Childhood experiences are key features of our emotional development. Our patents, who are the most important part of our life and act as primary attachment figures, play a vital role in how we perceive the world because they lay the foundation of what the world is going to look like for us.
Is the world a safe place to explore or is it worth taking emotional risks?
The way we think about others, are others only out there to hurt us, or are they the only untrustworthy?
Are there people who are going to support us both mentally and emotionally?
This process of thinking matters to our parents as the first human interaction of a child is with his parents. Unfortunately, childhood trauma is something most of us suffer from. Childhood trauma is a type of complex trauma that results as a consequence of prolonged exposure to any stressful event.
This can be physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and might lead to anxiety and depression.
How childhood trauma affects your choice of partner?
In Asian countries, people use to say that a girl tries finding a guy like her dad, and if you want to pick a girl for your son, just assess her mother. Why do they say this?
This is because parents have a huge impact on their children’s life and personality. A child having a disturbed background will most probably not have a very charming personality. The relationship that our parents share is of high importance because we might form a perspective about how relationships are from a very young age and if we have a negative image of it in our mind then it’s more likely that we will try avoiding them in the future.
I remember my parents didn’t share a good relationship, all I heard during my childhood was them fighting, yelling, and cursing each other. So, this made me scared and the whole concept of marriage started giving me goosebumps.
I used to believe that it doesn’t matter how goods the guy is going to be I will end up in a similar relationship as my parents which obviously I didn’t want. I never gave chance to any guy because of this fear.
Similarly, childhood trauma can make it hard to pick a partner. Suppose god forbid you are a victim of sexual abuse then there are strong chances that you end up thinking that all men are the same and you just want to stay away from them.
The same is the case for emotional abuse. Usually, our parents are the prime abusers, and the fact that they should be the ones who support us emotionally might make us believe that if our real parents don’t think that I am good enough then why an any-other person would?
It won’t be wrong to say that childhood experiences lay the grounds for us and determines what our emotional attachment style is going to be and what bond are we willing to form with another person.
How do healthy individuals pick partners?
The people who grew up in a supportive environment and their parents gave attention to all their needs generally have a positive outlook about life and partners. They try picking a partner who is also supportive and takes interest in their life. They enjoy involving their partner in any decision that they feel can have an impact on their relationship. They try picking a partner who can ensure them a secure attachment.
An always-available partner
If you had a childhood in which you faced abandonment then there are more chances of you being a clingy partner. You will try picking someone with whom you can be clingy as you are afraid of being abandoned again. You will have an insecure relationship as you are conditioned from childhood to believe that relationships usually don’t work long.
Read more: 15 Signs You have Abandonment Issues
Not wanting a partner at all
Some people witness defectiveness during their childhood. Defectiveness is a feeling that you are undeserving or unworthy of love. If that’s the case, there is slightly more possibility that you won’t try to find a partner or be in any sort of relationship. You will be too scared to show your real self to others as you think that they will also think that you are unworthy so to avoid getting hurt you just keep yourself away from any such relationships.
Partners who make decisions for you
The next factor that matters a lot in your partner choice based on your childhood is dependency. If one’s parents used to make all their decisions and used to make you feel that you can’t make your decisions on your own because you are not that smart then you will tend to attract partners who make decisions for you.
You might think that this is a good thing to let your partner decide stuff from as little as what movie you guys are going to watch to where you guys are going to go on a vacation or how much you spend or save. Over time your self-respect is going to erode, your partner will not respect your lack of interest as he gets accustomed to making decisions according to his interests, and such a relationship might turn into an unhealthy one but it won’t be easy for you to leave him as you become so dependent on the other person.
How to deal with it?
We can clearly see now our childhood has a great influence on our partner choice. Now how to deal with it?
We need to understand that whatever our parents did was from one of the two places: one it can be because of their love for you or secondly, it can be their unconscious patterns that their parents ended up adding in them.
This might help us in changing our basic outlook about them. If we had parents who didn’t respect us or loved us the way we wanted them to then the least we can do is not end up being parents like them.
We need to acknowledge the fact that the way we parent our child has a huge impact on his life and partner choices. So, let’s promise that we will try being supportive parents so that our child makes the right decisions in the future and picks the right partner that they deserve.
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