“Yeah, she is nice and all, but just not my type.”
Have you ever said that or had a friend tell you that as they considered a mate? Maybe you feel drawn to intelligent brunettes while your friend is all about the athletic blondes. You may have even determined that whomever you end up with long-term will have to fit into that type in order for the relationship to be successful.
On Finding Your Type
Most of us, at one time or another, has felt that we have a specific “type” when it comes to romantic partners. We assume that people who don’t fit our predetermined “type” are not likely to be a good relationship fit and that those who do will be. But is this really true?
Yes and no.
We are often drawn to people based on our own past experiences. Elements of familiarity make us feel more comfortable with and more drawn to people with certain attributes.
Those in our lives who have had a big and usually positive impact on us can influence what we think we want in a partner. You may think you just naturally prefer brunettes, but the truth is that you probably had a positive experience with a brunette. That’s why you became drawn to the qualities that they exhibited. Parents, teachers, and other role models can all be part of creating our “type” as well.
We also tend to look for partners that are similar to ourselves or have similar backgrounds. These shared experiences and values feel important when considering a long-term future with someone. They help to provide a common ground and mutual agreement on the importance of certain things in life.
So, the shy blonde girl who grew up in the suburbs may not feel that the long-haired hippy who spent his life living on a commune is the right fit for her. There likely will have never been someone like him in her life that made an impact before. And appearances tell her they have nothing in common and that he wouldn’t be a good match. But what if he is?
The Danger in Trying Too Hard in Finding the Right Person for You
There is a danger in relying too heavily on your “type” in determining whether someone will make a good mate for you or not. Just because they do or don’t meet your idea of the right type doesn’t mean you can determine with certainty their merit as a partner.
Becoming too focused on looking for someone who fits your idea means that you may be overlooking others who would actually be better matches for you in the long run. It also operates on the assumption that meeting your type criteria automatically makes someone a good match.
This simply isn’t something that can be counted on.
Not all athletic blondes have the mix of traits that will make a long-term relationship a good one. It doesn’t mean that you and that perfect match will be compatible.
Looking for love by relying upon your type as a guide can be a dangerous thing to do. It can set up an unhealthy dynamic. You may place unfair expectations on your partner based on what you believe they represented by meeting your type criteria. Or, on the other hand, if you end up with someone who doesn’t fall into your idea of the right type, you may subconsciously sabotage your relationship.
You may let your feelings settled and seep through before you have given that relationship a fair chance. Dating according to type could very well mean that you spend a great deal of time in relationships that are difficult and simply don’t work or leave you feeling lonely and unfulfilled.
Your best bet when dating or starting a relationship is to look for a person’s traits. Appreciate them instead of listening to the ideas you’ve created inside your head. It is undeniably more important to be honest, caring, and compassionate than it is to be blonde.
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Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their relationships better.