How often do you repeat the same routine, patterns, or behaviors in your daily life, aloof to even doing it? Our guess is pretty often, as it’s normal to do so. However, you may not be aware of becoming stuck in a cycle of dating the same type of person, only to have a similar outcome, defined as groundhogging. Despite the chemistry being magnetic with potential romantic partners, it doesn’t take long for the relationship to end, causing you to wonder, What happened? Although the tendency to date the same kind of person may come from comfortability, which is natural, adhering to a similar pattern can be a deeper issue, as being emotionally unavailable and not being open to finding genuine love.
So, what exactly is groundhogging as it relates to dating? It means you’re dating the same person but expecting different results, which hardly ever happens. There are several reasons why your relationships might not be working out. Perhaps your partners are narcissistic, emotionally unavailable, or aren’t quite tapped into your needs, which prompts you to want to try to fix them, putting you on the hamster wheel of repeating harmful patterns. Or you simply could be seeking people who fit into a particular image you’ve constructed regarding who you should be dating. Still, they end up not being suitable for you, which, in turn, allows you to miss out on the people who don’t fit your standards of being the ideal partner but have the qualities you need to establish a healthy, long-term relationship.
Someone who is groundhogging doesn’t learn from the multiple unsavory dating experiences and, as a result, can’t change how they date, so they ultimately repeat the cycle, even though it doesn’t work with their chosen type. You know what you’re getting yourself into, relationship-wise, which may be comfortable for a moment, and each time you convince yourself, the outcome will be different.
We may keep dating the same types because we’re either comfortable in our repeat patterns, as we crave routine and familiarity, or we don’t honestly want to be in a sustainable and long-lasting relationship. Making choices rooted in comfort may not always serve us, so taking a self-assessment and reevaluating routinely is important. Instead of being attracted to a person for their character and personality, we may be projecting our attachment styles onto the situation (our way of navigating interpersonal relationships developed through childhood interactions), which can blur our judgment, causing us to make questionable decisions in the love department. For example, some people with an anxious attachment style may be attracted to avoidant partners who can’t be intimate and communicate frequently. On the other hand, some people may be eager to find a romantic partner that they are oblivious to the fact that they are groundhogging, which can happen when they aren’t intentional about reflecting on their relationship history to understand what worked and didn’t in the past, and what they need in their lives currently.
Critical signs of groundhogging:
The most significant sign that you’re probably groundhogging in dating is usually the outcomes, as no matter what you do, you find yourself in the same kind of relationship or situation without any hopes of it working out, as they end suddenly or gradually fizzle out over time. See the following signs below:
- Your recent relationships have all progressed in similar ways
- You can be rigid and selective about who you date but have little success achieving that specific archetype.
- You aren’t particular about who you date and end up with the same types of people who pursue you
- Your past partners remind you of one another
- You rush into relationship after relationship with your usual type
.So, how can you put a stop to groundhogging? The first step is self-awareness to realize that you may need to make some notable shifts in how you date. Take time to review your relationship history while paying attention to the patterns in your dating experiences. If you are dating emotionally unavailable people, you should try to understand why you’re choosing people you know can’t give you the closeness you need or want and prioritize reacquainting yourself with your feelings and values. In addition to reflecting, consider what you think your “type” is and why. You may find that you are choosing the same type of people due to convenience or core patterns.
Hiring a dating coach, a matchmaker, and a relationship coach could help you identify those toxic patterns and facilitate changes, allowing you to pivot accordingly and end the repetitive dating.
Also, consider taking a break from romantic dating altogether and focus on practicing self-love, processing past relationship issues, and surrounding yourself with loved ones who know your worth and value to increase your confidence. Your focus should be creating a life that’s full and joyful and inviting others to experience with you and enhance it – which allows you to become more intentional in the dating process instead of choosing people to fill the void.