By Brigitte Sumner

Ladies, this is a very powerful question, one that you ought to ask yourself frequently.

Once you go beyond the initial rosy cloud of dating and staying the night becomes more routine – a number of things can happen. You’re starting to share your living space where two totally different individuals come together with their own rules and regulations regarding who is supposed to do what, when and how. It’s a breeding ground for challenges.

Imagine this scenario: The man stays overnight. The couple had a lovely evening and night together.The morning comes and one of them will jump out of bed and either find their own bathrobe (or borrow one belonging to their new found mate) and lovingly make coffee, scrambled eggs and toast.

Then the other one then jumps out of bed, realises that it’s already late, runs for the shower and with a half eaten crust in their cheeks flees out of the door, blowing a kiss and a promise to be back later/this weekend/to phone, whatever.

Lo and behold, the person who is left behind (usually the female) sighs and smiles and is blissfully happy, until… she finds the socks!

He left his socks on the floor under the bed! The smile diminishes, she sighs, the brownie points that he had just gathered are still there, but there is a tiny black mark after his name. She will remember this (yes, forever!) and bring this up at some appropriate point (if ever there was one!)

She may do one of many things;
1)    she puts the socks in the bin
2)    she puts the socks in a carrier bag and presents them to him on their next date in the concert hall
3)    when she speaks to him on the phone she tells him he left his socks
4)    she washes the socks and puts them in his coat pocket next time she welcomes him in

Now, whatever action she chooses is critical for where this relationship is going.


Her action determines what he is going to feel.

Scenario 1) he wont feel anything as he does not know how many pairs of socks he possesses, so he will not miss a single pair

Scenario 2) he will feel embarrassed, confused and ticked off. He wants to do his best and he knows he has failed. He will retreat, get irritated or loose some of his confidence.

Scenario 3) he will be somewhat embarrassed, however he’ll be pleased that you did not present them in a carrier bag at the concert hall

It depends largely on how much is said as to how this scenario will progress.

Scenario 4) he will be slightly embarrassed and make a note to look out for stray socks when he next spends the night

3) and 4) will probably do the least damage.

However, looking at these scenarios do you sound/act like his mother or his lover?

In 1) and 2) it definitely sounds as if you want to put him in his place. It’s bitchy behaviour. 3) and 4) are somewhat more loving.

What about introducing some fun and love and humour into the scenario?

I know it is infinitely tough to let your man know that you do not want his socks lying around on the floor, and at the same time let him know in a loving way. How can you accomplish this? How would you do this as his lover, versus his mother?

A few options: You can leave the socks until he comes back, in an obvious place without saying a word. You may wash them and leave them in an obvious place and tuck a chocolate lollipop in them. You may leave them with a note, saying I got more than I bargained for! Thanks for leaving a souvenir with me. At least I knew you were coming back!

This first incident can be critical of where your relationship is going.

Do you want to have control? Do you have rules as to what the house needs to look like? Do you have a certain picture in your mind as to what needs to happen and when? Are you flexible in your approach? Or are you rigid, does everything have to happen in a certain way, in a certain order, and to a certain standard?

So, do you sound like his mother or his lover?

If you do sound like his mother, do not be surprised if there is no passion, or intermittent passion in your relationship. If a man has or has had a healthy relationship with his mother he does not have any passionate feelings towards her. When you sound or behave like his mother, the passionate feelings towards you diminish. He will start to behave towards you, as he does towards his mother.

That means, he might become secretive and show childish behaviour. If he comes home late and you have told him that he really should not smoke and you can smell that he has been smoking, and tell him that as soon as he comes in the door, he will feel embarrassed, irritated and will do his best to smoke in secret.

If he wants to stop smoking, he will, if doesn’t he won’t. It’s as simple as that. You may not like it, and because you don’t he will tell you he doesn’t, but he will.

Treat him like your lover and you will become aware that it is not really any of your business. You may give him a mint, if it bothers you when you kiss him, but that is about all you can do. Love him, regardless of his behaviour. If you let him know that what he does upsets you, he feels rejected. He will find another place to be accepted, be that with you or somewhere else. In the best instance that can be in a hobby, a sport, with his mates.

When he gets really peeved, and he feels his behaviour makes you so unhappy, and there isn’t anything he can do to make you happy, it may be with another woman. You choose. Do you want to sound like his mother or his lover? He chose to leave his mother, he could choose to leave you, if you sound too much like his mother. He does not need a mother, even if you think he does.

There are those lovable men who do look as if they need someone to organise their lives. They are cuddly, don’t seem to know where they are going and seem to be crying for someone to take charge of their lives. To go for a bloke like that is OK, just know that you are going to be a mother replacement, and do not expect any initiative, any drive, any passion there. You may become the masculine, driving force in a scared and scarred man’s life. If that is what you want that is good, if it is not, then stay away and let them heal.

Women tend to expect a man to change in a relationship. Men want a woman to stay the same. Women, men are not going to change, and men, women are. So, both genders are in for a shock, it is called reality.

A lot would improve if women stop trying to change men, and men start to expect change in their women. Your mother could have been your best friend, however, in the healthy scenario, she would not have been your lover, one rules out the other. So, you can’t have both. If you sound like his lover, you do not sound like his mother and vice versa.

About The Author:
For more information about sex and relationship coach Brigitte Sumner visit

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