Dating a Man Who Takes Care of His Mom – AlzheimersLab

It is not uncommon for grown men to provide care to their single aging mothers. This is observed more among families with a single, divorced, or widowed mother, typically in her 60s or 70s. 

I am assuming you have been dating this guy for a few months. The relationship is growing strong. And now you are contemplating having a long-term relationship with him. 

The only problem is, that he spends all his time taking care of his elderly mother. You are worried he won’t spend enough time with you after marriage. 

Percentage of male caregivers in the United States 

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) performed a survey to understand the caregiver demographic in 2015 and 2020. They confirmed that 4 in 10 (39 percent of participants) were men.  

Additionally, the survey also shows that men are more likely to provide care to someone who is closely related to them. Women are slightly more open to caring for a non-relative such as a friend or a close co-worker. 

In conclusion, men feel a duty or an obligation to care for a relative (in this case, a mother). They may or may not feel compassion for the person they are caring for. They may do it simply as a chore, or a routine task.

The guy you are dating might be caring for his mother as a part of his family tradition (and not out of pure compassion for another human being). You should talk to him about this particular subject.

5 things to ponder over before dating a man who takes care of his mom

#1 Are you okay with shared caregiving? 

Continuing the relationship or marrying this guy could mean sharing the responsibility of caregiving. This is more likely if his mother’s health deteriorates even further in the future. Taking care of the elderly includes performing routine tasks such as bathing, cleaning up, changing diapers, etc. 

#2 Does he have children?

Things are not going to get any easier if he has a child or two from past relationships. However, you do get an opportunity to see how he manages to have children and take care of his elderly mother at the same time. Does he spend enough time with his children? 

#3 Is he afraid to move on?

The guy you are dating may be using his mom as an excuse to move on in life. I am not saying this is the case with all men who take care of their aging mother, but you need to find out if it is the case with him. 

Does he have a flourishing career? Does he have buddies who like and respect him? A man could cling to his mother if he is unprepared to face the world, and take responsibility for himself. 

#4 Is she a controlling mother?

A controlling mother can have a negative impact on her adult children. There have been several cases where elderly mothers guilt-tripped their adult children into caring for them. 

We all can agree that guilt-tripping is immoral. But some elderly folks take this route out of desperation. 

They fail to realize that by controlling their adult children they are projecting their own anxieties onto them. This creates intense suffering among adult children (and the people they have relationships with).

If this is really the case with the guy you are dating, a long-term care facility or a nursing home can be an option after you move in with him or vice versa. This is where a health coverage plan such as Medicaid comes into the picture.

#5 Does she qualify for Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health coverage plan available for the elderly across the United States. The criteria for qualification may vary from state to state. A Medicaid program can cover medical expenses partially or entirely. Talk to the guy you are dating to find out how he plans to manage his mother’s medical expenses.

Summary 

Finally, give yourself and the guy some well-deserved credit. Not everyone will consider dating a guy who spends a lot of time taking care of his mother. 

Whether the guy is helping his mother out of compassion or obligation, he deserves proper respect as well. Caregiving is labor-intensive. It saps away mental and emotional energy.

It is fair to assume that caregivers are responsible people. Talk to him about the things that concern you. I am sure he has a well-devised plan for the future.

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