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Are you dating a version of one of your parents?

They say you always end up dating a version of your mom or dad and it has a lot to do with the Oedipus complex (we're sexually attracted to the parent of the opposite sex). I call BS on the complex theory, but I will say we do end up dating versions of the people that raised us. This is something that we must be very cognizant of because for some of us, it may not necessarily be a good thing. While some were raised by stellar examples of the men we would want to marry, others haven't necessarily been as fortunate and must avoid remaining in the "cycle". (I won't go off on tangent about how people overuse the term "daddy issues", but just know it annoys me.)

The reason why we end up dating a version of the people that raised us, is because we are drawn to what is familiar (good or bad) and comfortable. We would never plan to spend the rest of our lives feeling awkward or clueless as to how to deal with a person. Hence when we meet someone that feels natural and predictable, it's usually because we already "know" them. This is typically what is meant when someone says their significant other feels like "home". For example, my uncles were my male influence growing up and they were all protectors. They would make sure nothing would happen to the women around them OR that they set things is place to minimize the chances of us being hurt or vulnerable. Thus, I have a weakness for men with protector characteristics. In my head, that's the feeling that I should feel over everything with my significant other-- protected. On the flip side, my uncles were super charmers too. They always knew what to say to women and when. I've often found myself either falling for charmers (to my own demise) or just expecting the man I'm dating to know what to say and when to say it because of the precedent they've set. This hasn't always worked out for me, by the way.

The good news is that I'm aware of this.The bad news is that I can't change what I've been raised to think is normal overnight. I'm working in my adult life to remove the negative things I've associated with normal and start to embrace was is really good for me in relationships. What's feels normal isn't always what is healthy in relationships. This is something that trips the best of us. The quicker we unlearn negative patterns that may influence our interpretations of love, the better. Here's to learning healthy norms and dating ONLY the good versions of our parents. Good luck loves!

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