You just broken off a relationship that’s going nowhere to search for something better…but how do you make sure that you don’t end up dating someone exactly like your ex?
Whether you managed to remain friends with your ex or bitter enemies, your ex is an ex for a reason. Still, many people end up breaking off one unhealthy relationship only to enter into another one with the same kind of person.
Einstein famously said that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”
Don’t drive yourself insane by dating another version of the person you just managed to leave. Here’s how you can avoid dating another version of your ex.
Give Strange a Chance
People are naturally drawn to what’s familiar and comfortable, whether it’s a plushy chair at or a worn sweater you’ve had for years. As a result, we eat the same things we did as children, listen to similar types of music throughout our lives, have a favorite style of clothing, and have a string of exes who – if all assembled in one room – would bear an eery resemblance to one another.
We go with what is instantly familiar, thinking that we are choosing this person or this dish or this style of clothing because it is our preference.
What we forget is that these preferences were predetermined very early by circumstances that didn’t have much to do with us.
The food we prefer has more to do with the culture we grew up in rather than actual preference. The music we prefer has a lot to do with where and when you grew up.
And the romantic partners you prefer has a lot to do with the people who shaped your romantic interests – your parents, your friends, and of course, your past partners.
So when you find yourself having been through a relationship with a type of person that you know will not work for you again, its time you give the strange and unfamiliar a chance.
It’s time to experiment outside of your comfort zone and stay open-minded about the possibility of enjoying something you never even imagined you’d enjoy.
Whenever you find yourself instantly drawn to someone, ask yourself – do I feel this way because they’re familiar to me or because they’ve genuinely got something going on?
If the answer isn’t the latter, drop that other version of your ex and look around for other, unfamiliar yet intriguing options.
Nitpick Through the Ex Pile
Your ex probably left behind a pile of memories – some terrible, some frustrating, some lovely, some satisfying, and so on. Whatever the pile looks like, thank your lucky stars for this ex pile because it’s going to be of tremendous help in assuring you never date someone like your ex again.
With a pen and paper handy, pick through the ex pile looking for the shiniest bits you can find. These will be the qualities that you most liked about your ex.
Go ahead and pluck out “affectionate” from the rubble, reach over and scoop up “generous” as well. Gather all the qualities that made you fall in love with your ex and write them down.
Once you have that pile of the best parts of your ex, go through it and think about what your ex did or said or how you ex behaved that made you think he/she had that quality. Did he know exactly when you needed to hear comforting words? Did she try her best to get on with your closest buddies?
Why’s this important? Learn more about the languages of love.
Now that you’ve reminisced on all the fond memories, you may be sort of thinking that your ex wasn’t half bad. Well, let’s get started on the rest of that pile, shall we? From now on, you’ll be picking directly from the rubble. Go on and pick up the trashy bits of your ex. Was he cheap? Was she selfish? Was he tactless when you most needed reassurance? Was she emotionally cold?
Keep this list for future reference. While we don’t recommend judging every date you have against a list of yours, it’s good to keep in mind the qualities that you like and don’t like so that you don’t keep attracting the same things for yourself.
The list that you gather from the ex pile will help you determine whether a new love is someone that will work for you rather than simply pinning your hopes on the potential of what might be.
Take a Good Look at Yourself
Ever heard the phrase, “Like attracts like?” If you’re looking for a partner with certain qualities – say, thoughtfulness, consideration, and optimism – it certainly helps for you to have those qualities yourself. If you’ve been looking for a certain type of person, but keep attracting the opposite every single time, the issue may not lie in who you meet but who you are.
When you make changes in yourself to become a person that possesses the very qualities you want your ideal mate to have, the sort of person you are attracted to and attract will naturally change.
If you’re trying to attract someone who is a great listener, try to practice active listening yourself. If you like generosity, think of ways you can practice generosity in every day of your life.
It’s easy to fall into the pattern of settling for what you already know won’t work, but armed with a little reflection and a determination to proactively create a better love life for yourself, you won’t ever have to date another version of your ex again!