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Escape the groundhogging dating trend: tips to refresh your love life

Robyn Exton

Aug 18, 2023

Escape the groundhogging dating trend: tips to refresh your love life
  • It’s no secret: dating can be exhausting. Sometimes you hit it off with someone in the DMs. Still, it’s a total dud in real life, other times you feel like you’re just going around in circles just to get things going, and beyond that, you might end up feeling like you’re dating the same kinds of people over and over again, almost like it’s Groundhog Dog. 

    Some call this phenomenon “groundhogging,” when you tend to date the same kind of people and think you’ll get different results. 

    To be fair, what we mean by “type” can be subjective, but for the most part, people often use this when dating someone who may have the same physicality over and over again. Others may even use it to describe their disillusionment with the fact that they date people who are emotionally unavailable or have some sort of toxic trait

    And yet, somehow, they keep finding themselves in the same situation over and over again. 

    Why do people groundhog?

    Humans are creatures of habit, and we often seek what’s known and comfortable to us, so this habit of dating the same kinds of people can lead to boredom and even loneliness – like a neverending winter. That makes “groundhogging” not a hard term to conceptualize.

    After all, we’re kind of label-obsessed, especially for the queer community. And look, there’s nothing wrong with hot studs being hot studs or handsome femmes being handsome femmes – we love that here. But there’s something so beautiful about breaking your habits, challenging your boundaries, and getting outside your comfort zone. Perhaps the love of your life – or the night of your life – is just on the other side!  

    The good news is that there’s no reason to beat yourself up over having a “type,” and there are ways to break the cycle and jump into the blooming spring season of your dating life. Read on to learn more about groundhogging! 

    Curly-haired woman holding a mug against her face, probably exhausted from groundhogging in dating.

    Broaden your dating horizons

    When people say “type” in the context of dating, they usually refer to the kind of physicality and presentation they’re attracted to. Certainly, in the queer community, we love using different labels to describe gender expression and sub-segments of lesbian expression, for example.

    Sometimes it’s pretty clear what your type is: some people go for androgynous, others go for high femmes. Others don’t really have a type, and they just go for whoever tickles their fancy.

    Recognize you’re groundhogging in the first place

    If you’re reading this, then you probably already have a hunch that you’re groundhogging. You may find yourself having the same gripes about the people you date. You’re finding yourself bored and may even close yourself off with that dating partner after a certain amount of time. In this case, no one has a good time: not you, not your prospects! 

    You should really go easy on yourself in this step of the process. Just because you have a type doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person or are bound to keep repeating the groundhogging cycle. Admitting you’re groundhogging is one of the first steps to breaking the cycle!

    Introduce new experiences in your dating life

    So, what do you do if you find yourself going for the same kind of person and end up feeling underwhelmed? Dare we say it – what if you find yourself groundhogging? 

    As we mentioned, humans are creatures of habit, so if you’re here, you probably want some novelty in your life. 

    Dr. Alane K. Daugherty, Ph.D., says novelty and dopamine often go hand in hand when it comes to enhancing “mood, positive outlook, motivation, and goal setting.” And psychologists have long-touted novelty as a way to keep a relationship alive – who’s to say it’s any different with yourself trying new things? 

    All that is to say that novelty can extend beyond just keeping a long-term relationship alive. Novelty in your dating life can mean dating outside your “usual” type. But how do you introduce novelty anyway? 

    You can introduce novelty in your dating life by going to different kinds of queer bars than you’re used to. You could even change your location on the HER app (with HER Premium) to another local area to match with a new segment of people! 

    Something as simple as looking for connections in places other than where you normally look can make a big difference! Changing up your dating pool using dating apps like HER can help diversify your dating experience and break the groundhogging cycle.

    A non-binary person with short, blonde curly hair scrolls on their phone. They’re probably looking for new people to match with on the HER app.

    Reflect and understand your Patterns

    Journaling can really work wonders when it comes to understanding why you do what you do and taking the next steps to breaking the groundhogging cycle. And hey, while journaling might not be everyone’s cup of tea, isn’t that the point of this blog post in the first place? Get out of your comfort zone!

    Here are some journal prompts to get you started on your groundhogging reflection.

    • What kinds of people do I normally gravitate towards? Is it strictly because of physical attraction? What about these people attracts me so much?
    • If I were to date people different from those I normally have dated in the past, what would they look like? How would they act? How would they make me feel?
    • What about my previous relationships made me unhappy? Why do I get bored or feel a sense of monotony in my life with these partners?

    Prioritize growth and self-awareness

    So you’re burnt out from dating the same kinds of people, but you might also be burnt out from dating in general! Dating burnout is real, and you shouldn’t push yourself to date all the time to try to break your groundhogging cycle. Maybe all you need is to take a break or focus on friendships and family – journal even! – before you take the next step.

    Growth isn’t linear, and the journey to increased self-awareness isn’t either. You don’t have to dive into the deep end of the dating pool and swear off your usual “type” to get the desired result. At the end of the day, it’s all about the journey. Take a swim, and enjoy the waves!

    Kindle curiosity about your new kind of dates

    Once you start dating people who are a different “type,” you might find yourself lost because you’re not used to it! There’s no shame in preparing for a new kind of adventure, so why not bring some conversation-starting questions to the date, and prepare something less awkward than the typical ice-breaking “What’s your favorite color?” 

    Breaking your groundhogging cycle isn’t an overnight thing, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t find your cycle-breaker by next week. This is about you in the end, so put yourself first!

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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