Is Choosing a Partner an Unconscious Decision?

Is Choosing a Partner an Unconscious Decision?

Last update: 10 September, 2017

Few experiences in life are as gratifying as loving and being loved by your partner. On the flipside, a lack of affection can cause a huge amount of suffering. This absence of love is even the origin of many mental issues.

At the beginning of a relationship, you can barely contain your emotions. Life takes on a special meaning, and you have the motivation and confidence to face anything life throws at you. But after so much time with that person, conflicts arise, and then you start to become aware of the decision that you made.

“Love isn’t looking at each other; it’s looking together in the same direction.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-

Choosing a partner is a seemingly spontaneous process. However, over time you start to question whether you were really conscious of everything when you made the decision. Nobody wants to be wrong in choosing their partner, since people often end up feeling disappointed when they think they’ve found the ideal partner.

The idealization of your partner

It’s safe to say that in most cases, when people choose a partner, they place a lot of idealized expectations on them without realizing it, including those associated with pleasure and well-being. But people often overlook some less romantic aspects, such as the differences between one another, the obligations that arise from the relationship, and strategies for facing relationship issues.

face superimposed over pond

Deep down, due to various unconscious mechanisms, you hope that the other person will satisfy your needs. You project your needs and unsatisfied desires onto them and expect them to resolve all your issues for you. Of course, everyone denies it, but everyone does it.

We could make an extensive list of what people look for in a partner. We want them to be responsible, hard-working, friendly, healthy, respectful, tolerant, supportive, good-natured, and attractive. We could go on and on, but this is a good sample for our purposes. The question is, why do we fail in our decisions if this is all so clear to us?

The mental context is important

It’s important to consider the context and the headspace you were in when you made the decision. People who are less emotionally intelligent tend to exaggerate the other person’s virtues, which involves an emotional risk. This attitude comes from a poorly channeled set of needs and an intolerance for loneliness, meaning the attempt at forming a bond with the other person is failed from the start.

In general, the process of choosing a partner has its origin in a set of unconscious emotions derived from our relationships with our parents, especially during childhood, as well as the relationship between them. This determines our mental structure and functioning for the rest of our lives.

person superimposed over woods

Our entire lives are marked by those first bonds. Parents who encourage their children to develop the ability to think, persevere, and learn raise more emotionally healthy children.

On the other hand, children raised by parents who prohibit or limit the search for knowledge, curiosity, and creativity establish affective bonds based on fear, lying, envy, and hate in adulthood. What type of parents did you have? How was their relationship with each other? The answers to these questions can give you clues as to why you chose the partner you did.

The influence of experience

It’s worth pointing out that, in the present day, new forms of relationships and love are developing. However, trends don’t exist in the unconscious. In human beings, the survival instinct takes precedence over everything else. It seeks and desires, pursues union, produces life, and provides the conditions for creating and building.

In life experience, the past always becomes the present regarding the unconscious. Also reflected in our experiences is the fact that human beings establish bonds based on the type of attachment that they established with their parents since birth.

couple's feet

These relationships are also influenced by how intense the experience is and the kind of instincts, both of life and death, that predominate in each person.

This combination of factors will determine who you feel attracted to. The better you know and understand the relationships from your first few years of life, the freer and healthier your present relationships will be.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.