The important insight to gain from this exercise is to see how you perceive your parents, what message they handed down to you, and how their relationship has shaped you.
• What message did your mother give you about love?
• What message did your father give you about love?
• What clues did you pick up from both of them, even if they didn't specifically express them to you?
• Did they conform to the times?
• Did they break the mold?
• Did they follow their hearts?
• Did they "do the right thing"?
• What words would you use to describe their relationship?
• Did your mother grow as a person in the relationship?
• Did your father grow as a person in the relationship?
• Did your mother feel disappointed in the relationship? If so, why?
• Did your father feel disappointed in the relationship? If so, why?
• Did your parents survive tricky times? If so, how?
• What did each of them think about love? (It's your impression of this that counts)
• What did each of them think about marriage?
• What did each of them think about sex?
• Do any of the qualities you are attracting or looking for in a partner mirror those of one of your parents? (Be honest here – sometimes we are attracted to qualities that we do not necessarily like, but which repeat something that we have experienced before.)
• What did your parents hope for you? What did they wish for you?
Now the dynamic question: Do you agree with their message? Think about whether you are living them out, or if there is still a voice inside you that judges potential partners according to your parents' values. Or whether you conduct relationships in a way that mirrors them.
Read about 50 creative ways to say I love you.
Excerpted from The Law of Attraction for Love: The Secret to Finding Your Soul Mate by Debbie Frank. Copyright 2007 by Debbie Frank. Excerpted with permission of Ulysses Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.