So Oedipal: Are Guys Looking For Girls Who Are Just Like Their Mothers?

by Dan Scotti

For whatever reason, it's often said that a man ends up marrying a woman who reminds him of his own mother.

It's an expression that gets tossed around casually, but if you ask me, it's a little unsettling.

The idea, itself, is in line with one of Sigmund Freud's "fixations," specifically the one revolving around the desire to sleep with a parent (typically of the opposite sex) -- known as the Oedipus complex.

Apparently, Oedipus is a mythological Greek character who, unwittingly, kills his father and marries his own mother, which is where this particular complex gains its name.

I don't really think that's anything to be taken lightly, and to be quite honest, I want no part of any complex dedicated to that freak show.

So, while the expression suggests men will marry women like their mothers, personally, I can't really say I find myself in that same boat.

Frankly, I'm petrified of dating a woman who reminds me of my own mother. And not just from a physical standpoint, but predominantly from a behavioral one.

Don't get me wrong: My mother is a saint and held me down throughout my youth -- I would be lucky to meet another woman of her caliber.

Still, I wouldn't say I'm chilling at the bar looking for my mother's face in a woman so I could buy her a drink.

And if I dated a woman who was constantly up my ass about cleaning my room and not smoking cigarettes, I would immediately get the mental image of my own mother whenever she tried telling me what to do.

See, for this reason, I try to date women who are the complete opposite of my mother.

I understand mothers provide the perfect embodiment of love and nurturing, in the female form, but that's never translated romantically for me.

You know that episode of "Seinfeld," where George is traumatized by the doll that looks like his mother?

Yeah, that's what it would be like waking up next to my girlfriend every single morning if she resembled my mother in the slightest fashion.

I think this is the major gripe for me, honestly. If you have any intentions of having sex with the woman you marry, for the rest of your life -- 'til death do you part -- why go for mom?

You can get infinitely exotic with the woman you choose to spend the rest of your life with; why go for the one who reminds you most of the woman who raised you for the first however-many years of your life?

I don't know -- aside from being incestuous -- that just seems lazy.

Maybe I'm the exception to Freudian psychology or just like to keep those eggs separated, so to speak.

Either way, when I want a fresh reminder of my own mother, I'll go visit her -- but I certainly don't need any reminders of her while I'm trying to spend some time with my own girl.

For instance, my mom loves cooking. It was, honestly, stellar growing up in a home where my mother cooked fresh meals almost every night.

Now, just because that was the case, I'm certainly not going to force my girlfriend to do the same.

In fact, as a rule of thumb, I'd rather spend the extra money to dine out five plus times a week -- just to be safe.

I want a woman who reminds me of no other woman in the world.

She should have a place of her own, not try to tiptoe around in my mother's old slippers.

I do think my mother is a brilliant wife and mother, and I don't think anyone could ever measure up to her. For that reason, I choose not to measure.

I don't believe this is the universal rule, and I think each man's individual upbringing will result in a different opinion on the matter.

Maybe in some places in the south, feelings on the subject may be slightly different. I'm not exactly sure; I'm from Long Island, New York.

I suppose I should've also mentioned I come from an Italian household with your classic Italian mother.

Almost anyone else who comes from an Italian -- or Jewish -- household can attest to the hardships I faced, growing up with an overbearing mother (sarcasm).

For instance, whenever any of the guys from the neighborhood would come to the house -- say, to watch a game or something -- my mom would always be overly generous and had a very difficult time saying no, especially when it came to food.

Personally, I guess I'm just looking for a girl who's not so generous with all the guys from the neighborhood and, more importantly, one who has no trouble saying no.

Then again, that's just me.