Q: My mom and dad are divorced, and my mom is dating a guy I really don’t like.  What should I do?  Is it any of my business who she dates?


Dad: It’s always a bummer to have to interact with people you don’t care for, but it’s even tougher when it is hard to avoid them (you know, like, someone always showing up at your house).

Frankly, though, the situation is tough on both of you for different reasons.  Let’s look at Mom: went through a divorce, lonely and needs to connect, worried you won’t like him and…wait, what?

Yes, unless your Mom is a monster (monstress?) and actively plans ways to make your life miserable, of course she is stressed out over your reaction to Mr. Mom’s Date. And now she has to deal with the fact that you don’t particularly like the dude.  Talk about a stress dance…wanting to make herself, you, and him happy.

hippo-89223_640Hopefully your understanding of her situation will inform your reaction – which I recommend to be…politeness.  Yep, be polite.  You don’t have to want to do family picnics with MMD, but you can make her — and your – life a bit easier by just being nice.  I mean, think about how you might have to put up with a lame boyfriend of your BFF.  You don’t act like a jerk to her because of him, you put up with it.  You may have concerns about the relationship, but you can lovingly share those and then deal with whether your BFF does anything with them.

Which brings us to your other question: Is it your business?  Well, think of the long view.  Let’s assume that MMD is not an ax murderer, and he’s just a guy that you’d rather chew foil than be around.  You’ll soon be out of the house, living your own life, and…more to the point…leaving Mom to live hers.  So is it fair that your desire for her to not be with this guy impacts her life long after you don’t have to deal with him that much?  Do you help end a relationship that Mom might enjoy for years to come because he annoys you now?  Sure, you should get a say, but maybe that is all it should be.  Express your concerns, and then let the relationship go where it is going to go. Also, give the guy some slack. This has to be hard on him too.

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