Arrogant man

Dear Will,

I’m a single mom of a 19-year-old son and though he’s generally a good kid, I disapprove of the way he treats women.

Cal is handsome and fit and can be kind of arrogant when it comes to dating. He always has several women on the go at the same time, none of who know about each other by the way!

He doesn’t call girls back, sometimes doesn’t turn up for dates and even sees girls who already have boyfriends.

I worry that he’s going to get into trouble but Cal says I’m being old fashioned and that he’s young and should have fun!

My friends say it’s just a stage and that he’ll grow out of it… but what do you think Will? Are my fears justified and how can I get him to see sense?

I’d love some Good Enough Guy wisdom…

Sheila, Massachusetts

Hey Sheila,

Do you know how many 19-year old-boys it takes to screw in a light bulb? Just one; he just has to hold the bulb and wait while the world revolves around him!

I know this because I WAS CAL!

Good Enough Guy use to be the Too-Good-For-Everyone kid! Most of us men were just like him, and most 19-year-old boys are just like him. It’s not arrogance: we really are that attractive! We’re in the best shape of our lives, our skin and hair are flawless, young girls want us because we’re suave and mature, older women want us because we’re sweet and innocent, we’ve finally finished high school, and the rest of our life looks like one long summer vacation. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!… Oh, sorry. What was I saying? Oh, yeah… your question.

As a mother, part of your job is to worry, and as a single mom, you get to do it twice as much (and he would have been just as arrogant if you weren’t a single mother; I sure was!) And as a mom, even though he’s 19, you still feel the need to be his moral compass. Well you can worry a little less and here’s why:

WHY SOME OF WHAT HE’S DOING IS RIGHT: Be glad that he’s dating lots of girls. A trap that young people fall into these days is thinking that they should always be in an exclusive relationship. At his age, he should date as many different girls as he can, as often as he can. And I mean dating in the PG-rated version; having fun, living life, learning how to act (or not act) in a relationship, learning what he does and doesn’t like in a potential girlfriend. These are all good things. (And if he’s not exactly staying PG then talk to him about being safe.)

WHY HE’S NOT ALL THAT WRONG: I may be just being a man but, while standing girls up, not calling them back, dating more than one without telling them, and dating girls who have boyfriends are bad things, they’re not all that terrible. What I mean is, these choices, good or bad, teach “LIFE LESSONS” like respect, honesty, and fidelity.  And while they will catch up with him eventually, even when they do, they probably won’t result in much more than a few broken hearts, one of which will more than likely be his own. Sooner or later he’ll meet the female version of himself and find out that Karma is a girl’s name and that she’s a real bitch (not the girl, but Karma). In the end, she cuts every “stud” back down to size (yes, including yours truly). When it happens to him, you’ll want to say, “I told you so”, but you’ll probably just hug him, and be angry that some tramp had the nerve to treat your baby that way. That’s why we boys love our mommies!

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW: Probably not a whole lot. You might say all the right things but sadly, most sons stop listening to their parents right around seventeen and don’t really hear them again until they need help raising their own children. Understand that he’ll make some mistakes, but at nineteen, most of them are his to make; you can’t save him from them. Trust that you’ve raised him well and you’ve given him your best. Now, give him your help when he asks for it, your advice when you think he’s listening, and your prayers when you know he isn’t. Other than that, give him some space so that he can become his own man. It won’t be easy, but try stepping back and seeing what a good job you’ve done as a mother. Good luck, and I hope I helped.

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.