Date against ‘type’ – go on, I dare you
It’s very common to have a ‘type’. Often, we’re not consciously falling for similar people – it just happens. Our ‘type’ might be a pattern in something physical, emotional, intellectual or even a particular lifestyle in the people we choose to date. If you have dated the same ‘type’ more than once, there’s a chance you’re a Typist when it comes to dating and it might be time to reform.
How do I know if I’m a Typist?
A Typist keeps dating similar ‘types’, hoping this time it will end in happy-ever-after… and it never does. Maybe you go for soulful and sensitive types. Maybe he’s always unavailable. Maybe he’s always exotic. Maybe he’s always much older than you. Or perhaps they’re all musicians with broad, muscly shoulders.
It might take some reflection to realise the similarities in the people you’ve dated, but if you’re a Typist there’ll be at least one thing they all have in common. This Typist behaviour may have only started in the last few years, so don’t discount the possibility you developed this pattern recently.
Why do we have a ‘type’?
One explanation for our Typist ways is the sense of safety and security that stems from this behaviour at first. We can be subconsciously attracted to things that feel familiar.
Familiarity is attractive because it makes us feel safe. The opposite of familiar is unfamiliar and our minds are trained to feel uneasy at first around the unusual. If we repeat a behaviour enough, perhaps driven by that subconscious desire for safety; it can become habit. Sometimes when we’re dating our ‘type’ we feel instantly more at ease because we’re in familiar territory.
We can develop a ‘type’ for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps our first long-term relationship was with someone really funny and that has led to a life-long attraction to really funny men. We may also avoid certain types because of bad experiences which leads us to another ‘type’. For example, perhaps we got our heart broken by a really confident alpha-male type and so we feel more comfortable with more sensitive, feminine men and this has become our type. Or, perhaps we’re just really sexually attracted to men with a certain physical feature for no reason we can explain.
Whatever your ‘type’, if you’ve been dating him for years and you still haven’t found yourself in a lasting relationship…then it might be time to *gasp*… date against type.
Why should I date AGAINST ‘type’?
So, what’s so wrong with just dating whoever you’re attracted to, even if they’re a similar ‘type’? When we exclusively date a ‘type’, we’re at risk of overvaluing people who aren’t right for us and undervaluing those who are.
For example, let’s say you’re extremely attracted to men over six-foot-tall. Tall men are your ‘type’. Despite dating your tall man type for years, you’re still single. Being so consistent with this type may have led you to:
1. UNDER-VALUE some great men and limit your options
The man who was 5’9” with similar values and interests and a great sense of humour hasn’t been given a look-in. There’s every chance there’s a man under 6 foot out there somewhere you barely know exists who would LOVE to date you and probably give you the best sex of your life… but it’s too bad because he doesn’t fit the mould of your ‘type’. This guy could be one of hundreds like him you’ve never given a chance.
2. OVER-VALUE some real losers
You may have dated some real losers who were tall – yes, but worthy of a relationship – no. This ONE characteristic (being tall) qualified them for your time, energy and emotional investment despite having other traits that should have disqualified them. This one really attractive quality has blinded you to other really unattractive, unhealthy ones.
Now what I’m about to say next is really important.
In my experience, the women who quickly go from being ‘unlucky in love’, to loved-up in lasting relationships are brave enough to start dating against type.
Instead of chasing down the ‘type’ they’ve always gone for, they consciously decide to keep an open mind to MOST possibilities. They enter the dating world with a reformed mindset and give most men who fit their non-superficial list short list of criteria a fighting chance. This isn’t about lowering standards, this is about cleansing your list of unhelpful criteria patterns that are trapping you in the same place you’ve always been.
So how do I reform my Typist ways?
To become a reformed Typist, firstly identify the things that you’re consistently attracted to that aren’t really important. Try writing down a list of words that come to mind when you think of men you’ve dated in the last five years. Ask yourself what attracted you to them at first and whether that thing is really crucial to your future happiness.
Once you’ve identified a handful of traits you think are patterns for you, write them down somewhere you can find again easily. Refer to this list when you’re deciding whether or not to date someone more than once. Ask yourself; am I over-valuing or undervaluing this person for any of these reasons?
The next thing to do is to change your expectations for chemistry. When you date someone that is not your usual type, you may not feel an instant attraction or ‘spark’.
This ‘spark’ you’re used to feeling wasn’t necessarily a sign of compatibility and future happiness, but rather just a sign of familiarity.
When you decide to date against ‘type’ you’re likely to open the doors to men who you don’t feel that instant chemistry with. Why? Because they will be less familiar. You’re likely to feel a little vulnerable in ways you’re not used to feeling around these new, less familiar men.
Feeling a bit uncomfortable when you start dating AGAINST type is to be expected. The opposite of these vulnerable, insecure feelings are why we have been dating a type in the first place. But the security we found in the familiar was holding us back. It wasn’t leading to choices that got us to genuinely compatible individuals who possess what’s important.
Once you start being open to new ‘types’, it might take a few dates to really feel a connection. But trust me – that connection will grow, and you will discover the type of quality relationship you never knew existed. Before you know it, one day that man you thought wasn’t your ‘type’ will feel like the only man for you.
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