A friend of mine is going through a very complicated relationship with her mom and her ex-boyfriend. She broke up with the guy a while ago. Ever since her mom learned about this, she has been asking my friend to get back together with him, because she thinks this guy is the best fit for my friend. “Why can’t she just stay out of it!” my friend would cry in frustration after her mom’s call.
This is a very common phenomenon among Chinese students. Almost all my friends, including myself, have experienced something like this. I think the reason is that Chinese parents are usually over-protective. Parents are so used to making important decisions for their children and taking care of them even though they are adults. When it comes to boy issues, moms are especially sensitive. My mom always says that “for women, marriage means rebirth, so you must be extra careful in finding a good husband.” This statement is true, but it is not an excuse for moms to get too involved in our private life. If you’ve got a nosy mom, too, my tips might help:
#1 Tell Her About Your Relationship Only When it Gets Serious
This saves you from so much trouble! When you are still figuring out your relationship with a guy, it would be frustrating to answer questions from your mom like “When are you too getting married”, “What do his parents do”, “What does he plan to do for living” or the more embarrassing one like “Is his family going to buy you two a house when you get married?”
When moms ask these questions, they expect good answers from you – the guy is from a wealthy family, has a promising future and will probably pay for the house you are going to live in. If the guy is not what she expected to be, she will probably keep nagging until you change your mind. Don’t get me wrong and think that Chinese moms are very materialistic. Moms ask about the guy’s family background because they already assume that he is a good guy and love their daughters very much.
#2 If You Do Tell Her About the Guy, Keep it Vague and Don’t Share Too Much Detail
Telling your mom every detail of your relationship, from every fight you’ve had with the guy to every date that you’ve been on, is a signal that you want your mom to be involved.
Think about this, when you tell your BFF about your boyfriend, usually you are mad at him and want your BFF to be on your side. Moms will do that, too. But they will get very involved and will probably start to judge him too much. You certainly don’t want that. So if you tell your mom about him, keep her updated on how you are getting along, since she cares about you and would want to know. But try to keep it vague on the details.
#3 Yelling Never Works
Sometimes your nosy mom gets you so frustrated that you start yelling at her to stay out of it. First of all, yelling will not make your mom completely disappear from your life. Secondly, getting into a fight with your mom will probably turn this into a personal matter between the two of you. And it might lead to a whole different and frustrating debate on “you’re not the daughter that I know anymore” and “you’ve become so heartless after being with him”. So control your temper and have a heart-to-heart with your mom.
#4 Show Her, Not Tell, That You Are Responsible
My mom always says that no matter how old I get, she will always see me as her little baby. This means, she will ALWAYS worry about me. For her, there will be two turning points in my life that make her start to worry less – when I get a good job and become financially independent; and when I become a mom myself.
If you think about it, these two turning points mean one thing – responsibility. She will stop looking out for you when she is sure you’re going to be fine on yourself. She becomes nosy about your love life because she is afraid you might make mistakes that you’ll regret later.
So the best way to solve the problem is to show her, not tell, that you are mature enough to take responsibility for your life. Let her understand that you know what kind of partners you are looking for and you will not waste your time on guys who treat you badly. So when you end your relationship or whatever decision you are making, let it be a well-thought one. You are ready to take responsibility for any consequences that come after. Again, it’s all about letting your mom understand that you are an adult now. Moms have been taking care of us for so long, be patient and give her the time to gradually let go of you.