Mama’s Boys and Tomboys: Who They Hang With May Affect Their Romance

When It Comes to Dating Do Family and Friends Influence How Understanding You Are in a Relationship?


Published: April 1, 2010

How often does your boyfriend call his mom? Everyday or once a week tops? What about your girlfriend? How many guy friends does she have? You may not consider the other relationships of the person you’re dating to be vastly important, but they can indicate how he or she will act in his/her relationship with you.

According to, “A strong and loving relationship with a good mother can help a boy learn the skills of intimacy, support him in developing respect for other women and prepare him for a satisfying relationship someday.”

Guys surrounded by women may be more aware of a woman’s emotions. A boy who has a close relationship with his mother or lives in a house full of female siblings may be more used to feelings being discussed and emotions being taken into account. But does growing up in a household of estrogen or being a mama’s boy make a difference in how a guy interacts with his girlfriend?

“My boyfriend is close to his mom and I think that makes him more sensitive about his own feelings. I don’t know if that makes him more understanding of my feelings, though,” said Ashley Breda, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’11.

“I don’t think that it has anything to do with [it]. It doesn’t make him any more sensitive to other girls’ feelings,” said Andreina Laucet, FCLC ’13. “From my experience with boyfriends, the guys were close to girls but that didn’t make them any more understanding of my feelings. Maybe their own feelings, but not mine.”

“I have a very close relationship with my mom, yet it doesn’t make me more sensitive to a girlfriend’s feelings,” said Kevin Mangan, FCLC ’13. “A girlfriend needs a different type of emotional attention [and] care. It takes time to learn how to provide that.”

Some students, on the other hand definitely see a correlation between a guy’s relationship with his mother and sisters and how he treats his girlfriend.

“My boyfriend definitely is more sensitive to my needs,” said Courtney Henry, FCLC ’11. “He is more concerned and more in tune with how I’m feeling than other guys I know. He’s sensitive to his mom and sister, so as another woman in his life, he wants to do the same for me.”

“I think that the way a guy treats his mom is indicative of how he will treat his girlfriend,” said Katie Berry, FCLC ’11. “Guy friends that I know who are close to their mom or sister are more respectful and understanding of girls. A guy wouldn’t want his sister to be mistreated.”

“I think that living with my mom and two sisters has made me more understanding of girls’ feelings,” said Constantine Kokinakis, FCLC ’11. “I know what things push their buttons.”

“I definitely think it helped me just being comfortable around women,” said Greg Palmer, FCLC ’11. “I lived with three sisters through all their teenage years. I’ve seen the things my sisters’ boyfriends have done to them and I don’t want to do that to women. I was also raised by my mom and that helped me be more sensitive to women. I try to treat women how I would treat my sister.”

It is clear that in at least some cases, the constant exposure to women’s feelings and emotions has an effect on how understanding a guy is to his girlfriend. But does it work the same way for girls? Is a girl who is surrounded by guys all the time more understanding of the feelings of her boyfriend, or is there really no way for her to understand the male psyche?

“The majority of my friends are guys. However, I don’t believe [guys] can all be judged so generally. I don’t think my experience with my guy friends could make me more understanding [of a boyfreind],” said Natalia Ramirez, FCLC ’12.

“I don’t agree that girls with more guy friends are more understanding. Either way, women are still more emotionally in tune with the person they’re with, so I don’t think guy friends help with that,” Breda said.

“It has to do with the individual [because] relationships are totally different between family and girlfriends or boyfriends,” said Francesca Battista, FCLC ’11.

Whether a guy has a great relationship with his mom, or a girl watches football with the guys on Sunday, the bottom line is that all people are different. So, is a mama’s boy a better boyfriend? Or a “chill” girl a better girlfriend? The only way to find out is to see for yourself!