Don't Stray Too Far From Your Exes: Why You Should Keep Dating The Same 'Type'

By Lior Ohayon

Two of Sigmund Freud's famous theories, the Oedipus complex and Electra complex, explain that a person is sexually drawn to his or her parent of the opposite sex. As in, a man is sexually drawn to his mother and a woman to her father. Supposedly, this idea extrapolates into adulthood when a man will be attracted to women who remind him of his mother, and a woman will be attracted to men who remind her of her father.

Try to suspend your disturbed feelings momentarily regarding these theories and consider your past relationships. Do you seem to be attracted to the same “type” of person, like all the time?

Regardless of the validity of Freud's ideas, chances are you have some semblance of a type. Are you attracted to muscular men? Do you like blondes or brunettes? Many of us have grown accustomed to thinking that we each have a type — someone with whom we’re compatible, attracted and emotionally open — sometimes we close ourselves off to other types.

But then, something strange happens: You finally get what you're chasing, fall in love, and then, for whatever reason, it ends. You weep, you heal and you get over it. Then what do you do? You vow to yourself that you will never date this type of person again. If it was a bad breakup, anyone who closely resembles any aspect of your ex will leave you seething with anger, and if it was a good breakup, any person who, say, has a similar smile to your ex will send you into a choking fit of tears. Sound familiar?

In the pursuit of sticking to the vow, what comes next is a streak of dating anyone but that type, leaving a wake of destruction that, oftentimes, results in heartbroken loneliness. Again. What went wrong?

Maybe we’re wrong; maybe we should stick to our “types” and continue to just re-date the same archetypes of our exes.

It doesn’t matter if your type is a reflection of your mother, father or whomever. You're attracted to a certain kind of person and that's that. Sure, maybe you’ve had long, beautiful relationships with completely opposite types of people. But, you had those relationships and they ended for some reason or another.

When you try to date the opposite of your type, at first, you experience a wave of relief and things will feel glorious. But eventually, you’ll start, slowly, to try and change the person into your type — maybe it’s unconscious, but you probably do it. You'll say something like "I think your hair would look better blonde," or "you'd look hot with a six pack.

You probably lie to yourself, subconsciously and desperately trying to change the person you’re dating, yearning for some reminder of an ex — your type.

The solution is simple and natural: Don't fight the overwhelming urge to be with someone reminiscent of an ex. Escaping your desired mold of a partner can only be a sustainable for only so long. Eventually, you’ll abandon your stubbornness and you'll be ready to be with your type again. After all, it was good at some point or another. You are still attracted to those personality traits and physical qualities. Wouldn't it just be easier to fall for the same type of person than to try and change someone to fit your needs, or worse — try to change yourself?

If you're unsure, look back at your past relationships. How did you feel in the relationships when you were with someone of your type as opposed to other types? Do you notice a pattern with the way things ended? Ask yourself these questions and consider whether or not you’re really compatible with the love interests you choose. Maybe what really needs to change is you.

Most importantly, don't be ashamed of your type. Rather, embrace your type and accept that you’re just human; you’re a sucker for love.