Same guy, same problems?
If love didn't last last time, finding the same kind of man or woman again doesn't seem like the smartest strategy. But apparently we often decide, consciously or unconsciously, to go back to the well-known. This is the conclusion Yoobin Park and Geoff MacDonald from the University of Toronto based on data from a long-term German study that included self-reports from 12,000 randomly selected people.
The two psychologists found 332 people whose partners had also provided information about their own personality during the relationship. They looked for parallels in them that could not be explained by other factors.
For example, it could be that we keep dating the same type of partner over and over again because we are really looking for someone who primarily resembles ourselves. But that was not the case: Even when the researchers ignored the similarities with their own personality, the test subjects' past and current partners still answered very similarly in a personality questionnaire.
Only very extraverted people tended less towards a fixed type and those who described themselves as open to new things in many areas of life, as revealed by the researchers' data.
"When a relationship ends, we usually blame the ex's personality," Park says in a press release. "Nevertheless, there is a strong tendency to re-engage in a relationship of a similar character." Based on their data, the psychologists cannot answer why this is the case. Nor what the choice of the well-known means for the next partnership. Perhaps, Park speculates, it's one of the reasons many end up with the same problems in their relationships over and over again.