You DO Have a Type and Study Suggests It’s Likely Your Ex

“Biker couple” by sniggie

The words: “He/she isn’t my type” is something most of us have said or thought at least once. We hear it all the time, whether it’s during private conversations between close friends, or during a romantic flick we’re watching. Modern dating is all about types.

Despite its often use in conversations about relationships, until the recent years there have hardly been any scientific investigations as to whether a “type” exists at all.

Recent research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health in Czechia in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy and History of Science suggests that we do, in fact, have preferences when it comes to our partner choice. We choose our partners based on preferences considering demographic and physical characteristics such as age difference, education, height, and hair color.

However, no research, including this one, has provided evidence that we seek a particular personality type among potential partners. Until now.

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In the newest research, a group of scientists has found that we do have a personality type we keep falling for – and if you aren’t sure what your type is, you might want to look in the mirror.

A study from Princeton University included over 12,000 participants fitted with five personality traits: being open to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The researches have tracked the relationship status of these people for nine years during which the participants had to ask their partners to fill out a personality questionnaire for the sake of science.  

The results suggested that the current partners of the participants have described themselves and their personalities in a very similar way to how their former partners did. In conclusion, while people believe their type changes over time, this study has shown that people do have a specific personality type they fall for, and this type persists across relationships.

In most of these cases, similarities have been tested on only two partners per participant, but for the 29 participants who had more than two partners willing to take the questionnaire, the results were exactly the same.  

“San Francisco fire fighter” by quinn.anya

Even more surprisingly, the study suggests that our type is likely closer to our own personalities than we’d like to admit. The research has shown that not only do ex and current partners share lots of similarities, they are also very similar to the participant themselves.

The only types of participants who chose new partners that weren’t similar to their exes were the ones who scored high in openness to experience and extroversion. It shows us that while we might have a certain pattern our mind goes to, if we are willing to experience new things and if we’re open to stepping out of the usual, we will find someone different.

There are always exceptions – many of them caused by an extremely bad experience with a certain type. For example, divorced people would surely have something to say about the study since many of them have a low tolerance for behavior patterns their new love interest shares with their previous partner.


The study could hold real potential for online dating. Just as music and video streaming services use our personal libraries to suggest new content that might be interesting to us, dating apps could use our relationship history to suggest possible future flames and matches.

Have you noticed a pattern in a personality type you keep falling for? Let us know in the comments below!