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

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He "Gets" Women

John, 43, a customer service representative in Ridgewood, New York, is one of those guys. He lived at home -- paying rent and doing his own cleaning -- before marrying at 32. His dad worked three jobs when he was little, so, John says, "My mom was my parent." He was also the only boy among three sisters and a grandmother.

"If any man could claim to be in tune to 'a woman's way of thinking,' I can," he says. "I still do things that startle my wife, like being able to help her pick out clothes." His upbringing, he says, helped him not think of women as a scary, mysterious other species, but rather as fellow humans that one can -- and should -- learn to get along with.

Patricia, 25, a marketing executive in Long Island, New York, loves her boyfriend's closeness -- literally -- with his mom. "Most women would run from a 26-year-old man living with his momma, but my boyfriend's so sweet that he enjoys helping his parents out financially and doesn't need to move in order to be independent," she says. "He feels comfortable asking her advice, including 'Patricia's sick -- what should she eat?' To me, 'Mama's boy' equals future family man [and the most] wonderful boyfriend I have ever had."

Still, there's close, and there's too close. "My ex got a mild case of dengue fever when we were in Asia. His mom flew to Thailand to take care of him for a few days, and he didn't try to stop her," recalls Veronica, 28, a travel agent in San Diego. "I felt like, what am I, chopped liver?"

The study did pinpoint where a man's relationship with his mother could cross that kind of line. According to Roberts, men who said their mom was their "best friend" were described as less "considerate" by their partners. "In my opinion, it makes sense -- if he's spending all that time with his 'best friend,' his partner might feel left out," she says.

Continued on page 3:  Strategic Tips


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