Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.
So here’s the thing. I love my boyfriend like, you have no idea how much. We’ve been together for just about eight months and the relationship has been doing so well.
He’s met my family, and I’ve met his. That’s a good sign already, right? But there’s a catch. I don’t like his mom AT ALL! It might also be because I feel like she doesn’t like me as much either. I couldn’t tell my boyfriend that because I know his mom means everything to him, too. He’s an only son so she’s protective of him. I get it. She doesn’t really meddle with the relationship. He has also tried making the three of us hang out. It’s just that maybe his mom and I aren’t meant to get along.
WHAT DO I DO? I love him, but the mom factor keeps bothering me, especially when she, herself, doesn’t seem open to liking me either. HELPPPPPP!
No to monster-in-law,
My first love dumped me because his mom thought I was a drug addict. This is a true story. I was young, I wore a lot of black, and cried a lot whenever I would hear Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional screaming “Screaming Infidelities.” I had no idea why she thought I was a drug addict because the only drug that I would inject into myself is the melancholic beauty of emo music.
Now that I’m thinking about it, it may be because of my platinum blonde hair (I was really into My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade) and penchant for eyeliner. And my eyes were often red because of all the crying-to-emo-music thing that was going on.
When he dumped me over the phone, I was devastated. I listened to Saosin for what seemed like Seven Years. The love of my life chose another woman over me—his mother! That’s just as painful as the time my boyfriend traded me for my friend’s boyfriend. (They now live at a farm in Ohio, one of America’s most homophobic states.)
The thing about my first love is that I never bothered to try and make a connection with his mother. I was not brave enough to open up to tita. I never showed her the real me. She thought I was a drug addict, and I was fine with it.
Well, Gigi, don’t make do as Poppy. You are your own woman, so come take my hand and together let’s traipse toward the ultimate goal: To make titas love us. If you can make your boyfriend love you, tita can love you, too. Look in the mirror. Hot damn, you’re lovable.
The first brave thing to do in this situation is to tell your boyfriend the truth—that you hate his mom. It’s possible that this fact is going to ruin your relationship, but you have to explain your side. He’s a big boy, he can take it. I am not insisting this to further advance the drama. Admitting it to him will help you find the path to righteousness.
You’re going to do this because one does not simply walk into Mother and expect to be instantly loved. You’ll need a Samwise Gamgee to your Frodo. Cling on to your boyfriend before jumping off into the abyss.
Nobody knows tita quite like his son. Let him be your Sherpa as you climb the mountain of Mom. You’re going to need his knowledge and wisdom. Instead of asking him “Why does your mom hate me?” ask this question: “How can I make your mom love me?” Because it’s weak of you to think that there’s no fucking possibility on this planet that you and tita can’t get along? It’s this sort of mentality that hinders us from achieving world peace. Let’s just all sit down around a Kenneth Cobonpue-designed round table and discuss what is necessary to make us all feel loved.
Do your research. Love just doesn’t exist out of thin air. You have to work for it. Your boyfriend probably did the act of ligaw just to win you over. So go do the same for his mom. Get to know tita through his son’s eyes and maybe, you can appreciate a thing or two about her.
Once you’ve done your research on tita, give your boyfriend the go signal and tell him that you want to hang out. You’re a big girl. You can do it. His mom doesn’t have cooties. I suggest doing brunch (Who hates brunch? No one!) at a restaurant splashed with pastel and shitty inspirational typography because titas dig that crap. Don’t take tita to Route 196.
Be a real human being and make an effort to connect with tita no matter what it takes. Does she like cooking? Is she on Twitter? If so, does @TitasOfManila make her laugh? What’s her favorite spa? Tita, do you read books? Oh, you love Nicholas Sparks? I hate him, but that’s okay! I love your son!
Gigi, I’m asking you to be brave and to always fight for someone you love. But yeah, try and not to fight with his mom. I actually think that mama’s boys are so cute. They’re kinder, more respectful (but also bastos when you want them to be), and generally friendly towards women simply because they have maintained a close relationship with a woman all their lives. Think about how your boyfriend has treated your own mother and follow his example.
I was watching Aziz Ansari’s brilliant new show Master of None where he cast his real life parents to star as his parents in the show. A couple of days ago, Aziz wrote a heartfelt letter about appreciating our parents. “I haven’t always had the best, most open relationship with my parents because we are weirdly closed off emotionally sometimes. But we are getting better,” he writes. “If you have something like that with your family—I urge you to work at it and get better because these are special people in your life.”
Gigi, I’m pretty sure your boyfriend’s mom is open to loving you. You just have to give her a couple of reasons to make her believe in you. If you really think that this guy is the one, then you have to give it your all to make his mom fall in love with you.
Gurl, you can do it.
Don’t stop Beliebing,
Got a question for Poppy? From love and relationships to weird questions you dare not ask even your psychologist, Poppy is ready to answer them all. Send in your questions to [email protected] or post your question over Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AskPoppy, and you just might get the answer you are looking for.