Hi Lucia,

I’m dating a guy who is a kind and caring person, but the problem is that he spends most of the time with his mother. When she calls, he will jump. She can call at night and ask him to pick her up from her friend’s house, and he will go. I don’t want him to ignore her or stop being a good person, but hey, it’s too much. How can I change things? I don’t want him to see me as a bad person. It’s my understanding that mothers must cut the cord before the son meets with a woman, but it looks like his mother hasn’t or doesn’t want to.—Angel

Hi Angel,

There is good news and bad news about “mama’s boys.” The good is of course that they love their mother, a trait every smart woman looks for in a man. Because of this, they tend to treat women well. The bad news is that either he, his mother or both of them have not cut the apron strings. That means she may feel threatened and therefore not approve of anyone he is dating, fearing that she will no longer be the priority.

Debra Mandel, Ph.D., says:

“While you might find it odd that he’s calling or even visiting his mother daily, the frequency of contact a guy has with his mom doesn’t determine how healthy or unhealthy his attachment is to her. What does, however, is the quality of the contact. If both mom and son have mutual respect for one another and have set good boundaries with each other, their talking everyday may not be something worth your concern. On the other hand, while mom and son may not see or talk to one another very often, if he can’t make a decision in his life without her approval or validation, that’s a sign of a seriously unhealthy attachment.”

You need to determine which one it is. Some people would recommend setting boundaries, but I don’t believe in trying to change people, especially men. They change when they’re ready to change. In this case, you either accept the situation, or find yourself a man who’s ready to make you, not his mother, his priority.

Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net. Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net. Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on latalkradio.com. Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.