You’ve likely heard the saying, “Men marry their mother, and girls marry their father.” This is just too simplistic when considering how complex human beings are. The reality is that your caregivers and your entire family of origin play a role in Your Love Imprint® and how you are hard-wired for love.
Whether you ever had a stable family unit or not, whether you were raised by one parent or both, you learned about intimate relationships from the people that raised you.
So, if you want to spend the rest of your life with your soulmate (a person that you can count on to stand by you) you’ll need to know what drives your choices in love.
If you’ve done the work of upgrading your dating strategies and understanding the opposite sex, and you’re still unsuccessful at connecting with an ideal life partner – it’s time to discover Your Love Imprint and the concept of a “false positive” that could send you on an endless relationship merry-go-round.
Let’s face it, dating feels like a chore, and being good at dating just means you get second or third dates. Ultimately dating is just a tool to help you get what you really want – to meet your soulmate so that you can spend the rest of your life with the love of your life!
If finding a soulmate relationship is your goal, then it’s important to understand your biggest obstacle to achieving it. It’s also the key to your sanity because the truth is you don’t have a broken picker, there’s nothing wrong with you, and you can stop the lather-rinse-repeat cycle you seem to be stuck in and FINALLY have a romantic relationship that will stand the test of time.
What’s in your way was created from the experiences of your early childhood. So, the part of you that has been selecting a life partner is this much younger part of you that had no idea how the world works. It was cobbled together in your mind through your experiences during these early years of your life.
It doesn’t matter if you grew up in an idyllic home that was the envy of your friends, if you grew up in foster care with multiple caregivers, or anything in between. Because your mind is set up for you to survive at all costs and from your survival strategies you created a system for love.
We call this system is Your Love Imprint®.
What is Your Love Imprint?
Your Love Imprint is the program in your subconscious mind that is your personal GPS setting for love. It was created in your family of origin when you were a small child, and unless you had some traumatic experience later in your home life it’s remained untouched for many years.
Your Love Imprint consists of three parts: your limiting beliefs, mental/emotional patterns, and behavioral strategies for giving and receiving love.
This is a simple explanation for a complex system, one that has many layers, and is unique to you.
Let’s dive into what created Your Love Imprint®, how it works, and how it affects your behavior.
You Had Two Core Emotional Needs As A Newborn – To Feel Loved And To Feel Safe
When you were born, you were physically incapable of taking care of yourself. You were unable to walk or communicate. You had zero motor skills. You were helpless. So, you needed someone to take care of your physical needs to survive.
You also had two emotional needs that must be satisfied to survive and thrive. You needed to feel loved and safe.
And you will do anything to feel loved and safe. You will take on any belief or behavior to get these needs met. That is how important they are to your survival.
Psychologist Harry Harlow ran a series of famous experiments with baby Rhesus Monkeys in the 1950s in which he replaced their mothers with different types of dolls replicating the adult mother monkey.
One of the dolls was made of wire, another was covered with a cloth, and there was one doll that was metal and had spikes on it that would strike the baby monkey when it came close.
This third doll was the most illustrative of how important it is to feel loved and safe. What Harlow discovered was that the spikes did not dissuade the baby monkey from seeking love from its surrogate mother. In fact, what happened was that the baby monkey would try different strategies of approaching the mother in an attempt to not be hit.
The baby monkey would act playfully, or it would approach slowly and cautiously, or it would be flirtatious, or even be bold in its approach. The baby monkey never gave up its quest to get love from its surrogate mother.
You could think of yourself as a baby in much the same way.
You will take on any belief, any behavior, or any strategy to feel loved and safe in your family of origin.
Your Need To Feel Loved And Safe Drives Your Behavior
It is so important for you to feel loved and safe that you will take on any belief system to ensure that you fit in your family of origin and that they will continue to provide for you – even if it means thinking less of yourself.
Children have a unique way of taking responsibility for their circumstances. When a child is not getting what he or she needs from a parent, the child doesn’t say some version of, “Gee Mom, that isn’t very helpful. What I really need is to be told that you believe in me and that everything will be all right.”
No child has that level of self-awareness, nor would it even be safe in many families to speak that way to a parent.
Instead, children ask themselves, “What is wrong with me that my parent is behaving this way?”
As a child, you took full responsibility for the fact that your parents didn’t have the best strategies for raising you. This act of taking responsibility creates within you a core wound. This wound comes from an experience that you are not loveable exactly as you are. And this wound causes you to adopt limiting beliefs, behaviors, strategies, and emotional reactions to reconcile your core emotional needs with your current reality.
How Does Your Love Imprint ® Affect Your Choices And Your Behavior?
To simplify a complex system, we’ve broken it down into three categories:
- Your limiting beliefs
- Your mental and emotional patterns
- Your behavioral strategies
All three of these parts work together in a system to highlight in the world everything that is familiar to you (like the way there are three parts that make up an egg: yolk, white, and shell). Unfortunately, what is familiar to you may not at all be in alignment with the kind of romantic relationship you desire.
Let’s say you believe that all men are cheaters. Your subconscious mind will highlight any information that could mean that the man you are with is untrustworthy. You’ll likely be triggered easily into feeling jealous or insecure whenever he is speaking with another woman. And you could put too much emphasis on dating a trustworthy man, even when there is no spark of attraction.
Maybe you have a strategy of trying to prove you are loveable or that you must earn love. This strategy leads women to behave more from their masculine energy and become the pursuer in the dating process only to find that the men they want a relationship with never step up to claim them.
If this is one of your strategies for love, it can cause you to choose men who reject you because if you must prove you are loveable in order to feel loved then you will always need a challenge so you can attempt to overcome it. These circumstances feel familiar to your experience of love from your family of origin.
Knowing how your subconscious system is wired for love and transforming it is the shortcut to having the soul-satisfying, long-lasting love you desire.
You Are Attracted To What Is Familiar
The main job of the subconscious mind is to keep you alive. It does this by highlighting the familiar. You have a physical homeostasis that is required for you to survive. If your body’s temperature, heart rate, or blood pressure fall outside of a very narrow range, you will die.
You also have a behavioral homeostasis. Your subconscious mind strives to keep your behavior consistent within a familiar narrow range. Because you are wired for survival (and not necessarily for thriving) your subconscious mind directs you toward similar circumstances again and again and again.
Your subconscious mind recognizes familiar qualities and circumstances in the world and an alarm goes off telling you, “This is familiar! This is familiar!” The problem is your subconscious doesn’t distinguish between what is familiar and good for you, versus familiar and bad for you.
The subconscious mind cannot judge – that occurs only in the big pre-frontal cortex part of the brain. You can think of the subconscious as having two buckets – Known and Unknown. What is known is considered safe and everything else is considered unsafe. This is because whatever age you are right now – you’ve made it this far.
Your subconscious wants to bring you more of the same experiences because it assumes you will continue to survive through whatever you’ve already experienced. Because the subconscious cannot judge, it has no clue if you are alive and blissfully happy, or if you are miserable and suicidal. It only knows that you’re alive and you’ve lived through all your experiences.
Your Love Imprint® is your subconscious program for intimate relationships – LOVE. It has a specific homeostasis for what love feels like to you and how it functions. So, if you’ve never experienced the kind of love you desire there is a disconnect between what is highlighted out in the world, and what you truly want.
Love Imprint Examples
We had a client “D” whose father wasn’t physically present during her childhood. He traveled for work and felt resentment for the family he had at home. Her mother was domineering and controlling and didn’t validate her or her siblings.
As a girl, she often felt like a caretaker for her mother, and “D” felt loved when she was being responsible and a helper. Her mother taught her that men were untrustworthy and less evolved than women.
As an adult, she struggled to find a relationship that was fulfilling on all levels. She was either married to a responsible and supportive man where there was no chemistry, or she would have passionate affairs with men who were very irresponsible and without a stable income, virtually unable to take care of themselves.
We determined her love imprint to be “Loves means I can’t be satisfied.”
Another one of our clients “H” grew up as an only child in a house where her parents never had a fight. They were married 56 years and in all that time no one was ever upset. To make matters worse, her parents expected perfection from her.
She was sick as a child with an immune deficiency and so she spent a lot of time in the hospital. Even after the threat of her illness was over, her parents worried a lot about her and were concerned she would not be able to thrive in life.
“H” married the first guy to show interest in her. He cheated on her twice and she always felt that it was her fault. If only she were more accepting of him, it would have worked out differently. She only blamed herself for the marriage not lasting.
We determined her love imprint to be “It’s not safe for me to get the love I want.”
A third client of ours “S” grew up being told that her father really wanted a son instead of her. He couldn’t handle her being emotional and would always manipulate her by turning her words against her. Her mother was not a warm or affectionate person; instead, she expressed love through her actions.
She married and ultimately divorced a man who she felt she could never please. Her biggest fear was that she was never going to be enough – good enough, smart enough, thin enough, or pretty enough.
We determined her love imprint to be “I’m not worthy of love.”
Sharing these specific examples allows you to see how the underlying limiting belief system comes from the circumstances within the family of origin, and then carries forward later in life to be played out via intimate relationships.
Suffering From “New Face Same Situation Syndrome?”
You meet someone and have all the good feelings, you’re certain this time it will be different, only to discover the same issues again, and again, and again. It’s enough to have you swear off dating altogether.
There is nothing wrong with you – as a matter of fact, your survival mechanism is 100% intact. Right now, you simply have a strategy for selecting a match from a false positive – simply because you haven’t yet experienced the kind of love you desire.
You’ve probably had the experience of walking into a room of a few hundred people, most of whom you’ve never met. Your eyes connect with some people, you smile, and you begin to have a conversation with someone. Have you then discovered that you have a lot in common that you couldn’t have known ahead of time? It seems like kismet. (This occurs with the gender you’re attracted to and with those who are simply platonic friends.)
You don’t DECIDE in your conscious mind who you find attractive. It just happens. Just like the scenario above. You simply speak to the people who stand out – who are highlighted for you.
The part of you that is highlighting those people and placing them as co-stars in your own personal movie (as opposed to extras in the background) is your subconscious. It draws you toward the familiar and this is the only directive it was given. Remember, this is built into the survival of the species.
When It Comes To Love – You Are Always In Reaction To The Past
If the last guy cheated, you want to make sure he is faithful. If the ex is an alcoholic then all your focus goes toward finding someone sober, etc.
Truthfully, what you really want is not the opposite of what you do not want. Yet this is how you stumble into love – simply by accident.
Accidental love leads to a similar dysfunction to the one you grew up with because you learned how to “do” love in your family of origin. If you desire something you’ve never experienced before, then you will never find it looking outside of you. The solution you seek is inside.
As a child, you assigned meaning to the events that occurred. The plot points of your past are not changeable, however, the meaning you assigned to those events is malleable. Having a new experience of love changes the identification of what love is to the subconscious mind. Just like riding a bike, once you learn how to do it, you cannot unlearn it.
You can change your dating strategies all you like, but Your Love Imprint will keep you stuck in the same patterns blocking you from your soulmate relationship.
Have you decided right now that you’re done experiencing a false positive? Done chasing what is unattainable? Done wishing and hoping that the person who shattered your heart would return?
Here’s your new way to “do” love?
Join us for Your Love Imprint® Session. During this private session, we will diagnose your unique pattern blocking you from long-lasting love and share with you our approach for transforming your heartache and opening the door to a new type of love – one where you can count on your partner as sure as you know the sun will rise tomorrow.
Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER and have helped thousands around the globe create lasting love. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.