When I was 17, my dad left my mom for the flight attendant on his corporate jet.

The only part worse than my own heartbreak was watching my beautiful mom hurt so deeply.

I worried she would never heal or open herself up to love again.

Now, four years later, shes been in one serious relationship and casually dated several men.

Watching your 50-something-year-old mom date is an experience unlike anything else.

Here are ninedifferent roles you’ll fill to express your complicated emotions:

1. Nosy Best Friend

When you first hear that your mom met someone potentially exciting, you want to know everything about this guy.

Howd you meet? Why is he single?

How fit is he? Is heskinny runner typeor stocky lifter type?

Your relationship evolves from mother-daughter to friend-friend.

Getting all the dirty detailshelps distract you from your own dating drought.

2. Fashion Guru

When it comes time for your mom to go out to dinner with her new man, youll know just what color top she should wear, how low the neckline should be and what shoes to choose.

Its a good thing she has you, or shed be going out on the town looking like a “What Not To Wear”contestant waiting for an intervention.

3. Texting Wizard

Not only are you her personal stylist, but youre also her modern technology coach.

They didnt have cell phones when your mom was last in the dating game back in college, so shes not sure how this texting thing works.

You help her decode the number of exclamation points he uses, and you keep her from replying with paragraphs or overzealousemojis.

There should be absolutely no red hearts used until at least date number five.

Cmon, mom. Get with it.

3. Jealous SO

Youre genuinely happy that your mom is hitting it off with her new guy, but you start to become jealous of how much time shes spending with him.

Share your real significant other with a guy who takes her out for “Star Wars” and craft beer? Hell to the no.

You feel more single than ever now that your mom is taken.

4. One-Woman Jury

When you finally meet your moms new man, youll examine him with your harshest eye.

Sure, hes good-looking and does a pretty funny Donald Trump impression, but youre skeptical that hes good enough for your incredible mom.

He eats pizza with a fork and knife?

He doesnt like The Beatles?

How can you say those arent deal breakers?This guy should be behind bars!

5. Mama Grizzly

Youre not just judgmental; youre also protective.

After seeing what your dad did to your mom, you dont want anything like that happening again.

Your hairs prick at the slightest red flags, like an angry tone in his voice or a time he should have apologized and didnt.

If you get the feeling he isnt treating her right, youre not afraid to showyour teeth and claws.

6. Ice Cream Scooper

If your moms new relationship goes south, youre there to scoop out ice cream and cry together over “The Notebook.”

And if it goes well, youre there to scoop ice cream and swoon together over “The Notebook.”

Either way, youre the one with the Ben & Jerrys and the Ryan Gosling film.

7. Dad Disser

At some point or another, you wont be able to help comparing your moms new guy to your dad.

You know that your dad left and pulled a total assh*le move, but you still remember all the good times your family had together, like hiking the Grand Canyon and decorating Christmas cookies.

For f*cks sake, why couldnt yourdad have just stayed?

If he would have justappreciated how amazing, gorgeous and intelligent she was, your mom wouldnt be in this sh*tty dating pool again.

Why did he have to run off with the fake blonde skank who never graduated from college?

F*ck him, and f*ck the skank, too.

8. Cheerleader

So, your mom’s new guy turned out not to be the right guy?

No worries.

Youre there to pick her up, remind her how incredible and stunning she truly is and tell her how anyone would be luckyto have her in his life.

Youll help her get her mojo back, and you’ll remind her how much more to life there is than men.

Who runs the world?Girls!

9. Proud Daughter

Of all the roles youll take on, the most important is still that of a daughter.

Your mom is a real-life example of a strong, independent woman who will not compromise her beliefs or settle for someone who treats her with less respect than she deserves.

This gives you the confidence in yourself to hold out for someone who recognizes you for the amazing human that you are.

She deserves the best, and so do you.

Watching your grown mom date is crazy for sure, but if youre okay wearing a lot of hats, the experience can be a fun one.

If she marries again, youll be there as her maid of honor.

And if not, youll be partners in crime and help each other navigate the modern dating world.

So, dont freak out if your mom mentions a new guy.

Be happy that shes moving forward.

Its time you do the same.

Your bond is strong enough that no man can threaten it.

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