Mothers and Daughters

Step 3: Talk to Your Mother about Romantic Intimacy and Men

Celebrating the love between your parents

No matter how happy or sad your parents' story turned out, celebrating the love between them by asking your mother to talk about those feelings and memories can be very healing. Ask your mother to recall the positive memories of your father or the experiences of romantic love she's had in her life. If your parents are divorced, this could also include her thoughts and feelings toward your stepfather or another significant relationship. How did they show their love for each other? Did they have any simple habits or special traditions that kept them close?

For example, the mother of one woman I know said that one of her love rituals is always laughing at her husband's jokes no matter how bad they are. Another woman asked her mother about a love ritual, and was surprised to learn that in 45 years of marriage, every single time her mother came down the stairs to leave for a social engagement, without fail, her husband whistled at her and said, "I am one lucky guy." You might be amazed at what you learn when you start to see your mother as a grownup woman with a lifetime of her own love stories!

Questions for your mom

When you're ready, consider sitting down with your mom and going over the following questions. You can choose questions that are appropriate for you and your mother, or use the entire list as a guide for writing down your own questions that are specific to your situation. Be sure to keep track of any progress that you have made in a private journal.

  • Who was your first boyfriend? Who gave you your first kiss?
  • What's your favorite memory of falling in love?
  • Is there any man you still think about from your early dating years?
  • Were you ever engaged to anyone before Dad?
  • How did you meet my father? How did he propose? What made you say yes?
  • What message about men did you get from your mother? Your father?
  • What's one of the most romantic experiences you've ever had?
  • When you see an attractive man, what do you think about?
  • What have you enjoyed most about marriage?
  • How did you get through the tough times with Dad?
  • If you were to meet Dad now, would you still marry him?
  • What did you learn after your divorce?
  • How did you first learn about sex?
  • What's romance like for you now?
  • What do you want people to remember about the way you loved Dad?

Ready to move on to the next step? Find out how you can talk to your mom about aging next

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