Why You Might Want to Stop Dating Your Type

Why You Might Want to Stop Dating Your Type

In Love U, I have a saying: “Date your complement, not your clone.”

This is based on my observation that most of us seem to overvalue similarity – age, fitness, education, income, religion, politics – and undervalue things like kindness, communication, commitment, consistency and character.

Naturally, there’s more to the story, and this interesting (albeit dry) study shows that even more dangerous than trying to date the opposite sex version of yourself is dating the same person over and over in a different body.

In other words, we all have a “type.” For some, the type is physical.

In other words, we all have a “type.” For some, the type is physical. Some women prefer tall guys. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. That’s not that interesting. What is interesting is when you get into the ‘big 5′ personality traits: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience, it turns out that we really do have a kind of person that we’re inextricably drawn to.

In and of itself, that’s not a problem. But if you’re attracted to toxic narcissists, it is. If you’re attracted to damaged men, it is. If you’re attracted to avoidant, non-commital men, it is. Over half of my job is breaking women of their harmful relationship patterns and teaching them to value healthy, functional relationships.

Often that means dating against your type – going for a guy you’re less attracted to – because the ones you ARE attracted to tend to make for shitty partners.

Check out the study and please, share your thoughts below. Do you have a type? Were you able to break out of it and find something healthier like I did?

Join our conversation (5 Comments).
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  1. 1

    This is SO true. I have dated guys from different countries with very different looks but one day I realized most of them went from Asperger, to egotistical/workaholic/emotionally abusive to full-blown Narcissists…Long story short, they always put themselves first and have zero fucks to give about equal give and take, al of them.
    I have been single for the past 4 years; too much hurt or maybe I am not physically attracted to men in Paris (which is a common probe for foreigners I hear, as women here are pretty but when it comes to men it’s a disaster, I have to be honest, I have seen good looking guys everywhere in the world but Paris is doomed. And they all smoke!).

  2. 2

    It’s such an easy thing to say and a hard thing to pinpoint though, isn’t it? Oftentimes, I wonder where the common denominator is in a situation – if I keep having the same type of problem across partners, is it that I’M handling or responding to it the same each time with no change to make a new outcome, or is it that the person I’m dating is handling/responding to it the same as past partners and that’s why I’m getting the same outcome? It’s tough trying to be introspective about things.

    1. 2.1

      I think it’s both. We pick again and again the same type of person so that you can reenact the same kind of scenario, be triggered again, and fix the original trauma.
      If I pick another avoidant partner (that resembles my absent dad) I will get to try and get his attention again, THIS time I will have a chance to change the outcome, and daddy will love me!
      We are like children who have had appendicitis. We only want to find buddies to play the doctor since.

  3. 3

    Thanks for sharing, Evan. The results of this study are not surprising, and I agree with you that it isn’t necessarily a problem to feel repeated attraction to a certain type, as long as it’s not a type that is perpetually bad at relationships for whatever reason. Maybe the researchers’ next step is to test if any of those Big Five traits are usually linked to worse relationship outcomes. Some of them seem like they might be- low conscientiousness or agreeableness, for example, or high neuroticism (though I don’t mind neurotic types). Extroversion / introversion or openness may not be as related to relationship strength.

  4. 4
    Kenzy Turner

    I honestly agree with what you have mentioned. It’s always bizarre to be in relationship with a similar type of your character.
    Goo article!

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