Who We Can Love


One of the strangest things about relationships is that we’re not free to feel attracted to just anyone. We tend to have very strong psychological types that we can’t deviate from. All of us carry inside us very specific inner shopping lists, defining what the people we can love need to be like as characters. You might think these shopping lists would be focused around lovely requirements. Like that our potential lovers would need to be kind, understanding, friendly and from our age and social group. But the shopping lists are in fact often a lot weirder and darker. We may end up neglecting all sorts of potential candidates, dismissing them as boring or yucky or somehow just wrong and heading straight to people whose characteristics are pretty awkward and not conducive to our happiness. For example, we may only be able to fall in love with people who are much less clever or responsible than we are. Or who are really unreliable, or who are selfish and self-absorbed, or sarcastic and mean. It can be very puzzling to those around us and to ourselves. Why on earth can’t we settle down with people who are good for us? That’s because what we’re looking for in love isn’t necessarily someone who is nice, pure and simple but someone who feels familiar. And a lot of us learned about love in childhood, at the hands of people who were, in a variety of ways, trouble for us and who continue unconsciously to guide our love types. Our earliest caregivers give us templates of what it is to love and be loved which can cause havoc with our chances of happiness. The trickiness in our love types tend to go in one of three ways. Let’s imagine dad was cold or violent or abusive, or mom was belittling, unavailable or controlling. It was horrible, yet that ends up being what we look for in love. Why would we ever repeat something that was deeply uncomfortable? Well, because even though it was horrible, it was still a love relationship. There was abuse but also, let’s imagine, a degree of familiarity, admiration, attachment and even tenderness. They may have been belittling, but it’s what we got used to. And now, however illogical it sounds, it doesn’t quite feel right unless it’s kind of awful as well. It’s not nice as such, but it feels comfortingly, compellingly familiar. Or, imagine the experience firsthand… what it was like to be made to feel terrible, to be humiliated and hurt. And then, weirdly, we may end up doing the same thing to someone else. Humiliating them in turn, bossing them about, going cold on them just when they’re vulnerable to us. It’s as if a primitive part of us thinks that the only way not to be abused is to be the abuser. Deep inside the child-like emotional self thinks, the person who did that thing to me was, in a way, the opposite of me, and that must be the place of safety, and that’s who I want to be in any relationship. When parents cause us trouble, we’re often so keen to get away from it, we develop blocks around all kind of character traits they may have had which might actually have been good and actually unrelated to the troublesome traits. So, for example, our father might have been belittling but highly intelligent. Now, regrettably, anyone intelligent can be seen hugely putting us off. Or we always felt our mother was somehow revolted by sexuality, ours especially, but she was really warm and cuddly. Now, sadly, anyone who is warm and cuddly is imagined to be punitive around sex and hence feels wrong and has to be rejected. Our inner love maps are really hard to tease out. They certainly don’t spell themselves out, so we have to make efforts to find out what they’re dictating so as to free ourselves from their demands. The investigation starts, as always, by trying to understand ourselves. What did I suffer from at the hands of my early caregivers? Am I finding myself drawn to that in adults I fancy? Am I causing trouble for people in ways I might have suffered from when I was young? Am I putting off certain people because they have traits I associate with people who cause me difficulties as a child? Might I in other people find the traits I like without the ones I fear? Emotional health means expanding on the number of people we’re free to fall in love with. We learn about love in childhood, but we liberate ourselves from the traumas of childhood when we realize we can love in different ways, and get used to something that may at first be eerily and challengingly unfamiliar. Being happy with someone who is properly and deeply good for us.

100 thoughts on “Who We Can Love

  1. Disagree. It's just a mixture of genes and hormones. I'm attracted to men whose natural scents I find enticing, and those same men almost always happen to have strong brow bones, prominent jawlines and general good health. Environment has very little to do with it. I hate this sort of needless psychoanalyzing.

  2. I dont think i go through all of that… all i know is while i may not know what it feels like to be loved by a man… i do know what it feels like to not be loved by a man

  3. The last part killed me because even tho I'm aware of this problem, I avoid people that I think are not right for me but still can't have feelings for people that are good for me… And I don't know what to do.

  4. It’s too easy to love a person who we can feel comfortable with but nowadays, we tend to be attracted to the partner’s physical beauty. That’s why most of the relationships that people have are unsuccessful or unhealthy. Some people keep making the same mistake sometimes without even knowing it.

  5. I've been humiliated and verbally abused and it's the worst feeling ever. Even though it sucks, I would never wish it upon anybody. I never understood why people think just bc it happened to them, it means they should do it to others. Whenever I hear people say that, it really puts me off but I feel like it's normal for most people, the human brain is weird.

  6. Does the way we grow up contribute to if we're anxious, avoidant, or secure attachments in relationships? I feel like they're related from your videos

  7. Mom was controlling and belittling. I never got used to it. All my partners are the exact opposite, to the point that they are apatheic. Im the controlling and belittling one.

  8. Is it wierd that I agree with every video that The School Of Life makes but still test my love life as if if I don't know the true answer. I see there's more to myself than I lead on and in other be that as it may I find myself enjoying the struggle because I find change easy. Life is about sorrow and exeptance and if I'm teaching that to other I come accross with in this life so they can grow then so be it. I know where I want to go in life. Sensibly so.

  9. I need your help and advice guys… I lived in a small town with my parents until I was 20 and they never allowed me to bring back girls home so I never really had a lot of secual experience except for my ex-gf. When I went to the unoversity, I got the chance to experiment but got myself into a relationship with a very kind, joyful and beautiful girl. I really love her, but since she told me she slept around with random guys and had several one nights, I just can't think about anything else than her having sex with someone else. I feel like I didn't had the chance to explore and have fun with the girls since I lived most of my young days with my parents. I don't want to loose her, but at the same time these taughts are torturing me. It was hard for me but I told her about that and she had little to no reaction other than being ashamed of herself (which was not my goal). I don't know if I'll ever find another girl as good as her but it's really hard to keep on living this way… what should I do?

  10. Self-awareness is the most important attribute for me, in finding a partner. The understanding of humility, and the empathy to understand someone's journey. But saying that, my own honesty is absolutely needed. Being young in your 20's, you can be like any teenager. But most often you also think about sex. It's hard for those who are socially, inept. But frustration rather comes out of a fear of expressing your honest feelings towards a woman, and… that fear often turns into anger. Demurring our biological feelings is half the root of our sadness. But it is also, on the part of a woman, her inability to accept that the "nice" guys/good guy, really want the same "reward" just as any other male that she has chosen. The ability to connect. It's a shame, that being an Asian, this culture is kind of restricted to really unhealthy levels.

    but god damn though, i really think about her tits…. fuck i can see through her sweater ><

  11. This may be compelling, but is obviously unfalsifiable. You both LIKE OR DISLIKE people because they have the traits of our fucked up parents. Covers all outcomes.

  12. Talking about nurture, I agree, the way you are raised has a (huge) effect on various levels of life. But after having studied (Vedic) astrology for many years it is obvious to me many people's preferences are a built-in thing. And maybe love is not always about the good and the nice. As life is a School, maybe we have to learn something from the messy and the not always so nice. By any means it is not my intention to say we should accept abusive relationships though.

  13. I'm fully aware that the women I am attracted to are just as fucked up and unstable as my mother, but that doesn't help me one bit. My brain may tell me that it's dumb and will only hurt me (again) but my hormones are on full blast

  14. I have liked someone who shares uncanny similarities with my mother's character traits. My mother who I love and adore most. My father, on the other hand, has been cold and violent. I have never, and can never like or fall in love with someone who resembles a bit like him. I will, without a doubt in my brain find such characters repulsive.

  15. Finally, who I should love ? I watched 3 times but still confused about the content? any body helps or has the same problem?

  16. Of course, what people by default look for is their normality derived from their parent's relationship with them but also their developmental upbringing (socialising etc.). That much is obvious. But partner choices based on these criteria are incorrect and in part the reason why so many relationships break down.; how so many couples have children with the wrong person. Fueling all those liars/lawyers & establishment back bone, there is no education to teach people how to choose partners. Much effort is required to identify what traits are truly attractive beyond make-up, gym, physical looks or lust. For example: erudite sarcastic humour, competence, confidence, earning capacity, rhetoric, philosophy, intelligence, advanced sex etc.

  17. I love how there are different kinds of fish and stuff because it reminds me of the saying: there is plenty of fish in the sea

  18. Freud is NOT right – I am FREE! My childhood doesn't remote-control me. I've outgrown the shit, so I'm able to look for NICE partners….Would be cool if the the guys from "school of life" would leave Freud from time to time and show alternative psychological opinions….

  19. Oh my god wait a sec…

    "There are plenty of fish in the sea"
    But we are one of those fishes too in this video
    Genius 👏👏👏

  20. Thank you, to whoever you re, contributing to this content.
    And thank you, ones that make starts big conversions in comment section.
    And thank us, who come here joining them.

  21. This is not true. I disagree with the teaching from this guy on Why you will marry the wrong guy, Who we can love and Love. It is perverse and brings no good. Listening to those three videos, for sure many will choose the wrong guy. There is nothing wrong with optimism and hope. We look someone similar from our parents if their couple was good. Not because it was not good. Some might repeat what they saw but not everybody. This man sounds like a man who has been bitterly heart-broken and did not recover and wants everybody to feel like him, sad inside, pessimistic. At first I found it interesting and liberating but the more I thought about it the more it has left me a bad taste. This is very dangerous teaching. This teaching will definitely cause us to pick the wrong person. In my inner shopping list there is "kind" actually. I do not see myself with anybody other than a kind person. Referring to the video "Why you will marry the wrong guy", hope deceived can cause us to be angry (strangely the comments have been disabled on that video) but hope is necessary to carry on living.

  22. Creator of this video assumes that a child , who is in abusive releasionship with his parents , will take it as a normal relationship. That is need not to true for everyone.

  23. You want a woman to love you ?

    Be alpha when she's ovulating, be beta when she's not.
    All the rest is bullshit

  24. Oh, that's why I like conservative and cold, mean people…
    I've recently been talking to someone who is more laid back, liberal, and lax. At first I felt unsure, but it's always good to stick with it and keep reminding yourself that it's just your childhood conditioning. Having someone actually treat me right and give me emotional support and love makes me feel weird since my parents emotionally neglected me, but I know I need it in order to make the relationship last. Stick with it!!!

  25. “When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation. Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself.” T-8.III.4:1-7

  26. Dear School of Life, thank you so much for the films, they really helped me a lot emotionally and helped me gain insights about my life!

  27. Women's shopping lists are totally messed up… they look for the Bad Fish…. and pass up the Good Fish……. then when all the Good Fish became Bad Fish… Women complain they can't find any Good Fish…….

  28. So this is probably why I tend to be turned off by the idea of dating a religious woman even though she would probably be a better choice than the type of women I've dated.

  29. biggest load of ***
    I have wasted time watching / listening.
    Mind you, had a coffee too !

    Without rule # 1 and # 2 you are always going to struggle.

    Learn to love yourself if others like you great, if they dont well, tough, their loss not yours my dear people 😉

  30. If I was that fish, I’d not end up
    getting together with that mini-kraken of an octopus. That thing is gonna eat you whole boy.

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