• Fri, Feb 7 - 9:00 am ET

If You’re Sad And Alone On Valentine’s Day, Stop Blaming Your Dysfunctional Parents

singleIn my early twenties, I was single for many a Valentine’s Day, so I know what I’m talking about. I did all of the cliché single Valentine’s Day things—I pretended like the holiday didn’t exist, I volunteered to work because I could always make cash off of stupid lovesick couples that were willing to wait two hours for a reservation, and I went out with girlfriends on platonic Valentine’s dates to prove that we really didn’t care about our single status.

How very Sex and the City of me.

If you’re single on Valentine’s Day this year, I know it can be frustrating. Maybe you are one of the few people that it doesn’t bother, or maybe you are one of the many singles that just hopes for February 15 already.

It may comfort you to know that according to a recent Journal of Marriage and Family study, your single status is probably all your parents’ fault:

A higher quality of parent-teen relationships leads to a higher quality of romantic relationships for those grown children years later, possibly boosting the chances of finding true love.

In a sense, the study findings are kind of like, duh. I think most people grasp the fact that the quality of your relationship with your parents can also affect the quality of your romantic relationships. So, the study makes sense, but I wouldn’t call it the be-all end-all for finding a Valentine.

I had many childhood issues growing up, and I currently have a rocky relationship with my dad. Yes, I have many, many daddy issues, but I’ve taken the time to work through them (and still am working). I feel really fortunate in finding my husband because I hit the jackpot in that he is not a crazy, imbalanced, younger version of my dad. I’ve dated plenty of guys like that—I just didn’t end up marrying them.

If you want to wallow in your Valentine’s Day self-pity, then you can use this study as fodder to blame your dysfunctional parents for screwing up your love life. Or maybe, those of us with less-than-perfect parent relationships can grow up and figure out how to find true love on our own terms.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter
    • Bethany Ramos

      You will never be single on V day.

  • Kay_Sue

    It’s easier to blame your parents than to take ownership of your own relationships and interactions sometimes. There are some truly shitty parents, that really do screw their kids up…but I think the vast majority of us are resilient enough to bounce back and create a life on our own terms. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. :-P

    • Robotic Arms Dealer

      I blame Hallmark™ for inventing this ridiculous holiday in the first place

  • Guest

    While my dad was sometimes a hot mess- this is the one holiday he did right. When I got older he would always get flowers for both my mom and I. So since I really wasn’t dating in high school I still always had flowers to show off…on facebook of course :-P

    • Bethany Ramos

      So sweet!

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    My dad proposed with an IOU in a little velvet box. For some reason, his fiancee said yes. Six years later, I got a text message that said: “D. and I are now officially married.” They’d gone down to the county courthouse, where you don’t need a witness and can get a marriage license for free, thus making you married according to the state of Colorado.

    I’m not quite sure of the logistics, but I’m sure this means it’s not my fault I dumped my boyfriend over a year ago and have been totally uninterested in dating ever since.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    My dad went on a seeming campaign to screw up my heart. My mom was on a campaign to secure me good mental health. When I was a teenager I once said all dramatic like, “I hate Valentine’s Day because no one ever loves me!” My mom took umbrage and said, “I love you every day!”

    • Bethany Ramos

      Your mom sounds wonderful. :)

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      She was <3

  • brebay

    Valentine’s Day is just half-price chocolate eve!