In a world where we generally blame our parents for everything, it’s a worthy consideration. After all, only 27% of 25-34 year-olds are married today. Maybe mothers across America are behind this.
Or maybe it’s not a national conspiracy, but merely a personal vendetta of your mom.
Or just an act of fate of which your mother is an unwitting pawn.
Regardless, if you want to be married sometime before your 34th birthday then here are three questions to evaluate whether your mother is keeping you single right now… and may continue to do so until the day you die. Of a broken heart.
#1: Is your mom all up in your dating bizness?
I can remember living with my mom.
She’d remind me to take out the trash and what would I do? Would I be like, “Thanks mom! I was going to forget without your helpful reminder! I’ll do that right away.”
No. Instead, I’d intentionally wait to take out the trash (at least a half hour or so), so I could say I did it on my own.
You know, like Frank Sinatra, I wanted to say, “I did it my way.”
Only you know what would happen, don’t you? Thirty minutes later my mom would remind me again and I would reset my plan back another thirty minutes. Until the garbage truck had already come and gone.
Well we’re not talking about garbage here. We’re talking about one of the most important elements of your future! So don’t be like me.
Don’t get so focused on proving something to your mom, that you miss meeting your future spouse.
MEN: Don’t intentionally delay asking that fine young lady out just because your mom brought her up to you again barely five minutes before reading this post. Put a smile on your mom’s face today and let her know you’re taking that young lady to coffee next week.
And then ask if you can borrow some money.
Just kidding. If you can’t afford coffee you aren’t ready to date.
LADIES: Don’t put off that potential suitable suitor just because you suspect your mom may have put him up to it. Hey, your Mom helped you with your homework, she helped you learn to drive, and she helped you deal with all your middle school crushes, so let her help you with your future.
Just think, that young man might become the knight in shining armor who breaks the spell of your mom’s control over your life.
Again. Just kidding! You shouldn’t be looking for a savior. Just a spouse.
And remember, a first date is just a first date. Not a marriage proposal. If you don’t enjoy it, ask your mom for her next selection. In fact, put out a date suggestion box and put that motivated mamma to work.
Or on the flip side…
#2: Is your mom always dissing your relationship desires?
It’s pretty common these days for teens and twenty-somethings to be dissuaded from considering – or even thinking about – a serious relationship until they’ve graduated with their doctorate, scored their dream job, bought a home, and saved up for retirement.
This prioritization of career and finance over relationships comes from seeing marriage as a capstone in life. Something to top off the already-almost-perfect life.
But marriage used to be considered more of a cornerstone in life. Possibly because a healthy couple committed for life creates the most stable family structure for raising children. Which means the children raised in such homes are more likely to grow up to do the same thing when they are grown, which enables a society to endure down through the ages. Plus after you put in all the blood, sweat, and tears to raise your own future kids, they get to return the favor to you when you’re old and need to be taken care of, which removes that burden from the state. Pretty cool, right?
I’m not saying hard work, making a living, and following a budget are bad ideas. They’re phenomenal ideas. In fact, they are disciplines which will make thriving in marriage far easier. I’m merely suggesting that…
If marriage has been the cornerstone of stable societies, across time and cultures, then maybe it’s reasonable to regard marriage as a possible cornerstone for your own life.
And if it so, then perhaps you ought to view marriage that way, prepare for it that way, and pursue it that way. Regardless of what your mom thinks.
Of course, I’d never want to contradict your mom, but I’d encourage you to consider, and maybe even question why she would be encouraging you to suppress your natural desires to pursue love and marriage.
- Are her concerns born out of things she sees in you: a rebellious spirit, emotional baggage, immaturity, poor disciplines, or social handicaps? Or…
- Are they born out of her own relational fears, weaknesses and failures? Or worse…
- Is it both scenarios where your mom’s insecurities are hindering your ability to grow up and leave the nest?
All of that to say, unless you want to let your mom keep you single, you might prayerfully approach a conversation about such things. And if you can’t have that conversation with your mom. You should need to have it with a mentor, pastor, or counselor.
You might even need therapy, but there’s no shame in that. Better to get it before marriage than after your divorce.
#3: Is your mom not so date-smart?
Finally, maybe your mom simply doesn’t excel at relationship advice.
Many people who are highly intelligent, wise, or experienced in other areas of life have a low relationship IQ.
I’d like to think my own mom steered me pretty well except for one little itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny blind spot: namely that she couldn’t grasp the fact that most of the girls I liked simply didn’t like me back.
She couldn’t even seem to conceive of this possibility. Instead, my sweet mom was always convinced that the girls who asked me to stop calling them, and then blocked my number (back in the 1900s before blocking numbers was even a thing), were in truth just playing hard to get.
And then I’d let her somehow convince me of the same unlikely possibility.
That made for far more uncomfortable DTR (Define The Relationship) talks than was good for any college guy with enough stress already from papers and tests. And after enough of those “crush crash landings,” who knows, maybe I would have stop putting myself out there before God put a girl in my life who did like me back!
That said, though I believe my mom’s particular weakness was unique, I know most moms received their relationship training from the same place you probably got yours today: the media.
So your mom likely encourages you to take a romance approach to dating, which though quite common, commonly fails to bring the right people together in the right way. I’m talking about an approach to finding “the one” where you:
- Seek feelings and then…
- Follow your feelings as you…
- Feed your feelings, while you…
- Ignore facts that don’t justify your feelings, which then inspire you to…
- Manipulate your circumstances and your crush, to achieve your desired outcome regardless of the cost.
And that’s why we have divorce. And why many marriages which endure are more of a test of endurance than a triumph of love.
So if you don’t want to let your mom keep you single, you might want to find another source for relationship advice.
And you don’t even have to ask Santa for it (or your mom), because here it is: our Hot Topic page dedicated to rocking healthy, whole relationships!
Merry Christmas to you! And your mom.
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!