Is My Boyfriend's Mom Hitting On Me?, Part 3


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I think my boyfriend’s mom might be hitting on me. She’s single and modern, but not openly dating women. However, I notice that every time I’m in her company, she goes out of her way to give me a back rub, or say something cute about my breasts. I think it would horrify my boyfriend if I suggested such a preposterous idea, but it’s really getting to the point where I dread time that I have to be in her presence. I don’t want to assume wrongly, but I’m not sure how to be graceful about the situation, either.—SV

Jody    The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer 
Whether his mom is gay, straight, or somewhere in between seems beside the point. Her behavior is in appropriate and you should not put up with it.
I can certainly understand why you’re uncomfortable around her and why it’s tricky to create change. Here are a few things to clarify before you go forward with a plan. Does his mom display this kind of behavior in front of her son, or just when the two of you are alone? In other words, has your boyfriend been a witness to his mother’s shenanigans? If so, and he hasn’t said anything, you have to wonder why.
Something else to consider is who to speak to about this, her or your boyfriend? If you’ve been dating this guy for a while, I’m sure you have a sense of how much he cares for you and what kind of relationship he has with his mom. Are they super close? Does he still live at home? Putting a son between his mom and his girlfriend is a delicate thing.
I suggest that you start by talking to the boundary-less mom. Find a time when your guy is not right there and it’s just you and her. It would be even better if she made some inappropriate remark or tried the back rub thing again while it’s just the two of you. Then you could—and here’s the important part—calmly and directly say that you are uncomfortable with her comments about your body and with her giving you a back rub. Upon hearing your truth, she may back off immediately, make a joke, or act offended. However she reacts, you’ll have made yourself clear. If she persists, then it’s time to reach out to the boyfriend for some back-up.
Check in tomorrow to read the straight man's perspective by Chris Kennedy.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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