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12 Jan

Interfering Parents: All the Ways They Can Affect Your Love Life

Parents just don’t understand, right? Their opinions are especially potent when romance is involved. Here are 10 ways parents ruin your love life.

Parents affect your relationships in countless ways that leave you scarred for life. Just ask Romeo and Juliet. Or, better yet, look at yourself. Parents can interfere in your love life in obvious and less-than-obvious ways.

The saying that your parents love you and wish nothing but the best for you is true. After all, they watched you grow before their very eyes. No one knows you better than your parents. However, when it comes to your adult life, there should be boundaries—especially when you’re dating.

What your parents think of your special someone, or the way you handle your relationship definitely wreaks havoc on your love life. You often find yourself torn between your happiness and your parents’ approval. Their meddling even leaves you embarrassed and angry.

10 love life ruining parental habits

We know you love them. But should you really let your parents interfere in your love life? We’re weighing in on the ways parents ruin your relationships *if you let them*.

#1 Parents can be very intrusive. They help you move to your new place, help pay your bills when you’re running low and still looking for a job, and even put in a good word for you in that new company you got into. You may often think think, “Where would I be, if not for my parents?”

They’re so used to playing a big part in your life that you’re joined at the hips. They may even show up uninvited when you’re making out with your new partner, or invite themselves on a weekend vacation you planned with your spouse.

#2 Parents get jealous. Once another someone—a special someone—takes center stage in your life, it won’t be long before your parents become green with envy and feel sharp pangs of jealousy. Suddenly, you can’t visit them as often as you’d like. You can’t drive your mother to her weekly book club meeting, and you simply cannot stay for dinner for so long.

A lot of the time you spent with your parents is now being eaten up by your beau. This jealousy extends well until you get married. Good luck!

#3 Parents assume you’re like them. You have your father’s temper, your mother’s nurturing personality, your father’s eyes, and your mother’s hair. Beyond the superficial, parents often think you are like them—exactly like them.

You may even end up like them, getting married before having children, staying together and not getting divorced, and spending your anniversaries at the country club.

So, if you don’t do the things they expect you to do, they won’t understand it, and end up flabbergasted. As ridiculous as it seems, your parents may think you’re like them, and expect you to behave as such.

#4 Parents live their frustrations and aspirations through you. There will be parents who weren’t able to follow their dreams or were deprived of certain things while growing up. When you were born, they wanted you to experience the things they never had.

They hope you become a neurosurgeon or ballerina, when all you want to do is to put up your business. You see, parents live vicariously through you. Although they mean well, they hope you’ll do this and do that, and not date the jazz guitarist you just met at a local bar.

#5 Parents want to manage you. Meaning… your life. From the moment you were born, they set your sleeping schedule, decided your routine, got you into guitar classes, and basically managed everything, to ensure you had the best life possible.

Now that you have grown up, parents often forget you can fend for yourself and make your own decisions. All too often, they continue to try to manage you. Things like hooking you up with this eligible catch from their neighborhood, help you buy a house, or redecorate your nursery. Often, these gestures are a way for them to not lose control over you… and may come at a price.

#6 Parents think they know everything. They taught you how to use your utensils and how to catch the ball. So, although you and your partners are grownups with mortgages and careers, in their eyes, you’re still snotty little tots running all over the place. As parents, they feel that experience made them wiser and that you still don’t know how to place one foot in front of the other.

The fact you asked for their advice on a few matters in the past now makes them feel like they need to guide you through your life choices, so you’d better watch out.

#7 Parents feel they are entitled to every opinion. Well, of course! They’re your parents, right? NO. Your parents may always take out the “I’m your parent” card and put you in your place as their child.

You’ll sit and take in all they have to say about your date, your clothes, your career, and your life. Although opinions and advice don’t have to be followed, your parents feel badly if you don’t follow theirs.

#8 Parents bring up your past mistakes. If anyone knows you best, it’s your parents. They watched you grow and develop your own unique personality.

That growth includes the mistakes you’ve made, which they were there to see. And now that you’re dating someone new again, they may start bringing up how you did in your last relationship, what you did wrong, and that you’re doing it all wrong again.

They might nitpick your every decision to the point you start to think they are just watching and waiting for you to fail.

#9 Parents pine for “the old days.” When you decide to be in a relationship with someone without the courting stage, your parents likely start talking about how things were when they started dating—and even before that. When you post your romantic pictures with your partner on Facebook, they’ll probably tell you how they used to keep a low profile of their relationships when they were young.

They’ll start their diatribe about “In the old days, we were…” and suggest this generation is “spoiled rotten.” As their child, they want you to live how they used to, and keep hoping that things won’t change too much.

#10 Parents really scarred you for life. How you spent your childhood, whether or not your parents have a big hand in it, greatly influences you into adulthood. Divorce, domestic violence, parents splitting up, and other traumatic experiences have a significant impact on how you handle your own relationships.

Even just the way they raised you affects how you see yourself and how you relate with other people. Any unresolved emotional issues you had growing up definitely finds their way to your adult life.

Certain issues, such as abandonment, commitment, people pleasing, or over-dependence stems from your childhood and plays out in your adult relationships. Even now that you have a great career, mortgage, and a budding love life, your parents affect and influence you in one way or another. Even well-meaning, they’ll find any opportunity to needle their way between you and your partner, just to make sure you turn out right for them.

If you dig deep enough, you’ll probably find their actions deeply rooted in love. Nevertheless, the best way to deal with this is with mutual understanding. 

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