Personality and Choice of Partner

 

Why do we love?

When we rationally try to explain why some people feel attracted to others, why they develop such strong feelings for each other like love and passion, a certain part probably always remains where logical arguments are not sufficient.
Still, much can also be discovered about the mechanism of love from a psychological point of view. This can be useful in case we want to understand ourselves better (e.g. why do we feel attracted by certain kinds of people, or why we always fall into the same behavioural pattern in relationships, etc.) Love is the strongest emotion that two humans can develop for each other; it affords them the nearest closeness, the strongest feeling of attachment. From an evolutionary point of view, humans developed this feeling because they are creatures who are dependent on each other and can only survive in a group.
Love allows us the mutual care and support which our ancestors also needed to survive in tribes and to resist the threats of their environment. In the same way, a baby is dependent on the love of its mother to be sufficiently looked after, protected and supported.

We learn dependency in early childhood. After all, we're not able to survive as babies and small children without the help of our fellow humans.

We realize early the necessity of the affection of others and strive to find a safe place within the familiar society in which we live.
As we grow older, we carry this need to belong and to be embedded within other humans and later we find its strongest realization in a love partnership, respectively in the foundation of a family.

 

Personality and choice of partner

The way we approach others and how we try to establish a relationship is an expression of our personality. This personality has already been formed in our early childhood where we were influenced by our origin families.

The two main aspects which are decisive for the personal disposition for the choice of a partner are:

 

The role we took up in our origin family. This is mainly influenced by the way our parents brought us up but also by the position we had among our siblings. For example, a first born son who was already a leading figure for his younger siblings might search for a partner with whom he can take the leader position again. Or a pampered youngest child who was used to others handling things for them might search later for a partner who will support them and carry them through life. We are most likely to search for a similar role later both in groups and our partnerships

 

Furthermore, our parents also served as models representing gender and values which were important to them. Finally, they were models of their own partnership: how much satisfaction they could gain from it, and where difficulties occurred, how they dealt with conflicts, etc.

 

A child learns from all these experiences and observations and develops convictions accordingly: what it means to be a man/woman, how a relationship between them is possible. Accordingly, a child's idea of how its own partnership has to look is formed during those years: what is tempting and worth striving for and what is dangerous/despicable and therefore to be avoided.

When a child experiences both parents feeling joy and satisfaction in their relationship, the child will probably become confident and later be able to establish a similar satisfying relationship with somebody.

When a child experiences the partnership as more of a burden for their parents, that unresolved conflicts and unfulfilled expectations are causing a poisoned atmosphere between them, they will most likely be discouraged and develop some negative expectations towards relationships. This is fatal, and these children in later relationships, despite having tried to avoid it, often fall into similar roles and behavioural patterns as they have experienced with their parents. This is because they didn't have many opportunities to learn how a healthy partnership can be established. By having little faith and expecting a similar bad outcome, they unconsciously influence their partner and their own destiny.

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