Q: My boyfriend is in his late 20s, but this is his first real relationship. As we near our first anniversary, he’s starting to act weird. How can I calm him down before he totally freaks?
A: In guy time, one year of dating is like seven. And the first anniversary is a signpost that says This is kinda serious, and it’ll get really serious unless you bail.
Once the day comes and goes and he realizes the world hasn’t ended, my guess is he’ll go back to normal. So if you keep it relatively mellow, he’ll see that it doesn’t mean he now has to start ring shopping.
One more thing: You say he’s behaving weird, but you don’t say how. Are you sure it’s not you doing the wigging out? Or maybe you’re both a little on edge. Regardless, make sure you’re honest about your own feelings as well.
Q: I’ve lived with my guy for years. We’ve talked about marriage, but he’s very close to his mom, and I’ve noticed that he’ll follow her advice after ignoring mine — even if it’s the same advice! Is there anything I can do to make him stop turning to Mom when he should be turning to me?
A: It could be worse. The mother could be a crazy tyrant who’s trying to come between you and her son. Instead, it sounds like she’s merely giving your boyfriend advice when he asks — you can’t blame her for that — and it sounds like she’s often on the same page as you are.
Men are typically fiercely loyal to their moms, and your guy sounds like no exception. So you need to make this about you and your boyfriend and not about him and his mother. Give him a specific example of a time when he bypassed your advice only to be told the same thing by her. Let him know that what bothered you wasn’t that he spoke to Mom — make sure to mention that you’re a fan — but that he ignored you. That sort of thing can’t happen in a marriage and shouldn’t happen in a long-term relationship.
Want to give your mama’s boy even more reason to trust you? Next time the three of you are together, casually bring up a subject you know the mother agrees with you on. Seeing Mom back you up will make it easier for him to turn to you, and only you, in the future.