Why We Pick Difficult Partners

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In theory, we're nowadays allowed to get together with pretty much anyone we like. And yet, at a psychological level, we aren't free to love just any suitable person. We have a type - and strangely and awkwardly, these types are often not those who stand a chance of making us maximally happy. For gifts and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop: https://goo.gl/CEfzwf
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β€œTheoretically we are free to select the kind of person we love. We might have chosen someone else. We’re not being forced into this by social convention or match-making aunts or dynastic imperatives. But in reality our choice is probably a lot less free than we imagine. Some very real constraints around whom we can love and feel properly attracted to come from a place we might not think to look: our childhoods. Our psychological history strongly predisposes us to fall for only certain types of people…”
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Caption: Theoretically we are free to select the . kind of person we love we might have . chosen someone else we're not being . forced into a relationship by social . convention or matchmaking or dynastic . imperatives but in reality our choice of . lover is probably a lot less free than . we imagined some very real constraints . around whom we can love and feel . properly attracted to come from a place . we might not think to look our . childhoods our psychological history . strongly predisposes us to fall for only . certain types of people we love along . grooves formed in childhood we look for . people who in many ways recreate the . feelings of love we knew when we were . small the problem is that the love we . imbibed in childhood was unlikely to . have been made up simply of generosity . tenderness and kindness given the way . the world is love was liable to have . come in twined with certain painful . aspects a feeling of not being quite . good enough a love for a parent who was . fragile or depressed a sense that one . could never be fully vulnerable around a . caregiver this predisposes us to look in . adulthood for partners who won't . necessarily simply be kind to us but who . will most importantly feel familiar . which can be a subtly but importantly . different thing we may be constrained to . look away from prospective candidates . because they don't satisfy a yearning . for the complexities that we associate . with love we may describe someone as not . sexy or boring when in truth we mean . unlikely to make me suffer in the way i . need to suffer in order to feel that . love is real it's common to advise . people who are drawn to tricky . candidates simply to leave them and find . someone more wholesome this is both . theoretically appealing and often . practically impossible. we cannot magically redirect the . wellsprings of attraction rather than . aim for a transformation in the types of . people we're attracted to it may be . wiser. simply to adjust how we respond and . behave around the occasionally difficult . characters whom our past mandates we . will find compelling our problems are . often generated because we continue to . respond to compelling people in the way . that we learn to behave as children . around their templates for instance . maybe we had a rather irate parent who. often raised their voice we loved them. and reacted by feeling that when they . were angry we must be guilty . we got timid or humble now if a partner . to whom we are magnetically drawn gets . cross we respond as squashed browbeaten . children we sulk we feel it's our fault . we feel got out and yet deserving of . criticism we build up a lot of . resentment or perhaps we're drawn to . someone with a short fuse which makes us . blow up in turn or if we had a fragile . vulnerable parent who was easily hurt we . readily end up with a partner who's also . a bit weak and demands asked to care for . them but then we get frustrated by their . weakness we tiptoe around them we try to . encourage and reassure as we did when we . were little but we also condemned this . person for being undeserving we probably. can't change our templates of attraction . but rather than seek to radically. re-engineer our instincts what we can do . is try to learn to react to desirable . candidates not as we did as children but . in the more mature and constructive . manner of a rational adult there is an . enormous opportunity to move ourselves . from a childlike to a more adult pattern . of response in relation to the . difficulties we're attracted to consider . this table column a partner's tricky . behavior column b the childlike response . on our part and column c the more adult . response we should aim for so raising . our voice could lead to a sense that . it's all my fault . but the more mature response would be . this is their issue i don't have to feel . bad or if the partner is rather . patronizing the childlike response might. be and so . stupid but the more adult response would . be there are lots of kinds of . intelligence and - fine and so on take a . moment to look at the chart . we're almost certainly with somebody . with a particularly naughty set of. issues which trigger our desires and our . childlike defensive moves the answer . isn't to end the relationship but rather . to strive to deal with their compelling . challenges with some of the wisdom of. which we weren't capable when we first . encountered these in a parent or . caregiver it probably isn't in our remit . to locate a wholly grown-up lover but . it's always in our remit to behave in . more grown-up ways around our lovers . less mature sides we hope you enjoyed . this film for more from the school of . life you can subscribe to our channel . and take a look at our range of products . on our website . you. .
 

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