Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

What's Your Type?

Have you ever thought back about your exes and tried to see what they had in common, besides you? Were they all the same look- tall, dark and handsome or short, preppy and baby-faced? Maybe they were physically different but they all treated you like a princess or were selfish in bed. I believe that often our subconscious chooses men based on a need we are trying to fill. For example, if you had a jerk father who was absent when you were growing up, you might choose emotionally unavailable men because it's comfortable and safe; even if consciously you say that's not what you want. We can shoot ourselves in the foot and go through countless failed relationships by doing this. People will often say to each other (about "dysfunctional" relationships), "Why does she stay with him? He's abusive!" or "What does he see in her, she's crazy!" Well, they are trying to fill a need they never got growing up. We will often date the exact opposite of our parents in an attempt to escape repeating the pattern, when in reality we are drawn to the same type because we subconsciously try to fix the mistakes of our childhood.

Take a moment to think about your romantic history. Have you had a type? And if so, think about if it's been working for you. Are you currently in a happy relationship that is not filled with jealousy, constant fighting, or controlling behavior? If not, ask yourself why not? Do you not deserve to be treated well and loved? How did your parents treat you and did you like it? For women, our father is the first male we ever have a close relationship with, and the opposite is true for men and their mothers. You might have heard the quote, "Look at how a man treats his mom. That's how he'll treat you one day." It is a bit exaggerated and a stereotype, but it is very telling. How is your boyfriend's relationship with his mother? If he thinks she's a hot mess and a nag, most likely he'll think all women are nags and will have trouble taking direction from a woman. (in other words, good luck getting him to remember to put his clothes in the hamper.....ever) Same goes for women. If she is really close with her father, admires him, and is a total daddy's girl, chances are she will seek men who pamper her and put her on a pedestal. (these are the girls who wear makeup to bed and tell their fiancées their engagement rings are too small...yikes!)

What does this all mean? I don't mean to ramble, but I just want you to think about your dating history so that you can stop repeating the past. As Einstein once said, 'insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.' (I'm paraphrasing) If you want to be in love and find happiness, but all your past relationships have failed, look at the type of men or women you're attracting going after and how they are like (or different than) your parents. Look past the physical. Beauty fades and money disappears, but class, self-respect, and kindness are forever. Maybe you'll create a new pattern for yourself if you are more aware of what YOU want, what makes you happy, and what hasn't worked for you in the past. That way, you can start a future in which you choose relationships that are fresh and healthy, not continuing unsuccessful old patterns.