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Nicole is an on-screen relationship and mental health expert as well as a psychological consultant for TV shows.

What To Do When Your S.O. Has A MILF (Or A DILF!)

April 28 2016

Thrillist Logo

By Laura Shirk

The 21st century has been punctuated by much cultural ado around the MILF (Mother I'd Like to Fuck) phenomenon and her paternal counterpart, the DILF. 

However, these acronyms take on an entirely different set of implications when they're attached to the parent of your significant other. What exactly to do then? Let's explore. 

Crushing on your SO's parent is actually kind of normal

Although underreported, cases in which feelings of attraction exist between an individual and his or her partner's parent do take place. The phenomenon is likely rooted in association, according to Toronto-based psychotherapist Nicole McCance. "One could be attracted to their partner's parent because this person reminds them of their partner," she says.

Interested in learning more about the ins and outs of relationship culture, UK fashion brand Peter Hahn commissioned a survey of 1,500 men. The study, released in 2015, revealed that more than half of married men are attracted to their mother-in-law -- and a quarter admit to having a full-blown crush on her. Whoops.

Be sure to leave room for a second jaw-drop, as 31% believe that the feeling is mutual. This may be more than strictly ego talking, as a fifth of men recall their partner's mother initiating some sort of subtle advance. But as in all matters relating to love, it takes two to tango; and one in four men freely admit to taking part in the flirting. 

It's essential to follow a MILF ethics code

While sexual empowerment is necessary for people of all ages, there is a definite code of ethics when it comes to settling on a source of that empowerment and navigating feelings. 

"While we can't always help who we are attracted to," says McCance, "we can choose not to act on these feelings. While feelings of attraction are automatic and subconscious, feelings of romance stem from a desire to become intimate and therefore require self-control."

Women generally tend to be unfaithful more often with someone who they have an emotional connection with. Meanwhile, men -- if you couldn't already guess -- are more likely to stray because of a strong physical attraction.

You might just be sexually repressed

For those experiencing a nagging, growing attraction for an in-law, a number of contributing factors must be considered. Most important of these is the current state of their marriage or courtship. Beyond that, a thoughtful analysis must take place to uncover the genuine spirit of these feelings. 

Some questions to ask yourself: are you experiencing repressed attraction? If so, what's the trigger? Are feelings of attraction rooted in revenge? What is the best plan of action for future family interaction?

Although personal circumstances vary and open communication is essential for a successful relationship, McCance advises sharing the personal matter with a trusted friend or therapist. Not, I repeat NOT, your partner. That would just be weird. 

Due to the sensitivity of the subject, being honest could lead to insecurity and a break in trust. If no action is taken, it's quite possible that a partnership is able to sidestep a potential relationship challenge. To avoid temptation, be conscious of the amount of time being spent together. Be sure to remain in a social environment and conscious of body language, intentions, and lines of contact. 

Depending on the strength of attraction and if the feelings are mutual, over time she might become more than just a MILF.

In which case, better be ready for a next-level dramafest.  

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                Nicole McCance Psychology

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