The need for an Imago Partner
As we have understood the nature of humans in growth and development, we have realized that there are unmet needs in our lives that our caretakers could not provide for us.
Now as grownups, our brains work with a non-negotiating drive to restore the feeling of aliveness and wholesomeness that was in us when we came into this world. This means that we must repair any damage experienced during our growth as a result of unfulfilled needs. To achieve this, we need to find a partner who can give us what our parents or caretakers could not provide.
The brain thus has an image of the perfect partner whereby the image is characterized by the qualities formed as a reaction of the manner in which our parents/characters provided for our needs.
Every pain we endure or pleasure, any need which was unmet or any challenge which we couldn’t get through and all other activities left a mark on us, and all these collective impressions form an unconscious image we want to replicate as we look for a partner who can make us whole again- the “imago partner”.
As much as we may seek only positive traits from our caretakers even negative traits are marked in our imago picture because they are the traits which cause us to experience the pain that we now seek to heal. Our unconscious need is to have someone to remind us of our caretakers but who possesses no negative traits.
So when we fall in love and enter into a shared living with a partner, our brains tells us that we’ve found someone to help us meet our needs.
Unfortunately we don’t know the unconscious inner person of our partners and when the truth surfaces that they may not meet our needs or they may have traits we don’t desire, we begin to feel insecure gain.
Another powerful component of our imago is that we also seek the qualities lost in ourselves due to the pressures of of fitting in the society. For instance, if we are shy, we will seek someone outgoing, when we are messy we seek someone who’s focused and orderly. If the opposite is realized in our partners we feel cheated, disappointed and uncomfortable.
Conflict in Real love
When we come to understand that we choose our partners to help us heal certain painful experiences and that the healing of those painful moments to the key to restore our wholeness and aliveness, then we have started the journey to real and true love.
We also need to understand that conflicts are normal and occur as a result of clashing traits. They happen because we try to get our aliveness restored and our needs met. Divorce is never a solution, and must we separate with our partners, our problems do not subside, we carry them to the next relationship.
One important thing that we need to understand is that relationships are not made up of love but of need; and that real love is born >in a relationship. Real love is born when partners know the needs of each other and do what is necessary to accomplish them.
Romantic love usually prevails during the initial stages of a relationship and it helps to guide a person to meet his/her partner and fades away soon after. Therefore after meeting, partners are supposed to seek real love by knowing the needs of each other and doing what is necessary to fulfill them.