, I present to you the Donnybrook-Approved Ivyy Goldberg Esq. Daddy Issues Quiz:
1. Have you had sexual relations (oral, anal, or other) with anyone whose last name you were questionable about? (4 points for Yes. Add 4 points if you answer Yes to this question and you are younger than 20.)
2. Have you ever had anal or oral sex in order to claim that “you didn’t exactly sleep with him”? (4 points for a Yes. Add 2 more points if this happened during a weeknight when you had to walk of shame to work the next morning.)
3. Do your girlfriends hesitate to introduce you to their boyfriends, brothers, brothers’ friends, fathers, uncles, male colleagues, male bosses, mailmen, or milkmen? (4 points for Yes. Add 2 points if your answer is Yes and your girlfriends are NOT crazy insecure bitches.)
Results: More than 4 points- You Have Daddy Issues. Sorry.
Got questions about your common, common sex life? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, att: Ivyy, and we’ll straighten it all out. Lovely.