Although they probably mean well, having your parents interfere in your relationships can be damaging and frustrating. Parents often feel they have good reason to become involved in their children's relationships. Most of the time, they are being protective or fear that their child is not able to take care of themselves. Dealing with your parents in this realm requires patience, understanding and personal insight.
Understand Their Reasons
Ask your parents why they don't trust you to fend for yourself in relationships. If you've been in an abusive or destructive relationship in the past, it is understandable that your parents will be fearful of your future partners. Think back to their own relationships and how this can be causing their distrust in your partners. Try to understand their perspective and find ways to appease their fears. Demonstrate to your parents that you are a strong, intelligent and independent person by being self-sufficient, taking your personal problems into your own hands and making good choices for yourself.
Tell Them You Need Space
Have a conversation with your parents. Thank them for being concerned about your well-being and ask them to respect your relationships. Chances are your parents haven't even realized they are being intrusive. Mention specific examples of times you have felt uncomfortable with their involvement. Start your statements with "I" rather than "you" to prevent your parents from feeling blamed or criticized. Stay assertive throughout the conversation. Be specific when giving your parents clear boundaries regarding how much involvement is acceptable and what is crossing the line.
Let Them Be Involved Rather than Intrusive
Introduce your partner and allow your parents to get to know him. Plan enjoyable activities where they can become comfortable around your significant other. Talk positively around your partner when you are around your parents and highlight his qualities and achievements. Avoid running to your parents and venting after every little argument. Consider that your parents might interfere in your relationships because they feel neglected or ignored every time you have a new partner. Make time to spend with them and plan to attend important family events.
Maintain a Good Relationship with Your Parents
Keep in mind that your parents have your best interest at heart when interfering with your relationships. Ask yourself if the relationship you have with your partner is worth risking the relationship with your parents. "The parent-child relationship is one of the longest-lasting social ties human beings establish," says Kira Birditt, a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. They are the people that know you best in the world. Consider that their reasons or worries might be valid. Ask yourself if your relationships have followed an unhealthy pattern or if you constantly date the wrong kind of person.
Lauri Revilla has been writing articles on mental health, wellness, relationships and lifestyle for more than six years. She moved to San Antonio, Texas, from Mexico in 2006. She holds a Master of Science in Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University.
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