As we are growing up, we are influenced by many factors, including our role models. There are certain people we admire, we want to be like or we aspire to be. Generally, we choose our role models in the modelling period of our life (between age 7 and 14 years). As you think about that period of your life, you may recall a favourite singer, band, actor/actress, relative, friend, etc. you had. You may even have dressed up as your favourite celebrity, super hero, etc.
Here are some examples of possible role models:
- Mum, dad
- Other relatives
- Family friends
- School friends
- Super heros
- Singers, bands
- Sports heros
- Other celebrities
- Cartoon characters
Relationship Role Models
As you consider the above possible role models, on whom did you model your relationship with a partner? Consider the following examples:
Person A kept attracting needy partners in her relationship. She is an independent woman and likes a man who is also independent, instead for decades she kept attracting needy men. They were too clingy for her liking and that caused those relationships to end. Over lunch one day she spoke to her mum and explained her challenges with men. To her surprise, she realised that she had modelled her partners on her mum’s - who had past needy partners and was now married to a needy man (person A’s father).
Person B used to love watching the Lone Ranger on television. You may remember the Lone Ranger was a loner and only had a sidekick to help him out from time to time. Person B unconsciously chose the Lone Ranger as a role model at a young age and spent his whole life alone with only one or two close friends he would occasionally see. Decades later, person B was wondering why he was still alone without a relationship.
Person C admired a family friend that would often visit. She loved the way this family friend was a successful professional and had everything she wanted – she travelled, made lots of money, had a fabulous lifestyle, etc. At a young age, person C wanted to be like this family friend. What person C only realised later in life was that by modelling this family friend she unconsciously modelled her relationships also (which were unsuccessful). Person C grew up as a highly successful professional woman, yet without a successful relationship.
Assess Your Role Models
Before you make any changes to your current relationship with your partner, think about and honestly answer the following questions:
- Who were your main role models around a relationship with a partner?
- What did you admire about those role models?
- What example did they set for a relationship with a partner?
- Where their influences positive or negative on you?
- Have those role models served you well to create the relationship you would like to have with a partner?
- Are your past relationship role models haunting you in your current relationship with a partner?
- Which role model would you prefer to have instead who is a good example for a successful relationship with a partner?
Be mindful of the importance of role models and how they may be impacting on your current relationship with a partner. Then if you discover that your role models are not serving you, you can stop them haunting you. Choose new relationship role models that empower you to have a more successful relationship with a partner from now on.
Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit www.qttransformation.com.
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