When Mr. Right is a "Mama's Boy"

Does his close relationship to Mom make him a better partner for you?
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A Mother's Love

Candles, soft music, a bottle of wine, and...Mom? Everyone knows the unflattering stereotype of "mama's boys" and the mothers who love them. He's dependent, immature and, if you are his girlfriend, he puts her first. To you, his mom may seem nagging and invasive. And, if you are his girlfriend, you fear she hates you.

But this stereotype also comes in a more appealing scenario. He loves and respects his mom, so he loves and respects women -- including you. His mom is wise, cool, and, because she just wants to see him happy, she likes you.

In fact, a new study suggests that the second scenario is closer to the truth. Researchers at Ferrum College in Virginia have found a correlation between men who are close to their moms and women who are satisfied with their partners.

A man's relationship with his mother, says researcher Sarah R. Roberts, "is his first introduction to femininity, and where he gets many of his ideals." Her survey revealed that men who feel close to their mothers tend to have partners who feel "understood"; men who feel understood by their moms are described as "affectionate" by their partners; and men who feel they communicate their feelings effectively with Mom have partners who are happier in general.

The study included 33 couples, who were in dating relationships. The men answered a questionnaire describing the degree of closeness they felt with their moms, while the women sounded off on the level of satisfaction they felt with their partners.

Such findings confirm our instincts about men and their moms. As Judy, 38, a financial planner in Palo Alto, California, says of her fiancé: "One of the first things he said was what a great person his mom is, which I took, correctly, to be a good sign about him and his ability to have a high-quality relationship with a woman -- say, me."

Adds New York attorney Rachel, 30, "Look for the guy who reminds you about Mother's Day."

Continued on page 2:  He "Gets" Women


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