The Origin Of Your Relationship Patterns

The Origin Of Your Relationship Patterns post image

This could be why you’re still
single or happily married.
People inherit their
relationship patterns from their mothers, new research finds.
Both men and women whose
mothers have a higher number of romantic partners are likely to have more
partners themselves.
Similarly, mothers who divorce
or serially cohabit, have children who are more likely to divorce and serially
A person is more likely to
break up their cohabitation if their mother also does so frequently.
It is probably because mothers
pass on their relationship patterns to their children.

Dr Claire Kamp Dush, who led
the study, said:
“Our results suggest that
mothers may have certain characteristics that make them more or less desirable
on the marriage market and better or worse at relationships. 
Children inherit and learn
those skills and behaviors and may take them into their own relationships.”
The study followed over 3,200
mothers and their children for 24 years.
It tracked how people married
and divorced across the generations and their subsequent relationships.

Dr Kamp Dush said:
“It’s not just divorce now. Many children are seeing their
parents divorce, start new cohabiting relationships, and having those end as
All of these relationships can
influence children’s outcomes, as we see in this study.”
Those who saw their mothers
having more relationships tended to copy this themselves.

Dr Kamp Dush said:
“You may see cohabitation as
an attractive, lower-commitment type of relationship if you’ve seen your mother
in such a relationship for a longer time. 
That may lead to more partners
since cohabitating relationships are more likely to break-up.”
Mothers pass on their
characteristics to their children, Dr Kamp Dush said:
“What our results suggest is
that mothers may pass on their marriageable characteristics and relationship
skills to their children — for better or worse. 
It could be that mothers who
have more partners don’t have great relationship skills, or don’t deal with
conflict well, or have mental health problems, each of which can undermine
relationships and lead to instability. 
Whatever the exact mechanisms,
they may pass these characteristics on to their children, making their
children’s relationships less stable.”
The study was published in the
journal PLOS ONE (Kamp Dush et al., 2018).

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.