Your roots. Your family background. How you were raised. Your family history plays a unique role in how you will approach romantic relationships. Thing is when this is discussed it’s usually in reference to the not so positive things you’ve experienced or witnessed.

For example, that bitter divorce you witnessed your parents go through. Your father or mother passed away when you were a child. Or you remember your parents fighting more than dancing in the kitchen. Or you didn’t really have a solid relationship with your mother, or father – or both. The list goes on and on…

But what about for those people who grew up in a relatively happy home?

What if your parents were madly in love (still are) and your childhood was mostly reflective of that love? Sure you had your ups and downs, but overall, it was pretty spectacular.

What role does this play when it’s time for you to find a relationship?

In our office, we’ve witnessed, time and time again, a client who witnessed real love and affection between their parents and are having a lot of trouble finding this kind of love for themselves.

There is this underlying feeling that your parents’ marriage was so perfect and so you are terrified to mess it up. So you put up more protection, nitpick on little things that don’t matter, or bail because nothing seems good enough.

This is why it’s important to take a look at your background. In what ways is your childhood molding you? When is it still speaking to you? What can you keep? And what do you need to let go of?

Examining your family history will help you uncover your current roadblocks and patterns – and also help you uncover more of your unique and incredible qualities so you know how to always come into a new relationship rooted in your best self.

As humans, we love to create paths and rules. It’s the natural student in us. So we decide if we do A, it must lead to B. But your love life really doesn’t have rules. Which means you have to be able to let go of how you think something should look.

Don’t try to recreate what your parents have because although you are a product of them, you are not them. They are a part of you but not all of you. Take that goodness, know which of their main qualities are important to you – loyalty, kindness, laughter – whatever it is and figure out how you will create that for yourself.

The bottom line is to use your family background as a guideline but not as a how-to guide. Make sense? This week, start to notice how your family history is guiding you. Report back with a quick email or sound off in the comments below.