Dear Dr. Hedda
I am 27 years old and live independently from my parents. I have a well paying job, good friends and a pretty happy life except for my mother. I love her dearly but, she is on my case all the time. Almost always about the men I date.
I’m not ready to settle down. I like my freedom and independence. I am not ready for a husband and family. I may never be ready for that.
My mother thinks that I am right on the edge of being a slut because I date several men at a time. Not hundreds but 2 or 3 different guys.
They seem to be attracted to me and my independence as well. I am not hungry for a husband, I don’t want a monogamous relationship I enjoy “playing the field”.
I know in my mother’s dating days it was different. Women married younger, had families and were more dependent on their husbands.
I don’t want that. My mother wants that. She calls me several times a week asking if I have met Mr. Right yet. I have, many of them. She doesn’t like that answer.
She compares me to loose women, says I’ll get venereal diseases, says I will always be alone.
I don’t mention sex to her but she does to me. Implying directly and sometimes indirectly
that bad things will happen to me for seeing more than one guy at a time.
How do I explain to her that the times have changed and my behavior with men is socially acceptable now. Not everyone marries, not everyone wants children. That some people enjoy their careers and friends and that makes their lives full and satisfying.
Playing the Field
Well that’s exactly what you are doing – playing. And you are right not everyone wants the same things and times are different now.
Women have upwardly mobile careers they enjoy and work hard at. They have friends to go out with, travel with and shop with.
I’m not saying that marriage is dying out, what I am saying is that we have more choices now. And one of those choices is not to marry young or marry at all.
There seems to be more and more young, successful women acting as role models for the next generation. Women, who by their behaviors, demonstrate that it is acceptable to date more than one man at a time or even not to date at all.
Your mother is worried that you will be alone, unloved and unprotected. It’s hard for her to understand all the freedoms we have today. She seems to think you are either going to be an old maid or the neighborhood slut. She doesn’t see all the shades of gray in between.
Don’t blame her, she just loves you and sees the world through the eyes of a previous generation when women either had no rights or fewer ones than today.
So, you can’t change your mother but you can assure her that your life is happy and that an occasional man is just as good for you or better than the couch potato many women are married to.
My advice is just to use common sense about dating. There are many ways, through social media, to check men out before you date them. Don’t talk about other men to the man you are with and don’t talk to your mother about all of them, just one at a time. It will make her feel more comfortable about you being single. I’m not asking you to lie to your mother, just filter your conversations. In her heart you are still her sweet, virgin, little girl.