What Did Your Family Teach You About Love?


Do you know what your family taught you about love? All families teach their children about love during the course of childhood and adolescence and sometimes beyond. The best you can hope for is that the love lessons you learned were positive and useful. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Mostly because we can’t expect that our parents or any parents have automatically understood how to have a healthy love relationship of their own. Chances are, if they aren’t able to manage a healthy relationship in their own lives they won’t be able to teach what is necessary to have one in your life. The good news is, with a little determination and courage you can get out from under whatever they taught you that is not useful in your own life while learning something more effective for you.

Your first step as always will be to become aware of what they taught you. Yes you know what they taught you. It’s up there, or more precisely in there, tucked away in your mental closet. You just haven’t had occasion or need to get it out into the light of day. Who takes the time to think about what their families taught them about love?

Well here at the Love Life Learning Center, this kind of inquiry is standard fare. If you want to make real and enduring improvements in your love life, you are going to have to know what you learned about love in your family. Then you’ll have a chance to figure out if what you’ve learned is going to help or hinder your adult love life. Just like anything else we learn in life, if you find out that what you’ve been taught about something doesn’t work, you go looking for better information.

OK, learning about love might be a tad more emotional for sure. But the basic process is the same for all learning. It’s a good thing to update and revise what you’ve learned about this most important topic, love. Doesn’t it make sense? Especially since you are learning about something you already have a lot of instinctive original knowledge about simply because you’re a human being.

You see, when other people teach us about something we already have a good feel for they are essentially imposing their opinions on us. These opinions might work for them just fine, but the thing is, they might not work for someone else. I’ve come to realize that what you think, feel, and do in your own love life should come mostly from your own experience. It has the greatest chance for success when it comes from this highly personal source, you.

This is not to say other people’s opinions about how you should conduct your love life are not valuable because they can be, up to a point. For your information, there are essentially four ways we learn about love. I’ll outline them for you. #1: you can learn from the relationship someone in your family has with you; #2: you can learn from what you observe and witness in the relationship between two other people in the family; #3: you can also learn from whatever direct teaching someone in your family decides to offer you about love, and; #4: you can teach yourself by coming to your own conclusions. 

Think about what you’ve learned. At some point or another, you should come to your own conclusions about your own love life.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan


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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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