If you’re single and wondering why you can’t find THE ONE, your family may be to blame. According to relationship expert Dr. Karin Anderson, our families not only affect how we evaluate potential dates - they influence how we behave in our relationships. Here are a few examples:

  • People who are constantly being asked by relatives if they have anyone in their life tend to stay in unhealthy or stagnant relationships. That’s because it’s easier than having to explain why they’re still single during Thanksgiving dinner. Or see looks of pity when they show up alone. Just think about how many romantic comedies have been based on this premise alone.

  • Another way your family influences your dating life: They have unwritten rules about who’s acceptable. Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Banschick says someone whose parents are both doctors is unlikely to date a waiter. But it’s not because they’re being snobbish. It’s because they subconsciously know that getting parental approval for someone without an advanced degree will be an uphill battle.

  • Finally, let’s look at: People who are estranged from their family. Certified relationship coach Kimberly Dawn Neumann says that, oddly enough, singles who haven’t talked to their parents and siblings for years are often the ones with the most relationship troubles.

That’s because people who don’t get along with their families have trouble resolving conflicts and forming close relationships. The fix? If at all possible, try to improve your connection with your family. Working on the issues that caused you to become estranged is the best way to make sure those problems don’t negatively impact your current - or future - romantic relationship.