Are You Dating The Same Guy Over And Over Again? Maybe.
I'm pretty sure that, at this point, it's pretty safe to say we've all heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same things while expecting a different result. But I can't help but wonder how many of us apply this to our dating situations.
Take this one woman I know. Around every six months or so, she hits me up on email to tell me that she's met the perfect guy for her. I've been receiving these kinds of messages for at least a decade now, so the dialogue is usually the same.
Me: "How long have you known him?"
Her: "A few weeks."
Me: "What's so awesome about him?"
Her: "We just have a connection. It's hard to explain but I think this is it."
Me: "You already know what I'm gonna ask you right? Have you slept with him yet?"
Her: "Yeah. But this time is different."
Fast forward to a few months later…
Her: "Well, it looks like things aren't gonna work out after all."
Me: "What happened?"
Her: "He says that I'm too intense and that he's not ready for anything serious."
Usually, she'll end her email with something along the lines of men are jerks and she wonders if she'll ever find true love. She's not exceptional in this case. I know a lot of women who feel the same way. But as someone who is not new to this kind of rodeo ride, there is a big part of me that wonders if some of us are jumping to generalized conclusions about men simply because we're not willing to look within.
What I mean by that is, I wonder if the real issue isn't that we can't find good guys, but it's more like we keep dating the same person over and over again. Sure, each man may look different but at the end of the day, could it be that we're caught up in a cyclic form of an emotional hamster wheel without even recognizing it?
If there's a part you wonders if you're lumping all men together because you keep dating the same kinds of guys, here are some telling signs to look out for.
6 Signs You Keep Dating The Same Guy Over And Over Again
1.You Always Seem to Break-Up With Guys For The Same Reason(s)
Break-ups hurt. Remembering them do too. I totally get that. But if you want to get to the root of whether or not you keep dating the same guy (or type of guy), purposeful reminiscing can actually do you some long-term good.
Take out a sheet of paper and think back to your last five relationships (or situationships). Now try and be as unbiased as possible as you write down the reasons why things came to an end. Were they scared to commit? Did you find yourself doing most of the work? Was there a lot of sexual chemistry, yet not enough of an emotional connection?
When I think back to a constant in a lot of my relationships, if there's one thing that was a common thread for me, it's feeling like I was being taken for granted. Yet when I stepped back and thought about how I got there, each and every time, I had to accept that I was willing to do a lot without requiring certain things in return.
It wasn't until I relived the break-ups that I realized that I kept attracting the same kind of guy because I never processed the common thread that connected them all.
2.You Never Make Time For Self-Evaluations
One of the toughest parts about being in marriage life coaching sessions is when one person thinks that their marriage would be fine if only their spouse made some changes. Not only is that pretty arrogant, but it's pretty self-delusional too.
None of us like to hear this, but if there's one thing that all of our exes have in common with us is us. That said, what were some of the words that the men in your life used to describe you? Needy? Controlling? Impatient? Insecure? Emotionally unstable? Suffocating? Petty? Relationships are mirrors. Sometimes they show us some of the very things we don't want to see about ourselves.
I'll give you an example. Let's say that you seem to always attract narcissists or sociopaths. Something that those kinds of men look for in a woman is insecurity, the fear of confronting matters, and the propensity for excessive people-pleasing. If you're wondering why you're always feeling manipulated or drained in your relationships, have you ever thought about if you have some of those traits?
If you're trying to figure out why you keep dating the same kind of individual, first, identify what kind of men you've been dealing with. Then look at what weaknesses they are drawn to (Psychology Today is one site that provides a wealth of wisdom on topics like these). If you have some of those qualities, remember — you can't change other people, but you can always improve upon yourself.
Sometimes just a little bit of self-evaluating and adjusting can be all that you need to break certain dating patterns and cycles.
3.You’re A Poor “Relationship Editor”
Whew, times flies! I can't believe that it's been over 20 years now since Juanita Bynum laid us all out with her sermon "No More Sheets". Out of all of the hot points that she hit, the one that has always stayed with me is the fact that we'll oftentimes miss someone from our past simply because we only replay the good times (including the good sex) in our heads. It's like we're wired to subconsciously edit out the heartaches, disappointments, and betrayals.
This is just one more reason why we can find ourselves dating the same kind of dude. If you're always finding yourself with a seductive cheater but every time you think back to your exes, you only remember how charming and romantic they were…see how that can result in you constantly being with someone who has the same attributes and the same character flaws?
If you don't want to date the same guy, be intentional about not editing out the bad stuff from each of the past ones. It's the bad stuff that teaches the real and lasting lessons so that we can grow.
4.You’re (Far Too) Comfortable With Routines And Patterns
Sadly, some of us would rather stay in something that is, at best counterproductive and, at worst toxic simply because it's familiar to us. Sure, you might not like being involved with guys who are not attentive or aren't as proactive as you might like but at least you know how to deal with those kinds of dudes. Right?
I'll raise my hand in this class and say that I used to have a real knack for getting involved with my male friends. To me, I thought it was "safe" because at least I knew they cared about me. But a guy caring about you vs. loving you so much that he doesn't want to be without you are two totally different things.
For a long time, I wasn't in love with myself, so I attracted men who felt the same way. They cared about me about as much as I did (some of y'all will catch that later).
The gal I referenced at the beginning of this piece? Her pattern is smothering guys too soon and confusing great sex for a solid connection. Intellectually, she knows that she deserves more. But she's settled for so long that she'd rather stick with what she knows than be alone.
It might sound cray-cray, but it's an epidemic, the number of women who do the exact same thing as her and me.
5.You Start New Relationships With Rose-Colored Glasses On
The last man I loved was a chronic — and I mean, CHRONIC — commitment-phobe. But because he also had so many awesome attributes, I overlooked that fact — for years. When it got to the point where we knew we had a solid connection and I also knew that he was too emotionally immature and unstable to establish anything solid and lasting, why did I stay…for as long as I did? Because I chose to ignore the blaring red flag that was staring me dead in my face.
Why did I do that? Because rather than say, "Shellie, you want a husband and he's terrified of commitment. So, even though he's a great guy, the two of you should probably just be good friends", what I told myself was, "He's got some great husband qualities, so I'll love him through his phobia of long-term commitments until he changes."
In other words, I saw only what I wanted to see. That's what rose-colored glasses are designed to do. If you don't want to keep dating the same guy over and over again, look at ALL of a man — not just the good parts.
6.The Thought Of Doing Something Different Totally Freaks You Out
It's amazing, the words we commonly use that we think we know the definitions for that we probably don't. Take the word "different". It means unusual and several and separate and not alike in character.
If all of the guys you meet are online, let a friend set you up. If all the guys you go out with, you sleep with after the fifth date, wait longer. If you only go for tall, dark and handsome, consider slightly shorter, cinnamon and hella cute. If your dating life has been going the same way ever since you can remember, step out and try something a little unusual.
I'm telling you, sometimes guys get a bad rap because we speak in generalizations about them. And that's because we're only dating one type of guy. If any of this resonated, even a little bit, stop dating the same man in a different body.
For the sake of your sanity, break your old patterns and try something new. There's no tellin' what kind of man is on the other side of your hamster wheel if you do. #realtalk
Featured Image by Getty Images.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
With two Eclipses happening this month, this is one of the powerhouse months of 2023 and one that will be unforgettable for many. The month begins in Libra Season, and with Mercury also entering Libra on October 4th. When Mercury is in Libra, the focus is on keeping the peace, creating harmony, and finding the beauty in life. Relationships, finances, pleasure, and creation are all the focus during Libra Season, and this month overall will be creating a lot of positive change in these areas of life.
What October 2023 Has In Store For Your Zodiac Sign
On October 8th, Venus moves into earth sign Virgo, and love takes on a more serious and grounded tone here. Venus in Virgo has high standards and wants the best of the best. There is a possibility of becoming overly critical in love or relationships with this energy, however overall, Venus in Virgo will be focused on letting go of unhealthy behaviors in love and creating more positive ways of relating, giving, and receiving in relationships. A few days later, Pluto goes direct in Capricorn after going retrograde in Aquarius back in May, and fewer power struggles and obstacles are more likely.
With Pluto direct in Capricorn, it is easier to reach your goals, build success, and see your own self-empowerment in it all.
On October 12th, Mars enters Scorpio, and Mars loves being in this water sign as it’s the ruler of Scorpio. Mars in Scorpio is passionate and direct and heats things up when it comes to your relationships. Mars will be in Scorpio until November 24th, and a spark is definitely being lit. A few days later, we have a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra.
This Solar Eclipse is creating a fresh start in love, but may also be bringing things to the forefront that are uncomfortable to see. A Solar Eclipse in Libra is relationship-oriented, and this is where you will be seeing the most impact now.
Before the month ends, Mercury enters Scorpio on October 22nd, Scorpio Season begins on the 23rd, and there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28th. The end of October is when a lot of big moves are being made, and transformations are occurring, and it’s about letting go of baggage before moving forward again. The Lunar Eclipse in Taurus is another eclipse that has an impact on relationships, as both Libra and Taurus are ruled by Venus, the planet of love.
Through what is changing and transforming in some of your close relationships, this energy suggests there is greater love on the other side of it. Find gratitude in where you are, and stand in hope and self-belief for where you want to be.
Your October 2023 Monthly Horoscopes
ARIESAriesKyra Jay for xoNecole
Your strength is needed this month, Aries. During October, the Sun is in Libra, meaning the Sun is in your 7th house. The 7th house is the house of love and relationships, but it’s also the house of open enemies and opposition. This month, you will be finding your balance between the opening you are seeing in your life right now and what still needs to be built.
On October 14th, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in this area of your chart, the 7th house, and this is an impactful time for you emotionally. The intentions you have been setting in your love life and financially are creating a new scene for you. This is a good month to do more of the things that make you happy, to get creative, and to notice the beauty in your life. Before the month ends, your ruling planet, Mars, moves into your 8th house, and things get deep and even more emotional for you moving into November.
TAURUSTaurusKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a month of reflection for you, Taurus. There is a lot happening this month and a lot happening for you personally, yet you are taking the time to tend to your inner world and recreate your safe spaces. With Venus in a fellow earth sign and in your 5th house of romance for most of this month, you will be sure to have plenty of love in your life to help you through some of the downtime you are getting in October.
Mars moves into your house of love on October 12th, and this is heating things up for you in your relationships and sex life. Fuel your passions and notice what is lighting you up inside right now. Before the month ends, on October 28th, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in your sign, and you are going through some major life changes. You are closing one chapter of your life of self-discovery and moving forward with a new view of yourself and the world around you.
GEMINIGeminiKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about letting go, Gemini. You are moving through a time of releasing what has been filling your world with more chaos and confusion than clarity and are paving a new path for yourself. Your ruling planet, Mercury, is in your house of happiness for most of this month, and you are really thinking of the things that your heart wants and expressing yourself through this space of openness as well. Communication channels are exciting for you this month.
On October 14th, the New Moon Eclipse will be highlighting all of the energy of love you have been feeling this month and will be helping you hone in on your creative passions and hobbies as well. This month is surprising you on how well things turn out when you let go of what isn’t working. The second eclipse of the month is on the 28th, and this one for you is about laying the past to rest once and for all and giving yourself time to heal and process.
CANCERCancerKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is an activating month for you, Cancer. There are some eye-opening moments happening, and a lot of things are coming to a head. The energy of the month is about letting things find their place and allowing yourself to be okay in the process. Venus is in your 3rd house of communication for most of this month, and you will be able to communicate more freely how you are feeling and what you need in your relationships right now.
With the Sun in Libra and in your 4th house for most of October, home is really where the heart is right now. Spending time in comfortable environments where you feel the most at ease is nourishing. Before the month ends, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in your 11th house of community, and things are coming full circle for you. Lean on your support systems and community for an extra hand, and know that you deserve to take up space.
LEOLeoKyra Jay for xoNecole
This is a month of things moving forward for you, Leo. Patience is still needed, as things may not be moving as quickly as expected, however, they are moving nonetheless, and you are leaving the space of stagnation you have been feeling the past couple of months. Openings are coming into your life, and with Venus now in your 2nd house, you are able to capitalize on what you have been investing in and claim your abundance.
The Solar Eclipse happening mid-month will be awakening something within you when it comes to expressing yourself. You are breaking free from fears, limitations, and self-judgments and seeing yourself as someone who deserves to be heard. The Sun is also in this area of your chart until the end of the month, and you have all the support from the universe right now to speak up and speak your truths.
VIRGOVirgoKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a month of blessings for you, Virgo. This year has been a year of a lot of ups and downs for you, and in the second half of this year, you really get to settle into more stability and positive fruition. You are being guided to use your instincts wisely this month, however, so as to keep blessings rolling. Your ruling planet, Mercury, will be in your 2nd house of income for most of the month, as well as the Sun, and financially, this is a really good month for you.
On October 8th, Venus moves into your sign, and you are receiving and feeling the love right now. Venus will be in your sign until November 8th, and over the next month, this is a good time for your relationships and business, receiving positive feedback, and putting yourself out there. On October 28th, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse happening in your 9th house of adventure, and you could be seeing some travel or education plans coming to fruition now. You are really ready to enjoy how far you have come this month.
LIBRALibraKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about creating your dreams, Libra. This is an exciting month for you and one where you are healing your inner child, gaining a new perspective, and manifesting your life. Libra Season is fully underway, and this is an impactful Libra Season for you, as there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse happening in your sign on the 14th. This Solar Eclipse is your time to shine, to bring your dreams to the forefront, and to let go of the past that doesn’t resonate with you anymore. It’s all about the vision this month; focus on the best one for yourself.
With the Sun and Mercury in your 1st house of self for most of the month and Venus in your 12th house of closures, you are finding your balance between the new and the old. You know there is a lot to release emotionally in your life still, but you are also giving yourself the space and freedom to soak in the good that has already arrived and making you happy right now. On October 23rd, Libra Season ends, and you are ready to focus more on your plans for the future.
SCORPIOScorpioKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a month of rebirth for you, Scorpio. This is one of the most powerful months for you and one where you are starting fresh in many ways. Mercury is in your house of endings for most of the month, and your mind is focused on your spirituality, finding solutions, and letting go of perspectives and habits that don’t serve you or your health. Through the transformations that are occurring right now, new life is coming to fruition.
Mars and Mercury both enter your sign before Scorpio Season begins on the 23rd, and by the end of October, the energy moves from release to receive. You have more energy at your disposal when Mars is in your sign, and you are moving through a time of passion, action, and making things happen for yourself. This Scorpio Season for you is one where you are creating a new life for yourself and following the dreams you left to the wayside.
SAGITTARIUSSagittariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
Sagittarius, October is all about the heart and about showing up. This month for you is a time of support, friendship, and community, and a time where you are really discovering who your people are. You are awakening to what your inner child needs to heal and are seeking forgiveness this month. This is a time for you to move toward a new path in your life, one that feels more fulfilling for you and your well-being.
Venus is in Virgo and in your 10th house of career this month, and you are seeing some positive changes within your professional world. You are being received especially favorably right now, and this is a good month to ask for a promotion, network, or redefine your career goals. On October 14th, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse happening in your 11th house, and your hopes and dreams are coming true for you. The clarity you gain this month is life-changing.
CAPRICORNCapricornKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about patience, finding your peace, and exploring the world, Capricorn. You are focusing a lot on your belief systems, your intentions, and what goals you have set for yourself and your life. Venus is in your 9th house of adventure for most of the month, and you are really thinking about the big picture right now. You are doing more things differently this time of the year, thinking outside of the box and allowing your intentions to come to fruition.
On October 10th, Pluto goes direct in your sign. Pluto retrograde entered your sign in June, and you finally get to settle into the transformations that have been occurring since then. You’ve had a lot of moments of self-clarity and change, but now you are ready to live in this space and experience fewer changes to your environment. On October 28th, there is a Full Moon Eclipse happening, and this Lunar Eclipse is a time of love coming full circle for you. Relationships are developing at the end of October, and you are letting go of the past in love.
AQUARIUSAquariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is all about allowing life to unfold effortlessly, Aquarius. The path of least resistance is the most rewarding one, and this month, you are tapping into your inner faith. You have truly been trusting the process, and with the Sun in your 9th house for most of the month, the divine guidance is there for you right now. This month is about trusting that things are coming together for you and enjoying your life how you can right now.
On October 14th, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse happening, and this eclipse is helping you build new foundations in your life. You have goals you want to set, places you want to see, and people you want to meet, and this eclipse is highlighting all of that for you. The second eclipse of the month is happening on the 28th, and this Lunar Eclipse is about letting things settle in, finding your ground, and nourishing your inner world. You are going within a lot this month, and through the new insight you have found, you are ready to make some concrete decisions that have been needed.
PISCESPiscesKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a time of compassion, nurture, and love, Pisces. You are putting the love into your life and feeling this energy come back to you as well. Venus is in Virgo, your opposite sign, for most of the month, and this is good energy when it comes to your relationships and your love life. Your focus is on the people in your life and where you want things to grow in love, and you are putting in the effort to make your dreams come true for you here.
With the Sun also in your 8th house of commitments for most of the month, another love area of your chart, you can expect this to be a more emotional month for you. You are getting vulnerable, expressing where you stand, and creating a new slate for yourself in love. On October 28th, there is a Full Moon Eclipse happening in your 3rd house of communication, and the messages and insights you have been looking for are coming in.
The end of the month is a busier time for you, and you will be suddenly seeing everything you want to do and plan right now.
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Featured image by Kyra Jay for xoNecole