Blame Your Parents for Your Failed Love Life?
Struggling to find true love after a series of failed relationships? You may want to stop blaming your ex for your romantic misgivings and start looking back to your teenage years for answers.
A new study from the University of Alberta shows that your relationship with your parents has a significant impact on the romantic relationships you form later in life.
Associate professor Matt Johnson, and his team of researchers, surveyed 2,970 people at various stages in their lives to determine possible connections between participants and their love lives. The researchers discovered that there is a direct link between participants’ relationships with their parents, and the current quality of their romantic relationships.
Johnson and his team found that positive adolescent-parent relationships led to higher quality intimate relationships later in life. Participants who reported having rocky relationships with their parents during adolescent years, were found to have more romantic problems as adults.
According to Statistics Canada, Alberta had the Highest Divorce Rate in Canada
While this does not mean that parents are solely to blame for the success rates of their children’s love lives, it does highlight the importance of being aware of how early relationship-development impacts our ability to form future bonds with others.
“People tend to compartmentalize their relationships; they tend to not see the connection between one kind, such as family relations, and another, like couple unions,” says Johnson.
Understanding how our contributions to early relationships, such as those with our parents, is important when recognizing how our behavioral tendencies are replicated, both positively and negatively, in an intimate relationship.
The study also found that participants whose parental relationships during adolescence had fostered high self-esteem, had reported more successful romantic relationships.
However, those with less than perfect relationships with mom and dad, need not resign themselves to a life of romantic failure. According to the study individuals with poorer-quality parent-adolescent experiences are associated with slightly reduced success in later-life intimate relationships –not total failure.
Researchers involved in the study emphasize the importance of identifying past negative behavior patterns to avoid repeating them in their future relationships.
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