Signs You're Dating A Man With Mommy Issues

Signs You’re Dating A Man With Mommy Issues

Dating can be exhausting. Nobody’s perfect and most men are usually just a few dates away from revealing the worst red flag. Yet, sometimes identifying these red flags is not so easy, and understanding what problematic behavior looks like can take time. How can we avoid emotional disasters when dating?

Just as some women have daddy issues, men can also have mommy issues. Men with mommy issues usually have multiple behavioral and emotional problems that arise during dating. By watching for these signs, you can avoid a toxic relationship with a man who has mommy issues.

If you’re wondering if your boyfriend or potential partner has mommy issues, you may already know the answer. However, in order to be sure, let’s discuss what exactly are mommy issues, what are the signs to look for, and how can you deal with these issues.

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What are Mommy Issues?

Similar to daddy issues, mommy issues are the mental aftermath that occurs, especially in relationships, after someone’s mother was either not present or emotionally distant. When difficulties with their mother begin to move from childhood and into adulthood, this can heavily impact their relationship with women.

There are serious psychological effects that occur when a person’s mother is abusive, manipulative, distant, or completely absent. Clearly, these mommy issues should be healed during therapy. Unfortunately, there is plenty of men who are unable to be vulnerable with others, let alone a therapist.

Although these men aren’t to blame for the toxic ways their mother raised them, they are responsible to seek professional treatment from therapists, not their romantic partners. When dating, here are some signs to watch for to determine if your partner has mommy issues.

Emotionally Unstable

Rather than being constantly upset or in tears, emotional instability can be more difficult to comprehend. For example, this can look like a person who has emotional shifts throughout the day. It doesn’t take them much to go from clingy to distant, or affectionate to angry. 

This can occur in a man with mommy issues because their childhood attachment style with their mother was unstable. An attachment style is defined as how we emotionally attach to others based on how we were cared for as children. Our attachment style as children often clearly resembles our attachment style as adults. 

There are three attachment styles common with men who have mommy issues, these include:

  • Anxious: Due to having a mother who was unable to provide consistent emotional support or was preoccupied with other issues, their son may find themselves later on terrified by the idea that the partner might leave or reject them. This can result in constantly asking their partner for emotional reassurance.
  • Avoidant: This attachment style can happen when their mother was cold, harsh, or distant. As a result, they will avoid committed relationships in order to avoid the same treatment. This person may seem distant and cold due to their need for isolation and control.
  • Disorganized: Because a man’s mother was not always there or their relationship wasn’t secure, they may, later on, become unable to trust their partner. Since their mother’s presence would fluctuate, they want an intimate relationship but will put barriers to protect themselves from being hurt.

Needs You For Everything

A man with mommy issues will not only want you to take over the mother role, but every role he may need in his life. They wish for you to be their caretaker, maid, chef, therapist, best friend, and more. They’re hoping to fill in the gap that was left behind that their mother was unable to fill.

Although they may seem passionate and have an “us against the world” mentality, this type of relationship is not healthy for either you or him. If you attempt to be “his everything”, it will drain all of your energy. Plus, we’re almost positive he isn’t returning the same energy you are putting in.

Plays the Victim

Is he never wrong? Has every relationship ended because his ex-girlfriend was “crazy”? These are red flags that show he isn’t willing to take responsibility for his actions and that he will always be the victim. Just as he was the victim as a child of an unfit mother, he will be unable to break this role and continue playing it.

He may think that he will always be the victim and the world has done him a disservice. As a result, every problem will become your fault. Every mistake he makes is not his own responsibility. This can lead to gaslighting to make you feel as though you are always in the wrong.

If you know deep down that you’re right despite his convincing, then you need to step away and reflect on how he treats you in this relationship.

Struggles Talking About His Mom

If he rarely talks about his mother or even changes the subject when you bring her up, this is a major red flag. Due to past untreated trauma or a broken relationship, he may avoid talking about his mom. However, men who have overcome the past and are emotionally available will be able to talk about their mother no matter how painful.

When a man is unable to bring up his own mother, it’s a sign that he has not recovered from the damage done as a child. Avoiding the topic won’t heal the past, he needs a therapist to help him overcome his childhood issues and become emotionally mature.

Unable to Handle Criticism

Does your partner get upset at even the slightest criticism? Does he react to criticism with excessive anger or despair? This can be a result of mommy issues. If his mother was overly harsh and critical of him as a child, he may become unable to handle criticism as an adult.

If you constantly reassure him that you’re there for him and have your full support, but even the slightest criticism ticks him off, he hasn’t healed from his childhood. Only therapy can help him, not your constant attempts at consoling him.

Trust Issues

If he’s showing trust issues, he may deep down have the fear that you’ll abandon him or reject him as his mother did. This can resemble him being insecure and overly suspicious of you because he worries you may let him down just like his mom.

Trust issues can look like having to constantly check your phone or text messages. He may even call your friends when you’re out to ensure that you’re really with them and not cheating. This is a major sign that the man you’re dating has mommy issues and needs help from a mental health professional.


If you see these warning signs in your partner, it’s best to leave as fast as you can. If he is unable to seek therapy for his emotional distress, then these problems will only continue and get worse. 

Men with mommy issues aren’t destined for terrible relationships, but they will need to overcome their issues about their mother and their childhood before they can become the partner you need to have a happy and healthy relationship.

Always remember that you need to put yourself first and not him. You can never become the mother he needed as a child. All you can do is help him find treatment and move on to find someone who can make you happy.

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