Why You Keep Meeting The Same Exact Guy (Over And Over Again)

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If you're like most determined women looking for love and trying to find their soulmate among the many different types of men these days, you worked hard to reflect on what went wrong with the last guy... and the one before that ... and the one before that ... before you started dating your latest boyfriend.

You wanted to avoid going through the same heartache this time around.

And he did seem different at first. He said all the right things, and you were falling in love.

When you started to see those nagging signs, you convinced yourself it was your imagination. When the signs loomed larger, you allowed him every excuse in the book.

RELATED: Personality Types Who Make Great Boyfriends, Ranked From Best To Worst

"He’s just stressed out." "He has a lot on his plate." "He said he’d make more time for me soon." "He didn’t mean it." "Everyone has bad days." "He had a hard childhood."

But, after a while, you had to admit something was seriously wrong. Again.

You were determined not to make the same mistakes, and now you're starting to think every single guy you’re attracted to is a carbon copy of all the others.

Why does every guy you meet seem exactly the same? Because they are! Here's why.

If you're wondering how this could possibly be, you've found the million-dollar question. You definitely deserve some answers.

While it's not your fault that you keep meeting and falling for the same type of man, it’s not an accident either.

What's happening is that your unconscious mind is impelling you to repeat a troubling situation from your past.

Sigmund Freud got it right when he discover that we have a “repetition compulsion."

In his 1920 essay titled "Beyond the Pleasure Principle", Freud wrote:

"The patient cannot remember the whole of what is repressed in him, and what he cannot remember may be precisely the essential part of it. He is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of remembering it as something in the past."

The "repressed material" Freud refers to in this context are those things your conscious mind has "forgotten" from long ago, pushing them into the shadows of your unconscious because they’re too painful or scary to think about.

Instead of actively remembering them, you act them out without realizing it, leading you to find yourself in all too familiar situations — over and over again.

Remember the old saying, "A wolf in sheep’s clothing?" The specific type of man who links up with your forgotten memories is sort of like that.

What you don’t know on a conscious level is that the hurt and disappointment you feel when you date these types of men is really about something or someone in your childhood.

This experience from your past has been waiting to find someone else to attach to — that guy. That same exact guy you keep meeting over and over and over again, each time in a slightly different disguise.

When you date these men, you are reliving a part of your past in the present.

You revisit old types of relationships, ways you were treated, and longings for love that were out of reach; which you now keep trying to find in all the wrong places.

You put these very difficult experiences into action as a form of remembering, and as a way of trying to right something that went wrong long ago.

That’s why the type of man you always meet never seems to change.

RELATED: If A Guy Has These 5 Personality Traits, Run Far Far Far Away

The good thing about this repetition is that, once you are aware of what is going on, you can stop yourself and start asking questions.

That’s the beginning of change. Once you know what it is that makes you fall into these old traps, you won’t need to continue doing so.

It may not be easy, but you are here now trying to answer the most important question: "Why?"

You’ve already come to a major realization. You've opened your eyes and noticed some familiar patterns and behaviors. You realize this last guy was made from the same exact mold as the rest.

The next step toward changing things for the better is to ask yourself what mold it is that your same exact guy fits into.

The type of man you seek out is a personal mold to you. Your "same exact guy" won’t be the same exact guy another woman goes looking for.

His mold was shaped by your past experience, which only you are repeating, so it’s a matter of discovering what that mold looks like.

To break the cycle, avoid these 4 types of men at all costs.

1. A distant, rational guy

Is he closed off and unable to talk? Does he get defensive if you try to tell him how you feel? Does he have all the "rational" answers, the "should’s" and the "solutions," when you just want him to listen?

When you want to spend time with him, he has one excuse after another. He’s busy. You try to understand. You give him space, but he isn’t really there. He makes you feel unwanted and deprived.

2. A critical, angry guy

Does he have a short fuse? Does he constantly tell you what’s wrong with you? Is everything always your fault?

You feel like you can’t do anything right. If you have an opinion, he counteracts it and puts you down.

You keep trying to please him. You even try to be perfect. Nothing works. He lashes out when you least expect it. You are on alert all the time. He makes you feel you aren’t good enough to be loved.

3. A needy, dependent guy

Is he the one with all the needs? Are you always catering to him, listening to him, helping him out with all his feelings and crises?

OK, you get it, you tell yourself. He didn’t have a good mom. But you're feeling suffocated.

What about you? Your whole life, you’ve done your best to ask for very little. You’ve always been the "tough girl." You’re sick of it, but he makes you feel there is something wrong with your needs.

4. A self-preoccupied, controlling guy

Do you feel like you don’t exist? When you talk, is everything about him? He thinks he knows it all. It’s his way or the highway, and if you don’t like it, you know what you can do.

You find yourself intimidated. You have to be quiet and take it or you’re in a fight all the time. Plus, you keep thinking, "Maybe he’s right."

What do you know anyway? You doubt yourself all the time. You’re afraid of ending up alone. He makes you feel stupid and worthless.

What can you do to not keep meeting that exact same guy over and over again?

First, when you are in that initial "wow" of a new infatuation, stop and ask yourself, "Who is this guy, really?"

Slow down so that you can see the answer.

Second, don’t listen to that internal saboteur, the voice inside your head who doubts and criticizes you.

It’s the voice that tells you, "You don’t deserve more. You won’t get what you want anyway. Time is passing and there isn’t any hope. Just settle."

Keep your eyes open and don’t listen to that voice. Then you can start to uncover the "why" of what is hiding inside those same old same old attractions and mistakes. If you know that "why," you won’t be magnetized by the same exact guy again.

In addition, try asking yourself these questions:

Is there someone in your early history that made you feel this way?

Is there someone whose love you tried to get, but couldn’t?

Was there someone who controlled and criticized you?

Was there someone who made you feel worthless?

Were you bullied in school? Have you chosen the bully?

Who didn’t listen to you?

Who always thought they were right and told you how you "should" be?

Was there someone whose needs came before yours?

If it’s too hard to figure out why you keep meeting the same exact guy over again, you don’t have to do it alone.

Reaching out for help can be a very good idea.

RELATED: 8 Types Of Men (And What Your Attraction To Them Says About You)

Dr. Sandra Cohen is a Los Angeles-based psychologist and psychoanalyst. She specializes in treating childhood trauma, persistent depressive states, and all types of anxiety. For more information, visit her website.