Is Your Man A Doppelgänger Dater?

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Toni Munoz-Hunt’s Model Behaviors offers stylish solutions to dating dilemmas. Visit to explore Toni’s new website and join the conversation!



Dear Toni,

My boyfriend and I recently decided to move in together, and I am having serious second thoughts. You see, while I was helping him pack up for the move, I came across a box of ex-girlfriend memorabilia. Inside were photos of him and his exes at all of our favorite spots, with all of our friends. And that’s not even the worst part. The women in those pictures could have almost been my twins!

It was like déjà vu, Toni, or like a creepy movie that I can’t stop replaying in my head. His former loves were my height, with the same hair color, same haircut, similar clothes, and sometimes even the same silly faces in snapshots. Now, I’m beginning to understand why people looked so perplexed when he and I first started dating. Do I have a good reason to freak out, or am I just his ‘type’?



Dear L.H.,

I wish I could tell you that your boyfriend just suffers from a lack of imagination, or that he embraces the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it philosophy, but the situation is much more serious. You are cohabitating with a classic Doppelgänger Dater.  Allow me to explain.



What is a Doppelgänger Dater?

The Doppelgänger Dater (DD) is a singleton who is subconsciously stuck in the past. He is fixated upon the one who got away. Whether he pines for a recent ex-girlfriend, or a high school or college sweetheart, his sole relationship mission revolves around finding her replacement.

Women can become DD’s too, but the phenomenon is more common in men. When considering a break-up, women weigh the pros and cons and often confer with friends before taking the final leap. Conversely, men can be spontaneous in their break-ups, later regretting their hasty decision. In some cases, this heartfelt hindsight translates into troublesome typecasting.


Can a DD still make a great mate?

In a word, no. As a replica is to a fine antique, the copy never quite compares to the original for the DD. In the beginning, he may perceive imperfections in your appearance, suggesting changes to your hair, wardrobe, or eating habits. And the situation may get worse from there. Ultimately, he can never be satisfied, and your self esteem will suffer.


What does this mean for the relationship?

Close the lid on that bothersome box of photos and take a step back. It’s in a woman’s nature to want to help the one she loves, but this problem has nothing to do with you and everything to do with his past.  When dealing with a Doppelgänger Dater, his insecurities will eventually come at your expense.

Until next time,



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