Albert Einstein (bear with me here) once said that, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” That’s right, one of the most intelligent men to ever exist warned us that doing the same thing again and again, will always land us in the same situation.
This new research from global dating app Inner Circle reveals that sticking to a type is crushing singles’ chances of meeting great people, and is responsible for a new dating trend that is emerging: Groundhogging.
For reference, the term Groundhogging links to the film Groundhog Day, where Phil (played by Bill Murray), a self-centred weatherman, finds himself in a living nightmare when he discovers that he wakes up every morning to live the exact same day over and over.
Of course, the film version ends with him changing his destructive ways and falling happily in love with his colleague, Rita (played by Andie MacDowell), however, in real life, we’re not guaranteed the same happy end
Groundhogging refers to the idea that people are going for the same type of person over and over again, whilst expecting different results. People pick out someone who fits their ideal type, date them, but end up feeling underwhelmed. Instead of breaking out of this cycle, when they turn back to dating apps, they end up swiping someone else who fits the same profile. The groundhogging cycle resumes.
As singles we might think that we know what we want, but the research shows it’s not working out. Four in five singles report that dating their type isn’t going that well – some say they go on a few good dates but no one has blown them away, and some just aren’t sure. Only 18 per cent say they’re lucky in love and go on lots of great dates.
The research reveals singles’ top ‘types’ are guys over 6ft tall (43%) and brunettes (29%). Perhaps good news for anyone who’s tall, dark and handsome, but not for other singles, as it turns out groundhogging daters aren’t open minded about trying out something new. Fewer than a quarter (24%) say they’d be up for seeing someone who doesn’t fit their usual type.
Daters are getting themselves stuck in this cycle for a mix of reasons – from believing they have high standards and dating a different bookofsex-bureaublad type would be settling (60%), to thinking it’s the safe option (18%). 14 per cent say it’s just a habit.
But what good old Albert didn’t account for, is that, when it comes to dating, three out of four of us have a ‘type’, that’s 72 per cent of the population, and when you have a ‘type’ it’s really hard to stray from it
If you’ve online-dated for any length of time, you know what outrageous lengths people will go to to avoid asking each other out.
Inner Circle’s resident dating expert, Charly Lester, doesn’t think so: « I can’t remember the last time I heard of dating a ‘type’ working out. For most people, when they think about their best dates, it’s with someone who surprised them – someone they wouldn’t usually go for.
« And the reality is, a certain height or hair colour shouldn’t be a type. These factors don’t make for better conversation or a stronger connection. Singles need to scrap this way of thinking and stop groundhogging. »
We’re not saying that if you love someone tall, blonde and funny, you should go for short, brunette and boring as hell, but maybe just start to notice when you’re drawn to someone purely because they fit a poster partner image that you have in your brain… and then make an informed decision from there.