Relationship Advice: The Scientific Reason You Keep Going For Douchebags
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Relationship Advice: The Scientific Reason You Keep Going For Douchebags

Everyone has a particular 'type'.

Dr Lurve is Australia’s leading love and relationship expert! Based in Sydney, she specialises in helping people navigate the science and metaphysics of relationships. A modern-day cupid for individuals discovering self-love, singles ready to find love and couples ready to make love last forever, she is the singular authority on how to make a long-lasting relationship. The Lurve Lab is Dr Lurve’s signature series of courses, seminars, talks and intensives for those ready to find, cultivate, and keep love. From discovering chemistry to transforming love gone wrong, Dr Lurve guides couples in creating connections that can last a lifetime. 

Do you have a “type”? Do you always find yourself with a certain type of partner? Someone who has the same set of characteristics (physical or emotional) as those who went before your last lover? Whether we like it or not, most of us have a certain ‘type’ of person we usually date or are attracted too. It doesn’t need to be physical it might be something about their energy, the way they hold themselves or the way they command attention when they enter the room. Whatever it is, we find ourselves drawn to this ‘type’ of person!
If you’re lucky enough to go for the lovely person with a gentle soul ‘type’, then it’s probably unlikely you care about the fact you have a ‘type’. ‘Type’ awareness comes to our attention because nine out of the last ten relationships were really not that great!
Knowing your type can help when making decisions about whom you date next. First, you need to understand why we are drawn to a certain ‘type’. The reason why we wind up with the same ‘type’ or find ourselves in a familiar relationship dynamic dates back to our earliest relationships. As a young child, we developed defence mechanisms in order to help us cope with fear, pain or frustrating circumstances in our environment.

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Image: iStock

These defences were a key contributing factor to how we formed opinions of ourselves, others and relationships. Without realizing, we unconsciously seek out people whose behavior support these opinions and beliefs. If we have formed negative ideas about ourselves, for example “I’m unlovable” or “I’m unattractive” we seek out people who reinforce these unconscious beliefs, even if in reality we don’t like it!
These patterns of attachment were developed long before our adult years, and give us a good insight into how we do relationships in our adult lives. If our experience in early life was riddled with feelings of rejection, feeling unnoticed, insecure, criticized or resented our ‘type’ may well be the person that recreates that same emotional climate in our relationships. For example, if your needs were disregarded or ignored you may find yourself drawn to people who are emotionally unavailable, unable to commit, or even in another relationship!
So how do you stop yourself falling for the usual ‘type’ and stop ignoring the ‘Do NOT Date this Person’ red flags?

1. Work out why you are actually attracted to your ‘type’

Spend some time with yourself to try and discover your deep-seated beliefs that contributed to attracting your partners. When you invest time in exploring your early attachment patterns you can start to identify some of the areas that lead you to develop a love for your ‘type’!

2. Look at your relationship history

What have been the not-so-great qualities you’re attracted to? What negative traits, patterns or similarities do all your ex-partners share? Make obvious comparisons, but don’t forget the more subtle emotional aspects. How did they treat you? How did they make you feel? Were they aloof and distant? Were they controlling or nurturing? Did they pull away when you got to close or were they needy? What characteristics did they like or look for in you?

3. If your ‘type’ isn’t working for you, then train yourself to go for a different ‘type’!

Yes you can train yourself to go for something different, but you have to be fully conscious of it all. It’s a little like recognizing you have an addiction and need to do something about it. The first step is recognizing there is a problem with dating your ‘type’, until then nothing will change. Determination and controlled effort can help you move in the right direction but this may involve making some decisions that are initially uncomfortable but will ultimately make you happy in the long run.
Understanding what draws you to your ‘type’ takes some time. Rushing out to find a new, perfect partner that’s the total opposite of your usual type isn’t going to be the answer to your ‘type’ dilemma. Although this may be refreshing for a short period of time, but when relationship patterns are very different to what you are used to it is unlikely to turn out to be a long-lasting relationship.

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