A scene from Honeymoon in Vegas which sees James Caan attempt to replace his dead wife with a look a like Sarah Jessica Parker, started me wondering whether people have a specific ‘type’ or are perhaps narcissistic when it comes to dating. The media (with it’s fixation on celebrity couples) would suggest that some people are attracted to a self look a like (who can forget Brad Pitt and Gwynth Paltrow or indeed Brad and Jennifer Anniston) or are always dating identical people – Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter / Penny Lancaster or Jonnie Depp and Kate Moss / Vanessa Paradis. A partner may be chosen because they look like one’s parent or like oneself. Such a partner no doubt creates a sense of security or familiarity.
Maybe there is some truth in the old adages ‘opposites attract’ or ‘birds of a feather flock together’. Perhaps people are after self-expansion or are seeking support for habits they want to keep. Perhaps there are differences in the sexes – are men guided by physical attraction whilst women look for a care-taker?
The scene from Honeymoon in Vegas where Parker looks identical to Caan’s late wife seems to clearly describe the concept of transference. The concept of transference refers to the unconscious process of transferring feelings and attitudes which were associated with important figures in one’s early life onto people in the here and now. Caan responds to Parker in the present but under the influence of his past experiences.