Choosing a loving relationship

Choosing a loving relationship

Estimated Reading Time of this page; 1 min, 29 sec

Total Reading Time (3 pages): 1 min, 29 sec + 1 min, 31 sec + 2 min, 40 sec = 5 min. 40 sec

Q: When choosing a loving relationship, where are we going? It’s always the same story. What does a single person do after one or more failed romantic relationships?

Aurora Mazzoldi - Agatha & Audrey. acrylic,painting - Choosing a loving relationship
Aurora Mazzoldi; Agatha & Audrey; acrylic painting.

Once a story is over, we pick again a person who reminds us of the one who made us suffer. Aren’t the partners that come and go in our love life similar? Why do our relationships always have the same outcome? How conscious are we about choosing a loving relationship with a new partner? Do we decide based on images from the past? These images dwell in our subconscious mind and influence our present.

What influences the choice of our relationships, even the most intimate ones?

In everyday life, we meet people we have never seen before. Often they remind us of a parent, a close friend, or even a partner. After this first impression, we find that the new acquaintance looks like that person; we represent it to ourselves based on this interpretation. We frequently think of that relative, or that friend, or that partner, and we can also have certain feelings towards him or her. Do we prefer having contact or distancing ourselves? It depends on our representation of that person.

Some characteristics of people who are important to us activate and stimulate our representations.

If we oft activate these representations, they remain accessible over time because of their richness and emotional relevance.

We can trigger them many times in our daily lives. They shape many of our social interactions.

How much does the past matter?

A significant research on how people choose their partners shows that the memory of past interactions with other people influences our current relationships.

Participants in an experiment by Pawel Lewicki (1986), after dealing with rude individuals, preferred not to interact with a person who resembled them.

We appreciate new acquaintances less if they remind us of a person toward whom we have developed negative affectivity.

Instead, we appreciate a new acquaintance more if it reminds us of a person to whom we had a positive feeling.


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