We’ve been talking a lot about relationships this month, but this time, we’re not talking about the relationship you have with your significant other, partner, husband, wife, girlfriend, or whatever – or about the relationship you hope to find with that special someone. This is about the relationships you have with the other people in your life – family, friends, co-workers, clients – because the way you behave in those relationships can give you a lot of insight into how you can handle your love interest relationships.

Do you constantly struggle to maintain friendships, shift from job to job because you have confrontations with your boss, or struggle to maintain your composure when dealing with ridiculously demanding clients? It is important to look at both your role in the struggles you have in these types of relationships as well as the things about these particular people that seem to set you off.

By understanding your relationships with these minor players in your life, you may be able to determine personality traits and quirks that are difficult for you to live with. You may be able to choose a partner that more perfectly suits your personality. If you are already in a relationship, you may be able to use the other relationships in your life to understand what it is that causes conflict between you and your partner. Perhaps your girlfriend’s nagging reminds you too much of your boss and you feel like you are never able to escape it. Perhaps your boyfriend’s dismissal of your feelings is too similar to what you experienced from your parents and it bothers you more than you realized.

We tend to choose people based on how they fit into our lives, and sometimes we choose people because they have this familiarity about them – unfortunately, it sometimes takes us a while to figure out that the familiarity is something unhealthy we’re just used to experiencing.

If you are struggling to find a partner, or struggling with your partner, take a look at your other relationships and see if you can learn something that will enlighten you. You might be amazed by the similarities you find.

Making the discovery, however, is not going to be enough. You then need to possibly modify your own behavior, communicate with your partner, or train yourself to avoid unhealthy yet familiar personalities. In the end, you will never find anyone who is “perfect” but you may find someone who is perfect for you!