Someone I know has dated several women who have very similar names. I always wondered if it was just a funny sound-alike coincidence. But the strange thing was that that all of his dates seemed to share a lot of other characteristics in common, too.
At least from my outsider’s vantage point, none of these relationships seemed to go very well for him. All of them ended, certainly – and none of them seemed to end very amicably.
Was this a coincidence, I wondered? Or was he possibly running into the same problems over and over again with women who were fundamentally similar to one another?
If so, is it always a bad idea to date someone who seems to be a lookalike of your ex?
Here are four considerations to help you navigate the tricky question of whether or not it’s a bad idea to date someone who resembles your ex.
It’s natural to have a type
First, it’s important to realize that there’s nothing wrong with having a “type,” at least in and of itself.
Sometimes it’s certain physical characteristics that we repeatedly find attractive in others. Other times, it can be aspects of others’ personality that we inevitably find attractive.
If your ex was a quiet blonde, that doesn’t mean you should never date any other blondes who are more on the introvert side.
But there are also more specific similarities that can go beyond the mere “type” of person we find attractive.
It could be a physical resemblance that’s uncanny, or the feeling that talking to this person is almost like talking to your ex. Or perhaps even just a sum of similar qualities that add up to quite a strong resemblance between them.
If a person you’re considering dating is this similar to your ex, it’s best to proceed carefully as you make the decision of whether or not to date them.
Does this lookalike have the characteristics that led to problems in the past?
One important question to ask yourself is whether this lookalike you’re attracted to now has the same qualities that made things get messy with your ex.
Sometimes, it might even be qualities that we like initially. For instance, maybe this person has an adventurous spirit, and maybe that excites you. But if your ex’s adventurous spirit ended up leading to the two of you clashing, perhaps it’s best to put on the breaks here.
It can be hard, if you feel strongly attracted to this new person, to see that you’re headed in the same direction that caused you heartache before.
It’s a good idea to take an honest look at just why and how things went wrong with your ex. This way, you can make sure that the similarities you’re noticing in this new person won’t take the same turn.
Will flashbacks sabotage you?
It’s also important that you gain a good grasp of your own tendencies and weaknesses.
Just how strongly does this person remind you of your ex? Forget about whether or not your family and friends will think you’re dating a lookalike of your ex. It’s much more important whether this person makes you think of your ex on a regular basis.
Maybe they don’t really make you think of your ex much at all, beyond the initial realization of their similarity. If that’s the case, it might not be something to worry about.
But maybe interacting with this person brings back a lot of memories of interacting with your ex. Then it might not be fair to you or to this lookalike for you to date them right now.
Especially in the case of deep, painful heartache over your ex that’s not totally resolved, dating someone who makes you think of that ex is probably not a wise move.
Do you like this lookalike for themselves?
Perhaps the biggest question in all this is whether you truly, honestly like this person for themselves. What do you think of them completely independent of any attachment you may have once had to an ex who resembles them?
This can be a tricky question to answer. Sometimes the memory of the early days with your ex can be a strong pull. Maybe you’re having hopeful thoughts that makes you want to try again with someone who resembles them.
Don’t fall into this trap. No matter how similar this new person may be in looks or personality, they are an entirely different person with their own quirks and sensibilities.
Even a dead lookalike or a person who could finish your ex’s sentences will never be a sufficient replacement for what you might feel like you lost out on when things went south with your ex.
You deserve a relationship that is real and fulfilling. And so does this new person.
You owe it to both yourself and to this new person to make sure any attraction you feel is to them, and that it’s not a remnant of a past painful relationship.