DEAR ABBY: I'm a 35-year-old single mom. I've dated a few people over the last seven years, but none of them wanted to commit. Several months ago, I started seeing "Joey," a friend of a couple of years. He's sweet, respectful, hardworking, and he helps me whenever I need it.
Joey is on the heavy side, but he's clean and kempt. I introduced him to my mom, and she continues to say he is "gross." She refers to him only as "that man" and never by his name. He has always been very polite and has never said anything to her out of the way.
My son and I have lived with Mom ever since my divorce, and I have helped her out with more than my share of the bills and groceries. I'm currently trying to buy a house, but the market is competitive with the low interest rates. I work full time, take great care of my son and do lots of chores around the house.
How can I convince my mother to accept Joey, or should I ignore what she says as long as he's good to my son and me? -- FOUND A GOOD GUY IN THE SOUTH
DEAR FOUND: Nothing you can do will make your mother accept Joey. Most parents judge the men in their daughters' lives by how they treat their daughters, rather than a number on the scale. Has it occurred to you that she may be afraid your relationship with Joey could develop to the point you will no longer be around to do chores and help her with the bills?
From your description of him, "that man" is definitely a keeper. As long as he is good to you and your son and you care for him, please don't allow your mother to discourage you. As an adult, it's important to make your own decisions and live your own life without interference.