How do you address your boyfriend's/girlfriend's mother?

@swirlz (3137)
Philippines
October 3, 2011 10:45am CST
I have always had this problem. I don't know how to address her when we talk. My brother's girlfriend calls my mom "Auntie", my other brother's girlfriend calls her "Mrs. surname" I'm not comfortable with both, and it's getting awkward now saying "Umm" at the beginning of every sentence. What do call your boyfriend/girlfriend's mom? How do you address her when you speak to her?
3 people like this
20 responses
• Kottayam, India
3 Oct 11
call mom it will be nice
2 people like this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Wouldn't she think I'm getting a bit presumptuous?
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
That is a good suggestion, but they are not married and it may offend the woman. I think asking her would be more appropriate.
@mariahhh (1328)
• United Arab Emirates
4 Oct 11
Mom would be nice, lol :)) I guess you can call her auntie. I think it is the safest way to call your boyfriend's mom ;)
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
3 Oct 11
Swirlz, we both commented above at the same time, I was thinking the same thing. I also have that problem, because even my girlfriends I grew up with, I don't think I called their mom or dad anything..lol I suggest you just out right ask her. Just say something like, "I'd like to address you by a name, but don't know what you would be comfortable with." Oh, and good call, my daughter's boyfriend took it upon himself to call me by my first name, which I am not happy with, especially when I don't care for him anyway..
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
I don't think using the first name basis is right either. It could also be offensive when you're not even close. Maybe asking her is a nice idea. But I feel a bit shy bringing the topic up with her.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Feb 12
Thanks for the BR, does this mean you got around to asking her what she would like to be called??
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
Yes, I think she blushed as well when I asked. She said anything I would be comfortable of is okay with her.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Oct 11
ive been experiencing that akwardness too when im just beginning to visit to my boyfriend's family. when i talk to to my boyfriend's parents i just don't start with any introductions,just direct to the point.hehe but later on, i realize that i sound unrespectful for not addressing them. in our dialect "nang" refers to adult woman and "inday" to the younger ones. "noy" for adult man and "dong" for younger ones. so what i did, i called them in "nang + nickname" of his mother and "noy + nickname" for his father whenever i talk to them. but sometimes his mother laughs and will tell me to call her "mama", i will just laugh and tell her that that will come soon when the "papers" are ok. we will just both laugh.hehe
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
You're Bisaya? I know about the nang, noy, day and and dong. But my boyfriend's family is Chavacano, so it wouldn't work for them. Example, if you call a girl who isn't Bisaya day or inday, she would take offense. For them, inday means yaya (housemaid) or something.
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
yeah.:) ah, have you ever ask the mother or father of your boyfriend of what they prefer for you to call them?.
1 person likes this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
No, I'm feel shy asking them.
@keihimekawa (2010)
• Philippines
5 Oct 11
During the time I was still with my ex-, I first called his mom "Mrs. ______" to show respect but when we passed the 3 months mark, I started calling her "Tita" (Aunt) and his dad "Tito" (Uncle).
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
So you had like a timeline for that? Hmmm, it does make sense. Not only to be polite when starting out in a relationship, but to save emotional attachment if ever the relationship didn't last 3 months.
• Philippines
10 Oct 11
Not really timeline but more of trying to get a bit comfortable with them and try to get myself in their good side I don't really want to "assume" being close. It's awkward (well, at least for me )
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19464)
• Philippines
4 Oct 11
Hi swirlz! I usually call them Tita. Actually, even my friends' mothers, I call them that way. I never call them Mrs. Surname because I think that's way too formal. But of course, at first I don't call them Tita right away. There is this certain formality with the way I speak even if I don't call them by any name. You know, by the use of our po and opo, we can still be respectful even if we don't call them by Mrs. Surname or whatever.
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
Yes, the use of po and opo is very essential. It makes me sound more polite even when I'm starting my sentences with "Ummm". But there are certain drawbacks. Bisaya and Chavacano, two dialects common to our area, don't use po and opo. The tone and use of other words would indicate the politeness of the person. Tita is just the same with Auntie right? I here it a lot here in Manila. It's not so common back home.
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@secretbear (19464)
• Philippines
12 Oct 11
Yeah, I know what you mean about Bisaya dialects. I was a little culture shocked when I went to Iloilo and learned that they don't use po and opo. But yes, the tone seemed sufficient enough for them and the use of manang and manong to show respect.
1 person likes this
@pahak627 (4198)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Just call her what is comfortable with you. Be it mom, auntie, etc. I'm a mom and I'll be delighted if my son's girlfriend will address me on whatever she feels convenient of. What is important is that she is addressing me.
1 person likes this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Yes, not finding a word to address her is getting kinda awkward. I hope she doesn't think badly about it. So if your son's girlfriend calls you mom, it will be okay?
@pahak627 (4198)
• Philippines
4 Oct 11
My son's gf don't call me that yet. Maybe it would seem awkward but if that would be the case I have to accept because that's what she calls me. Anyway I will be used to it as days or years pass by.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct 11
I refer to my boyfriend's parents as Mr. and Mrs. Kelley since that's his parents' last name, but my boyfriend has a different last name since his mom remarried. When I'm around them, I usually don't have to say that to them unless I need to get their attention to talk to them. But if I text his mom, I usually start the text off with Hi Mrs. Kelley :) Unless they tell you otherwise, just be polite and call them by their last name. Maybe they'll tell you to call them by their first name, who knows. But at first, just stick with the last name to be polite.
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Yes, last name is indeed better than first name. Even if she likes you, she might get discouraged because you got ahead of yourself to call her that way.
• United States
3 Oct 11
Yes, exactly. I know many adults grew up always calling adults by last names when they were children so now, they expect those that are younger than them to call them by their last names. For me, I'm usually not very comfortable calling adults by their first names unless I know them really well.
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@nicegilr (214)
21 Mar 12
you should mom. it will be great!
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
21 Mar 12
Thanks. But I don't think I'm comfortable with it yet. But someday...
@nyang1984 (464)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
i call my partners parents as "auntie & uncle". but when my partner and i were left alone or when we're going to have a private conversation we both call our parents "mama & papa".
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
Oh, that's sweet. But if you're used to calling them mama and papa, then why do you address them as uncle and auntie?
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
5 Oct 11
ooohhhh you do not know how to call your bf's mom? Well you can call her "Tita" or "Auntie" for me its more appropriate... rather than.. MRs... its too formal.. plus you have been with him for years now, its about time you call his mom "tita" I call jeff's mom..mama hahahaa of course
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
Of course. You've been together for more than 10 years now, isn't that right? And you already have kids together. So calling him mama is just right. Yes, I'm having trouble calling my boyfriend's mom anything. It is weird back home, but now it's harder, who would have thought? That's because when he calls her, he sometimes put me on the phone. The "Ummm" is sooo awkward.
@AmbiePam (50160)
• United States
5 Oct 11
I say Mrs. Whatever unless she corrects me and tells me to call her something else.
1 person likes this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
Thanks. That would be a safe way to go about it.
@bingskee (5237)
• Philippines
4 Oct 11
why will someone call her 'auntie'? ma'am is okay, but not 'mom'.
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
Because Auntie is commonly used to call our friends' moms, that's why some of us feel comfortable calling our boyfriend/girlfriend's mom that. Ma'am is too formal. I would feel like I'm in a classroom or something. But I guess it is better than "mom". Just feels weird saying it.
@thatgirl13 (7307)
• South Korea
4 Oct 11
I never got to meet my boyfriend's mom but yes when I think of it, I don't really know what I would have addressed her as. I think I would stick to "aunt".
1 person likes this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
Yes, aunt is pretty common. Sorry you weren't able to meet your boyfriend's mom. It's unnerving, yes, but it also feels nice afterwards.
@SIMPLYD (83290)
• Philippines
4 Oct 11
My daughter's boyfriend calls me "Tita" or Auntie in English. That's fine with me than calling me Mrs. which is so formal. I suppose, for me to get to know my daughter's boyfriend well, is not to be so formal, lest he will be afraid of openinghis mouth to speak.
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@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
True. It would feel like he's being tested of his actions, and that would make him uncomfortable.
@kry893 (222)
• Canada
3 Oct 11
I usually address her as 'Auntie'. I even do that with all of my friends' mothers or my parents' friends. I don't think they'd mind if I called them as Mrs.(Last name) but usually I'd say Auntie.
1 person likes this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
Thanks. I call my friends' moms Auntie too.
• United States
3 Oct 11
I have not had to call her anything. I look right in her face and start talking. If I had to call her anything it would be ms chambers..
1 person likes this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Thanks. I guess I'm pretty normal not having to have anything to call her with.
@Tmulley (91)
• United States
3 Oct 11
I actually think "MOM" is always ok, unless you are dealing with someone who is picky or sort of unfriendly. In that case I would see what your mate thinks you should call her or address her...but I do think their mom should take it as a compliment that you would acknowledge her as your mother in the first place, ya know! (thats actually GOOD thing so they should not take it wrong) :)
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Hmmm, maybe. I don't want to be presumptuous though, and I don't want to give her any ideas. She might think we are getting married or something. What her reaction would be would scare me. I did ask my guy what I should call her mom. He would just laugh and say it's my call. He doesn't know what to call my mom either, though sometimes I hear him call my mom "Ma'am". I find that very funny too.
@pahak627 (4198)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Just call her what is comfortable with you. Be it mom, auntie, etc. I'm a mom and I'll be delighted if my son's girlfriend will address me on whatever she feels convenient of. What is important is that she calls me a name that she is comfortable of.
1 person likes this
@pahak627 (4198)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
Sorry for the double post.
1 person likes this
@glowin100 (124)
3 Oct 11
I would just ask the person what she would prefer to be called. Then there is no doubt. glowin100
1 person likes this
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
3 Oct 11
That's true. It would save me the worry of using the wrong term. Thanks for your reply glowin.
@stuckonu (726)
• Philippines
4 Oct 11
Tita (or Auntie) is the safest term for your fiance's mom (at least here in the Philippines) because that's the polite way of addressing women in their late 30's up to early 60's. On the other hand "Ate" (or sister) can be use for women up to their early 30's. So, you just have to gauge how old the mother of your fiance is.
@swirlz (3137)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
Number 1. He's not my fiance. But someday, hopefully. Number 2. I'm fairly sure she's past 30, since we're already 26. If she's 30 she would have given birth to him when she's 4. Kidding aside, thanks for the clarification. I do hear a lot of "Ates and Kuyas" here in Manila, something not so common back in Zamboanga. Okay, that's another topic altogether, but why is it that even mature guys (jeepney drivers) are still called kuya? And someone I would call "Ale" is being called "Ate"?