Thursday, July 4, 2013

Not My Type: The New Reality Show

I’ll take the sporty blonde for 200, please.

As many of you may remember from The Baby Photo DatingStory, I started seeing someone who was “not my type.” I hemmed and hawed for a bit when we were just friends about taking things to the next level. Having mentioned that Five Eleven wasn’t my type while talking with My Sister the Pharmacist at the time, she gave me the best tidbit imaginable. She said, “Well, dating your type obviously isn’t working for you, is it?” Whoa. So true.

But, you know, Five Eleven is my type. She has all the characteristics of the perfect woman and perfect partner that I’ve always wanted. She’s caring and loving. Romantic, funny, sweet. She’s helpful, smart, sexy, creative, thoughtful, handy…and on and on. Plus, she’s absolutely crazy about me. What’s not to love and what’s not my type?

Kinda like Einstein's quote on the definition of insanity...doing the same thing
over and over and expecting a different outcome. Dating the same type can feel like Insanity.

Just because she didn’t fit into my typical physical what-I-was-attracted-to-before traits, I almost lost out on the best thing I’ve ever had. I used to tend towards the more sporty, feminine-edged lesbians. Not the girly, feminine girls either (those aren’t my type). Very rarely did I do a double take at a Boi or more Butchy-edged lesbian with the thought of perhaps dating. When we were “just friends,” I even told Five Eleven several times that she wasn’t my type. Dang, what a heartbreaker I was…

So, lately, I’ve been repeatedly giving this “not-my-type” advice to several friends. One of which is a straight friend who wasn’t having much luck dating in the last several years. I think she has finally got it! She’s dating a guy closer in her age range (though she doesn’t look her age). This weeded out the ones who don’t know what they want or the ones with young kids which she doesn’t want to do anymore. Responsible, working men who may not own their own companies and several houses will be there to lavish more attention on her which is her type. They also can spend time cuddling on the couch watching sporting events like she likes to do.

We are all so quick to judge people based on what they look like on the outside. That’s why shows like The Voice have come into play. You only initially judge the singer on their voice versus seeing who you’re listening to which may actually influence you.

I think that’s where I lucked out with Five Eleven. We started talking long-distance just as friends. I fell in love with her from the inside out. Now, when I see her, or when she sends a pic to my phone, my insides just melt. She is so physically my type.

So, I think there should be a new, reality dating show called “Not My Type.” Find out what people want in a partner. Find out what their type is…what are they looking for in a relationship? If it’s blue-eyed, blonde-haired movie star look, see what about that is absolutely necessary. If they’re looking for someone who is funny and who loves country music, cooking at home together and mountain biking, how is the blonde hair and chiseled jaw going to help that? Seriously?

Maybe start them off just talking on the phone for several “dates?” You can tell a lot by the sound of someone’s voice. Does their voice irritate the heck out of you? Intrigue you? Excite you? Calm you? (I told Five Eleven that she had a sexy voice the first time I heard her…even as friends).

And, hey, how about what they actually say? Do you connect with them? Have things in common? Do you like how they think? What do they want in a relationship? What have they had? How would they change things? What kind of future do they see for themselves? Does your conversation flow? Do you always have things to talk about? Are the quiet moments okay?

Those should be the things that really matter. Those connections and similarities make someone our type. Yes, physical traits and chemistry play a part. If you’re active and tend towards the athletic, you’ll hear how they run or hike in the stories they tell. And, if they aren’t in top physical shape, but would like to be more active again, you’ll have something to do together if that’s important to you. Just be honest.

Being truly honest is required. No cat-fishing allowed. (See that’s where the physical stuff comes into play more so than who they really are). You can’t lie and say you like something or you like to do something when you have no real interest in it. You need commonalities and knowledge up front. At least the realization of them. Don’t waste everyone’s time. You can have differences, of course, but some likes have to be there.

Are there things that Five Eleven and I don’t have in common? Yes. For one thing, I love the ocean and swimming. She doesn’t. At all. Will that work? Yes. She likes the beach and the outdoors. She can watch me boogie board or one day surf in the big waves and I can resuscitate her from her panic when I come back to shore. She can free-climb cliffs or repel down rock faces while it’s my turn to panic from down below (there’s no way I’m hanging off the top of a cliff to watch her). Important thing is we’ll be together in nature, which we both love. Thank goodness she is my type.

So, on this reality show, after the face-to-face date, when this “not-my-type” person turns out to be brown-haired and brown-eyed, is that really a deal breaker from everything you learned about them? What if they are the same height as you and you say your type is taller? Why do we have so many pre-conceived notions of what we want physically? Have those physical traits made a difference in your relationship before? Did it work out for you? Obviously not if you’re out looking again. What if this person who doesn’t fit your “type” turns out to be the most amazing partner, lover and friend? Would have been a shame to pass them up just because they weren’t blonde, huh? So, maybe it’s time to start making some real, life-lasting connections instead? Then, “Not My Type” just might become My Type.

Are you with someone who wasn’t your type? What makes for a good partner? Please share below!

Erica Harding finds someone who wasn’t her type in this novel, Unexpectations.

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