When I was younger, I remember specifically wanting to have a type – for some ludicrous reason unknown to me; I thought that was very grown up. It probably came from a TV show about four 20 somethings, living in a city, sipping cocktails and chatting about their type…
I can confirm what they say – “Be careful what you wish for”. At some point, I certainly developed a type. He goes something like this: ‘tall, pretty, younger than me (just a couple of years for your information!) and very unavailable’.
It’s so bad that my friend could walk into a crowded room and pick out the man of my (very unrealistic) dreams. She will look for the guy who looks fresh out a boyband and on further inspection, it will transpire he is not looking to settle down for 150 years…
I’m guessing, since you’re reading this, you also have a type. I’m going to take a guess that, like me, you are fed up of your type. If you answered no, you can leave now… No! I’m joking! Please stay, share your secrets with us…
So, what’s the big problem with having a type?
Having one type is poisoning your dating experience. Sound a bit over the top? It’s not!
Variety is the spice of life. Do you know what’s not the spice of life? Dating the same person over and over – feeling bored or getting hurt. Urgh, aren’t you so over it?!
You keep dating the same type, hoping for different results. But it’s just not the way it works.
By continuously dating the same character, you develop the power to already know how this ends. You can close your eyes and you know how this plays out. Yet, each time you convince yourself it will be different. You will convince yourself of anything, if it means breaking you out of the deathly, single life.
Let me remind you of something us singletons often forget, being single is not a disease. You don’t need to keep going for someone who is not bringing extra to your life, just because they are easier to come by and you want to get off the single market.
Taking responsibility for your type
You are the common denominator. It’s you that is attracted to this person and you are attracting them. You are the one that can change this; the ball is in your court – what a wonderful feeling.
I don’t know what type you are going for, but it seems you have noticed the pattern and you are ready for a change. Good for you, this is your time!
Of course, this realisation leaves you in a sticky place. You see, your type brings temporary highs to your life, but there is no deep sense of joy or fulfilment.
If you want to start avoiding your type, you are going to have to get real with yourself. You are going to have to put the work in and prepare, because believe me, when this person comes along again, it will take all your strength (and more) to walk away.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should tell you avoiding your type is not easy. It has many hurdles. I can assure you though, this can be done, it has been done before and it will be done again.
The more you stick to this commitment, the less attractive your old type will become. Your self-worth will go through the roof.
Take a look at the following 6 ways that will help you to begin your journey of avoiding your usual type:
1.Make a List of Who Your Type is and Who Your Type is Not
Take some time to make a list of the things your exes have in common. From looks to personality traits to personal preferences. Identify the patterns. Notice any red flags? Now, I’m not saying I will never date a tall guy again, but I am saying I won’t put a tall man on a pedestal just because…well he is tall. It’s ridiculous.
On the flip side, make a list of the things you do want. Some of these you can compromise on, but some need to be non-negotiable (i.e. someone who is willing to commit to a relationship.) Chances are your exes don’t have these and so moving forward, this is a sure-fire way to cut out your type. You must make them non-negotiable because, trust me, when your old type comes along, you will magically come up with every possible excuse to stray from your new list.
Once you know what you are attracted to, you will be able to be more aware next time someone catches your eye. You can get a better perspective on what it is about this person that is appealing to you.
Be honest with yourself. When you meet someone, compare them to your two lists… Which one do they fit into? I said be honest! If it is the first list… do the right thing, move on.
2. Listen to Your Instinct
Become the master of your life by listening to your gut instinct. I can tell you, in the early stages of dating; you already know where this person is falling on your ‘good for you/bad for you’ list.
When you are dating your regular type, you will be feeling that same chemistry you are used to, and your alarm bells will be going off. That chemistry is your warning sign. You know this person, you’ve met them before, and that’s why it feels so familiar.
Take a step back, clear your head and register what your intuition is telling you right now.
Now you’ve heard your instinct, you need to trust it, and then you need to act. Your intuition has done its job. It has delivered the message, you are headed in the direction you want to avoid. If you want something different, you must do something different.
There was one situation where I convinced myself my intuition was not communicating with me. That was my ultimate excuse to be able to carry on… with this person who was clearly on the ‘bad’ list. If you can’t hear your instinct, you are ignoring it because it’s not telling you what you want to hear, it’s telling you to walk!
3. Date Around and Enjoy it
Let’s clear up the obvious before we go ahead… I am not saying sleep around. I’m saying DATE around.
Dating apps are great for this. Swipe right for those that you wouldn’t normally. Meet people that wouldn’t usually be your first choice. It might not feel natural, but you will surprise yourself.
OK, you might meet a great person that you’re not sexually attracted to, you don’t have to settle (in fact, please don’t settle) BUT maybe they paid you compliments or held a door open and you’ve now experienced how the other side can treat you. This is creating a new picture of what you want.
This does not have to be a chore. This article is not about finding the one; it’s about breaking away from your usual type. That doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect them to meet them tomorrow.
This part if very much about exploring the unknown and experimenting in the dating world. Enjoy the fact you are doing something new. Love the fact that this is not who or what you are used to. Take pleasure in meeting new people. This is how you break away from the norm.
This approach will change your energy when it comes to your usual type, eventually you will look at your old type and wonder what you were thinking. There is no feeling like it.
4. Don’t Get Stuck in the ‘Last Person on Earth’ Mentality
Remember, it’s easy to attract your usual type. There is likely one waiting around the corner as you read this. When they show up, your instinct kicks in and you know what you need to do… Run away! However, a voice will creep in telling you this could be it. This might be the last person on earth you will ever fancy and will ever pay you any attention again. You will believe that voice and it will seem the only option is to stick to what you know, just in case they really are the last person on earth.
Don’t believe that voice! It’s lying. There are plenty of people out there that are a perfect match for you. Plenty of good, fun, available, happy, honest people out there. Remind yourself of this. Be patient and be open to meeting them.
5. Build Your Self-Esteem
C’mon – you didn’t think we wouldn’t touch on this, did you?!
You won’t be able to move away from your type without working on you. Your type has many elements that are not a fit for you. You need to ask yourself, why are you usually willing to put up with that? Understand how fabulous you are, and you won’t have time for this anymore, it becomes boring. You won’t go for someone just because there is an unexplained chemistry or because they fit the mould of your ‘dream’ man. With self-esteem comes knowing your worth. Knowing your worth means all relationships now need substance, respect, and fun.
As you begin to like yourself and your confidence grows, avoiding your type will become so much easier.
6. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself If (When) You Trip
I’m going to make an assumption that so far, I’ve kept to myself… there is someone of that nature that still has your attention. Right?
If they were to reach out now, you’re not convinced you have the strength to actually avoid them.
So, here is what is likely to happen. Whether it is this person or a new one, your type is going to walk into your life, more than once. Chances of you falling down the rabbit hole again are high. With them comes the feeling of familiarity and you will be tempted because us humans really like familiarity.
If you trip, if you have a lonely moment and send that text, if you respond to them, if you date them again… do not fret. It does not mean you can’t do this. This is, sadly, part of the process. This person is like a drug, and lapses are a very high risk.
The only way to break away is once you acknowledge what’s happened, you forgive yourself, laugh at yourself and try again. Don’t give up! The more you commit to this, the more self-aware you will become and the fewer of these falls there will be.
There you have it; these are 6 ways to avoid your type. Let’s not over-think this too much, this doesn’t have to be your whole life. You want to break a cycle and like anything that will take time, patience, practice and a whole lotta self-love.
Good luck out there!
Guest Blogger, Carly Ann