Flashback to when I first started a relationship with my boyfriend: I was three years younger and terrified of the women who called his phone multiple times a day. Her only child was barely into his first year of college, and it was safe to say she wasn't thrilled with him being states away.
My boyfriend had warned me to not take it personally if this became the first mom to not like me. His past girlfriends and mother hadn't always been the biggest fans of each other. So, we figured it would be the same with me.
To both our surprise, it was actually quite different.
In all honestly, his mom has shown me nothing but love since the first time we met. I've never felt uncomfortable or disliked by her in the slightest. While I'd love to attribute this to me just being a fairly likable person, there were definitely some ways I won her over.
1. Encourage the relationship between your boyfriend and his mother.
My boyfriend is a typical college guy who enjoys being on his own. On top of not having an issue with being away from home, he's not the best at responding to calls and texts.
I know if this sometimes frustrates me, his mom a thousand miles away definitely gets irritated. I make sure to remind him to call his mom, answer her texts and keep her updated with what's going on.
She's definitely always appreciated this, and we've even built a relationship where she is comfortable with reaching out to me. If she hasn't heard from him recently she knows that she can always text or call me to check in.
2. Tell her you're here for a long time, not a good time.
When we got together, we were both very young.
I doubt that either of us really expected for it to go this far. About a year in, I made it very clear to his mom that I wasn't dating him just to have a boyfriend; I was dating him to spend the rest of my life with him.
Being upfront about your expectations for the relationship and the future is really important when it comes to your significant other's mother.
If she knows that you're in this for the long haul, she's more likely to want to develop a relationship with you. It's important that if you and your boyfriend are serious about each other, his mom understands that you aren't just another girl.
3. Always be respectful.
Personally, I believe you should treat all people in general with respect, but we know that's not how the world works. Your boyfriend's mother should be treated exactly how you would treat your own mom. I mean, maybe one day she will be your mother right?
It might not always be easy to grin and bear whatever is going on, but you need to remember who you're dealing with. She raised your boyfriend and would do anything for him. If you love him you'll realize you love her for everything she's ever done.
4. Keep the relationship arguments behind closed doors.
My boyfriend and I rarely get into fights, but we definitely don't do it around any family members. It's irrational to think relationships wont have bad days, but keep those private.
If your boyfriend's mom constantly witnesses you guys fighting, she'll probably think you're not a good fit for her son. It's important that she sees you guys happy around each other. No mom wants her son in a stressful relationship that seems to have more bad days than good ones.
5. Talk to her like a person, not the mom.
My boyfriend is almost an identical version of his father, and so who better to understand that than his mom? Being able to talk to her about their younger relationship and laughing about similarities can be really comforting.
Moms want to feel like a part of your life, not just someone you talk about the weather and news with. She's a real person, so treat her that way. She was young once and can probably relate to more than you'd imagine.
6. Be yourself, and don't be afraid of that.
You might think your boyfriend's mom would like someone who has certain qualities or acts a particular way, but if you're not being yourself, why would you even care if she loved you?
Be you. Be real. Be genuine.
Sometimes it can be difficult to do with topics like career path, religion, politics or family style, but being open and honest about it proves way more than lying. Even light topics, like that embarrassing story your boyfriend brought up at dinner, can really give them a better picture of you.
Nobody is “perfect” so don't even both trying. Honestly, she is probably less likely to love you if you're trying to give that impression. Let her see you for who you are.
7. Work to earn her love.
This is the biggest thing.
I don't think you can just walk into this expecting for your boyfriend's mom to love you. Maybe that's how it worked back in high school, but come on, this is the real world now.
If you want your boyfriend's mom to love you, work for it. Don't be some MIA girlfriend. Show up and put your best effort forward. Prove that you're the right girl for your boyfriend and the right girl for that family.
Hearing stories of awful mother-in-laws is scary, work to avoid that with your boyfriend's mom. The effort you put into the relationship with her, and with her son, will really pay off. Relationships are hard enough already, don't add extra stress with family drama.