5 Red Flags You’re Dating A Guy With Mommy Issues

We often hear people talking about “daddy issues” in women but not much has been said about men with mommy issues. Here are five red flags you’re dating a man whose villain origin story — or sassy spoiled man story — began with his issues around his mama that he never bothered to look at or heal closely. There’s no shame in having mother wounds — but if you’re dealing with a man like this who doesn’t hold himself accountable for getting help or healing (or grew up spoiled and coddled) like many women do when confronting their own childhood conditioning, it’s time to detach and reading the signs may just help you do so.

He has a shady enmeshment with his mother who takes pride in being a “boy mom” and who is jealous of any woman who comes into the picture.

Creepy territorial mom alert! If you are dating a man whose mother seems to be his shadow and needs to be consulted in every decision he makes, he’s probably a mama’s boy and has mommy issues. Think Trey and Bunny MacDougal’s strange infantalizing relationship in Sex and the City. This type of man is likely to have Peter Pan syndrome because he never really grew up, was enabled to have women cater to him and will always choose his mama over his own wife and children, even in matters where it harms his significant other. Watch out. This future mother-in-law comes as a package deal and will forever be competing with you for the title of main woman — gross. Step away from your son, ma’am!

He has issues with entitlement and fails to actually get therapy or self-reflect.

If you’re dating a man who expects his girlfriend to be his mother, at his every beck and call laboring for him, he may be a pampered little prince who thinks the world is centered around him, his needs, and protecting his ego, lashing out at anyone who threatens it. He may have grown up praised for breathing and reeks of entitlement — in fact he often expects princess treatment from the women he dates, huffing and puffing often about how women are diabolical and take advantage even though women at large are at greater risk for violence and exploitation in the dating world. His mother told him from a young age that his mediocrity was brilliance and never gave him consequences for his actions. Maybe even both parents coddled him and made him believe he deserved to have the best woman even if he fell short of being the ideal man. But he was the apple of mama’s eye and he expects his next girlfriend to be just like his mother, putting him on a pedestal no matter what he does or says. Yikes! Run now and forever protect your peace. Get yourself a high-quality man who treats and spoils you and courts you as you deserve and doesn’t use these issues as an excuse not to heal or get therapy.

He has a classic case of Madonna-Whore syndrome.

Perhaps his mother passed down her internalized misogyny to strengthen his already misogynistic attitudes toward women or maybe he puts women on a pedestal in unhealthy ways because he saw his mother as the ultimate pristine “Madonna,” (or on the opposite situation, if his mom cheated on his dad or was more sexually open, the “whore”) but for whatever reason, he can’t seem to get away from the dichotomy that separates a woman’s sexuality from her intelligence or worth as a person or come to embrace her multi-facetedness. To him, women fall in two categories: virgin or whore. You’ll notice this happening if you guys got wild between the sheets while you were first dating but he suddenly sexually withdrew when you became his girlfriend or wife — he cannot simultaneously respect you and have sexual attraction to you as wife and mother of his children because it’s a projection of his own mommy issues. He wants to maintain the image of you as “pure” when you’re in a commitment. It’s a weird phenomenon but it’s common among guys like these and sometimes it stems from mommy issues too.

He expects you to overly nurture and reassure him and cater to his every need.

If he had an absent mother or even an overly involved mother, he wants you to fulfill the mother role and unjustly puts that responsibility on you to fulfill the needs only a nurturing parent can. He demands excessive reassurance and may be possessive and controlling of your time and energy, asking you to take time and energy away from your goals and friendships to take care of him emotionally or even help him with his career and finances. He wants you to cook and clean for him and do his laundry like his mama. Tell him to get a maid, therapist, and some independence pronto. Women do enough labor in this world without sacrificing their dreams to cater to a man that society has already set up with plenty of privileges. Whether this stems from mommy issues, daddy issues, or narcissistic traits, the advice here is still the same: see it as a red flag to trust your instincts, detach from the relationship and nurture yourself by enforcing healthy boundaries.

He has sexist attitudes and resentment toward women.

This one is less mommy issues and more deep narcissism and misogyny issues, but it may also be strengthened by his own misdirected rage at his mother which may not even be warranted in some cases. Perhaps he was abandoned by a deadbeat dad and unfairly blamed this on the mother that actually stayed and cared for him and resented being dependent on a woman for survival, growing up to despise women and take out his insecurities on them. Or maybe he felt like his mother betrayed his father in some way and now he projects that distrust into every woman he meets rather than actually getting help for his issues. Whatever the case may be, it’s not your burden to bear or problem to solve. Women get therapy all the time to heal these wounds — men can do it too.

About the author

Katerina Lolita

Wild women are the most dangerous. Check out my favorite tips on dating here and my favorite article on what it means to be a high-quality man here.