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The Hidden Symmetries of Love: Unveiling How Family Dynamics Shape Romantic Choices


Family dynamics have a considerable impact on molding our romantic decisions, sometimes influencing us without our realization. The interactions and behaviors we witness within our families can impact our conduct in relationships. This blog post will explore how these dynamics influence our choices in love life by examining them through the perspective of the family constellation.

The family dynamics

Family dynamics are the interactions and relationships patterns present within a family. These dynamics are influenced by different elements such as roles, communication methods, and emotional bonds. They impact the way family members interact with each other and can significantly influence individual behaviors and decisions.

Family dynamics involve the roles individuals take on within the family framework. These roles may be clearly defined, like the "caretaker" or "provider", or more nuanced, such as "the compromiser" or the "black sheep". Each role comes with specific expectations and behaviors that influence self-perception and interpersonal dynamics.

Effective communication within the family is essential. Positive and open communication helps build trust and mutual understanding, whereas ineffective communication can result in confusion and disagreements. The emotional connections within the family, whether positive or negative, significantly influence the family dynamics, impacting the emotional health of its members and their interactions with others beyond the family circle.


Family constellations

Family Constellations is a therapy technique that explores the impact of unresolved family system issues on present-day decisions, particularly in romantic relationships. This method suggests that we are entangled in intergenerational patterns and concealed dynamics that influence our actions and choices. Through the practice of positioning representations spatially to reconstruct family relationships, the Family Constellation Method aims to reveal these hidden influences. This process aids in comprehending the origins of our romantic decisions and addressing detrimental patterns passed down through family lineage.

Hidden dynamics and romantic choices

Family Constellation shows that concealed forces within family systems play a major role in shaping our romantic decisions. These forces usually originate from unaddressed problems, traumas, or behaviors that are inherited across generations. For instance, an individual might unknowingly select a partner who mirrors unresolved issues with a parent or ancestors in the family tree. As a result, this can result in recurring relationship patterns, like gravitating towards partners who exhibit negative characteristics reminiscent of family members.

By identifying these concealed dynamics, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their choices in partners and the root causes behind their recurring behaviors. This awareness is crucial for breaking these cycles and making more positive romantic choices. In couple therapy utilizing family constellations, I assist my clients in acknowledging these historical influences, addressing current issues, and bringing equilibrium back to their personal lives. Time and time again in my practice, I witness how family constellations enable individuals to cultivate more fulfilling and harmonious relationships, liberating themselves from the weight of unhealthy family dynamics of the past.

Uncovering the Symmetry in Love: 5 Instances of How Family Dynamics Impact Partner Selection

Our choice of partners is greatly influenced by family dynamics. According to Brett Hellinger, the father of family constellation therapy, these hidden symmetries of love play a crucial role. Unaddressed conflicts or loyalties to a family member may result in recurring patterns within romantic relationships.

  • Parental approval and influence:

Numerous individuals seek partners who will gain the acceptance of their parents, often mirroring the characteristics of one or both parents. For instance, an individual might select a partner who shares similar values, career, or upbringing as their parents. The unconscious drive to satisfy or emulate parents can result in selecting partners who align with the family dynamic, occasionally disregarding personal preferences.

  • Review of parental relationships:

People tend to reproduce the dynamics of their parents' relationships, whether positive or negative. For example, a person whose parents had a conflict-filled relationship may find themselves in similar relationships. Or a person who grew up in a family where one parent was dominant may unconsciously seek a partner who reflects this dynamic, either by being dominant themselves or by choosing a dominant partner. This repetition occurs when they are unconsciously drawn to familiar patterns, even if they are harmful.

  • Compensation for family deficiencies:

If a person felt a lack of emotional support or affection in their family, they may choose a partner who compensates for this deficiency. This often leads to relationships where the partner is overly nurturing or overly attentive, fulfilling needs that were not met in childhood. While this can provide initial comfort, it can also create dependency or imbalance in the relationship. For example, a person who has experienced neglect may look for partners who offer the care and attention they lacked as a child from their parents, which may lead to overdependence on the relationship and a parent-child couple dynamic.

  • Role reversal:

Sometimes, people choose partners based on the need to reverse the roles they experienced in their family. For example, someone who had to care for a sick parent may seek a partner to care for them, allowing them to experience being cared for. This reversal of roles can provide a sense of healing but can also lead to unrealistic expectations of the partner.

  • Unconscious loyalty to family suffering:

In some cases, people feel an unconscious loyalty to the suffering or failures of their family members. This can manifest itself in choosing partners that lead to similar difficulties, such as economic instability or emotional unavailability. This loyalty leaves the person bound to unresolved issues of their family and perpetuates cycles of suffering in their romantic relationships. For example, if a parent had an unfaithful relationship, their child may suspect partners or, paradoxically, choose unfaithful partners to unconsciously recreate the familiar family scenario.

By identifying and addressing these hidden dynamics, people can break free from unhealthy patterns and make more conscious and healthy decisions in their romantic lives.


Understanding how family dynamics influence romantic choices with the help of a family constellation can lead to healthier relationships. By uncovering and resolving hidden family patterns, people can make more informed relationship choices, ultimately fostering greater emotional well-being and relationship satisfaction.


Sivan Avni - couples therapy based on family constellation in Kiryat Tivon and online.


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