Kinda Girl You Take Home to Mama

QUESTION: I've been going out with a man named Benton for almost three months now. We've spent a lot of time together over the last 14/15 weeks including weekends and nights at one anothers homes. He's a good man and I think I love him. My only problem is that he won't take me home to meet his mother. She lives less than an hour away in Decatur, GA and he visits her and his father a couple of times a month but he never takes me. When I ask him to take me to meet her, he never gives a clear answer and sort of says, "one day." What's up with that?

GARLAND: I've been in the same spot as your man Benton before, so I'm going to speak from first hand experience... I'm willing to bet that Chuck has been down this road too.

Let me ask you a question before I give you my answer.
"Are you dating Benton OR his mother?"
(I'll wait while you think about that one. la la la la... doo doo doo... la la la la... whistle, wistle...)

Gee, sorry about the sarcasm I just put out - I'm not sure where that came from.

But, my answer is this - don't make a big deal out of this. Three months is nice but all guys don't run women home to meet Mama right away. In man terms "right away" may mean five or six or more months!!! So, be patient!

If you've checked old Benton out, and he's not hiding a WIFE or some unclaimed KIDS and he's not smuggling guns and herion out of Nicaragua... chances are he's okay and YOU'RE okay, even though you haven't met The Mom.

When I was single and dating I very rarely took women home to meet mom unless I knew that there was truly a long term commitment going on, and three months of dating was usually just a drop in the dating timeline bucket. The reason being, for me was twofold:

  • FIRST - I didn't want my mom to think that I was some unstable gigalo that had to date a different woman every other week. And I didn't want to have a whole lot of different women coming in and out of her [and dad's] house everytime she turned around.
  • SECOND - And this ties in a little to the first reason, Growing up I saw my older male cousins bringing different women home to meet our grandmother. My cousins were cool dudes and dating different young ladies came with ease, but after seeing my grandmother greet one young lady by saying something like, "Hello Brenda, uh Lisa, uh Crystal. I'm sorry I got your name mixed up." I realized that sometimes, older folks might get you in trouble and you might get them confused!

So, from my personal perspective - be patient. Chances are he's not hiding you from his mom, he's just waiting for the right moment for him. And another thing - she might just be one of these "MARRYING MOMS" where, as soon as you walk thru the door, she's trying to help you pick out china patterns for your reception and dress colors for your bridesmaids!

Just remember, you're dating him - not his mother!

Chuck: Um... ditto.

My brother used to bring his girlfriends around our mother constantly. Our mother, being who she was, would welcome these women in, make friends with some of them, then be left feeling uncomfortable when he broke up with them and she still wanted to have them over at family functions. And there's my brother with his new girlfriend. Forget that. In my adult years, I intentionally introduced my mother to exactly two of my girlfriends. One I dated for five years. The other I married.

I think you may be hung up on the idea that you feel as though you're the kind of woman that his mother should approve of, but he hasn't given you the opportunity to prove it yet. Well, you don't know, so his mom might be a demanding shrew who chews up girlfriends and spits them out. He may be protecting you.

Ultimately, you two haven't been dating all that long. It hasn't even been three months yet. Give him some time. You'll meet her soon enough.


Damned if she does... Damned if she...

QUESTION: Guys, you have to help me here! I have a girlfriend that has been dating a guy for the last few years. He asked her to marry him and she said yes. She then discovered that he had a teenaged child with his ex-wife. He didn't really know this child because his ex had supposedly hidden the child from him until recently (even though he was paying child support) . My friend decided to stick with marrying him and she was prepared for a ready made family. So, she packed her bags and moved to another city and started a life living with her soon to be husband and kid. They made wedding plans, picked a date and sent out invitations. With just a few months to go, he decides to tell her that he was only separated from his wife and he wasn't divorced after all. She asked why he had been lying to her for years and he told her, "I didn't think you'd really marry me when you said YES." So, now he's filing for divorce and he claims he still wants to marry her. She still wants to marry him. I think she's headed for trouble but I've tried to help friends before that seemed hellbent on messing their lives up, so I'm going to keep my mouth shut. What do you two think about this situation?

GARLAND: What do I think? I think it's good that I can't get my hands on your girlfriend, because I'd probably try to shake her until she came to her senses!!! (Not that I endorse violence - especially towards women!)

But seriously, I think your friend needs to cut this guy loose! A teenaged kid that his WIFE hid from him? Thats sounds kinda' shakey to me. If he and his wife called it quits and she took off with the kid but he still paid child support, there should be some way he could find them. That is unless he's had some legitimate criminal or mental health issues and the courts were keeping them apart. I mean - if he really truly wanted to see his kid and there was a money trail from his paycheck to a bank to her bank, and he had nothing legal against him, he could probably go through family courts to find them. That's just what I ASSUME. I've never been involved with that kinda stuff.

But why didn't he mention his kid before? This guy sounds very shady and deceitful.

And then he proposes and allows her to uproot her life and relocate to be with him and he's still married? Lord - truth is so much stranger than fiction! This guy is real trouble. First, he's screwed in the head for proposing to a woman that he really didn't plan on marrying. But then after she accepted, he should have realized that she wanted to be his wife - he should have filed for divorce then! Just sitting on his ass shows a real lack of class and brains and candor! Then secondly, he waits and waits and lets her set a date and only now he tells her! This guy is a piece of work. Your friend is a complete fool for still wanting to marry him and let me tell you why:

I'm willing to bet that she says, "But I love him!"
You don't have to tell me I'm right because I already know I am.
This is the problem with people (MEN AND WOMEN) that say "But I love him/her... These people don't truly love themselves! Because if you loved yourself, you would not allow anyone to treat you like shit. These women that let their men beat them and steal from them and cheat on them and they're willing to go out into the streets and fight other women for these so-called men that they LOVE so damn much... these women are the biggest, stupidest people in the world. If you TRULY loved yourself, when shit rears its ugly head in a relationship - you would say, "I am worth more than the grief this man is giving me! I will not accept less than I am worth! I would rather be on the shore, alone, in the storm than on the seas in a sinking ship!" Frankly, many women [and men] can't say that. Your friend, is one of these people.

I'm sure she figures, 'Oh, we've dated for a few years now, so I've invested my time in him. Things will be fine once we're married." To me, there are two things wrong with this mentality. First, until you marry someone you are speculating (yeah, just like stocks and bonds) you are measuring the rise and fall in their value... their merit, if you will. Once a person has shown the desired amount of rise with little fall in their value - then you can invest. And, second - marriage fixes nothing! Marriage doesn't stop cheaters from cheating, it doesn't stop beaters from beating, it doesn't stop liars from lying, it doesn't stop scrubs from being scrubby!!!

Your friend has hitched her dreams on a falling, lying, deceitful star. She is probably being recruited as a live-in foster mom for this kid this guy has. She has proven gullible enough to want to marry a man that has just sprung a kid on her out of the blue and now she's showing that shes the kind of woman that will let a man lie to her to her face. So basically, she deserves all the grief that he'll give her. And, believe me - it will be a lot, because now the shame isn't on him, it's on HER.

CHUCK: If I may be permitted, I'm going to use some man-centric terms here for a moment. In certain poker games, there's a principle I'm sure Garland is familiar with, where when you are dealt crummy cards, but you see your hand through, hoping against hope that the cards you need to save your ass will come across. And when they don't come across, and a big raise is made, you are left with the situation your friend has. She's trying to walk with a pair of threes.

Plainly spoken, your girlfriend has invested her time, hopes, dreams, and credibility on a lying bum. But because she has made this investment, she's reluctant to fold her hand with this guy. And she's being foolish. First, the Child, excuse me, Teenager Out of Nowhere. Then, the Divorce That Wasn't. What next? The Forgotten Bankruptcy? The Accidental STD? Really, who knows what this guy has in store next?

In ordinary circumstances, I would suggest your friend have it out with this guy, and make him be completely honest with her. But that doesn't seem likely to happen. Honestly, "I didn't think you'd really marry me when you said yes?" On that lie alone I could fertilize a small farm! Feel her out about all this, but if she's dead set on marrying this bum, do yourself a favor. Don't spend too much on the wedding gift.


Knockin' the Hustle

QUESTION: My friend is dating a guy that I think is a criminal. He claims to work construction jobs, but he never seems to go to work, he has three expensive, customized cars, he always has a ton of cash on him and he's always dressed in the flyest of fashions. I'm not hating on my friend, but she's always been drawn to guys that seem questionable and usually they are. This guy seems like all the guys she's cried over in the past. What do I do? Do I tell her or do I just leave her and the two of them alone and let things go down as they may? I just don't want to see her get locked up, hurt or worse.

GARLAND: I've seen this a few times myself. In my opinion, the ladies that have dated these shady guys... they know whats up. And, you said your girl is always drawn to 'questionable guys' so she probably knows whats going on. She may just like the danger, or the gifts, or the drama, or the thug-lovin' she may be getting.

A guy that works construction, but never seems to be AT WORK and always looks sharp and has money to spare - yeah, that may be a bad sign. But, in my opinion I think you should leave things as they are and not say anything. Be available if SHE wants to talk, but otherwise, let her go with her own flow. If you start pointing out flaws in her man, she may cling tighter to him and turn away from you.

Besides, your friend may just like perpetuate the myth that all men are dogs. She picks bad guys that she knows are bad and then after a few months, she suddenly pretends to have her eyes open when she finds his guns or his stash and then she can claim the victimized and unknowing girlfriend. Let this one ride...

-Good luck.

Chuck: First of all, before we send your friend's man off to Oswald Correctional Institute (women watched "Oz," right?), let's try to give dude the benefit of the doubt, shall we? He could work construction! Um, them union jobs pay quite a bit. And if he specializes, he could have an open schedule with easy hours. Enough to buy three expensive cars and... Oh, forget the benefit of the doubt. My man is hustling something fierce.

As for your friend, hustler's ladies are just like hustlers in this respect: They'd like to believe the good life can last forever. So she goes out with these guys, soaking up the cream, because she can't see that day coming when she's sitting on his sofa at 3 in the morning, nearly butt-naked, while cops or feds rip the place up, looking for dope or cash. I would think that kind of thing needs to happen to you only once.

I understand your urge to help your friend, but there's no need to take her aside. If she is drawn to these kinds of guys, then she knows what she's getting, and the risks she's taking. It's doubtful she'll listen to you anyway. If she wants to be a ride-or-die chick, let her. Just pray she doesn't end up with the latter choice.


The Graduate

QUESTION: My boyfriend and I will both be graduating from the University of Maryland in the next few months. We started dating during our sophmore year and we've gotten closer than I would have ever imagined. For the last two years he's been there for me and I've been there for him no matter what we had going on. He came to me a few days ago and told me that he's decided to go to grad school in Michigan. This was the first I had heard of this. Up until then I assumed we were going to stay here in the Maryland area. He had a good job offer with the federal government in DC and I've been working for an insurance company here in Silver Spring [Maryland]. Why is he going to grad school 600 miles away without talking to me or asking for my thoughts? I haven't even talked to him about this, when he told me what he was going to do, he didn't even ask my opinion. He just told me and walked away. What is going on? Am I being dumped?

GARLAND: Yes. Sadly, you are being dumped.
By telling you, "Honey I'm going to grad school in Michigan." What he avoided telling you was, "Honey, its been real. But, its time to move on."

I think that's a kinda lame way to breakup with somebody, but I have seen far worse by guys - I've seen guys curse their girlfriends out, I've seen guys deliberately get caught cheating - basically, there are worse ways to get dropped.

Do yourself the favor, don't even make an issue of it. Start planning your graduation, enjoy your life and prepare to hit the dating scene after you've given yourself a few months to get him out of your system. Trust me, from where you are right now, this probably seems like a major issue - you've been with this guy for 10% of your life, five years from now you'll look back and laugh at how lame his breakup was. Let him go his way, the best revenge you can ever have on someone is to LIVE WELL!!!

Chuck: Garland and I are in complete agreement, except maybe for the laughing-later part. Your boyfriend has dumped you in the most impersonal way he could. But this guy certainly didn't consider you when making plans for his future, so really... don't sweat him.

I'm surprised that you're surprised. I find it hard to believe that you had NO clues as to what he planned to do after graduation, considering you two dated for two years. Most women want to know what the future is for a relationship two months old, let alone two years. He never made mention of grad school? Or gave broad hints about leaving the area? Think about it. He may have been dropping hints on you all along, and just finally decided to drop the boom when you weren't taking them. In no way does this excuse him treating his long-term girlfriend so coldly, but he may feel justified or blameless anyway.

Credit him for honesty, though. He could have asked you to maintain a long distance relationship, went to Michigan and started knocking off every female in sight, while keeping you at home on the string for visits and holiday booty. He didn't do that. You can get on with your life the same as he does. Good luck.