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Dear Amanda,

My boyfriend “Lester” and I have been together for three years, and for the most part all is well. Except for one thing. I am convinced his mother hates me. In private she has told him that we are “too young” to be in a serious relationship. We’re both 25. Furthermore, she also told him that we shouldn’t even think about marriage until we are at least 30. Lester and I have talked extensively about this, and because he respects his parents a great deal, he feels compelled to take his mother’s advice seriously. However, I am reaching my limit. I am a 3L about to graduate and I want my life in order. Help!

Sincerely,

Pathetic in Porter Square

Dear Pathetic,

Based on the limited facts that you’ve presented, it would seem to me that you’re suffering from an acute case of paranoia that could only be found among people as self-absorbed as Harvard Law students. As hard as it may be to believe, it’s entirely possible that it’s not all about you. If she hated you, she’d probably be trying to get him to break up with you instead of merely trying to postpone a lifetime commitment. Maybe Lester’s mom really likes you, but has legitimate concerns about her son getting married at this point in his life. Three years may seem like a long time, but I have clothes older than your relationship (though they are buried at the very back of my closet). It could be worse. Going-to-be-useful-when-he’s-a-Senator Roommate is one of the oldest people that I know and he has been dating his girlfriend since the first year of the Clinton administration. He should be so lucky as to have an excuse like, “My mommy says no,” when people ask why they’re not engaged.

A slightly more legitimate concern for you may be that Lester isn’t ready to marry you and is merely hiding behind his mother’s skirttails. Of equal or greater concern is the possibility that Lester is a huge momma’s boy. You should sit down with him and find out whether his mother’s worries are only his mother’s worries. If they are, you need to find out to what extent Lester’s mother is going to influence your life together if you do get married. Either way, don’t blame Lester’s mom. Lester, not Lester’s mom, is the only one who can put your life in order.

Yours,

Amanda

Got problems? Amanda has solutions, and she’d love to share them in a public forum. E-mail record@law.harvard.edu.

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