What Do You Mean, They’re Not Your Type?

Dawn Bevier

Why making assumptions about your perfect partner limits your chances of lasting love


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All it takes is five minutes. Or even a quick glace at a stranger. Then you utter the short phrase that drastically decreases your chances of finding true love.

What is that phrase?

“He (or she) is not my type.”

When your friends casually mention a coworker they know or a friend of a friend whom you might find a true connection to, you listen to their one sentence description of said person and then find the words mentioned above spewing out of your mouth.

You then proceed to tell them the “type” of person you fall for. The Intellectual. The Bad Boy or Girl. The Artist. The Fitness Buff. The Hippie.

Sometimes it’s not these categories you state. You might say you like tall men or curvy women or green eyes or blond hair or guys in ripped jeans or girls in short skirts.

As if your true mate lies in one of these simple descriptions. As if each of these “types” were certain meals all containing the same recipe.

And if I may be so bold as to ask the question, what assurance do you have that this type is truly your perfect match? After all, you’re still single.

Obviously you’ve dated this type many times (otherwise they wouldn’t be your type, right?) and yet you’ve not found the relationship you were hoping for.

And there’s no shame in that. We all think a certain type of person will be the one who sweeps us off our feet so powerfully that we’re ready to run, not walk, to the altar of forever.

In the past, my “type” was the artsy one. The one whose art or poetry held an intrigue that made them an enigma, a Rubik’s cube that I would play with to see if I could finally figure out the puzzle their personality presented.

And if said artist had blonde hair and deep green eyes, I was putty in his hands.

Now ask me who I married. A dark haired science fiction and video game addict that wouldn’t know Emerson from Dr. Seuss and who thinks Picasso’s work was really done by a second grader with identity issues.

My husband tells me he knew I was the “one” the minute he met me at a small country bar (which I only went to because my favorite rock club was closed due to storm damage).

And he was right, although at the time no words could have convinced me of this truth. What did I tell myself? You guessed it. He wasn’t my type.

So here’s a bit of advice for those of you looking for love. Forget your type. Let go of those pre-conceived notions about who will make your heart throb and your passions ignite. Instead, consider the following facts.

People cannot be summed up in labels

When I tell people I’m an English teacher, they get pictures in their minds of who I am. For some, it’s visions of me on Friday nights reading Shakespeare with my requisite horn rimmed glasses on. For others, it’s me going home after work and cooking a hot meal for four kids because I make helping children my life’s work.

There’s a grain of truth in these assumptions, but there are also many errors in judgement behind this pre-attached label of me as a teacher.

For example, my fashion tastes outside the classroom are ripped jeans and Vans. I’m in love with my new Jeep (which has a wheel tire on the back that sports a pair of Marilyn Monroe lips), and I can’t wait to let the top down in spring and have the wind blow through hair that is wrapped into the classic teacher bun five days a week. I also have five tattoos artfully hidden behind the classic “teacher clothes” I wear to school every day.

And no one would know this about me unless they took time to look behind the label.

Just because a man drives a motorcycle to work doesn’t mean he’s a bad boy. Just because a woman has a business degree doesn’t mean she’s void of femininity. Just because the single coworker or man you see every day at the local coffee shop says his favorite show is The Office doesn’t mean he doesn’t spend hours a day studying Greek philosophy and reading the classics.

No one is one dimensional, and in order to understand this, you have to give yourself a chance to get to know the ones that aren’t “your type” at first glance.

Assumptions make for horrible relationships. Author Wayne Gerard Trotman says, “Speculation cannot replace education.” And to truly be knowledgeable about a person, you need to give them a second glace, a second date (or maybe a third one or even more), and look beyond the book cover to see what the real story really holds.

Your type may be waiting for you in an unfamiliar form

The truth is that “your type” may actually be a person whom you immediately dismiss at first glance due to outward appearances. For example, a person may be an artist, just one in unexpected form.

Perhaps you don’t recognize this artist because they don’t express their talent in paintings, sculpture, or song. Maybe the creativity you find so seductive will show itself in an architect whose plans show innovation and imagination. Maybe you’ll be amazed at the way a lawyer carefully crafts his words to a jury so his every statement is magical. Maybe you’ll find artistry in a hairdresser who uses color, scissors, and a vision to transform strands of hair into a masterful creation.

And once again, you’ll never know this unless you let go of your pre-conceptions.

Maybe what you think you want is different than what you really need

Maybe your type is not what you’re really looking for after all. Maybe that’s why previous relationships with this type of people have failed.

The bad boy you think you want may be exciting, but he may also be moody. Maybe his adventurous streak makes him not want to commit because he thinks long relationships are boring. And maybe a long term relationship is what you really want. Maybe you love adventure, but you also crave cozy nights at home instead of midnight rides on his bike each evening.

The intellectual you find so appealing may also be arrogant and find your desire for adventure and fun a sign of your shallowness.

Maybe the successful businessman that sparks your desire may be too consumed by work to provide you the intimacy and time together you crave.

So perhaps you need to do some deep thinking concerning the qualities you truly desire in a long term partner and consider whether or not your “type” can actually give them to you.

You can’t have a fulfilling relationship when you focus on only one quality of a person. You need the whole picture, and a Shakespearean play on a person’s coffee table, a leather jacket worn every day, or a strand of pearls around a woman’s neck will not really tell you if this is an individual who can satisfy your relationship priorities.

In the famous novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the socially proper Mr. Darcy sees the lowly Elizabeth Bennett, and his first words about her are “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me, and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.”

At the end of novel, after many interactions with the girl he could only see as “tolerable,” his feelings are greatly changed. He states to her, “You have bewitched me, body and soul.. and I love… I love… I love you… I never wish to be parted from you this day on…”

This woman, who was definitely not his type, turned out to be the love of his life.

And if you lay your prejudices aside, you may find that your true love is right in front of you, the “not your type” individual who is, in fact, your perfect type.

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My goal is to provide you with thoughtful, informative, and inspirational content that may increase your productivity, relationships, and well-being.

Sanford, NC

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