Posted by: Shar & Mare | November 10, 2010

Q & A Day: Mommies & Control Freaks


Q & A WednesdayQUESTION:
My mother put a profile on line … FOR ME. Help. I love her, but do not want her to be my pimp or my matchmaker. She writes the first email to or first response and then hands me the reins. How do I tell her to stop?

Sharon
First, log onto the dating site and CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD. Do not….do not….do not…tell your mother the new password. Okay, maybe that would be a little harsh – it’s always a good idea to not alienate the parental unit. But…seriously, if you’re over the age of 16 your mother should not be doing anything for you when it comes to online dating. You need to sit her down and explain that you are an adult and more than capable of choosing who to contact. If she really balks, starts crying about how you’ve never appreciated all the hard work she’s done for you or how painful giving birth to you was and that she’ll never bake another birthday cake for you again, then offer to let her see the pictures of who you’ve chosen for yourself. Just let her in on what you are doing alone…on your own. Tell her that you’re a big girl, you should be picking your own dates and that you would like chocolate cake for your next birthday.

Mariann
OK, on one hand, I think this is funny & charming. On the other hand, I think this is intrusive and oversteps the bounds of appropriateness. I agree with Sharon to change your password asap. Is your mother a fun and lively person who just thinks she can pick someone for you better than you? Or, is she controlling and intrusive and is not treating you like an adult? If she is lively and fun and just wants to help, then tell her that you appreciate her efforts but it makes you feel uncomfortable and you will take over from here. If you did not have an online profile — maybe her take charge attitude is what you needed. Thank her. Have a good laugh. And, if you do find your husband this way then it will be a great story for the kids.

If your mother is someone who just wants to control every element of your life, then I am sure she is overstepping her bounds in all areas of your life. If this is the case, then I think you need to sit down and have a serious discussion with her about boundaries. Make the distinction that you love her, but you have to be your own person. If she resists, then you have to 1) Take specific steps to stop this and separate your lives, or 2) consider going to a few sessions to a therapist who can moderate the discussions between you and your mom so you can address this issue specifically and with productive results. Good Luck!

QUESTION:
Who should make the first date plans? I always feel awkward about this. I have ideas but don’t want the guy to think I am controlling or taking a lead position. But, some men are so wishy washy about what to do.

Mariann
I admit it, I can be a control freak and like to make plans and take charge. I know I have to stop this — especially with men and in dating situations. I have to trust that the guy can actually make plans for a date. Let the guy suggest getting together. Let them suggest what to do. For a first date, coffee, drinks or dinner are normal. He may ask you if you have a suggestion. At this point, you can say that you are open and hopefully he will pick a place that is convenient for you. If the place is NOT convenient for you, it is perfectly OK to tell him nicely that you prefer a different location, place or food. But, if your schedule is such that meeting at a specific location will suit you better, then it is perfectly fine to say, “I will be getting home from an appointment at 7:30pm but I could meet you at 8:15pm at a place near me (name place) … if that would work for you and then the evening won’t start too late.” More than likely, he will be fine with that.

Some women want to take the lead. And other women prefer the guy to take the lead. These days, the guy may not know which you prefer so he may sound reluctant or hesitate. Let the man take the lead but if you detect he needs some suggestions …. then provide a recommendation. You don’t have to make it look like you are taking over, which could be a turn-off initially.

Sharon
Yes…Mariann is a planning control-freak. Trust me I know this – I’ve seen her eight page emails detailing every aspect of a group outing she’s planned…right down to what kind of underwear that we should be sporting….BUT we love her anyway…LOL. I really don’t think that suggesting a good first date/meeting place is too controlling (giving your date a minute-by-minute itinerary of the entire date…including topics of conversation and allowable number of embarrassing bodily noises….now that’s controlling). It shows the guy that your interested enough in him to want to put some effort into the planning. It also takes some pressure off him to be “cool creative dude” who can read a woman’s mind and know exactly what she wants to do.

I’ve had more than one male friend tell me that they are flattered by a woman suggesting (note I said suggesting, not insisting) a place for a first date. A few have even said that they find this kind of sexy. So I say, go for it. If you have a favorite place for a first date then put that idea on the table. Your date will find you fun, charming and possibly very sexy!

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Responses

  1. LOL, how funny…but probably because I’m not the one with my mom trying to hook me up.

    -Lucky

  2. Ugh, my mother used to leave the singles classifieds on my desk chair, and I thought THAT was intrusive. I guess I should be glad she’s a technophobe & has no idea how to use a computer, huh?

  3. Oh yes….Moms can be harder to handle than a pile of unruly toddlers!! And techno-savvy moms are even worse…think crazed hacker with “your best interests at heart”. Totally frightening.

  4. I don’t get it. How do you get your mother to stop? Don’t you just tell/ask her to please stop?


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