Your parents usually have good intentions at heart when they try to give you relationship advice, but one thing they won’t tell you is that you don’t have to take their word for what works in a healthy partnership and what doesn’t. The honest truth is that although you love where your parents are coming from with their hopes for your happy relationship, they don’t really know what’s best for you and your partner.
6 Pieces of Relationship Advice Your Parents Won’t Give You
Parents don’t get to decide whether you will be happy with your partner or not, but sometimes they like to butt in and give you a taste of some advice that they think will help you. It’s really none of their business, but telling them that might not save you from hearing their well-intentioned advice anyway.
Let’s look at 6 pieces of relationship advice that your parents won’t give you, and why you’re sometimes better off learning these lessons on your own.
1. Your relationship might turn out a lot like your parents’ relationship
Researchers at Florida State University studied young adult romantic relationships and the role of parents’ marital problems on their children’s relationships. They found that if the parents experienced marital conflict problems, then they could predict that their children would have conflict problems in their own relationships as young adults.
The important piece of relationship advice that your parents won’t give you is to look at whether or not your own parents were able to communicate effectively and resolve problems without fighting. If you saw lots of arguments between your parents, make sure to learn how to not repeat these problems in your own current and future relationships, or you may be doomed to follow in their unhappy footsteps.
2. You don’t have to settle for someone just to avoid being lonely
Perhaps your parents worried about you becoming a spinster or never giving them the grandchildren that they had always dreamed of. Well the piece of advice that your parents won’t give you is that you don’t have to live up to their expectations for you. Just because they worry about you being along your whole life, doesn’t mean that you have to take on that worry for yourself.
3. Being your authentic self will make it easier to find the right person for you
The true you is always the best you, and being yourself, even if it means being quirky or different from most people will help you to attract the person who is the best fit for you in a romantic relationship. But you won’t hear this piece of advice from your parents. Instead, they will probably tell you to me more this or less that, which really doesn’t do you or your romantic partner any good since you’re really just concealing your true nature.
4. Intimacy is natural, fun, and healthy, even before marriage
Your parents’ attitudes and beliefs about sexuality are often transmitted to children by how restrictive the parents are when their children are teenagers. What your parents won’t tell you is that their opinions about sex were largely shaped by their own parents’ beliefs and their parents’ religious beliefs about sexuality. But the real advice that your parentswon’t give you about sex is that your body belongs to you alone, and that if you find joy in sex, are being safe, and are not hurting anyone, then you are having more fun than they did.
Researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed parents and their teens and found that attitudes about premarital sex were largely the same for both of them, with restrictive parents having teens who felt that they should wait to have sex. Social norms and attitudes about sex have changed dramatically since your grandparents’ day, and the sex advice that you get from your parents is not necessarily what is right for you in your relationship.
5. A successful relationship doesn’t have to lead to marriage
Marriage is not the ideal for a happy relationship, but your parents won’t give you this piece of advice because they were most likely raised with more traditional, church-wedding expectations.
6. Having children doesn’t have to be the goal of a romantic relationship either
Not everyone is suited for parenting, and not everyone wants to be a parent anyway. There is no reason that you should let your parents’ expectation dictate whether you add to the next generation or not. Of course they will tell you that they’d love to spoil their grandchildren, and that raising you was easy and a constant source of joy, but where will they be at 3am when you’re exhausted and need to sleep before you get up in three hours for work and their darling grandchild just threw up? That’s another piece of advice that your parents won’t give you; when it comes to raising their grandkids, you’re on your own.