Hi Rene:

My mother is a 65-years-young and been on her own since my dad died five years ago. She’s friendly, warm and outgoing, though she’s become a bit of a homebody lately. Until Bruce came into the picture.

Bruce is a nice, but I just get a weird feeling from him, like he’s a little too slick for my liking. He’s about five years younger than mom, dresses sort of flashy and talks a lot. I also don’t know a whole lot about him, like his background or what he does for a living.

Rene, I’m beside myself. This guy just feels slippery to me I don’t know what to do. Should I step in? Do I tell mom how much I don’t like Bruce? I’m so confused!


Protective daughter


Hi P.D:

Deep breath! You can’t accomplish anything if you faint from hyperventilating and it sounds like that could be imminent. So, you’re worried because your mom may have found happiness or is it something more insidious? Since you can’t quite put your finger on why Bruce bugs you, let’s take a closer look.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T WORRY: You yourself admit you don’t have the whole story. But here’s what you do know: Your mom is getting out more and appears happier than she has been in years. She’s not alone anymore, she’s getting the company she desires and she may even be having sex. Yeah I said it.

WHY YOU SHOULD WORRY: You don’t know nearly as much about Bruce as you’d like. Could he be after your mom’s money? Yep. Could he have an even more nefarious plan up his slick (your word, not mine) sleeve? Though we’d like to think not, that’s always a possibility and a real one at that. You admit you don’t get a great feeling from him and I’ve always been one of those people who believes you need to listen to that. You don’t have to act on it but it should at least be acknowledged.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW: I know so much of my advice starts and ends here but the reality is it’s time for you to have a big, hairy discussion with your mother. I’m not suggesting you talk to her because she’s old (65 is not) or she’s having sex (as I said, she might be) or that Bruce is even a gold-digger (also a real concern), rather this is about connecting with your mom. This is not a “shine-a-light-in-your-face” interrogation but a chat between the two of you, about what’s going on in your mother’s life, what (and who) makes her happy and what she sees for her future.

So how’s this for a start? Take them both out to dinner, spend time around them, learn more about Bruce, his job and family and so on. Ask a lot of questions then LISTEN to the answers. If it still doesn’t feel right have another discussion with your mother regarding her finances, how to keep them secure and her safe,  then continue to watch with a wary eye.

Good luck!

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