How and Why We Select Our Partners

How and Why We Select Our Partners

It's Not What You Might Think!

Based on over 40 years of being married, working together as marriage and relationship counselors, coaches, and workshop facilitators, and ongoing research and study, here's what we know about the determination of success in any romantic relationship.  Recent studies have concluded that the single best predictor of a person being successful or unsuccessful in marriage or other forms of a committed love relationship is the way their brain is hard-wired to survive in life and in love.  This has everything to do with why and how human beings select who they hope to be lifelong partners.  Here's how it goes…

Each of us very early in life had to decide the answer to three basic questions:

Who am I?
Who are all these other people?
What will they do for me and I for them?
Our answers to these questions form the basis for how we will live our lives; and, also includes who we will select as partners.  We unconsciously seek partners who fit our conclusions about those three questions.  From infancy into adulthood, those decisions are reinforced through our life experiences, becoming "hard-wired" in our brains.  We may think that we are making sound, rational decisions about our mate selection.  However, the simple truth is that we do not.  It is all about the hard-wiring in our brains.  We seek a partner who fits that blueprint we decided upon long ago.  Most of us have forgotten that we made such a decision.  This is why we select only very specific people as partners; who, again, unconsciously, meet specific criteria.When we meet such a person who fits our criteria:
  • The partner must provide us with what we call familiar love —meaning, relating to us in what is recognizable.  Or, when they don't give us this kind of love:
  • We must be able to project onto them the way we insist that they become to fit our criteria; or,
  • We must be able to provoke the partner into reacting according to our blueprint.

On a logical level, it does not make sense.  However, from an emotional and relationship historical perspective, it does.  Logic has only 10% influence in the selection process.   90% represents a re-creation of familiar love — specific familiar frustrations and conflict people from their childhood, with which directly or indirectly affected them.  Why?  Because the emotional and conversational environment developed and reinforced through life is what we expect; and, are most comfortableIt represents our role model of familiar love.

The predictable outcome is communication breakdown and some level of dissatisfaction in marriage and other adult love relationships.  The feelings of disconnection and distance tend to match the brain's imprint in each partner's experience of familiar love.  This is why we believe the reason what both partners had hoped for — a long-term fulfilling and satisfying experience together — is often compromised.

So, what is familiar love?  Familiar love is a composite-imprinted image, hard-wired in the human brain, of the ways a person has felt loved and cared about throughout their entire relationship history since birth.  The template for the reality of familiar love was imprinted by age three (3), and reinforced throughout life.

There are those who take issue with the assertion that early childhood experiences have nothing to do with their adult lives. Unfortunately, far too often, these individuals go through life having a succession of failed, unfulfilled, and painful relationships.  The same pattern in the choice of mates repeats over and over again.  Additionally, more than just the adults are typically impacted by these breakups—especially when there are children involved.

If you happen to be a person who rejects the idea that your early childhood experiences impact your behaviors today, we would recommend that you visit us at for more information about how to transform unconscious drives and patterns in a way that will support becoming a better person and partner.

To Your Relationship Success,

 Melva and Jesse

Learn more about them by visiting their website,

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