I keep hearing… “All the good ones are taken.” Where do you go to meet the right men (or women)?” I always end up in the same kind of (bad) relationship and I don’t know why.”So, why are you having trouble finding good men (or women)?
We’ve all heard that it goes back to our families. And I hate to say it, but it really does. We are “hardwired” (Lewis, Amini, & Lannon, 2000) to attract people like the people who raised us. It might be your father, your mother, your brother, sister or cousin… or some combination of all of them.** But, the strongest influences are usually your parents, especially your opposite sex parent. They were the ones who taught you what it means to be loved (for good or for bad).
So, yes it’s important to know where to look.
And it’s important to know what to do when you see someone interesting.
And it’s important to know what to say once you meet them.
(And we’ll talk more about all this in the future.)
But before you look or do or say anything…
It’s most important to know what (or who) isn’t really right for you.
If you don’t want to keep dating the same person, with a different face…
If you want a different kind of relationship than you’ve had in the past…
The key is to understand that the people you’re attracted to are more like your family than you ever imagined.
Try this simple exercise:
- Take a piece of paper and divide it into columns (enough columns for each of your family members +1 extra)
- In the first column, list the qualities (good and bad) that describe the people you’ve had the strongest attraction to
- Fold the paper over to hide the first column
- Label the remaining columns with the names of each of your family members (one person per column)
- List each family member’s qualities (good and bad) in their column
- Open up your paper and circle the qualities in your family members’ columns that are also listed in the first column (the column describing the people you’ve been most attracted to)
There will probably be a lot of qualities in your family members’ columns that match the qualities of the people you’ve been most attracted to. Because you were “hardwired” by your family members to associate their qualities with love.
That’s what makes someone attractive to you. That’s when the bells and whistles and fireworks go off. That’s what makes chemistry.
So what does that mean? Does it mean you have to live without passion or sexual attraction? No. But if you don’t want the relationships you experienced growing up, it might mean initial chemistry is not your friend.
In fact, if your family relationships AND your own relationships haven’t been good, chemistry could actually be a red flag for you.
If you’d like to learn more about how your family could be affecing you and your relationship choices, I hope you’ll join me for my next Group Video Chat on July 23, 2011.
I can’t wait to “see” you there!
Lewis, T., Amini, F., & Lannon, R. (2000). A General Theory of Love. New York: Random.
Napier, The Fragile Bond: In search of an equal, intimate and enduring marriage. New York: Harper Collins.