Are you dating a carbon copy of your ex? It happens all the time, and a lot of the people involved don’t even realize it. In fact, the practice is so common it’s even got a name: Doppelganger dating. Meaning, your new love may look a lot like your ex, or have similar interests and personality traits, or all three. 

Of course, some people have a “type,” and they always seem to date blonds, or brunets, or die-hard Red Sox fans. 

But for a lot of people, it’s the result of a bad breakup - where they were completely in love with someone, and got brutally dumped. They’re in shock and on the rebound, and are having a hard time letting go. So, finding someone who’s a carbon copy of their lost love is comforting and familiar, and a way to try and hold onto what was good about the relationship, 

And that all boils down to brain chemistry. Research shows that a broken heart affects the same area of the brain that deals with withdrawal from drug addiction. And dating someone similar is like an addict getting a fix of their favorite drug.

So, how can you tell if you’re dating a doppelganger? Listen to your friends. If they keep saying things like, “I can’t believe how much she looks, or acts like your ex Mary,” you’re dating a doppelganger. 

And if you’re wondering whether you’re a doppelganger replacement: Look for an above-average number of references to their ex. Say, repeated comments like, “Billy was always quoting Monty Python, too!” 

But either way, don’t let anyone’s ex become the third wheel in your relationship. You may need to back off, and give them time to mourn their lost relationship before they’re ready to date again.