Inspired by the classic film Groundhog Day, 'groundhogging' refers to the tendency to repeatedly choose the same type of person while expecting different outcomes. We are drawn to those who fit our 'ideal' type, date them, but often end up disappointed or encountering the same issues. When things sour, we return to dating apps, swiping the same profiles, perpetuating the cycle.
If you've been navigating the dating scene for a while, experiencing varying degrees of success, you might be feeling a bit fatigued by the whole process. If the initial excitement has faded, and you find yourself just going through the motions, it's a signal to reassess your approach to meeting new people.
With each date, we gain insights into what we seek in a potential match or, equally important, what we don't desire. Whether shaped by experience or inherent preferences, many of us tend to gravitate toward a 'type'—be it physical attributes, style, profession, beverage preferences, or musical tastes. Establishing common ground is a solid foundation for new relationships. However, what if the notion that the ideal person fits a specific mold is limiting our chances of meeting truly great individuals? Enter 'groundhogging.'
Meeting more people expands our understanding of what's out there and what truly aligns with our desires. We've all had the youthful crushes that, in hindsight, we're grateful didn't work out. Imagine if we had never gained that perspective. While there might be numerous disappointments, meeting new people can be a mind-opening experience. You might discover that your 'type' in 2024 isn't what you truly want or need.
Breaking the cycle is easier said than done, but the responsibility lies with us to be more open and quiet that critical voice seeking the familiar. Perhaps the potential partner doesn't have tattoos, isn't a Friends fan, or struggles to differentiate between a regular burger and an exceptional one. There's the small stuff that would be nice, and then there's what doesn't have to matter.
After all, isn't sharing the things you enjoy with your date part of the fun? Instead of wasting time on interactions or dates with individuals fundamentally incompatible, it might be time to reflect on the ways we could be hindering our chances of connecting with remarkable people.