If Only The Guys I’ve Dated Loved Me As Much As Their Moms Did

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had my boyfriends’ mothers beg me to stay with their sons forever, I’d be rich. It never happens, of course—I can’t keep the man but I’ve never been able to get rid of the almost-mother-in-laws.

  1. I go out of my way to talk to them. Ninety percent of the time, I’m pretty much BFFs with the mom long before I meet her son. Half the time, I don’t even know that she has a son, but I’ve learned that middle-aged women are full of wisdom, advice and snarky jokes so I love hanging out with them and that usually morphs into them playing matchmaker. You’d think I would’ve figured this one out by now.
  2. I’m forever 55. Call me an old soul but I’ve never been much of a partier. (I guess that’s why I’ve never had any sorta luck with the whole bar scene thing.) I don’t weigh enough to hold down a shot of anything and the one time I went to a frat house, I had a creepy, unattractive guy stalk me to my car. Maybe these guys’ moms like the idea of their sons dating a woman who isn’t going to spend her Friday nights at a club.
  3. It’s a career or nothing. I’m up to my neck in grad school tuition bills but it’s all worth it in my head. Going to college was never a question and neither was getting a graduate degree. I’ve always been career driven; I’m willing to do whatever it takes to land a job where I get paid well to do what I love. My mom says that some guys find this threatening but I guess my exes’ moms just enjoy the thought of financial stability for their (non-existent) future grandchildren.
  4. Kids have my whole heart and soul. There’s no doubt that I’m not ready to have a kid of my own—my lack of patience and my dire need for sleep are full proof of that—but I’m more than obsessed with their innocence, giggles, and wide-eyed wonder. While most guys just laugh off my toddler-crazed posts, I have a gut feeling that most of these moms still stalk my social media and assume that I’d make a great insta-mommy.
  5. Day or night, you can find me with the fam. If I could pick between a night out with the girls or a night in with the fam, I’m taking the latter. If I went out more, I’d probably increase my chances of finding a man, but nothing beats watching Disney movies with my dad while scarfing down a bowl of my mom’s homemade lasagna. While most guys would rather go out for pizza and an action movie, their mothers think I would do a good job of reeling their sons in for a family night back at her house.
  6. You can watch me knit, but not nae-nae. Maybe my knitting is a red flag for millennial men (turn that maybe into a definite yes) but my idea of fun centers around your typical homemaker’s hobbies. I enjoy sweeping, reading and listening to classical music, so naturally, the bond level is strong with moms. Don’t get me wrong—I love weightlifting, road-tripping and watching funny movies-total guy stuff, but I’ll knit a scarf long before I’ll steal the dance floor at a party.
  7. Somehow these women know that I’ve still got my V-card. Don’t ask me why or how my old boyfriends’ mothers always knew about my virginity, but they did… and they liked making subtle hints about how beautiful a truly white wedding is. Though I genuinely appreciate that, I’m also left wondering whether there was some sorta mother-son talk that centered on my lack of a sexual life. Like, how does someone even start a conversation about that? After this little chat, I most likely lost sex appeal as far as the guys were concerned, but the moms were all about the V-card.
  8. My attention to detail makes moms feel important. I promise that it’s not just sucking up, but if my boyfriend’s mother has on a pretty shirt, I’m going to tell her she looks awesome. If she got a haircut, even a simple trim, I’m going to tell her she’s rocking her new look. My OCD kicks my attention to detail in overdrive, and while I sometimes notice things that aren’t so great, I enjoy making people feel good about themselves. The boyfriends probably think I’m too picky or just putting on a front, but I think moms appreciate an honest compliment every now and then.
  9. Maybe I bring out the best in their sons. Just maybe. Everyone knows the saying, “You should leave a place better than you found it,” and I think the same goes for people. You should love and encourage people in a way that challenges them to be a better version of themselves. I’d like to think that this philosophy has come full circle with the guys I’ve dated. But they haven’t really stuck it out with me, so maybe I’m wrong, but after watching the way each mother loves her son, I’d like to think that these moms adored me because I brought out the best in their child. Maybe that’s too deep for most guys, but it makes me sound like a showstopper of a girlfriend.
Peyton Garland is a boy mama and Tennessee farmer who loves sharing her heart on OCD, postpartum life, and hope in the messy places.