They say every man is looking for a woman to fill his mother’s shoes, but let’s call it what it really is: mommy issues. Mommy issues in a man can be a woman’s best friend. And also her worst enemy. Meeting a man who never a had a good relationship with his mother can mean a lethargic manchild who becomes financially dependent on you or it can mean that you’re about to pick up where his mother left off and finishing raising your 29-year-old partner. Or both.
Whether he’s the product of an absentee mother who’s looking for someone to fill the void or has a coddled manbaby complex, you should know how to recognize a guy with mommy issues before your vagina dries right up. On the bright side, you’ll have first-hand experience for what it’s like to raise a teenage son … and knowledge is power?
- He is unemployed or consistently between jobs.
When he has a mother figure like you to put a roof over his head and food in his mouth, a job just doesn’t feel as important as it once did. Can you blame him? Your supportive role of mother-figure frees his time to reconnect with pasttimes of his youth – video games, cartoons, smoking copious amounts of marijuana… This time is a very important emotional cleanse for him. Be grateful that his actual mother still pays his cell phone bill and the responsibility hasn’t fallen on you yet.
- You do all the driving.
If your boyfriend is regularly hanging on the passenger side, it’s not because he refuses to save up for a car, has poor credit, or lacks adulting skills necessary to obtain plates and insurance – it’s his mommy issues (shhh). It signals a longing for days gone by when his mother would strap him in his carseat and take him to preschool or to the park. Emulate a maternal instinct by purposeful slamming on the breaks at red lights and throwing an arm out to save his poor baby cranium from launching through the windshield. You’ll remind him so much of his mother, it will relax his mommy anxiety for a moment. Bonus points if your weekend role has been relegated to personal Designated Driver.
- You always pick up the tab.
It’s so adorable how the server always hands him the check at the end of a meal. It’s like when a little girl carries around a toy purse – his wallet is just for pretend. In order to not emasculate your manbaby any more than he already does to himself, wait for the server to walk away before placing your debit card in the folder. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so good news! You can feed him at home and out on the town!
- He puts off that ‘homeless or hipster’ vibe.
If your man is well into his 30s but still dresses like he got all his clothes from either Urban Outfitters or dumpster diving, you might have a case of mommy issues on your hands. You see, when a spoiled manbaby first leaves the nest at age 21 or 22, the experience is so traumatic they tend to be stunted at that age for life – unable to emotionally or mentally detach from the trauma and form a mature sense of self. Other telltale signs are frequently borrowing money for new tattoos, obsession with cultivating his social media “brand,” and still trying to keep the band together. Take on the maternal, supportive role he needs while he discovers himself and finds his identity. It’s all part of growing up.
- Whining, slamming doors, punching walls, and squealing tires.
Being a grown man with mommy issues can be frustrating. The world can be so unfair when you have both a receding hairline and teenage angst. Be prepared for your manbaby to stomp his feet and whine “That’s not fair” when you bring home a stack of job applications and ask him to fill them out. Slamming doors, punching walls, and squealing his tires as he indignantly backs out of the driveway always upset his dear mother and broke her down until he got his way. When your boyfriend has mommy issues, emotional outburst are going to happen – and it’s not a phase.
On the bright side, going through a break up with a guy with mommy issues is a lot easier than a normal break up. You’ll feel the relief of an exhausted mother who just sent her kid away to summer camp. Your emotional hurdles will more closely resemble Empty Nest Syndrome.