A study by Glenn Geher suggests that we do tend to choose a romantic partner who is similar to our opposite-sex parent.
In his research, he not only asked participants to self-report on how their romantic partners were like their opposite-sex parents across various categories—he actually interviewed the parents as well.
A body of psychological research reveals that our earliest relationships, especially with our mother, not only influence how we are able to connect to others as adults—in romantic and other contexts—but also create internalized scripts or working models of how relationships work.
Briefly, children, with loving and consistently attuned mothers grow up to be adults who see themselves positively, are comfortable seeking out close relationships and depending on others, and don’t worry about being alone or being rejected. According to the work of Kim Bartholomew, anxiously attached people will be “preoccupied” in relationships; they have a negative view of themselves and look to others to validate them.
Fearful avoidants are the hardest category of insecure people to partner with because they send out mixed signals. These working models affect individuals in myriad ways.
As human beings, we are drawn, on an unconscious level, toward the familiar.
The shared characteristics he discovered between his subjects' partners and their opposite-sex parents were robust, and not merely coincidental.
Needless to say, when romantic partners were like parents in characteristics, however, relationship satisfaction was low.I also never really felt loved by him, in the same way I didn’t feel loved by my mother.” “On the surface, my wife and my mother have nothing in common.My wife is petite and blonde, well-educated, polished, and sophisticated; my brunette and big-boned mother is none of those things. Nothing I ever did was good enough for my mother because my older brother was perfect.For a securely attached individual whose primary connections taught her that people are loving, dependable, and trustworthy, this is just dandy.But for those of us who are insecurely attached, the familiar can be dangerous territory.They were then asked the same question one week later.