The No. 1 Reason Your New Relationship Isn't Working, Study Shows

Research suggests you may be putting yourself in an endless cycle of dating problems.

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Relationships can be hard work, and when they come to an end, most people vow to do better in their next one. But when it comes to a new relationship, it often ends up falling apart just like the ones before. Many people find themselves in an endless cycle of ending one relationship and starting the next. However, there may actually be an underlying reason why your new relationship is just not working out. According to research, the problem could be that you keep dating people who are just like your ex. Read on to find out more, and if you want to avoid past mistakes, learn The No. 1 Thing That Makes a Relationship Successful.

A 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal found that people tend to date the same type of person over and over again, even if they tell themselves that they need to date someone different from their usual "type." The study compared the personalities of current and past partners of 332 people and found significant consistency in the personalities of the subjects' partners, both old and new.

Lesbian couple looking upset after having an argument at home.
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"It's common that when a relationship ends, people attribute the breakup to their ex-partner's personality and decide they need to date a different type of person," lead author Yoobin Park, a PhD student at the University of Toronto, said in statement. "Our research suggests there's a strong tendency to nevertheless continue to date a similar personality."

Unfortunately, this tendency can lead to significant problems. Many people end up having familiar issues in new relationships that they have had in the past because they are dating people with similar personalities.

"So, if you find you're having the same issues in relationship after relationship, you may want to think about how gravitating toward the same personality traits in a partner is contributing to the consistency in your problems," Park said.

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Kevin Darné, relationship expert and author of My Cat Won't Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany), says that people often get stuck thinking or feeling that they need certain things in a relationship, even if they try to stray from it. For instance, he says that someone who typically dates "bad" people may try dating a nicer partner to escape from "all the drama, heartache or betrayal" that came with dating a "bad boy" or "bad girl."

After a while, however, Darné says that the person might feel like they are "missing the mystery, excitement, challenge, and unpredictability" that came with dating someone they felt they had to figure out. They may end the new relationship without really giving it a chance because they believe they need the uncertainty that comes with a more difficult partner.

"Having 'no drama' can also make some people feel bored which means to them the relationship isn't working," he explains. "It requires patience and time to adjust to having a 'new normal,' whether it's dating smarter or learning any other new lifestyle change. When we change, our circumstances change." And for more reasons why your relationship may not be working out, discover The Exact Point Experts Say Most Relationships Go Wrong.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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