Dear Wendy Updates: “Love My Nosy Mom” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Love My Nosy Mom,” the woman whose mother, with whom she was very close, was giving her grief about letting her new boyfriend of a couple months move in with her rent-free at the end of the school year. A lot of us said things along the lines of: “Well, maybe your mom has a point!” We also told her that maybe at 28 it’s time to be more selective about what she shares with her mom if she doesn’t always like her reaction. After the jump, find out what LMNM thought of our advice.

I was actually fluctuating between laughter and embarrassment reading the responses. I had spent so much time focusing on my mother (to be fair, it was my question in the first place) that I absolutely didn’t realize how crazy the situation with my boyfriend sounded the way I explained it. Yeah, we’ve only been together a couple of months, which is why we absolutely aren’t moving in together before the year mark. On top of that, we own that this isn’t an ideal situation, but we’ve spent a lot of time discussing practicalities and finances and what part of the bills he pays, down to how many times we can go out to eat a month (which would be his to pay). Part of the reason I’m okay with it so far is because we’ve also given the worst-case scenario quite a bit of thought and come up with some exit strategies. It’s both pragmatic and also relieves us of some of the pressure to get this right. The program he’ll be in is easy enough to transfer into and out of (he’s got a degree but this is a medical certification program and since they’re so heavily regulated they’re virtually identical around the state). I don’t guess I made this clear (or maybe it was edited out), but we’re also still just in the talking stages. I have a place that will have four months left on the lease when and if he moves, and so we can wait till very nearly the last minute to decide whether we want to do this. He’s been living with his mom since he started back to school, so he doesn’t even have to give 30 days’ notice to a landlord. In the meantime we are staying incredibly upfront with each other about our own fears with this. So I swear it’s not one of those “I love you! And I’m lonely! Wanna move in?” situations. We’ve done a lot of thinking and talking, and we’re going to continue to do a lot of thinking and talking before we make a real decision.

Also, I think I poorly phrased my reference to my “string of bad relationships.” I guess that does sound more like living with four men over the last year and a half, all of whom beat me or cheated on me. I really meant that, in the ten years I’ve been seriously dating — and had four relationships over those ten years — I’ve been underwhelmed enough to start thinking that if I was ever going to live with someone, much less get married, I was going to have to be content with settling down with someone I was just ambiguously affectionate toward at best (given those odds, I was betting on staying single). I’ve never liked anyone well enough to even consider moving in together, so as far as this being a typical pattern of poor decision-making on my part, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m still willing to concede that this could be a truly terrible decision, but at least it’s a terrible decision that would be completely not my usual MO.

For the folks who did focus on my question, I most definitely appreciate the insight I got about my mother. We are so close that we rarely disagree, and I think that’s part of where my confusion comes from. Also, because we rarely disagree, she doesn’t deal with it well and can make some pretty ugly digs when I make it clear that I’m not going to just do what she says. I tried to tell her a few days later how difficult it can be to disagree with her, but as she disagreed with that assertion, I should have known how it was going to go. For the time being, when she asks about my boyfriend, I just stick to pleasant generalities, and it seems to work. It seems strange sometimes to avoid telling her things, but when the initial anger wore off at her comment, I finally realized how much it hurt to hear my mother tell me something like that. I’m not ready to give her another opportunity anytime soon.

Anyway, thanks for the input, and if I ever need to write in again I promise I’ll be clearer.

Fair enough, LMNM. Thanks for the update, and best of luck to you in the future.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”} with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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