Breaking Out of a Dating Rut: Why You Keep Falling for the Same Type of Partner

Does your love life ever give you déjà vu? If so, you aren’t imagining it. Science shows that people really do tend to have a “type” when it comes to dating, choosing the same characteristics in their romantic partners again and again.

Why is this? Whether you have a thing for the bad boys or for sassy women who wear glasses, why is it that we continue to pick the same type of person over and over again, even when it hasn’t ended well for us in the past?

Well, a new study has a surprising suggestion: Location, location, location. The study, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, says that a person’s type might be less determined by their internal makeup and more determined by their physical location (such as the city they live in, the clubs they belong to, and the company they keep).

In other words, you keep dating the same type of person because you keep meeting the same type of person! Pretty simple.

However, for those of you who don’t want to move cities or stop hanging out at your favorite nightspot in a bid to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, let me suggest this: You can change your location … without moving a single step.

Let me explain. First, it’s important to understand that our attraction to our romantic partners is about much more than just looks. The strongest feelings of chemistry are based on more than six-pack abs or a pretty smile: These powerful feelings occur when we “vibe” with someone on the same emotional frequency. It’s why you can feel like you have known someone forever after just one date. It’s why you can think “I’m going to marry that woman someday” after a simple conversation over coffee. This isn’t just physical stuff at play. It’s much, much deeper than that.

In fact, much of our attraction to our mates is emotional, hearkening back to early memories and subconscious cues that lead us to pick the same type over and over again. These strong feelings of attraction are the result of lovemaps, subconscious maps that we follow when picking out mates or when developing feelings of physical attraction.

The theory of lovemaps was developed by sex researcher and psychologist Dr. John Money. According to Dr. Money, there is a reason why some women always date bad boys, or why some men are only attracted to blondes. It all goes back to our childhood and our first memories of attraction. These memories can be subconscious or buried so deep in our psyches that we aren’t even aware that we are acting on them. Nor do these first memories of attraction have to be sexually driven. Attraction could simply mean an innocent attachment to your kind next-door neighbor or to a particularly special teacher.

I always like to take things to a quantum level. The theory of lovemaps is a good starting point (and helps to partially explain why you keep going for the same sort of person again and again), but I think it goes even deeper than that. For example, a woman who always dates men who won’t commit and men who treat her poorly might say: “Argh! Why do I always fall for bad boys?” But I would challenge her to ask this question instead: “Why do I keep attracting bad boys into my life?”

Because, as quantum research teaches us, we draw events and people into our realms of existence. When we go out into the world, the energy we send out is powerful, inescapable, and far-reaching. It impacts everyone around us, and it both draws certain types of people to us and also sends certain other people away.

In other words, from a quantum perspective, someone who always dates bad boys might actually be drawing those men into her life, not just because she frequents those types of bars, but because she is emitting a specific energy that attracts that type of romantic partner. Even if she seems outgoing or bubbly on the surface, energy doesn’t lie–and if she is hiding deep-seated insecurity, unhealed trauma, and brokenness, those vibes will be coming off her body like sonar waves. And these men (the ones who treat women badly, won’t commit, use people, lie, manipulate, etc.) will rapidly respond to that energy, not because they are consciously thinking “I can easily take advantage of this person,” but because they too are hiding the same brokenness, shame, and insecurity.

Essentially, it comes down to this: Energy doesn’t lie. Energy cannot be hidden. It’s there. It’s powerful. And it’s magnetic. Everything in your life right now is something you have attracted to you. Does that mean that I think you are to blame for your mean ex-boyfriend and his nasty behavior? No way! No one is ever to blame for being abused or mistreated. But, it’s so empowering to realize that you have the power to attract a different type of person into your life. Until you look for love in a wholehearted manner, from a place of deep self-love and acceptance, it will be very hard (if not impossible) for you to find a partner who will love you the way you want to be loved.

So, if you want to break out of rut, that’s my prescription. Don’t move towns. Don’t abandon your favorite bar. But do consider a move on the Quantum Love Map. Do consider moving from a place of low frequency, ego, pain, and shame to a place of high frequency, love, power, and freedom.

Find out about upcoming programs with Laura Berman at Kripalu.

This article was originally published on Laura Berman’s blog.

Laura Berman, PhD, is a world-renowned educator and therapist in the areas of love, sex, and relationships.

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