This is Noah Syndergaard, one of the pitchers for the New York Mets. This is my type. I see my type every 5th game as my husband and I watch a lot of baseball.
This is my husband. He’s not my type but he’s my love for a lifetime.
It is a good thing I never limited myself to a type. I would have missed this good thing.
Brave dating practice: Do not limit yourself to a type. I know this sounds wrong. What can be wrong with being drawn to a type? Except that you haven’t found your love for a lifetime yet. There may be something to this. Stay open.
Types are often rooted in pathology. Type is rooted in familiarity. I am not using this article to analyze my pathology and why a tall blonde athlete is my type. I’m a happily married woman of over 20 years who found a good match by using these brave dating practices. But what about your pathology? Your type is based on a lot of stuff inside your head–not all of it is good.
Are you drawn to a muscular guy because you want to feel feminine? Are you drawn to an airhead-type because you want to feel smart? My guess is your pathology is not that simple or obvious. But I hope this discussion does trigger something. Because your match cannot compensate for you feeling feminine until you can feel feminine on your own. Because your match cannot compensate for you feeling smart until you realize your true level of smartness. You need to date as a whole person. Your type is often a compensation of you not being a whole person. Your type also comes out of places that are not healthy inside you.
Some good notes about the desire for a type coming from a not healthy place inside of you from Dr. Henry Cloud in Boundaries in Dating:
Fears of intimacy can attract you to detached people.
Fears of autonomy can attract you to controlling people.
Fears of being real can attract you to perfectionistic people.
Fears of your own sinfulness can attract you to ‘bad’ people.
Fears of your own neediness can attract you to weak, passive people.
Unresolved family of origin issues can attract you to someone who is like a parent that you had trouble with.
Yikes! Are you attracting someone like this? Do you want to attract someone like this? Have you only attracted such unhealthy people to date? Be brave. Date outside of your type. You can do this. And remember this: Sometimes, it’s easier to connect with what is comfortable rather than what is healthy.
You can do this. Give others a chance. You just never know. If someone is of good character, give him or her a chance!
Your type is based on a lot of stuff inside your head, not all of it is good. It is also based on your ignorance of the big world of love and relationships outside of your limited experiences. Ouch but true. You can be a little ignorant.
Are you ready for some good stuff?
When you date outside of your type, do not be surprised to find that you will act more like yourself on that date. Why? You won’t be beginning this date with infatuation. The type of infatuation that has already pigeon-holed this date as the possibility of being “the one” because he’s/she’s your type. Instead you can be more relaxed and more you as you get this opportunity to learn about this person. That sounds like a great coffee date to me.
Also, if your date is not the idealized type you have created, this coffee date will not be clouded by your fears of rejection. Again, you get to be more you. When you are more relaxed and able to be you, your discerner (part-brain, part-instinct, part-Holy-Spirit) is going to be better tuned to figure out who this person really is.
Who are you in this brave dating adventure? That is what brave dating is about. It is finding out who you are so you can find that match who will be a love for a lifetime. Know your tastes and what is important to you, but stay open and flexible in dating because you never know what might happen. Especially what might happen inside of you.
Dating different types creates growth inside of you. Different types pull different skills from you. For example, if you date a shy type you will notice a growth in your communication skills as you may have to lead a conversation for a while. That would be a positive growth for you. If you date an emotionally open person, you will notice growth in how to talk and process your own feelings. You may even surprise yourself with an open vulnerable statement you have never said before because this person prompted it out of you on this date. This is good. Surprising and vulnerable and good.
Different types of people stretch us. It is okay to be stretched while dating. In all seriousness, you better be stretched while dating. Brave dating is to discover who you are so you are in for being stretched in vulnerable positions. You got this. You are worthy enough to handle whatever may come. This one date does not define you. This one date fail (if it is one date) does not define you. What it does do is grow you and that growing of you is going to lead you to your love for a lifetime.
Here’s another truth. To stick to one type might mean that you become one dimensional. No one wants to be one-dimensional. You are so much more than a type.
You can do this. It is also kind of fun. Be brave.
You may also want to read, Only Date Someone You Would Consider Marrying.
(Photo credits: http://screencrush.com/prince-charming-live-action/, http://www.ooyuz.com/geturl?aid=8957496)
Originally published at Bravester with permission from Brenda Seefeldt Amodea.