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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Jade Merrihue


Updated: Oct 18, 2021

How-to’s on dating your parents.

How-to’s on dating your parents.

Sometimes in relationship, you will have to parent each other.

The typical attitude about this is that it’s horrible or disgusting.

“I don’t want to be his mom.”

“She’s making me into her dad.”

“It’s the quickest way to kill libido.”

“I don’t want to sleep with my mom.”

When I hear people talk about this very real dynamic- hell, when I used to talk about it- it’s usually with disgust and anger.

But here is the truth. You will have to parent each other at some point.

Life is complex like that.

Every and any role in your body- you will have to use one day. Consciously or unconsciously.

Think of it like a tool belt of personalities. They each have a purpose and strength and unconscious side.

If you’re “momming” or “dadding” your partner unconsciously and consistently it might come off as nagging or authoritative.

On the other hand- you recognize that your partner has a lot on his plate and is feeling sick. You decide to take on more of the house responsibilities that week to care, support, and help nurse him back to health. It might be maternal or paternal. But it can be so loving and helpful and can actively ADD to the health and strength of the relationship.

If worn consciously and powerfully it adds to the strength and health of both partners which indirectly contributes to a strong, healthy, sexually thriving relationship.

Here’s the tricky part:

Everyone’s experience with parents is different. To avoid “parenting” each other at all costs is close to impossible. Our parents are our very first experience with relationships, love, loss, attachment, abandonment, separation, closeness, negotiation, authority, freedom, constraint... the list goes on.

What might register as parental for one person might not for the other.

What might feel triggering or nurturing to one might not to another.

So, it’s important to talk about this. Especially if you ever catch yourself resenting the other person for “acting like a child”. We have an inner child part of ourselves too.

An inner child that also deserves space and understanding. The more work I do on myself around this “inner child” part of me and others, the more I understand it as our innate innocence. The part of us that can feel everything, that gets excited, or gets deeply hurt, scared, loves immensely, or doesn’t know how to love at all, plays too rough, or shy’s away from new things...this list goes on too.

We have both of these powerful states of being within us.

And they require attention, cultivation, negotiation and practice.

When you date someone long term, I believe you are committing to getting to know all these different parts of them with love and respect. Even the shady ones.

You both might fuck up sometimes and snap or whiplash. That’s okay and expected.

A new practice in that occurance is to clean it up.

Deconstruct what happened.

Own your triggered response and apologize to each other.

Acknowledge that you’re both learning how to navigate these complex neurologically wired experiences of what it is to be human.

And learning what it is to understand and cultivate all our inner personalities powerfully, intentionally, and with each other.

So I hope this shed some light how to date your internal mom and dad gracefully ;)


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