According to new reports, Scarlett Johansson has a new man—and he’s a total departure from her usual type. In the past, ScarJo has gone for famous fellow actors like Sean Penn, Ryan Reynolds, Josh Harnett, and Jared Leto, but her new man of five months is an advertising executive.
Scarlett’s new romance got us thinking about dating patterns. According to Schick Quattro for Women’s relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing), we all have one—it can be a physical type, like you always gravitate toward muscular dudes, or a personality, like extroverts or shy guys. (Scarlett’s seem to have been cute actors.) Here’s her advice on sussing out your dating pattern…and how to tell whether it’s working for you.
Q. Why do we form dating patterns?
A. We assign qualities to people based on very little information (he lives in a certain area, has a certain job, acts a certain way in public) and believe those qualities are what we need in a guy. I’ve met people who have said, “I would never date a shy guy,” assuming he would be boring, and then realized the person was interesting and fun—he just wasn’t as outgoing as their usual “type.”
Q. How can you tell if your dating pattern is bad for you?
A. When you go out with the same type of guy, expecting different results from the ones who have burned you before. You’ll know your pattern isn’t working for you if you’re constantly playing the same frustrating role in your relationships. We need to stop focusing on who the guy we’re dating is and look at who we are with him. Are you crazier than you’d like to be? More confused than ever? Focus on how you act around him to see if your pattern is working.
Q. Okay, so how can you break a bad pattern?
You have to be honest with yourself to figure out what your pattern is before you can break it. Ask yourself: If my dating life were a movie, how would it begin and end? What character do I always play? You’ll get some clues. It’s normal to get into patterns, even self-defeating ones. After you identify your pattern, make a commitment to get outside of your comfort zone so you can break it. Do things you don’t usually do and go to places you don’t usually go to meet people.
Q. So, should you just try to date a guy who is totally different from your exes?
A. Yes. That’s not to say settle for less than you want. Decide what your three “must haves” are and your three “can’t stands” and simply be open to the fact that those qualities may come in different packages.