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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Why we keep getting with the same type of guys

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Okay, so I recently ended things with a guy, and it made it a 100x worse that we have very many mutual friends. Like, no matter how hard I tried, if I didn’t see him, I would at least hear about him, and this got to the point where it was too much for me to even be on the same campus as him and my friends. Dramatic? I know. But, in my defense, I needed space that I was not getting, so I went home for a weekend.

As I was catching up with one of my friends while at home, I was telling him about how I really liked this boy, that we were almost in a relationship, how things hadn’t ended well, that I still liked him even though I knew he wasn’t good for me, and that my mind was running at one million miles an hour. To be fair, I really just wanted the whole thing between me and this guy to be resolved so all of us could just be friends again… but that wasn’t happening as he was too scared to talk to me. Great. Having dated a few guys at this point, I paused suddenly as I was telling my friend about my failed-relationship story and realized that I had a common thread between these boys: all of them were emotionally unsure – meaning, they never knew how to express their emotions or were uncomfortable doing so. Now, I’m not placing 100% of the blame on them – relationships are a two-way street, but I couldn’t help recognize this stoic, guarded pattern of the guys I had been involved with, which always left me frustrated due to lack of communication. As I was telling my friend this, he said something that made me freeze. “Doesn’t this guy remind you exactly of your dad?” Okay, I know, I know. This sounds really creepy and weird but let me explain. This guy had the same emotional tendencies as my dad, and growing up, I was always closer to my dad than my mom. So, when it came to guys outside of my father, I was always searching for the familiar whether I realized it or not. I did some intense self-reflection to get to the realization that the human mind does NOT like change. I despise change. So, when I met this guy, he felt just like home because, in a way, he WAS home – he had all of the characteristics that I was exposed to growing up even though it was subconscious. While I do prefer someone who is more in-tune with their emotions, I’ve always gravitated towards those who were not, because it was what was familiar to me. Now, this is not to take a jab at my dad, but just to say that some principles of psychology come into play here: my subconscious attracts what I know. Although I KNEW this boy was not good for me, I stayed anyway because things just felt “right.”

Now, after that long tangent, I think that this is why we always attract the same types of boys. A lot of it has to do with the qualities we experienced in others when we were growing up, and when we put those quality-seeking skills to the test, we often end up in a VERY similar relationship as our parents or those close to us. I know it sounds a little “out there,” but I do think it’s true – we absorb information about relationships around us 24/7 and project what we see when we find a new guy. As a result, the choice of conscious change comes into play here – something that is sooo hard, but often necessary. Although I love my dad, I really value someone who is not afraid to show emotions- and I know that showing emotion is a huge stigma especially with males – but it is important nonetheless.