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Why We Pick Who We Pick

There is a lot of pressure regarding who we pick to marry as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not only do we have a very marriage and family centered church, but temple marriages are, ideally, supposed to last forever when we are sealed together. In fact, a famous quote by Elder Bruce R. McConkie states the following: “The most important single thing that any Latter-day Saint ever does in this world is to marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority. It is the gate to eternal peace and love here and eternal peace and love in the mansions on high.” So, no pressure!

With so much on the line—both in this life and for the life to come—why do we sometimes pick poorly? Why do we sometimes choose a spouse that is unhealthy, lazy, disrespectful, and treats us poorly--even abusively? Especially when we understand the immense importance of this decision? This brief article will explore this subject, along with offering some ideas and suggestions to improve our picking abilities.

Why We Pick Who We Pick:

As a general rule of thumb—and I agree there are exceptions to this—we tend to be similar in personality, temperament, and habits like one of our parents and then choose a spouse with similarities to the other parent. Or, said another way, we often pick someone like whomever the parent you are similar to tends to be attracted to and choose to date and marry. This “type” of person your parent is attracted to and chooses may be numerous similar kinds of people the parent has dated or married if they have had many relationships. Why do we do this—role model after choices from a parent we are similar to? Because such relationship choices are what we are comfortable with. What seems familiar. What we are used to. What we relate to and makes sense to us. What we have experience dealing with and have cultivated coping mechanisms for.

Conversely, even when another person we could date or marry is very healthy and treats us well, this may seem rather weird, foreign, and uncomfortable. We may not be used to such a good, nice person treating us like that. Therefore, in response, we may friendzone them, feel bored by them, “not feel a spark”, and push them away. We may even tell ourselves, “he/she is a nice/good person, but they just seem like a friend”. Or “I know I should date a person like that, I’m just not interested I them for some reason”. Even though the good, healthy person may treat us well, this is often foreign. Therefore, our natural default reaction is to push such people away and seek instead for more natural, complimentary matches to what we are used to.


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