Then, as adults, we’re attracted to people who stimulate us in the same way.
But while that might sound like a slightly creepy cliché, for many of us, a quick tally of our exes will bring up some uncomfortable similarities with the first man in our lives – whether you were aware of it at the time or not.
Relationship therapist Dr Judith Wright says it’s quite straightforward.
Basically, the interactions we have with our fathers as young girls are our earliest opportunity to practise communication with the opposite sex.
‘It’s called pre-sexual programming,’ she explains. ‘As infants, we develop an unconscious schema of what love is, based on the way we are treated by our primary caregivers.
These kinds of complexities can make honoring parents, setting expectations, and finding husbands feel hopeless.