A recent WSJ piece highlighted a new study on the child-parent relationship with regard to dating. Parents who were in stable, loving relationships prescribed traditional dating advice, setting time for curfews, etc., while those parents who are unlucky in love seemed to project their relationship misgivings onto the kids.
Says the piece:
"Parents who are unhappy, dissatisfied or insecure in love, however, go beyond limits and try to dictate or control how their teens treat their dates, the study found. These parents try to influence their kids to value certain things and act in specific ways. Parents would tell teens to open doors for dates, 'act like a gentleman' (or a lady), or resist letting a date 'walk all over' them. The goal may be to launch their teens on a romantic path happier than their own, Dr. Madsen says. But kids often regard this advice as intrusive, and again, it tended to have the opposite effect. The teens affected weren't particularly content with their dating relationships."
So tread carefully on your kids' love lives' they don't carry the baggage you do. They'll have plenty of time to screw everything up in their own time!