Many of us are consumed by the idea of dating a particular ‘type’ of person. It could be the quintessential jock, the sphinx-like woman who exudes an aura of mystery, the spontaneous artistic guy, the intellectual man/woman of letters who engages you in stimulating conversations, the ‘safe’ nice guy, or even that jaw-dropper sex kitten men are said to be attracted to so much. But whatever ‘type’ you feel biased towards, we need to understand that although it is acceptable to desire certain inherent qualities in the person you wish to date, it is not ideal to date a specific ‘type’ of person only.
1. Judging a book by its cover
This is something I’m often saying. Wanting to date a particular type of person only is actually rather judgmental. Each time we say no to the ‘nice guy’ because we believe them to be ‘too nice’ and incapable of filling our lives and our bedrooms with the kind of raw passion and happiness we believe can only come out of a ‘bad guy’, we are perpetuating and endorsing the idea of judging a book by its cover. Going only after a particular look or type, the temptress with the body to match, for instance, is rather superficial and shallow, to say the least. And after some time, with the end of each relationship, your self-destructive patterns would prove to be just what they are – unhealthy and ruinous.
2. Severely limits the dating pool
Our preconceived notions about people often tend to turn out disadvantageous for no one but us. Deciding not to date previously divorced men because they may have ‘baggage’ is detrimental to the prospect of a great relationship with a truly caring man. Similarly, limiting ourselves to dating women without children from a previous marriage is deterring us from what could be a wonderful relationship notwithstanding her two delightful children. We need to broaden our horizons, and restricting the dating pool is a very pragmatic reason for doing so.
3. Diversity is healthy
Diversity is healthy. Conformity kills creativity. Sound familiar? That’s because we have all heard them numerous times. It also happens to be true. According to William Cowper, “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” Cowper here had it right; it enables us to experience new things. Dating a person from a culture different to yours will introduce you to new traditions, foods, ideals etc and you may even end up being passionate about some of them. I know a friend who had shied away from adventurous men all her life, believing them to be ‘not the commitment sort’. But when she finally did date such a man, it turned out to be the best thing she had ever done. With him, she discovered a whole new world of adventurous outdoorsy activities that she turned out to enjoy! So, don’t avoid dating someone of a different ‘type’. It may even teach you to approach life differently.
This one is rather personal for me. If you won’t be with a person with certain fundamental qualities, and I don’t mean a particular ‘type’, then start being that person. For instance, if the kind of person you are looking for is an adventurous, passionate and forthright individual, then that is the kind of person you need to become. It’s simple. Want to be with a certain kind of person? Don’t wait for that person to come along. Be that person. Once you start emulating your ideal partner, inculcating those ideal qualities into your own life, and going out to engage in all those activities that you wish for your ideal partner, then chances are, that that is the kind of person you would attract. Take a leap of faith. And try to do things scare you a little. Discover yourself.
Having a proclivity for a particular ‘type’ means dating the same type of people eternally. Dating someone new and different, on the contrary, would expose you to a new world of people that you weren’t in on. After all, when you date someone, it’s not just them you get acquainted with, but their social circle too. And meeting new people, forging new connections, and expanding our social circle to include various sorts of people can be very healthy. You needn’t be chummy with each new person you meet, but being able to discover and choose is your prerogative and an opportunity you deserve to have.
6. The element of surprise
Dating people that are virtually interchangeable must get tiresome. Not to mention, boring. Having the same type of partner means that you are usually privy to their actions and behaviors. You know how they would behave, what they like, their preferred choice of entertainment. If it is the archetypal overly social party guy that you like, then going out to party every other day of the week must get tedious and uninteresting after your seventh similar boyfriend. Dating a different kind of person would keep your life from getting dull and stagnant. Bring the element of surprise back into your life!
7. Give your feelings a chance
And finally, give your own feelings a chance. You may even be surprised by your own newfound appreciation and romantic inclination for a different kind of partner. Once you get over your propensity for choosing the same ‘type’, you would be able to allow your own feelings to take priority. You may even amazed at what you find when you aren’t looking for a single ‘type’. Allow your feelings to guide you, rather than a fixed and rather shallow checklist that not even be right for you. You may just end up with different results. Mr. Coelho was rather poignant on the matter, “Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”