Are You Dating The Same Person Over And Over Again?
My last year of college, I dated the perfect girl. We were both Caribbean, both bookworms and both adventurous. We talked about marriage after our third date. Everything was perfect!…for four months. But then we started fighting all the time.
After a particularly terrible fight, I ran over to my best friend’s house, furious. “It’s not going to work out with me and her,” I said. “She’s not a bookworm, she’s a know-it-all. She’s not adventurous, she’s impulsive. We’re going to break up.”
“I’m not surprised,” she said.
“She’s exactly like you. You basically always date yourself. And then you get sick of yourself, and you start fighting, and then you break up during the next holiday break.”
“That’s not true,” I said. But then we broke up over Thanksgiving.
My best friend showed me something about myself – I was trapped in the cycle of dating the same person over and over again, and it wasn’t healthy. If she hadn’t pointed that out to me, I wouldn’t have dated my current girlfriend, who is nothing like me. We’ve have been together for years.
So now it’s time to look at your own relationship life. Are you trapped in this pattern too?
Here are the signs…
You find yourself having the same breakups over and over again. Your partner cheats, or you cheat, or you’re bored, communication just isn’t working, or she insulted your mashed potato recipe. It doesn’t matter what it is, but the same thing keeps happening.
Your friends can’t keep your romantic history straight. Even your best friend, who knows anything and everything about you, can’t tell your current bae from the one you dated three years ago. If you keep correcting your friends, take a hint.
All your exes look like twins. It’s okay to have a type. We all do. But if you lined up your exes, would they look like they all share a surname? Maybe you really have a thing for red heads, but if all of your exes look like Raggedy Ann, it’s time to break free.
You have the same unhealthy behaviors. Maybe you’re changing yourself to fit the current bae. Maybe dating makes you so anxious that you binge-eat and put on 10 pounds – or maybe your bae makes you feel so bad about yourself that you work out obsessively and avoid food. If you find yourself returning to these awful behaviors again and again, it’s not you. It’s the person you’re dating.
So why are you dating the same person?
Have you heard of the Oedpius complex? Summed up, it means “mommy and daddy issues.” This may sound cliché, but you might be replicating the same problems you saw in your parents. For example, if your mother was emotionally distant, you gravitate toward people like that because you’re subconsciously trying to reconcile with her.
You’re dating your hopes and dreams. The first girls I ever had a crush on all looked the same: light-skinned, biracial, and outgoing. Why? Because I wanted to be light-skinned, biracial and outgoing. I thought that by dating them, I could become them. If you’re doing this, you’ll have to come to terms with yourself before you can ever be happy with whomever you’re dating.
You love the familiar. There’s something comfortable about dating the same person over and over again. Why? Because it’s the same person. Over and over. The only things that change are the government names. If you like what’s comfortable, it’s easier to cling to clones than to break out of your romantic routine.
You’re settling. If you’ve always dated one type of loser, that means you’re destined to date losers. I mean, if you could have done better, than you would have by now. …Right? Wrong. You can always do better. Anyone who says you can’t might be abusive.
Bae is perfect on paper. On the other hand, maybe you’re not settling, you’re reaching. You’re reaching for the best possible person that you think you “should” date. Maybe he is an attorney who makes 6 figures. Maybe she went to your parent’s Ivy League school. Maybe they’re the person your friends all approve of. Whatever it is, you’re dating based on a resume, not chemistry.
Bae is the ghost of lost loves past. After heartbreak, it’s natural to compare the next person you date to your ex, just a little. But if all of the people you date are just flawed copies of someone who broke your heart, you’re living in the past. Let your ex go. That’s easier said than done, of course. Sometimes it takes years and a lot of sad poetry. But you won’t be able to open yourself up to more love while you’re still closed up around your lost love.
It’s scary to try new things and new people – after all, that means new problems and new confusions. But it also means new memories, new joys and potentially the best love you’ve ever had.