You can blame your dad for your weirdly large hands, and your mum for your inability to process dairy, but what about the reason why you’re unlucky in love ?
This Valentine’s Day and we’d like to put forward a theory we’ve been working on: If your parents have the perfect relationship – wonderfully compatible, still lovey-dovey decades later, and maybe a bit heavy on the PDA – does that mean you’re doomed to have overly-high expectations when it comes to your love life?
To see if our theory has legs, we spoke to clinical psychologist and Married at First Sight relationship expert, John Aiken, and he says the effect of your parents’ relationship on your own relationships is two-fold.
He explains that while children naturally benefit from role model parents who talk with respect, show affection and put up consistent boundaries to help them make good decisions when it comes to relationships, it could also create perfectionist tendencies.
“Some people have these relentlessly high standards and say ‘I need to try and live up to my parents’,” says Aiken.
“They become ‘perfectionistic’ and have a strong need to please because they’ve been around those great role models.”
“But it’s really up to the individual how they take these actions and values on board, and whether they do indeed influence their behaviour.”
Let’s take one of this season’s most controversial Married at First Sight couples, Sam and Elizabeth, as an example, shall we?
They both credited their parents’ long-lasting and happy partnerships as a defining reason why they entered the show.
“I’d like to have what my parents have, that’s the ultimate goal to have what my parents have,” Elizabeth said to camera, during her pre-wedding interview.
At the time, her husband-to-be (who may or may not be about to cheat on Elizabeth with fellow participant Ines) said something similar.
“My parents got together at 20 and they’ve been together ever since. That’s what I want,” he said.
MAFS’ Sam And Elizabeth talk about their parents’ relationships.
Shedding light on their situation, Aiken notes they both have good relationship role models but have also, for their own individual reasons, unconsciously “created obstacles for themselves that are getting in the way of what they’re wanting”.