AM I DATING THE SAME PERSON OVER AND OVER AGAIN?
I live in a large city and I know there are plenty of different guys to date, hook-up with, or whatever, but it feels like everyone I meet is just another version of the same person. For the past month I’d been “dating” a guy, I guess I don’t really know if I’d call it dating or not, we weren’t exclusive. We went from texting all day every day to him just not responding. I don’t think anything really happened, he just stopped. I was really pissed for a few days and told him how I felt, which in retrospect was all via text message and probably not the best way to handle it. He didn’t seem to care and responded he didn’t know why I was acting so mad, he thought we were just having a good time. His response just prompted me to lash out more and eventually he stopped responding all together. This isn’t the first time this has happened and I’m just so tired of it. I always think that I’ve met someone special and then they just end up acting like everyone else. I don’t know if I’m dating the wrong people or doing something weird. How can I find out what my problem is?
It could be a couple things. Let's address the one that is the most obvious and probably true for a lot of people. You really are dating the same type of person over and over again.
You're not the only person to make the statement and honestly, you probably are, but that doesn't mean that there is no one else to date. What it does means is that you're simply selecting the same type of person repeatedly, possibly without even realizing it. Go grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Seriously. Now, I'll wait…. Turn the paper horizontally and across the top write the names of the last few people you've felt romantically attached to- the ones that really got under your skin and it bothered you when the connection was over. It doesn't matter how long you hang out with the person for, some of the people might be one date and others five years. In my past, I've absolutely gone on a single date, had a great time, and then had it bug me for years why it didn't go anywhere- if you have anyone like that, write it down! Ok, after you have a few names, go one by one and list their negative qualities, be specific… Now, take a look at all of them… are there any similarities? Are there a lot of similarities? When I first did this exercise, it dawned on me that all of the people I listed were "absent," they never gave me a lot of attention and often left me waiting for calls or replies to messages. I also noticed that to some degree they were not "available" (which doesn't necessarily mean in a relationship, but also emotionally available) or didn't have their lives together. Now… list the negative qualities of your parents… Do they match up with any of the same qualities you listed for those you dated? If so, there is a good chance you really are dating the same type of person over and over again. As people, we are often attracted to those that feel familiar to us- those that give us a feeling of "home." But, the feeling of "home" is just what's familiar and not necessarily what's familiar. Last, look at the negative qualities that you listed and notice the ones that came up multiple times. Think about what those qualities look like- how do you know what someone has one? Next time you feel yourself becoming interested in someone, look for that behavior or quality- then walk away. Force yourself to go on dates with people who don't have the negative qualities you're usually attracted to. Give them more of a chance than maybe you would have previously. You have to give yourself the opportunity to be attracted to things you're not used to being initially attracted to. But, if you do this, I guarantee you will be able to break the pattern of dating the same people over and over again.
On a side note: yeah, don't do the text stuff when you're mad or want to make a point. Do it in person. And if that can't happen, at least do it over the phone. It's simply too easy for messages to get misconstrued via texting.
Best of luck,