Is it true that we pick our partners that are similar to our parents? Features or characteristics?

So, my psychology professor said that we pick our partners that remind us of our parents. Ex: a girl picks a guy with similar characteristics or features of her father, unintentionally.

So do you think this is true?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • well it all depends on how you grew up and how your parents treated you and such. your father more than likely was your first male role model SO there would probably be traits, at the very least subconsciously, that you would want in a potential mate because you saw them in your father and found them desirable based on how he treated you. That is not to say you are going to want to find someone exactly like your father, but there will probably be traits that line up... even traits you never really thought of before until you start making comparisons.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • My dad is an amazing example of a husband and father, and I may not have consciously gone into relationships looking for people with exactly the same characteristics, but I know I have certainly broken up with guys for not having them. so yes, sure.

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What Guys Said 19

  • There was a heated exchange, between some other GAGers and me, on an earlier question that has prompted me to give an opinion on this one.

    For me, the answer to this question is YES! My reasoning:

    My mother is 5' 1" tall, skinny and flat chested. My sister is the same. Is it a coincidence that this kind of lady is my preferred type? Is it something that has developed in being brought up with an elder sister and a mum like this? Is it something inherent inside me since the day I was born?

    I don't know which one applies. Maybe one, two or all three apply.

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  • To an extent yes. We usually want someone with the same morals and characteristics as them to an extent. However we also look for different characteristics in a partner from other places. Usually like from TV our close friends and role models. Our parents having raised us are the basis on which we add to the things we look for in a mate.

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    • However most psychologists believe that we are looking for someone that closely resembles or reminds us of our parents. That is not really true. Were looking for the good things or values usually not the look or personality of them.

  • i think we do often pick partners who characteristically may remind us of our parents. hopefully only the positive characteristics.

    in my life i've never dated people that closely resemble my parents physically

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  • i think it depends if you have a great relationship with your parents then this could maybe be true, but if you detest your parents would you then still select a partner like them? i dont know.

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  • Yeah I see this to be true.

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  • Yes on characteristics.

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  • I don't think there's a lot to that. Every girl I've ever dated looked quite different (and acted quite differently for that matter).

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  • this made me think about it. i guess thats true.

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  • I don't think so. I choose women whose facial features are the opposite of mine, so that our offspring have the average.

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  • Definitely not.

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  • What's that? You want to have sex with your dad?

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  • Freud proved this a long time ago.

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  • Hahha no and hopefull not.

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  • Not in my case, I hate both of them.

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  • Ya that's why we shouldn't time travel cause we all screw our parents

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  • No, opposite attracts me more

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  • I dont like if they look like family

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  • I hope not because without meaning to sound rude my parents are complete morons and if I could choose a better calibre of parent then I'd ditch these two clowns in an instance.

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  • HELL NO! That mother of mine was a psychotic nut. That's the last thing I needed in life.

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What Girls Said 12

  • Maybe. But my husband is not really like my dad. My dad likes to work on cars and houses, my husband just like to play video games and table top games. My dad is not lazy, my husband is super lazy. My dad is really into God and reads the Bible and prays a lot, my husband only goes to kicking and screaming.

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  • I think this can be very true for some people-and it makes sense, you already think people like them can mate and take care of their young. (hopefully)

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  • True. I married an opionated strong willed (like my mother) fire fighter/medic (like my father).

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  • Yes. Someone said this to me before. My first reaction was "NO, that's gross"

    After thinking it over, it's accurate.

    - Majority of what I like and look for in a partner, resembles my dad.

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  • It's true to some. If you can get along well with for your parents, you might like it if the guy has qualities similar to them

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  • Mine looks and acts nothing like my father. In many cases this theory shows true but its not a fact the person u choose will be similar

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  • Dunno. Might be true for some people. People I dated never were even close to looking like my father though.

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  • Nope.
    I would not pick someone who resembles my dad in manners

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  • I don't think so. Physically my boyfriend looks nothing like any of my parents, and personality wise the only similarities between them is that they are all atheists and rockers.

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  • That can be true. Although personally my dad has very few qualities I'd go seeking in a man :/

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  • Yes, ugh. It's such a cliche but is also so undeniably true, especially in more dysfunctional homes. I think you'll either pick someone just like your father or someone the complete opposite of him as a sort of protective mechanism.

    For example, my dad had a terrible temper when we were growing up. I've somehow always inadvertently gone for more hot-headed guys, and my sister married a super passive guy who quite frankly, she walks all over. This overcompensation provides her with a sense of safety and security while I'm just perpetuating the same patterns I saw as a kid.

    How do you break that cycle? If you ever find out the answer to that, please let me know!

    Bottom line: Deal with your daddy (or mommy) issues now! If you don't have any, then you should have no problem having good judgment when it comes to selecting a partner!

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  • So often, abusive relationships end up in the kids growing up to be in abusive relationships- because they pick that type. Similarly people from very stable relationships are more likely to have one themselves. It's not always of course, but it happens very often.

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