Growing up, I used to fantasize about falling in love with someone amazing.

The criteria involved this person being nothing like the people who raised me, and that’s a pretty common wish — after all, almost no one had a perfect childhood. We all have problems, and parents often pass down patterns of behavior to their children that they never could have anticipated.

If you’re someone who finds yourself with “daddy issues,” “mommy issues,” or you just can’t get away from difficult partners, there may be a reason why.

According to The School of Life, we love along “grooves” we learned in childhood and recreate the situations in which we felt loved. That feeling can be complicated by painful elements, too.

Unfortunately, rather than avoiding the painful parts, we look for familiarity. Even if that person doesn’t exhibit the same exact behaviors, the way they make us feel love in a complicated way draws them into our lives.

Asking someone to change the kind of person they’re attracted to is nearly impossible, but we can change some of the smaller ways we react to others like in the chart below.

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