Laura Donovan
July 03, 2014 8:20 am

As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. It’s also a common approach to dating, and a dangerous one at that. It took me years to stop being the girl who was always getting her heart shredded by some showy womanizer with a hotshot career, and now I’m so happy to be with the complete opposite of what I once sought.

Life is hard enough without enduring identical problems on repeat, so here are some signs you keep chasing the same person time and time again and really ought to consider opening your mind to other opportunities and people.

10. They’re in similar lines of work

Maybe you find yourself dating multiple colleagues (but not necessarily at the same time). It’s common for workaholics to gravitate towards fellow officemates, but you always run the risk of having awkward forced interactions following a breakup or fight, and this makes the professional environment a weird place for everyone else. Or, in my case, you have a thing for trouble-making finance dudes who go through romantic partners like they go through money. You don’t always have to date coworkers, bankers, teachers, lawyers or artists. Mix it up and you might be pleasantly surprised.

9. You have a type

It’s helpful to know exactly what you want, but also limiting. If you always go for a certain type despite being let down in the long run, think about expanding your horizons and giving other personalities a shot. There may not be immediate fireworks, but fireworks can also burn out pretty quickly.

7. They pull the same nonsense your previous flame did

All of the guys your dating have at least one thing in common. Maybe they text messaged you late at night or seemed super interested in you one week and totally went dark for long periods of time after that. Whatever it is, you deserve so much more than the scraps they offer you.

6. You meet them at the same place

Two years ago, I went to Dorrian’s Bar in NYC a few weeks after meeting an adorable (but ultimately disappointing) French guy there. Naturally, I mentioned what happened to another bar attendee who said, “You just want the same crap to keep happening to you. Why else would you come back to the place where you met a rude guy that hurt you?” And he was right! If you keep mingling with awful fellows in bars, give that scene a break for a while and try the Internet or something. Hey, it’s how I met my awesome boyfriend who is nothing like the guys I crossed path with in the bar scene.

5. You friends notice a pattern

And let me tell you, they’re really sick of saying “you deserve better,” which becomes exhausting to tell someone the 100th time.

4. You ask yourself why you can’t just find someone great

It seems like every guy is horrible and no one will ever love you, but in reality, you’re just not going after (or attracting) the quality of people you truly desire in your life. I’ve gone through many periods in which I had absolutely no faith in men or their ability to treat women well. It took me years to see how much time I’d wasted searching for all the wrong kind of guys. There have and always will be winners out there. Don’t let this string of bad relationships discourage you from meeting one.

3. You say “this time will be different.”

Sure this guy is also a late night texter or forgets to say “happy birthday,” but he’s different than the others. Nope.

2. You can’t imagine any other dating experience

No matter what love trap you’ve fallen into, you can’t imagine experiencing anything else. That could be another reason for your attraction to the same kind of person over and over again: the idea of change is scary, and this is the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t know.

1. You’re not surprised when things go sour 

The beginning is always fun, but when he starts acting strange and troubles arise, you’re not exactly shocked. A worthwhile relationship will have its lows too, but you’ll both be willing to work through those because you value each other and what you have together. If your guys keep bailing and putting in no effort after the thrill of starting anew fades, they’re not the kinds of guys you want to spend time with.

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