Dear Dr. Romance:

I am having a little issue which I'd like some advice on; Firstly my partner had liked me for a few years before asking me out. We have been together for almost a year, yet he hasn't told his Mum that we are in a serious relationship. I have approached the subject but he doesn't see why he should have to.  She often comes down and does the household chores for him whereby I have suggested it may be a good idea to let her know I generally do all of that instead of it being done twice (for instance the laundry; the clean stuff is washed again)! My partner is very reserved within himself and I accept this and I'm very supportive towards him. We get on so well and never really have any problems we always work through stuff together.

I'm understand he doesn't want to hurt his mum's feelings but he seems to have no problem hurting mine.

Secondary whenever I tell him I love him I get no response back or a simple hmmmm, I know he loves me very much but it's not the point.

Dr. Romance replies:

I think you're doing way too much for this man, if he hasn't made a commitment. (Telling his Mum would be making a commitment) Stop doing his laundry and the cleaning up. Let his Mum do it until her tells her not to.

You're right, it shouldn't be done twice, so don't do it. Let her do it. If you're not his committed relationship, and his Mum is instead, then don't let him treat you like one.

Put this relationship back on a courtship basis. Don't see him without an invitation, and don't cook for him unless he takes you out. Use the "quot;tennis match" approach: that is, make sure he makes a move before you make one. Be nice, be polite and stop nagging him! Just back off a little, and give him a chance to realize he wants you. If he asks you why you're doing things differently, just say that as long as he doesn't tell his Mum, you don't think you two are in a serious relationship. "Guidelines for Successful Dating" will help you find the confidence to look for a better relationship, and "No Cooperation? Solve it Yourself!" will help you understand how to claim power in your relationship.

How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free  will give you a model of a cooperative relationship and teach you the skills you need to achieve it.

Couple and Free


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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.