Am I The Only Mom Whose Son Pulls Away When He Has A Girlfriend?

My son had his official first girlfriend in 9th grade. After weeks of feeling hurt and puzzled about why he was barely talking to me, why he pulled away when I tried to hug him, and why he told me to stop calling him “babe,” I learned (from my daughter) that he had a girlfriend.

Could that be it? Is that way everything I do makes him cringe and why he’s too good to hug his mom and return my “I love you”?

Whether my son is in love or not, I will always be his mom. (Twenty20 @tequila)

I don’t remember ignoring my dad when I had a boyfriend

I never remember ignoring my father when I had my first boyfriend, but there is nothing like motherhood to teach you that everyone deals with life differently. I gave him the space he rudely “asked” for, hoping things would go back to normal, but his stand-offish behavior persisted.

To say it affected me was an understatement. I was very dramatic and animated as I explained the situation to my sisters. My son is gone! I thought this wasn’t supposed to happen until he got married! I thought I still had time!

Was this the way my relationship would be with my son until the end of time? I’m the one who birthed him and took the time to teach him how to open doors for people and treat others with respect. Why was I getting the shaft while his new girlfriend reaped all the benefits of my labor, dammit!?!?

After my son’s relationship ended, I got him back

That relationship ended and I was happy to have my son back (sorry not sorry). He went back to returning my embraces. He spent less time in his room and started asking me questions again. If I called him “hon” or “babe” he didn’t tell me to stop.

It all blew over and I thought maybe he acted the way he had because of was his age. Surely, he now sees that will always need me. Perhaps being in a romantic relationship had just been new and confusing for him. After all, he’d never loved another woman but me and now that was in love it was different and hard to sort out.

Fast forward a few years later and my son (who’s said he was better off single for the past few years), has fallen for another. I don’t even know her name— he won’t say a thing about her to me and for some reason thinks I know nothing. But I do know. I do know she has his heart. She has my hugs. She has my “I love yous” and she has a lot of my time.

I rarely see him these days. It takes a lot of time to work and keep his lady happy via FaceTime since they can’t see each other right now. Perhaps that’s what’s adding to the frustration that he’s taking it out on me.

Honestly, I’ve come to terms with the fact that he has less time for me. I know there’s a saying that goes,”A daughter is a daughter for life, a son is a son until he takes a wife.” I know it by heart, thanks to my ex mother-in-law, ahem.

I refuse to believe that though. Clearly, I’ve come along way since his first love in middle school when I needed a fainting couch and my whole family to come over and console me. There are going to be many things in this life which alter my relationship with my kids. Some good, and some bad.

My kids will always be my kids

They will always be my children though. Kids don’t replace their parents simply because they have a relationship with someone else. My kids certainly aren’t being replaced by my boyfriend. The two relationships are very different and don’t cancel each other out. Rather, I’ll think of it as an addition to their lives that will help them grow and change and learn.

And in love or not, I’ll always be his mom. He needs to know that even if things change between us, I’ll be here and won’t make him feel guilty for doing the very thing he’s supposed to be doing right now— living and loving.

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous.

You May Also Enjoy:

We’re Running A Common Sense Camp For Our Teens

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

Read more posts by Grown and Flown

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates about parenting teens and young adults straight to your inbox.