It feels frustrating when you meet the same kinds of guy. It can then appear that there are no decent men.
This leads to opinions such as “all the good men are taken”, “men are only interested in xyz”, “I’m expecting too much”, or “I should compromise and lower my standards”. What if the way our brain works was subconsciously limiting you?
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Our brains are amazing. They do a superlative job of keeping us alive. That’s their primary purpose. John Medina’s fascinating book “Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School” uses decent science to explain twelve rules for how we really function. Some of his ideas could explain why you might keep meeting the same kinds of men. In my post “Why am I so negative about men?” I approached it from a psycho-analytical yet psychological point of view. This post takes a more biological yet psychological view.
A Repeated Experience Becomes Our (View Of) Life
Think back to your teenage years. It’s likely you can remember the experiences pretty clearly. This is because they were happening for the first time – the first kiss, date, sexual experience…every experience we have ever had is encoded into our brain as a series of nerves that either fire, or don’t fire. But with new experiences, a set of neurons fires in a new way. The more the experiences happen, the stronger the connections between those sets of neurons become. A repeated experience becomes an easily accessible memory – but also our view of life.
What’s this got to do with meeting the same kinds of guy? Well can you remember your first experience of love? Thinking back, how influential was that experience over what came next?
My first experiences in the area of relationship were hugely influential – and I suggest it’s similar for you. I still remember the intensity of feeling when she said “you’re really nice but we can only be friends”. New brain patterns were being formed in my 18-year old brain. The significance of the events is hardwired into me. When it happened again, the pathway was strengthened. When it happened yet again – my experience of life was set. I was not attractive to women, they would only want to be friends with me. And so it went into my twenties.
Repeated Action, Same Result
Those structured brain patterns kept me safe, and comfortable. They prevented me from repeatedly experiencing the pain I felt at 18-years old – because those neural pathways developed after I got through that first experience of rejection. It’s energy efficient for the brain to use the smallest number of nerves necessary – so when the experience happened again, my brain fired up that previous useful pattern. I survived. Alive yes. Truly fulfilled? Meh. I was repeating a pattern and getting the same results – limited by my biology. Consider that if you’re meeting the same kinds of man, this is why.
Does this mean we’re doomed? Can the patterns be changed? It turns out that the science says it can. And it requires an energy intensive challenge – from processing complicated information to creating plans, through to practising impulse control. Turns out that learning a musical instrument is perfect for all of these – all at once. Should you go and book piano lessons? Not necessarily. I would suggest looking for activities and experiences that take you to the edge of your comfort zone – and slightly out of it. This is where new sets of neurons fire and new pathways form.
We’re all living this common experience as humans – so do new stuff – step to the edge of our comfort zone. It’s only through different actions that you can produce different results. And in the process rewire your brain.
- Practise complimenting the men around you – building up to complimenting strangers. This gets you outside your comfort zone.
Have you ever asked yourself ‘Why can’t I meet good men?’ Discover your ‘Natural Dating Strategy’ and find out the answer.