7 Ways In Which Your Relationship With Your Parents May Affect Your Love Life

Written by Niharika Nayak

“The way your parents have brought you up reflects your personality as an adult” – this debatable and stereotypical statement has garnered mixed feelings from many. It can be subjective to an individual but there are traces of your childhood that we carry on as adults even if some may tend to disagree. After all, we spend a major chunk of our early years with our parents. Especially in the Indian society that propagates strong feelings of family love,it’s common for children to stay with their parents into adulthood and beyond.

Dating is surely no easy feat. Social media and TV shows may have you believe that getting into a relationship is as easy as bumping into each other in the park, but this is not the case. With the advent of dating apps, it has become somewhat easier to find people that may match your similar interests, but is it really the same? You can’t really ascertain whether someone has a healthy relationship with their parents over a dating app. While this may seem like a silly reason to judge someone, the truth is that when it comes to parents, you would be surprised to know how your relationship with them can affect your love life. Here are seven ways in which this can happen:

1. If Your Parents Were Inattentive

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Emotionally-dramatic or inattentive parents will only tend to their child when they start “acting up.” This means that if their child were to throw a tantrum in public, they would try to “shush” them and give them whatever they need to calm them down. This will lead the child to believe that they can get what they want if they react emotionally. As this individual grows up, they will often be found yearning for romantic interests. They will often see their partner as a “surrogate” parent and try to gain attention from them. Of course, while this style of attachment is unhealthy, if someone acknowledges the issue and takes active steps to combat it, they can have a healthy relationship. If it’s left unchecked, this might lead your relationship to break apart sooner. It might get exhausting for your partner to constantly satisfy needs and eventually lead to toxicity.

2. If Your Parents Weren’t Emotionally Expressive

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Some people were raised by parents who were emotionally reserved and who didn’t believe in expressing their emotions. These kinds of parents will try to train their children not to express their emotional needs and desires. In the end, parents must express their feelings towards their children and let their child express their emotions towards others. As these people grow up, they might have a hard time opening up to their partners and may express their love and affection in non-verbal ways like through physical touch and gifts. This might often cause an emotional disconnect with their partners. Actively communicating and letting your partner in on your family history is a good way to help improve the relationship. Though it’s totally possible to love someone even when you dont show or express your emotions and feelings all the time, completely closing off on these little things can make things redundant for your relationship.

3. If You Grew Up In An Abusive Home

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Children who experience abusive homes probably have one of the most challenging times growing accustomed to healthy relationships. Since they are used to seeing emotional neglect and abuse in their parents’ relationships, they may think it is totally normal. It’s difficult for these people to unlearn these behaviors, and sometimes they carry them on into adulthood. They might have a hard time opening up within relationships and might believe that they will follow the same “fate” as their parents. Sometimes, they tend to behave in the same way as their parents, mistaking it to be normal and merely disguising it as a tactic to teach discipline.

4. If You Had Parents Who Were Attentive During Your Childhood

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When our parents openly love us, it helps set an expectation for us in terms of how healthy relationships should be. This will help us be more empathetic and kind towards our partners as we have received this from our parents as well. And thus, how attentive and expressive our parents were with us during our early days, can have an impact on our relationships. These individuals will learn how to develop a more healthy style of attachment called secure attachment.

5. If Your Parents Were Divorced Or Separated

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When you see conflict at an early stage in life and witness your parents going through a separation, it can take a heavy toll on your mental health. You might seem cynical about the concept of marriage and be excessively cautious about it. Of course, this does not mean that children of divorced parents cannot find love. However, when they do find love, they might grow an almost unhealthy sense of attachment towards them and get into the wrong kind of relationship. They may also tend to overthink and read too deep into the lines. As people grow more and more accustomed to marriages ending and understand that it is no longer a taboo, things might change. Just because your parents may have had a bad marriage does not mean that you will as well.

6. If You Had A Difficult Relationship With Your Mother

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As unfair as it may seem, having a problematic relationship with a parent, especially a mother, can significantly impact your relationships in the future. From your romantic relationships and your relationship with your pets to even your friendships, your attachment style with your mother can have a considerable effect. This is because a mother plays the role of the primary caregiver and is the parent you end up spending the most time with. If you share a good relationship with your mother, you will be more likely to share a good bond with your partners as well. This is especially the case where men are concerned.

7. If You Aren’t On Good Terms With Either Of Your Parents

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Even if you have had a tricky relationship with both of your parents, this doesn’t mean that you will have a terrible relationship with your partners. Of course, you will have to work on the trauma of what you’ve gone through with your own parents and seek therapy for it, but you must not lose hopes of finding a healthy relationship. You might feel exhausted if a relationship does not work out and wonder why you’re even trying to get out there, but when you do find someone who is healthy for you, your relationship may blossom. It will be harder for you to trust someone or give up on a relationship easily because you are used to conflicts and think that is the way of the world, but relationships can be much better if you give it time, patience, and mutual understanding.

We tend to get why our parents behaved the way they did only after we grow up. The superhuman image that we had in mind slowly diminishes as we become adults. The respect increases and hence, mistakes are forgiven in some cases. Even for someone who grew up with immense love, care, and attention, it might be hard for them to deal with negativity and conflicts with their partner, but that’s how life works. When it comes to growing from your past and learning to do things better, it is vital to keep certain things in mind. You need to learn from your past relationships, become more self-aware, communicate openly with your partner, and maintain your own sense of individuality. Do let us know all of your thoughts on this article in the comment section below!

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