You’ve got the ring, the man of your dreams and pages of bridal magazines scattered all over your kitchen as you plan and Pinterest your idea of the perfect wedding. Marrying your soul mate is the most important event of your life. Marriage is a beautiful union of not only two souls, but two families… which includes a new mama bear in your life. Your mother-in-law-to-be is the first woman in your fiancé’s life. She set the tone in regards to the woman your fiancé envisioned his future wife to be… and she has a watchful eye on the woman that her son is going to marry. Developing a relationship with your future mother-in-law is majorly important as she not only is the mother of the amazing specimen of man you are about to marry, but a new family member and the future grandmother of your rugrats.
Stay True to Yourself
Do not try to be what you think your fiancé’s mom wants you to be. It’s really a waste trying to alter your image and making yourself look like a saint, when 9 times out of 10 your mother-in-law-to-be has scanned your entire Facebook feed with your scantily clad Halloween pics from college. Not only that, you rob her of knowing the amazing person you are. Be your normal authentic self.
Get to Know Her
Like any relationship, you have to communicate and get to know the person. Don’t simply assume she is channeling Jane Fonda in Monster-In-Law; she may be just as shy and nervous as you are. Find out her hobbies, favorite movies, favorite food- you name it. Make sure that you are having conversations without your future hubby around 24/7- he is not your security blanket.
Understand You Will NEVER Be Her
I hear stories all the time how women try to compete with their future mother-in-law to be the top hen in their man’s life. Whether it’s trying to out cook her, being better at ironing his shirts and all the things your fiancé’s mom would do amazingly, every bride should know… YOU WILL NEVER BE HER. Stop trying. You have an important and special place in your man’s heart, and so does his mom. The bond that your fiancé has with his mother is one that cannot be imitated. Besides, your beau does not want to marry his mom… maybe a woman like her, but he did not marry you to be his mom. He married you to be his WIFE.
Stand Up or Shut Up
If you are in a situation where your future mother-in-law is not the most inviting and makes sideways comments about you, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. I’m not saying to go all Basketball Wives on her (that may be the reaction she wants from you to justify why you are not the one for her son. Don’t fall in the trap.) but respectfully address how her comments impact you and will not be tolerated. People will treat you the way you allow them to. Even though this tip is on the confrontational side, but it shows that you have a back bone and you are comfortable to discuss your feelings, even in an uncomfortable situation.
Be Open and Inclusive
Make sure you take the time to check in and see how your mother-in-law-to-be is doing. Whether it’s a phone call or a catch up brunch session, make sure you treat her like family, because she will be. If you and your mom are planning on catching a movie or going out to dinner, extend the invite so you get to know her more, especially if the only time you are around her is if you are with your fiancé.
Making that leap of faith to live with your significant other is a huge step, a life changing step. Even though this endeavor is one of many big life events that you will encounter, be aware that moving in is an evolution in your relationship. Every day will not be those steamy scenes in “The Notebook”, or epic turmoil like “War of the Roses” where you are in the midst of a death match. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when living with your significant other.
1. This Is Not A Test
Do not go into living with your significant other with the mindset that this is a trial and error ordeal. Living together is a commitment, and a huge one. Sometimes the going will get tough, but you must give 100% getting through those dark days.
2. Do Not Lose Yourself
It is very easy to lose yourself when you are living with your significant other. Naturally, your significant other becomes your priority and you become very concerned with their happiness. Remember, even though you are together 24/7, you still have wants and desires. It is OK to take time for yourself to do the things that you love.
If you made a huge gasp and nodded your head, then you know exactly what I am talking about. It is difficult when two people with their own set of habits, routines, and quirks are under one roof. Even though we may think our way is the best way, your significant other may have a different way that may lead to the same result. No one is perfect. Be patient and understanding when living together.
It may be easy to forget during times when you are upset, but respect is a major factor in your relationship and becomes magnified when living together. The things you do and say weigh heavy, so make sure you think before you speak and act.
5. Remember Why You Fell In Love
During those times when you are just upset over small things, think about the moments that brought you together, and the feelings you had for each other. As your relationship changes and as you grow as a person, things will not be the same as it was before. The one thing that will always remain the same is the memory you have falling in love, and the reason why you decided to live together in the first place.
We all have went down that path once or twice, maybe more like 3 or 4 times with the same guy knowing that the end result will be a disappointment. If you are contemplating if your current boo is the yin to your yang, here are 7 signs that he is not “The One” for you;
1. You Are Both On Two Different Pages
He is afraid of commitment and you want to be married in the next year, or he rather live in two separate apartments and you are ready to take the next step in living together. Everything goes downhill when you both are not mentally going down the same path. It can be said that it may take some time for one person to compromise, but if neither party is giving the relationship the “old college try” then you will forever be in relationship purgatory.
2. He Puts You Down
A long time ago, I was seeing a guy that would criticize my form fitting clothes, makeup, had the nerve to say I was a bimbo and “behind the learning” curve. All of this negativity was stemming from his own insecurities that he would lash out at me. If the guy you are with is putting you down in any way, LEAVE HIM ALONE. Being called out of your name is in no way endearing and emotionally abusive.
3. He Never Introduced You To His Family & Clearly Does Not Want To Meet Yours
Your guy always makes a lame excuse about how he is not ready for you to meet his family because he wants more time… even though you have been seeing each other exclusively for two years. Also, he says that no one needs to know him. This is a clear message from your guy that he only sees you as a fling and nothing more. If you have heard these statements, sorry to say, the relationship is going nowhere.
4. You Want To Change Him
Let’s steer away from the man bashing, simply because it takes TWO to be a couple. Some women have a bad habit with falling in love with the idea of how someone can be and not who the person actually is; TRUST me- I have been down that road. A person’s character traits are their character traits. If you can live with it, cool! If it is something you cannot live with, then it is time to peace out.
5. He Doesn’t Defend You
No one wants to go through the ringer when it comes to insults and ridicule. Whether it is a verbal altercation or physical; if he is the first one to head for the hills and not defend your honor, it is evident that he is not that into you.
6. Lack of Communication
There is no way you can have a successful relationship without being open and talking to each other. You thought staring at each other would last?
7. You Just Have A “Feeling”
I am a firm believer of listening to your instincts. If the relationship that you are in does not feel right and causes you to have that weird knot in your stomach, then you are most likely right. Sometimes the hardest part is letting go, but you will feel so much better that you are giving yourself the opportunity to find the right guy for you.
I remember my first time innocently experimenting in the world of role playing. I met up with my boyfriend at a bar, which was very normal for a Thursday night, and got my signature Bay Breeze. We were at the bar talking about how exciting and fresh it was when we left the “friend zone” and started dating. My boyfriend had the clever idea to pretend we were strangers at the bar, and I thought it was a good idea. After giving it a couple of minutes to process, he greeted me as if we were meeting for the first time and offered to buy me a drink. Even though I was playing along, in my head I was thinking “I feel like such a weirdo.” The strange feeling was… I actually liked it. The same butterfly feeling that I got when we first met came back- the charm... the freshness… it was all there.
Of course there is the more “advanced” 50 Shades of Grey version of role playing that you see on TV or read in those raunchy romance novels. It always made me deeply think of those times when you just wanted to be someone else for one day, or in this case one night. I was at a barbeque last summer and was dead on witnessing a couple in their mid-fifties role playing. Talk about PDA to the fullest, I heard the wife yell “I’m a happily married woman! Don’t try to sweet talk your way into my goodie jar!" As the couple’s public sex-capade started to intensify, I quickly removed myself and my beer from their scene. Even though I moved away as fast as Usain Bolt can run, I thought it was very cool that the couple was so into each other and secure that they could care less about the pained “WTF” expression on my face.
Whether you are a pro, novice, or just curious- here a few things to know when crossing over to the world of role playing.
1. It’s Only Between You and Your Significant Other… & Possibly the General Public
There is no need of feeling bashful about the situation. Remember, this is the person that you care about and you can be 100% comfortable with. Sure, you may be in a bar or club with hundreds of other people, but so what (unless you see a co-worker, then take 5 from your public fantasy session). If you two are alone at home, remember home should always be a judge free zone.
2. Take It Slow
This is not one of those type of ordeals where you can just hit the ground running and throw on your Cat Woman outfit from last Halloween. It really does take time, especially if you have never done it before. The easiest way is to start off being yourself at a different stage in your life in a private intimate setting ( your house for example). As you become more comfortable, branch off to more theatrical role playing.
3. Don’t Try To Change Roles In The Middle Of The Action
If you ever seen Season 3 of the HBO series Girls when Hannah pretended to be the wife of a hedge fund manager, then in the middle of her and Adam’s “whoopee” session changed roles and said she was the cheerleader and Adam was the school weirdo? If you have, you know exactly what I am talking about. Stick to one role play fantasy at a time. Switching things up in the middle becomes too confusing, awkward, and kills the mood.
4. The Most Important Rule: Have Fun!
Don’t take things too seriously! The experience is supposed to be a fun time with you and your significant other. Keep calm and role play on!