Don't Go To Extremes: Making Sure Your Next Date Isn't Based Entirely on Your Ex's Opposite

By Samantha Scholfield, BounceBack Dating Expert

After a bad breakup, there is a natural inclination to go for the opposite of whatever personality type / habits / profession / appearance you were just dating. After all, if it didn't work with your ex, finding someone else who shares none of their attributes seems like a good bet. As I discovered, taking this to heart can often lead to non-ideal results.

I once went out with this guy who was extremely artistic. He played the guitar and was the lead singer is his band. He painted. He would write poetry. He wore flip flops year round. He was, in a word and at that time in my life, pretty much perfect. Unfortunately for me, his artistic nature also came along with a propensity to completely disregard plans and live entirely spontaneously, including spontaneously meeting and going out with other girls who also thought he was perfect. I figured out pretty quickly that this wasn't going to work for me.

In response to Mr. Spontaneous Artist's habits, the next guy I dated was in law school, regularly wore khakis and collared shirts to class and his schedule each day read like a minute-by-minute production plan. Up at five to lift weights for one hour. Shower. Protein shake. On campus by 8am to study. When we went out, the timing was precise and everything was planned, down to the most minute detail. However, when he completely freaked out one night after I showed up ten minutes late to dinner, I bailed. My 180 dating plan was clearly ill-advised.

Obviously, like Goldilocks, somewhere in the middle of Mr. Spontaneous Artist and Mr. Minute-by-Minute, Esquire was what I was looking for, but that was something I learned only after I'd done the 180 flip. And perhaps it is a necessary part of the break-up process to flip-flop like this to learn what you're really looking for. But if you're feeling logical, avoid avoiding everything about your ex. After all, you loved them once. Pick and choose the things you liked, take note of (but don't dwell on) the things you didn't, and try to find a happy medium in your next date(s).

By moving forward like this, and not sideways or backwards, you'll find yourself bouncing back and moving on in no time.

What are the qualities of your ex that you WANT in your next date, and what qualities do you want to avoid? Tell us!

Samantha Scholfield is a writer, dating coach and author of Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys. Billed as a "considerably hipper author" than The Rules, she is currently working on the guy's version of Screw Cupid, due for publication in February 2011.

BounceBack is changing the way people cope with heartbreak as a result of a breakup or divorce. BounceBack is a place to tell your story, get advice from experts, and share what you've learned with others in similar situations. We're here to remove the negative stigma around being heartbroken - this happens to everyone. And we believe everyone has the potential to bounce back to life and move forward.

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