Our parents have a profound impact on how we live our lives as adults. This is doubly true for our romantic lives, particularly those of us with parents that weren’t able to meet our needs.
Healing unhelpful patterns that you developed when growing up is essential for unblocking your love life.
None of this is surprising. The influence of parents on adult psyche is reflected in ancient mythology and eastern mystical traditions, and Freud brought this link into therapy a century ago.
Which is why, like most people, you’ve probably considered how your parents have impacted your love life. What’s surprising is how often we tend to blame one parent, but discover there is a lot of patterning that coming from the other parent also.
In her one-on-one coaching with me, ‘Cindy’ spent a lot of time unpacking attitudes passed to her by her mother. Her tiger mom had emotional outbursts that scared her as a kid. As we worked on issues around mom, Cindy started to see how what mom did wasn’t in isolation. Dad’s reactions had left an imprint on her, too.
Her mom’s emotional outbursts had been unchecked by her dad. He crumbled at his wife’s emotionality and stayed clear of her when she acted erratic, leaving Cindy in the role of helping her mother calm down. Her father had the same shut down when Cindy got upset. He would tell her not to cry and do his best to get her to stuff down her feelings- strategies he’d been taught as a boy.
When Cindy and I started looking at how dad played his part in how she approached love, Cindy uncovered that she now feared expressing of her own emotions. She’d immediately think she was overreacting (like her tiger-mom had done). On top of that, she developed a hidden belief that all men would not be emotionally available and would never listen to her without connecting to how her dad had modelled this.
You can imagine these beliefs were not helpful to her when looking for love!
With coaching, Cindy was able understand that she’d been picking men that, like her dad, weren’t able to listen. This reinforced her belief in how men showed. She was able to pick up on men that didn’t have the maturity to handle emotions, and start saying ‘no thanks’ to that kind of relationship. This started on the path to finding better candidates. Side benefit: it healed wounds with dad. She found empathy for how her father lacked skills to do more and was doing the best with what he knew.
Once you find how your parents are affecting your love life, you gain perspective on unhelpful habits you took on by accident that are getting in your way. And you can choose differently because you know why you believed the things you did.
Also, If you know some ways that your parents have impacted you, share in the chat below and I’d love to give specific suggestions of how you can use Tapping to help.