You’ve likely noticed a pattern in your dating life – you keep attracting and dating the same type of guy, even though these relationships never seem to work out. It can be really frustrating and leave you wondering “why do I keep dating the same person over and over?” The good news is that with some self-reflection and awareness, you can understand this pattern and break the cycle, opening yourself up to meeting someone new who’s a better fit for you.
What Your Pattern Reveals About You
Our relationship patterns reveal a lot about our underlying beliefs, wounds and needs. If you keep dating the same type again and again, it usually signals:
- You’re subconsciously attracted to familiarity and the comfortable (even if it doesn’t serve you). As the saying goes, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
- You may be trying to resolve unfinished business from past relationships or your upbringing. We often seek partners who allow us to recreate or “redo” the past.
- You have a “type” you’re drawn to, which may represent qualities you want to heal or express within yourself. As the adage says, “we attract who we are, not who we want.”
Don’t judge yourself for having a pattern – we ALL have relationship biases and unconscious drives. The first step is bringing awareness to yours.
“Beware of patterns. Life happens in cycles, so before you know it, you find yourself back where you started.” – Charlotte Eriksson
Common Types People Get Stuck On
Before you can break a pattern, you need to understand it. Here are some common types of partners people repeat cycles with:
- The Bad Boy/Rebel – This confident, charming rule-breaker intrigues you. But he often ends up being unreliable or making you feel unworthy.
- The Emotionally Unavailable Guy – He seems so alluringly mysterious at first. But his inability to commit leaves you anxious and insecure.
- The Super Logical, Stoic Man– He’s brilliant and accomplished, but too much in his head. You long for more intimacy, vulnerability and connection.
- The Overly Dependent Partner – At first you feel needed, but his neediness ends up feeling smothering. You lose yourself trying to please him.
- The Hyper Critical Guy – His intelligence attracted you initially, but his negativity and judgment of you chips away at your self-worth.
- The Life of the Party – You have so much fun with him, but the nonstop socializing leaves little quality time to connect one-on-one.
Does any of these types ring a bell? If so, pat yourself on the back for starting to identify the pattern!
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde
Dig Into Your Origin Story
Our relationship templates often start in childhood. Think about the models of relationships you saw growing up:
- How did your parents or caregivers interact with each other? What was their dynamic like?
- How did each of your parental figures interact with or relate to you as a child? What needs of yours did they meet or fail to meet?
- Did you experience events that made you feel insecure or unworthy of love? Consider the impact of things like divorce, emotional neglect, unpredictability, or bullying.
- How did these early experiences and role models influence your beliefs about relationships? Do you expect partners to make you feel the way your parents did, either good or bad?
Gaining this clarity can be eye-opening and shed light on ingrained biases. Be gentle with yourself in this process – we all bring our past into how we relate.
“The child is the father of the man.” – William Wordsworth
Assess Your True Needs
Now get clear about what you actually need in a healthy relationship. Make a list of your core needs and desires. Some examples:
- Stability and reliability
- Intimacy and connection
- Respect and trust
- Shared values and empathy
- Independence and growth
Does your usual type align with your needs or sabotage them? This can reveal any inner conflict between what you think you want versus what you actually need.
“Know your worth. Remind yourself of it daily.” – Unknown
Get Support and Input from Friends
Your friends and loved ones can provide another helpful perspective. Ask them for honest feedback on:
- What they observe about your patterns and tendencies in relationships
- Strengths and weaknesses of past partners
- Areas where you seem to compromise yourself or settle
- Qualities they see you needing that your exes lacked
Their insights may surprise you and further increase your self-awareness. Having support as you grow can also be invaluable.
“Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.” – Euripides
Gain Closure on the Past
Any lingering anger, guilt or grief from your relationship history can keep you stuck in repetitive cycles. Make time for reflection:
- Journal about past relationships – the highlights and lowlights. Get clear on what worked and what didn’t.
- Is there anything you need to forgive yourself or a past partner for? Compassion opens the door to release.
- Imagine having a conversation to gain closure with an ex who you still have unfinished business with. What would you want them to know?
Moving forward requires letting go of what no longer serves you. Release the past to make room for the new.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
Expand Your Dating COMFORT Zone
Choosing someone different from your usual type can feel scary or uncomfortable at first. Challenge yourself to push past this:
- Make a list of qualities you typically avoid, but may secretly want in a partner. Qualities may include: reliability, communication skills, independence, introversion, etc.
- Try dating someone who has some of these traits – even if it feels unfamiliar. Notice how they make you feel.
- Expand the demographics you date – try a different culture, income level, lifestyle, age range, etc. Variety literally spices life up!
- Avoid listing superficial requirements. Focus more on shared values and emotional connection.
Stepping outside your comfort zone can reveal a lot. Have fun with it!
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brené Brown
Set Boundaries and Standards
You are the gatekeeper for the kind of treatment you accept from a partner. Have zero tolerance for red flags like:
- Disrespect, meanness, or putting you down
- Closed off or emotionally unavailable
- Extreme jealousy and possessiveness
- Controlling behavior
- Lying and secrecy
- Abusive behavior – verbal, emotional, physical, sexual
Speak up, set a boundary, or walk away the moment a boundary is crossed. You deserve to feel safe and cherished in love.
“Never lower your standards to accommodate someone else’s inability to meet them.” – Unknown
Address Your Inner Critic
Sometimes the harshest critic is the voice within. If you struggle with self-judgment, low self-worth, or high perfectionism, this can impact your choices. Important steps:
- Identify any negative self-talk and limiting beliefs – “I’m not good enough”, etc. Counter them with positive truths.
- Treat yourself kindly. Don’t beat yourself up for having a pattern – focus on growth.
- Build your self-confidence through speaking up for your needs and setting boundaries.
- Seek professional counseling to heal emotional wounds or trauma.
Self-love is the key to attracting healthy love. You are worthy!
“The world will say you are what you wear, but the real you is what you believe in your heart.” – Shannon L. Alder
Keep the Focus on YOU
As the saying goes – “wherever you go, there you are.” The common denominator in your relationships is you! Rather than obsess about changing others, keep the focus on your own growth:
- Take responsibility for communicating your needs clearly. Don’t expect partners to read your mind.
- Be aware of any tendency to morph into what you think your partner wants. Stay grounded in your truth.
- Notice when your standards start slipping to “force” a fit with the wrong partner. Reassert your boundaries.
- Speak up if something feels off instead of ignoring red flags. Trust your intuition.
Putting yourself first will change your whole relationship paradigm.
“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.” – Alan Cohen
Consider Professional Help
For some, independent work may not be enough to break ingrained patterns. There is no shame in seeking professional support through counseling or a life coach. This can help you:
- Unpack your unconscious drivers and hidden wounds
- Resolve trauma or abandonment issues from your past
- Gain insight into how your upbringing shaped your attachment style
- Break through deep-seated barriers to intimacy and vulnerability
- Learn new relationship skills like conflict resolution, expressing needs, etc.
You don’t have to do the work alone – support is available.
“A wise man recognizes his weaknesses and seeks help.” – Unknown
Trust the Process
Remember change takes time, self-awareness, courage and patience. Breaking old patterns doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself grace on this journey. Stay persistent:
- Keep taking small steps forward in your growth each day – progress compounds over time into big change.
- Notice what healthy relationships look and feel like as you move forward. Use these as new models to find the right person.
- If you slip up, get back on the horse! Each moment is a chance to choose differently.
Instead of being hard on yourself, praise yourself for starting this healing process. Have faith that healthier relationships are waiting for you. One mindful step at a time, you can build the love life you desire and deserve!
“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” – Charles Bukowski
Q: Why do I keep dating the same type of guy over and over?
A: According to psychologists, it is common for people to be attracted to a certain type of person, even if that person may not be the right fit for them. This can be due to various factors; you may seek out patterns and operate according to subconscious desires, or familiarity. If you find yourself repeatedly dating the same kind of person, it might be helpful to reflect on your own personality and social psychology to understand why you are drawn to this type.
Q: How do relationship patterns develop?
A: Relationship patterns can develop over time as a result of our experiences and interactions with previous partners. Our past relationships can shape our expectations, preferences, and behavior in future relationships. For example, if you’ve ever been in an unhealthy or toxic relationship, you may unconsciously keep falling for partners who exhibit similar traits. This can create a cycle where you end up dating the same kind of person over and over again.
Q: Can online dating contribute to dating the same type of person?
A: Online dating can sometimes play a role in repeatedly dating the same type of person. When using dating apps or websites, we often have the ability to filter potential partners based on specific criteria, such as physical appearance or interests. While this can be convenient, it can also reinforce our tendencies to seek out a certain type of person. It’s important to be mindful of this and consider broadening your search criteria to break the cycle.
Q: How can I break the cycle of dating the same type of person?
A: Breaking the cycle of dating the same type of person requires self-reflection and making a conscious effort to change your negative patterns. Here are a few tips to help break the cycle:
– Reflect on your past relationships and identify any recurring patterns or negative traits that you’re consistently attracted to.
– Challenge your expectations and consider dating someone different from your usual “type.”
– Seek therapy or counseling to gain insight into your relationship patterns and learn healthier ways of finding a partner.
– Take a break from dating to focus on self-improvement and personal growth.
– Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who can offer guidance and encouragement.
Q: Why does the saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” apply to dating?
A: The saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” applies to dating because if you continue to date the same type of person, you are likely to repeat the same dating patterns and end up with similar outcomes. To break this cycle, it is important to try new approaches and be open to dating different types of people.
Q: How can I find a partner who is not the same type of person?
A: Finding a partner who is not the same type of person requires self-awareness and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. Here are a few suggestions to help you in the process:
– Be open-minded and willing to explore different possibilities.
– Focus on qualities and values that are important to you, rather than superficial traits.
– Engage in activities and hobbies that interest you, which can increase your chances of meeting new people with diverse backgrounds and personalities.
– Seek the advice of a psychotherapist or clinical psychologist who can help you navigate your relationship patterns and guide you towards healthier choices.
Q: Is it possible to change the type of person I am attracted to?
A: Yes, it is possible to change the type of person you are attracted to. By gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationship patterns, you can consciously challenge your preferences and open up to dating individuals who may be outside of your usual “type.” It may take time and effort to break ingrained habits, but with self-reflection and a willingness to explore new possibilities, you can shift your attraction towards a different type of person.
Q: How can I overcome my unhealthy attraction to toxic individuals?
A: Overcoming an unhealthy attraction to toxic individuals starts with recognizing and acknowledging the patterns in your dating history. Here are a few steps you can take to break this cycle:
– Educate yourself about the red flags and warning signs of toxic relationships.
– Set clear boundaries and learn to say no to people who exhibit unhealthy behaviors.
– Build self-esteem and self-worth so that you are less likely to tolerate toxic behavior.
– Seek therapy or counseling to work through any underlying issues that might be contributing to your attraction towards toxic individuals.
– Surround yourself with supportive and positive influences who can help you stay on track towards healthier relationship choices.
Q: Why is it important to break the cycle of dating the same type of person?
A: Breaking the cycle of dating the same type of person is important for several reasons:
– It allows you to explore your options and meet new people who may be a better fit for you.
– It helps you avoid repeating unhealthy relationship patterns and toxic dynamics.
– It promotes personal growth and self-discovery by challenging your preferences and expectations.
– It increases your chances of finding a healthy, fulfilling, and lasting relationship.
Q: How can therapy or counseling help in breaking the cycle of dating the same type of person?
A: Therapy or counseling can be a valuable tool in breaking the cycle of dating the same type of person. A psychotherapist or clinical psychologist can provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for you to explore your relationship patterns, gain insight into your attractions and choices, and develop healthier strategies for finding and maintaining healthy relationships. They can help you uncover underlying issues, address any unresolved trauma or past experiences, and support you in making positive changes in your dating life.