#TheToolsman: Getting rid of the ‘Take her home to mama’ syndrome


photo credit: MadameNoire


by Wale Adetula

…people find it hard to understand when I tell them my mother has never met any of my girlfriends.

You know when you get in a relationship and the first few weeks everything is just perfect? You just never seem to get enough of him or her and everyone around you notices something different in the way you act? Yes, well, sometime during that period, you’ll probably go to bed on some random day, wake up the next morning, pick up your blackberry to checkup on your mate and #BAM, there it is staring at you, it’s that picture you don’t really like but everyone seems to say you look good in it and he/she has used it as their blackberry messenger display picture. 

Now, for some of y’all, you’re probably like what’s he going on about? That’s a good thing right? Ok, I’ll give specifics and say, the relationship in the scenario above is only a month old. Still nothing wrong right? So he doesn’t stop at just using your picture as his DP, he puts up some pictures you took together on Facebook, changes his Twitter avatar to a picture of you, publicly tweets mushy stuff at you, posts mushy stuff on your Facebook wall, very touchy-feely in public and pretty much seizes any chance he gets to tell anyone who cares to listen that you’re his girlfriend and he’s crazy about you. Still nothing wrong? Ok, hold that thought. 

A couple more weeks and he introduces you to his siblings, you visit his family house together and discover his mother was expecting you. She’s gone out of her way to make an elaborate meal and while you’re eating, she engages you in a conversation during which you discover she’s very much up to date on happenings in your life. Now, your boyfriend, is twenty six and you’re twenty-three. you’re pretty sure he’s not thinking of marriage anytime soon so you assume he’s just very close to his mother. 

Ok, don’t mistake the scenario painted above for ‘smoldering with love/affection/whatever’, that’s a different ball game. He doesn’t stalk her or anything, he just seems very ‘expressive’ about his young relationship and as much as all the women (and some guys) reading this don’t seem to see any problem here, I do. And it’s one I see very often. Moving on, the relationship is now 6 weeks old. The girlfriend’s old fling comes back into town, one thing leads to another, she cheats, boyfriend can’t forgive, relationship ends. Just like that. The following weekend, Mr ‘ex-boyfriend’ has to join his family for lunch and first thing his mother asks is “Where’s XYZ, I’ve told your dad all about her and he can’t wait to meet her.” 

It doesn’t stop there, bad news travels fast. All your friends know and then you watch as whispers and subliminal messages fly around your social media contacts. Your friends tease and taunt you about all the pictures you now have to delete off your phone and it goes on and on. So my question today is: how long is long enough for one to be in a relationship before you start ‘showing off’ your mate to ‘the world’. As inconsequential as the subject may seem, I think if you fall within the ages of 23-30, it’s something worth thinking about. 

I’m in my late twenties and people find it hard to understand when I tell them my mother has never met any of my girlfriends. Yup. Even the ones that lasted well over a year. Why? Cause for me, it’s a HUGE step. I’m tight with my mom and as much as I know she knows I might have to do some ‘sampling’ at this stage of my life before I settle, I don’t want to bore her with the details. Neither do I want to show off a different girl to my friends and ‘the rest of the world’ every three months. I understand that time isn’t a guarantee that things will turn out right but then again, it’s almost logical to think after staying with someone for over a year, you might not even need to ‘show them off’ because it would come naturally. Once again, I might just be too old-fashioned or simply part of a minority but that’s why we are here. I’d like to compare notes, hear from you guys. How long is long enough to stay in a relationship before you ‘show off’ your partner. What are the pros and cons of doing it too early or too late. This question goes both ways so boys and gurls, please use the comment box to speak your mind. Cheers.

 Thetoolsman – I also write at


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Comments (6)

  1. Its quite a dicey topic,I wud v tot it nt too wise to start all d show-off dramas until Ʊ v seen it all,&wn I say this,I mean Ʊ v seen d bad ,d good& d ugly of ur partner vice versa & Ʊ both r comfy abt it,den Ʊ can go ahead wt d world news abt d relationship……..or better-still ,wait till d bells hv rang!

  2. #LASTMAn comment, 7months afta article is written *covers face in shame* I totally agree wiv every word Wale wrote. Personally, I code my relationship for @ least 6months 4m friends & HECK NO to DP changing, FB posting and most of all PDAs!!! As 4my mother whenever she asks abt Le Boyfriend, all she's ever gonna hear is "He's fine" *whoever d He is @ d moment* not a word more in details or pixs. I also dread meeting "Le BF's" family too soon in d relationship 'cos of akward moments wiv his Mom or Sis (d Dad or Bros r always cool) afta we may have parted ways! 'Tula,I clink my glass 2a fellow compadre in thinking *hic*

  3. @Tola, I beg to disgaree. I think waiting till you are married is taking it too far. Are you suggesting your friends should not know who you are about to marry until the wedding IV comes along? I hope not.

    On the other hand, I think there is need to exercise caution. If you are still getting to know someone, I see no reason for show off as you will just be setting yourself up for heartache if things don't eventually work out. Personally, I would not let a boyfriend visit me at home until I'm really sure he is the one and I'm sure he feels the same way about me. But then, I know the rules are not set in stone and no two circumstances are the same.

    My advise: Wisdom is profitable to direct. Let wisdom direct you.

  4. Conroversially. Frank…

  5. I've been married for 5yrs now, I started showing off my husband right after our introduction some friends were mad but I could careless others knew but didn't knw it was a serious relationship. I've seen my fair share of people changing status on fbk n deleting albums n I just shake my head. but then again some will see ur privacy as been wayward (u want to keep all ur mugus apart) so this show off early or late all depends on d situation n personalities involved.

  6. Well, I think no one's ur 'partner' until u're married. So til then, u av no right to 'show off'

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail