Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't worry - it's unlikely you'll marry your mother.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before.  The theory that everyone ends up marrying his or her parent.  That because your earliest exposure to the opposite sex is often your mom or dad, they either blessed you or doomed you to seek out a mate just like them.  Well it turns out, that’s not quite true. 

In a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, researchers found that you’re more likely to be the one most like your parents than your significant other.  And your significant other is only likely to share their level of openness with your parents. 

So, while we do learn our relationship rules and communication skills from our families of origin, such rules and skills are malleable.  Meaning, we can always learn new ways of relating to other people in our social circles.  And this ability to adapt helps to bring new experiences and ways of being into our sphere or influence. 

So the next time you’re worried whether you’re marrying your mother or your father, look more toward yourself for your parents’ reflections.  And embrace the new relationship features that come with inviting a new person with whom to share your life.

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