Sure, you'd like to think that you're a grown, independent adult. But here's the cold, hard truth: Whether we recognize it or not, your mom has a say in who you become and even who you date.
As much as you claim that you're not phased by what she thinks of you, the fact is you're influenced by mom more than you'd like to believe. Still don't believe us?
Here's just a few ways she's managed to wrangle herself into your love life:
1. She's brainwashed you ever since you were a kid. No, really!
Researchers have found that the ability to love, trust and work through arguments is developed during infancy and can directly affect behavior in future relationships. If your mother was distant or emotionally cold to you when you were a baby, finding love will feel that much harder for you.
Even though these tendencies were developed before you could speak, that doesn't mean you can't overcome them.
2. She set up boundaries for you.
We're naturally programmed to view the type of relationship that our parents had as the norm, so if your parents had a loving, trusting, long-lasting relationship, then you're in luck. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
With roughly half of marriages ending in divorce, many more on the brink and others that are just downright dysfunctional, the majority of us are following examples that are less than stellar. Studies have shown that children from divorced families are much more likely to have marriages that end in divorce.
3. She taught you how women are to be treated.
But isn't that a good thing? Here's the deal. We all grow up subconsciously wanting to be just like mom, so if she let herself be treated poorly, walked on, cheated on or generally disrespected, you'll find a partner who treats you the same.
Alternately, if she was overbearing and constantly berated your father, you'll fall for the meek, sheepish guy who lets you treat him the same way.
4. She's a constant reminder of everything you're doing wrong.
Questions like "Shouldn't you skip dessert this time?" and "When are you going to find a nice guy and settle down?" are pretty much the norm. Moms have a way of making sure we know what our flaws are. Whether we want to admit it or not, her opinion matters to us and these become ingrained in who we believe we are. These beliefs can have a detrimental effect on our self-esteem, which in turn has a very detrimental effect on our relationships.
That doesn't mean you should blame your mother for how you behave today or for the choices you make. But knowing what may have made you into the person that you are can help you make positive changes in your life.
It's important to remember that your mom is only human. Just like all of us.
Jane Garapick knows firsthand what it's like to have a broken heart, a broken dream and a broken you. She writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding Mr. Right at www.gettingtotruelove.com. To get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane's complimentary guide "Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want ... and Deserve"