Dating someone like your father
Schuyler Erle. Married a woman and halfway through a fight it hits you that she is acting just like your mother? One of the things that can often come up in therapy and couples counselling is the realisation that we have married or are dating someone who is just like one of our parents. It can feel a shock to the system and leave us dealing with a sense of embarrassment and shame.
When Your Parents Disapprove of Your Partner
Whether you learned it in Psych or you heard it referenced jokingly on a TV sitcom, the idea that you may be more attracted to guys who look like your dad is not a new one. The concept stems from Sigmund Freud's Oedipus complex , coined in and named for the mythical Greek king who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. Carl Jung coined the parallel phenomenon the Electra complex in to describe when a woman feels a sense of competition with her mother for her father's affections, named after the mythical female figure who helped kill her mother.
If you notice that you gravitate toward guys who somewhat physically resemble your dad, you shouldn't feel ashamed. Attraction is complex, and there is a lot of data out there that proves you're not alone. There are a few different theories as to why this happens, so to better understand the science behind why women are more attracted to men who look or act like their fathers, I spoke to two experts in human development and sexuality.
He explains that scientific literature does suggest women are attracted to those who resemble their own kin, but not too closely. Researchers don't yet know exactly how this phenomenon affects the quality or longevity of romantic relationships, says Sarah Merrill , Ph. Human Development at Cornell University. McGee agrees that while this is an interesting area of study, "there are lots of contradictions within it. With the help of these two academic experts, I've broken down some of the current research.
Here's what you should know about whether or not the Oedipus or Electra complex can actually be backed up by more recent scientific data. A American Psychological Association study conducted by researchers Little, Penton-Voak, Burt, and Perrett showed women are often attracted to men who have the same eye and hair color as their fathers.
Learning-based theories AKA theories based on the idea that changes in behavior happen as a response to stimuli predict that parents do play a role in shaping who their offspring choose to mate with, through something called sexual imprinting. This is a process in which preferences for a desirable mate are learned through early interactions during childhood.
And no, It wasn't invented by the author of Twilight. Merrill cites the Westermark Effect as evidence of "reverse sexual imprinting, presumably to avoid incestuous pairings. Basically, it argues the opposite of Freud's theory. So this "attraction" could more accurately be called trust. He explains that familiarity, like the kind you tend to have with a family member, makes intimacy easier. People tend to feel closer to those who understand them, and to be more attracted to those who are "like" them and share their values.
This extends to socioeconomic status, race, education, religion, and more. There is more recent research that does back up the physical attraction theory. A study surveyed 2, women and found that This is a relatively small percentage, though, and it also doesn't tell the whole story. Preferring someone who has similar physical features to your father falls under the idiosyncratic or individual preference category.
Universally appealing features will always affect who you find attractive, so it's important to also factor that into the equation. This is also called homogamy. Interestingly, "the likelihood of women imprinting on mothers increased when parents divorced or separated and there was a remarriage," according to Merrill. And in her own work, she found that increased paternal investment also increased a daughter's feelings of similarity to her father, regardless of their actual biological relatedness.
Her study was done with both adopted and biological children. There are a number of theories about why women choose mates who resemble their fathers, but overall, it seems to be more about physical traits than personality or behavioral characteristics. So if you find yourself attracted to a guy who kind of looks like your dad, don't freak out. It's not gross. It all comes down to evolution. By Jamie Kravitz. Evolution plays a role. It may be more about familiarity than physical attraction.
Individual preferences are only half of the equation. More parental affection can lead to more positive associations. About Contact Newsletter Terms Privacy.
Date men who have same personality traits as your dad? If someone really likes me, I freak out, because I feel too vulnerable. I don't have. How your dad treated you affects the men you choose to date later on. If you want to stop dating someone like your father, try this expert advice.
Modern-day psychologists and psychiatrists have, thankfully, distanced themselves from this idea. In this study, heterosexual women and gay men from the Czech Republic viewed silhouettes of nude men who varied in body type. They were asked to select the image that most closely resembled their current or most recent partner, their ideal partner, and their father as they remembered him in childhood. Specifically, for straight women, regardless of whether their father was heavy-set, lean, or muscular, they tended to envision their ideal partner as having a similar body type. This finding was most pronounced among women who reported having a positive relationship with their dad growing up.
The emotional sensation that you get when you like someone is overwhelming.
We are all attracted to certain types of men. More than likely, though, we are attracted to men who have something in common with our fathers or the positive male figures in our lives. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are attracted to men who, however slightly, remind us of dad.
Are You More Attracted To Guys Who Look Like Your Dad? A Human Sexuality Professor Explains Why
By Sadie Whitelocks for MailOnline. It's said that women fall for men like their fathers both physically and personality-wise and now a relationship expert has revealed just why this phenomenon occurs. Speaking to Marie Claire Dr. Judith Wright, from Illinois, Chicago, explains that 'pre-sexual programming' occurs at a very young age and children learn about relationships 'based on the way we are treated by their primary caregivers. Even if women have had bad relationships with their fathers they will apparently still go for a similar type of man because they think they can 'fix it and do a better job this time around.
Your Parents Influence the Type of People You're Attracted To
How your dad treated you affects the men you choose to date later on. If you want to understand your dating life, you need to ask yourself this one question: What was your dad like? Did he care about how you feel or did he ask you what you think? If he walked in the door, would he ask you how you felt or what you did today? After you've answered these questions, look at your life, then look at the men you're dating: Do they care about how you feel? If your dad raised you to do good and feel good, you will attract men who want you to feel good.
Though you may roll your eyes when someone tells you that you choose men who remind you of your dad , the facts are pretty clear:
My dad is quirky, nerdy and 12 at heart. He has the goofiest smile, and his laugh is my favorite sound. He was the first man I loved, and for a long time, I thought he would be the only man I ever loved. Growing up, I idolized my father.
How our fathers influence the partners we choose
Shakespeare immortalized it in Romeo and Juliet. For all I know, a Neanderthal woman had a fight with her dad about her choice of her Cro-Magnon guy. My mother constantly complains. My wife cries. What do I do? A young man in Florida writes: My father goes on and on about illegal immigration whenever we visit. My wife tries to smile through it. We fight when we get home because she says I should stop him but I know nothing I can say is going to change him. All they see is something Wrong — with a capital W. You feel caught between them.
Relationship expert reveals why women are always attracted to 'versions of their fathers'
Photo Credit: Erynn Christine Photography. Like most little girls, my father was my first love. I adored everything about him, even how he smelled like pine trees and lemons. The sound of his voice on the phone still makes my heart skip a beat.
The Surprising Ways Your Father Impacts Who You’ll Marry
Many of us are familiar with this feeling: After a few dates, we begin to feel so comfortable around him we wonder how we fell so hard and fast for someone we just met. Maybe we really have known him all our life — he reminds us of a parent. We all have a type, whether we know it or not. Similar to animals, such as birds, mammals, and fish, we learn what a suitable mate looks like based on the appearance of our parents. As human beings, we move toward the familiar with potential partners based on our primary connections since birth. We learn that unstated rules exist between men and women from our opposite sex parents — our parents teach us their own personal versions of these rules, whether positive or negative.
Worried Your Partner Is Like Your Parent?
Tamsin Saxton has received funding from the Leverhulme Trust grant no. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. Have you ever thought there was an uncanny family resemblance between your friend and her partner? Or wondered for a fleeting moment whether the pair walking down the road were husband and wife, or brother and sister? You might not be imagining things.
3 Things To Do If You’re Dating Someone Your Parents Don’t Like
Whether you learned it in Psych or you heard it referenced jokingly on a TV sitcom, the idea that you may be more attracted to guys who look like your dad is not a new one. The concept stems from Sigmund Freud's Oedipus complex , coined in and named for the mythical Greek king who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. Carl Jung coined the parallel phenomenon the Electra complex in to describe when a woman feels a sense of competition with her mother for her father's affections, named after the mythical female figure who helped kill her mother. If you notice that you gravitate toward guys who somewhat physically resemble your dad, you shouldn't feel ashamed. Attraction is complex, and there is a lot of data out there that proves you're not alone. There are a few different theories as to why this happens, so to better understand the science behind why women are more attracted to men who look or act like their fathers, I spoke to two experts in human development and sexuality. He explains that scientific literature does suggest women are attracted to those who resemble their own kin, but not too closely.
Is it true that women marry men like their fathers?
I always cringe when I hear things like, "You marry a man like your father! Of course, there are some hard-to-ignore correlations between your romantic interests and your family — research has already shown your relationship with your parents can affect your dating life. A new study takes things a step further: According to a team from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the University of Bath in England, you're more likely to date someone with the same eye color as your mom or dad. The study authors surveyed men and women about their eye color, their partner's eye color, and the eye colors of their biological parents. The results of the study:DATING WHEN YOU HAVE STRICT PARENTS