Community: Signs You're Dating Your Dad

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broken paper heart

In all attempts to find "the One," you are looking for the perfect Imago. Here's an exercise you can to do begin to uncover some of the traits of your Imago, which will help you uncover your childhood wounds.

   1. Make a list of your 3-5 most significant partners, past and present
   2. Across the top of a sheet of paper, write their names
   3. Under each name, write down at least 3 reasons you were initially attracted to him and/or what kept you attracted to him (try to go beyond "she was beautiful" to personality traits)
   4. Under that, write down at least 2 reasons you split up (or if you're still together, write the 2 things that irritate you most about her)
   5. Notice any patterns? 

Chances are there are similarities between your partners. For example, when I did this exercise, the most significant similarity was that my partners were all emotionally unavailable. It's no coincidence that that is a strong trait that both of my parents share! This exercise will give you clues to what you're looking for that your parents weren't able to give you.

Once you're able to identify your core wounds, you'll begin to heal them. You'll learn to recognize what behaviors trigger that childhood wound. And you'll learn how to discern between past hurt and present day actions. You'll be less likely to blow things out of proportion, and more able to rationally discuss your feelings. Chances are you might still need the help of a trained professional, but you'll be on your way to a healthier relationship with your partner and with yourself.

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