If you think you are the absolute worst at picking romantic partners, you’re in good company. As it turns out, most of us are. According to the School Of Life – a philosophical school aiming to help people deal with the psychological issues of everyday life, founded by philosopher Alain De Botton – we don’t really have much say when it comes to choosing our partners.
Why We Should Blame Romanticism For Choosing Our Partners Poorly
Back in the day (and in some countries still), there were arranged marriages between people who had no other choice but to accept one another and live together. With the prevalence of romanticism, however, things took a different turn. The idea that there is a special someone out there who is perfect for us and we will recognize them as such the moment we lay eyes on them took over. What this taught us it to trust our instinct. The way we develop our instincts, however, is where the problem lies.
The Problem With Instincts
The trouble with instincts is that we develop them at a very early stage in our lives when our parents become our role models without us even realizing it. It follows, then, that a man who has an abusive mother is very likely to look for a partner who is also abusive in some way, not because he thinks he deserves this kind of behavior, but because this is the only kind of love he knows. While this example may be a little over the top, it serves to explain why we fall for people who we might logically recognize as bad for us, but still find irresistible because they feel familiar somehow.
This is also the psychological explanation to why we keep making the same mistakes, following the same wrong patterns in our romantic relationships despite our best efforts to break away from them, or without us ever realizing they even exist.
Watch this enlightening video by The School Of Life which explains everything.
The idea is not to blame everything on ourselves and give up on the hope of finding true love. It is more about knowing ourselves and our needs and limitations, so as to make better decisions when choosing our partners from now on.
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