Some vitally important thoughts about who we choose to love and why

On our way through this life, we meet many different people, all of whom are absolutely unique. Some people leave us indifferent, some people make us fall in love with them for the rest of your life. Family psychologist Irina Chesnova tried to explore why different people cause such different reactions in us. We at Bright Side found what she had to say really insightful.


Images of the past

Sometimes it is hard to understand why you are interested in that specific person, why you are so attracted to them. Your choice, for the most part, is caused by instinctive and often unconscious things. Somewhere deep inside, you keep images of people who played a part in your formative years, in making you who you are today. These are images of parents and relatives that left their mark on your destiny.

These images are often a mixture of reality and childhood imagination. We associate these images with love — the love which we received and understood when we were children. When a random person we meet somehow coincides with those images and wakes these dormant memories of our earliest and most dear relationships, we cannot simply pass them by or remain indifferent. We are intrigued, excited and very soon it’s likely that we will fall in love.


Childhood wounds

The idea exists in psychology that the partner we choose is an improved version of one of our parents. That person will typically to some extent remind us of our parents in certain specific way- and that’s why we know how to get along with them. At the same time however, other parts of that person do not even remotely remind us of out parents — and that feels good.

If you lacked love in your relationship with either your mom or your dad, this theory claims, you will inevitably try to overcome that deficit of attention in the relationships you establish with new people in your adult life, at a subconscious level. That’s why we often choose somebody who seems to be able to heal the wounds we received in childhood. These new connections help us achieve our psychological needs, expectations, hopes and dreams, and retrieve everything we once lacked. They give us love, protection, recognition, admiration, and sometimes independence, self-confidence and perfection.

This is a very interesting idea indeed: for there is something about our partners that invariably makes us feel ’at home’. We feel that we can truly relate to them; that they complement us, give us something we have always lacked up to that point. They have qualities that we don’t find in ourselves but long to have present in our daily lives. We also complement them. He is strong and decisive, and you are lacking hardness. She is wise, and you are impulsive. He is restrained, and you are spontaneous.

I cannot remember where I read this, but it certainly rings true: ’People «fit» each other like pieces of a puzzle. Where one curves out, the other curves in.’


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