Ask Demetria: Our Moms Are In Our Business

Actress Jennifer Lewis has been type cast as an overbearing Black mom.

Dear Demetria:

My mom and her good friend since childhood had the idea to set me up with the friend’s son. I initially reached out to him in a friendly manner, and we had a nice conversation via text. However, I was hesitant and kept the convo very light because I thought having an attraction to him would be too close to home. Later I found out that our mothers had master-planned our future wedding before we officially went on a date.

He’s always tired or working unless out with his friends. We both work a lot, so I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt because I am thinking he’s not interested, although his mother is saying that things are great for us. Which, by the way, is weird, having someone interpret my situation for me. I guess my question is, should I ask if he’s interested so we don’t waste our pretty? —Anonymous

Unfortunately, he doesn’t sound very interested, despite what his mother says. Everyone gets tired from working, but anyone who is actually interested in someone will somehow find time in his or her schedule to see that person, even when he or she is exhausted. If this guy has enough energy and free time to hang out with his friends—people he is interested in being around—then he could make time for you, too. He is choosing not to.

It’s probably not personal. That said, what he feels—or doesn’t—and the lack of interest he shows counts way more than anything his mother says. She may be interested in having you for a daughter-in-law, but you’re dating him, not her.

Try not to take his lack of interest personally. I’m going to guess you are truly lovely, well rounded, a great conversationalist, easy on the eyes, ambitious, kind and nurturing and have all the other great traits that women are expected to embody. Let’s say you’re perfect, even. If I were he, I still wouldn’t date you under these circumstances. It’s not you; it’s your mom and her best friend.

Frankly, and to paraphrase retired street poet K-Solo, your moms are in your business way too much. It’s one thing to set your child up and make an introduction. But your mother and his have concocted a whole Shakespearean comedy for their children, and they’ve escalated from introduction—which I’m not mad at—to meddling and trying to force a union that clearly isn’t a match. It’s not enough for them to want their children to be together; the children actually have to want that, too. Otherwise this is a no-go.


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