Maybe once or twice in your life you’ve heard of Freud. Sigmund Freud, the 20th century physiologist and psychoanalyst who delved into the unconscious mind and talked about sex a whole lot. I will always remember what my psych teacher said to the class one lesson: you can never argue with a freudian scholar. You can’t argue against the unconscious- freudians will just accuse you of being in denial.
I thought that was pretty funny.
Anyway, according to Freud, children experience the Electra/ Oedipus complex as they develop. For boys, the Oedipus complex is the stage of their lives where, supposedly, they struggle with lust for their mothers and fear of/hatred for their fathers at an unconscious level. On the flip side, the Electra complex describes what girls experience: attraction to their fathers and hatred towards their mothers who are viewed as competition. The details are not important and the ideas are obviously a little disturbing and absurd (to me at least), but I have actually heard that people find mates (romantic ones LOL) who resemble their parents.
I had a conversation about this a long time ago with a friend and she half-joked: “dude, you do like people who are like your dad.” I told her that the very thought itself was gross… but then I actually thought about it. And no, I still don’t think I’m attracted to my father (ewewew makes me cringe just reading that), but I do see some qualities in him that I would like in a future partner.
For example, my dad is a highly intelligent person. He is an avid reader and such a geek- he would probably be able to give the names of birds that I’d otherwise never have heard of like the L’iwi or ‘Apapane from Hawaii. He just has this passion and it’s amazing to see how much he appreciates and enjoys learning about birds. It’s the same with wine, classical music, maps and the romantic languages in particular. He just has the ability to absorb information and truly take delight in these interests without a goal in mind, like “I’m going to be a bird specialist” or “I’m going to be a sommelier”, even though he could very well be both. I admire people like that and would be more attracted to a guy if he liked to learn, challenge and teach me things too.
My dad’s the kind of dad who will wake up earlier than usual just to drive me to school without me having to ask. He’s the kind of dad who would drop anything that he’s doing to help me or answer my question. He always carries the suitcases down the stairs even though his arms sometimes ache and he always carries the groceries without ever asking for help. He has a gentle and compassionate disposition (my mum would play bad cop and my dad good cop), and he is always willing to spare a few minutes to help someone. He is as selfless as one can get. My grandmother has said many times that my mum is a lucky gal and I agree with her, because I’m a lucky gal to have him as my dad.
So, just to clear things up, I’m not saying that I want to marry a guy just like my dad. I’m saying that I see wonderful attributes in my dad that I’d value in a guy. I’m not attracted to my dad, I just find some of his qualities attractive in a person.
Have a think about it yourself and I’m sure you’d be able to find some parts of your dad or mum’s character that you would really cherish in a potential partner.