Teenagers may roll their eyes or tune out when their parents try to offer them advice about romance, but it turns out their parents might have more of an influence on their future love lives than they think.
I recently came across a fascinating study that suggests the relationship between teenagers and their parents has a small but significant impact on romantic relationships that develop as much as 15 years later. According to the study, teens that have volatile relationships with their parents are more likely to experience relationship problems in the future, while teens that are relatively close to their parents are more likely to feel emotionally and physically satisfied in future romantic relationships. That means that someone in a relationship in their 30s may be influenced by their parents in a way they never realized.
What We Can Take Away From This Study
While this longitudinal study is pretty interesting, it’s important to remember that it looks at the relationships between parents, teens, and couples in a very broad way. There are a lot of factors that influence relationships—stress, time spent together, and common interests are just a few—and it’s difficult to isolate any one variable.
If you had a difficult relationship with your parents when you were growing up, you’re not necessarily doomed to be unlucky in love. However, if you have been experiencing relationship issues, it may be worth reflecting on how your teenage relationship with your parents may have influenced the way you handle relationships now. Every experience we have plays into who we are as a person, and it’s important to acknowledge how our history has affected us.
If you’re a current parent of teenagers, you may want to think about how you resolve issues with your kids. Do you get angry easily, blame your kids for things that were out of their control, or avoid problems altogether? Modeling healthy problem solving by sitting down with your teen and discussing issues head-on may just help them develop a healthy romantic relationship in the future.
Keep in mind that while parent-child relationships are important, there are many more factors that influence relationships and many things you can do to strengthen your relationship with your romantic partner. If you want more advice, consider talking to the Houston marriage therapist or signing up for a couples’ workshop.