Athletic, nerdy, spontaneous, social, calm, etc. — there's no denying people have types when it comes to dating. But what's behind these patterns that cause us to date the same person over and over again? It certainly goes beyond physical looks.
For the seventh episode of Love, Factually — Bustle's new video series exploring the real facts behind how we experience love, dating, and relationships — we looked into what makes us date the same type and how to break outside our pattern and date new kinds of people. (Hey, we all know deep down that falling for the bad boy or the emotionally available girl again isn't going to get us anywhere.) We spoke with Dr. Lucy Brown, Psychotherapist Lisa Bratemen and Dating and Relationship Coach Francesca Hogi to get to the bottom of our dating patterns.
And, they even helped identify who our types are. Personally, I've never considered myself someone who has a "type," but after hearing what these experts had to say, I've now identified my pattern and the traits I'm compatible with. (Hi, Explorers!).
So who's your type and why? Check out the latest episode of Love, Factually and how we choose our type below:
1. It's Encoded In Our Biology
Could it be that you're attracted to spontaneous men or tough-minded women because of your brain chemistry? Dr. Lucy Brown and her research partner, Dr. Helen Fisher, argue that brain chemistry makes us more likely to be compatible with certain personality types.
They found that four chemicals — dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen — all influence our behavior and who we're attracted to. And, there are four broad personality types associated with each chemical: Explorers: people who express more dopamine and are risk-takers and impulsive; Builders: people who express more serotonin and are calm and community-oriented; Directors: people who express more testosterone system and are tough-mined and analytical, and Negotiators: people who express more estrogen and are positive and empathetic.
"Explorers tend to be attracted to explorers because they're so interested in the world and want to go out and do things," Brown tells Bustle. "Builders, too, they have the same goals in life, like helping humanity. But a director, who's high in testosterone will not get along well with another director — a director needs a negotiator."
2. It Has To Do With Our Emotional Needs
But not everyone thinks evolution is behind our dating choices. Psychotherapist Lisa Brateman believes that it has to do with emotional needs and expectations. What is their emotional makeup? What are their expectations? What are their morals and values? Basically, when we date we're trying to satisfy our emotional needs, and who we're dating has to do with these factors:
1. Family origin
3. Fear of change
So can you change your type?
So what if you're falling into a pattern of dating people who just aren't good for you? Are you doomed? Not at all. "It is 100 percent in our power to change the kind of person we date," Dating and Relationship Coach Francesca Hogi tells Bustle, "So it's really important for you to recognize that you have a pattern."