Human relationships: heterosexual love – psychotherapy

Human relationships

Human relationships: heterosexual love – psychotherapy

Human relationships: heterosexual love – psychotherapy 1920 1200 Paterakis Michalis
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Love towards the opposite sex, its type, its intensity and its quality, is determined very early in life. The three determining factors are:

  1. the sense of gender for the self
  2. the anatomical difference between the sexes regarding the lack and existence of a penis and
  3. the behavior which is presented as a model



The sense of gender and the behavior which is presented as a role model

How we feel about ourselves in terms of what kind of gender we belong to is created by a combination of things. First is the biological which regulates sex development and hormones. Then there is the fantasy desire of the parents and especially of the mother figure. These two elements begin and shape an inner sense of our gender. This feeling becomes stable gradually and until around the age of two we have a good image of ourselves regarding the question of gender. Depending on this image we also turn to the other sex. If I feel that I am a boy I turn to the mother and if I feel that I am a girl I turn to the father. The desire of the parent of the opposite sex comes into play there and shapes various attitudes.

But this is not so pronounced in terms of gender formation after two years. It just adds characteristics to the way we perceive relationships, acceptance, affects self-esteem but does not define gender. That is, if a little girl is not wanted by her dad, she will be disappointed, her narcissism, her self-confidence will be hurt, but her sense of gender will not change because of this. If her mom is rejecting, which means she’s been that way since the beginning, that’s a more important reason for gender selection. Psychological gender, that is the sense we have of ourselves, is determined at the beginning of life and has to do with the relationship we have with the mother figure. The mother gradually introduces the father into the relationship with the baby to play the important role of identification with the son and love for the girl. This introduction of the father is not done from the beginning and it should not be done because at the beginning and for about a year the child needs to have a solid sense of who takes care of him, who holds him, has the same smell, the same way , the same frame.

By that I don’t mean not letting the father hold the baby or feed him sometimes. I explain this because many mothers get it wrong. But what should be known, is that there should be an inner feeling that one is the primary caregiver. This is where the sense of security comes in. Then the father is introduced more effectively. There in about the first year. So the father’s desire to leave an heir of the same sex, begins to function as a point of identification, as the principle of “we are the same”.

Thus, in the case of the boy, the mother understands the need to make this identification which she herself cannot provide. In the case of the girl, however, it can provide female identification and in this way provides the feminine substrate. Here we must note that the feminine substratum as expressed over time by the experts of earlier times but also by our own observation, research, experience and clinical investigation, exists in all of us because we are raised by women. However, the sexes essentially stand out because of identifications at the psychological level and because of the biological difference at the physical level.


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The anatomical difference of the presence and absence of a penis

Throughout life from birth man has a sense of himself on a physical level. The finding of the lack or presence of a penis in other people has a particularly important role in the human psyche and creates, together with the elements of cultural prohibitions and the personality of the parents, a framework that concerns the feelings of shame, morality, guilt and the fear of castration. It is a finding that creates fear in the boys because on a fantasy level the girls also had a penis but they also lost it to the girls that they are wronged so this injustice must be remedied. So women are chasing this lost object looking for love and men are looking for confirmation of strength and good functioning to be sure that everything is going well and that they are not going to lose it.

So in life two poles are formed: women sell the sex that men want and men sell the love that women want. Love for women leads to pregnancy which psychologically we find with mathematical precision that makes up for injustice and sex with many women makes up for male castration which is the inability to have children themselves so to be sure that the children are theirs, they hunt to go with as many as possible.



The “psychological world” and its complexity

The psychological world of people is really complex and we owe to psychoanalysis the explanation of all the phenomena that occur in our lives, in our behavior and in our relationships. And normally we shouldn’t just say “psychological”. On the contrary, all feelings start from biological functions, but we used to use only the word “psychological” instead of the more correct word: “biopsychological” and even better: “biopsychosocial”. However, whatever word we use, psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a field that helps us understand ourselves and create better relationships in our lives. Heterosexual love is a part of relationships. We all live in a bisexual world and we can love emotionally and physically and we all have homosexual parts not necessarily in the sense of a sexual act. Remember that in the past mainly fathers were afraid to give their boys a caress lest they be labeled gay.

From the mother’s side, what matters is that we were all originally women since the identifications that are created in the baby come from the woman who takes care of you. Men are incapable of taking care of a baby so female care is passed on to us. This admission always reminds us of the intimacy of women within us to the varying degree that existed for each. From there, in order to understand a person’s sexuality completely and in a way that is real for the person who carries this sexuality, we should deal with it individually. This investigation is done to a lesser or greater degree in every psychotherapeutic relationship in which all the psycho-emotional aspects of the individual’s development appear.


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The process of psychotherapy requires commitment, dedication and is only for those who are serious about changing their lives. If you are considering embarking on this journey, call me at 211 71 51 801 to make an appointment and let’s see together how I can help you.

Michael Paterakis

Psychologist Psychotherapist

37 Karneadou Street, Kolonaki

I accept By appointment

Tel: 211 7151 801


    Πατεράκης Μιχάλης
    Ψυχολόγος Αθήνα


      Psychologist Athens