The Psychology of Dating


When it comes to dating, Freud got it right. He talked about how we humans tend to repeat the same patterns of behavior in our lives over and over. He called this propensity ‘repetition repulsion.’ While he didn’t apply this label to dating, in particular, it is clear why it so obviously applies.
While many people have a ‘type’, it is when you get stuck in a negative dating cycle that it maybe be time to re-examine your relationships. Here are a few of the questions you should be asking yourself if you find yourself in yet another failed relationship or dating disaster.

Recognizing negative dating patterns

  • What are the similarities in the course of your past relationships (i.e. do they all follow the same pattern)?
  • Are you so stuck on outward appearances that you are blinded by what’s inside your romantic choices?
  • When you are dating, do you present the way you really are or do you tend to be a chameleon; transforming into what you believe your partner is looking for?
  • Are you looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now?
  • Are you able to see the ‘red flags’ indicating that your relationship is heading toward disaster?
  • Do you share the say basic values as your partner? If you answer NO to this one, it is probably time to break it off as soon as possible.
  • When it comes to dating, do you tend to ignore the negative comments or observations of the friends and family members who care most about you when it comes to your romantic partners?

Breaking bad dating behavior

Breaking a behavior pattern is never easy, especially when it comes to dating. Perhaps the first and most important step to take is to be honest with yourself. You need to be able to identify and acknowledge that you have, in fact, found yourself stuck in a negative dating cycle.

Another important point is that you not get stuck feeling bad about yourself. We live in a complicated world these days. Finding a significant other can be quite a challenge. After all, when you are looking for your dream job, you have to go on a lot of interviews until you find the right fit. Finding a permanent partner should take no less effort.

It is not uncommon to hear people say that it was at the very point when they stopped looking so hard that they found their true love.

This is not a coincidence. When you are so invested in finding ‘the one’ you may actually be working too hard to make a perfect match. Translation: you may be trying to make a bad fit a good one by ignoring red flags.

It’s kind of like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; you may make it work but it will never be quite right.

Healthy habits

Focus on yourself. When you feel good, you look good. That’s because of your healthy energy radiating from the inside out.

Get involved in activities you enjoy. It is important to note, however, that like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. If for example, you tend to gravitate toward more solitary activities find a way to make them social. 

Do you love to read? Join a book club at your local library. Throw yourself into your passion and your chances of meeting a like-minded individual increase. If you have always had a particular interest or activity you wanted to pursue when you are single it is much easier to go for it.

Dating these days is hard. Once you break your own repetition repulsion, however, you may just find who you are looking for.

The funniest thing about that is that you often don’t need to go too far. Love may indeed be right around the corner, across the street or, sometimes, it is actually right in front of you.

Once you have a clearer understanding of what you are looking for it is a lot easier to see.

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