All our lives we've heard the statement that our parents influence our choice of partners. And here I am to tell you that, it is true in more ways than the obvious one. There is a little thing called 'imprinting'. It is a biological phenomenon that explains why ducklings follow the first individual they encounter after hatching. The same concept applies to humans as well, which is why we keep looking for our parents or their emotional, physical and mental counterparts, for the rest of our lives. Unless you had an unhappy childhood, that is a whole other ball game. In that case, we often end up filling in the gaps that were left as gaping holes during our formative years. Here are seven ways in which our parents influence the partners we pick and chose to love.
We are more likely to be attracted to people who look like our opposite-sex parents. The similarity may be in height, eye colour, skin tone or features. A 2006 study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships observed, we pick partners who are of the same ethnic group or race as our opposite-sex parents.
Everything you wanted and didn’t get as a child will shape how you pick a partner in the future. Children with absent parents are more likely to pick dominating partners and tend to be more giving in relationships.
This applies to both attributes, characteristics and mental illnesses. "For example, one may choose a partner who is emotionally unavailable and endure a lonely relationship filled with arguments over why their partner will not show them, love, because they are trying to 'fix' one of the parents who were not able to show love during their childhood," says Noble, professor and psychologist Jennifer Noble, PhD, said to the Bustle.
Our insecurities and the inner rants often stem from the way our parents saw us as children. If you had parents who critiqued you, then you’re more likely to pick a partner who treats you the same way. Also, your feelings of inadequacy are deeply rooted in how much your parents believed in you as a child.
If you had overachieving parents who constantly pushed you, chances are you'll look for the same in your partner. You'll believe they are dissatisfied with your behaviour and that will fuel your insecurities.
Kids with parents who were very attentive during their childhoods will have secure relationships and are in general more confident about who they are.
Children with a healthier relationship with their parents, especially of the opposite-sex, are more likely to have healthy adult relationships. Also, in most cases, if the parents are still an active part of your adult life, they will guide your romantic relationships with some sound advice.
Images: Pexels, Giphy
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