In 2022, dating is just as hard, if not harder, than it's ever been. Lockdowns are done but many of us are still feeling a little jaded by the same old DM dances, lingo, awkward hangs — or the dreaded fix-ups. But it's all part of the process, right? And the experience helps us learn more about ourselves and relationships.
The more we date, the more we figure out what it is we’re looking for in a potential match — or what we know we’re not looking for. But whether it’s based on experience or just an inherent preference, we all tend to lean towards having a ‘type’. If not physical characteristics, then maybe it’s the way they dress, their profession, what their drink of choice is, or perhaps their taste in music. And that's fair enough, since establishing common ground is a great foundation for any new relationship. But what if the very idea that the person that’s right for us will fit into this mould, is what's holding us back from meeting really great people? Well, there’s a name for that fun little habit, and it’s called groundhogging.
A reference to the classic film Groundhog Day, ‘groundhogging’ refers to the idea that people tend to go for the same type of person over and over again, while expecting different results. They are drawn to the people who fit their 'ideal' type, date them, but end up feeling underwhelmed, or experiencing the same old issues — shocking! And when things go sour, we’re right back on those apps, swiping the same profiles, and the cycle resumes.
If our current situations aren't working for us, perhaps it's time to look inward at the ways we may be sabotaging our chances to meet great people.
New research from global dating app Inner Circle reveals that 72% of its app users admit to having a ‘type’. Whether that’s someone who’s over 6 feet tall or a blue-eyed engineer, daters know exactly what they want before they even start looking. However, 4 in 5 singles reported that dating their type isn’t going well — with fewer than a quarter saying they’d be up for seeing someone who doesn’t fit their usual type. So perhaps, just like the film, there’s an important lesson in all that repetition.
The more people you meet, the more you learn about what's out there, and what’s right for you. We all have had the young, naive crush we're very grateful didn't work out. Now imagine if you had never gained that perspective. Because while there are a lot of duds out there, meeting new people can do wonders for the mind. And you may find that your 'type' isn't actually what you in 2022 wants (or needs) at all.
So, how do we break the cycle? Well, it's easier said than done, but it's really on us to be more open and try to tune out that critical voice in our heads that seeks out the familiar. So they don't have any tattoos, listen to Phoebe Bridgers, and can't tell the difference between a burger and a really good burger. There's the small stuff that would be nice to have in a partner, and then there's the stuff that really doesn't have to matter.
And besides, isn't shoving all the things you enjoy at the person you're seeing part of the fun, anyway?
We don't want to waste time trying to get to know every person we interact with, or go on dates with people we know, for whatever reason, that we're fundamentally not a match with. But if our current situations aren't working for us, perhaps it's time to look inward at the ways we may be sabotaging our chances to meet great people.