I have very recently come to an interesting conclusion on how wrong I might potentially have been about… everything I thought I had figured out about dating. Do you have a type? Are you with someone who is that type? Or are you one of those people who I’ve never trusted who swear they don’t have a type at all? (REALLY?! There is no one look/personality that you gravitate towards?)
Because, let me tell you… my type comes with a T bigger than Texas. And I’m 33 and single (this bit is important). My ex was my type and it was great when it was great, and a nightmare when it wasn’t. When our relationship ended and I found myself back in the lineup of the dating game, I mentally made a list of the qualities and characteristics I was looking for (aka my Type). Tall, muscular, athletic/military, of Celtic heritage, slightly cocky, tattoos – but still clean cut, handy, etc.
I know, I know, I’m ridiculous – but if I was thrown into a room of eligible bachelors (hello boys!) this is the look I would gravitate towards, every single time. So when I decided to give online dating a shot, these were the profiles I sent messages to with fingers crossed that they’d respond back. This isn’t to say I didn’t give other guys a shot who fell outside of this Type as long as they had an interesting profile and looked like someone I might be attracted to. But I most definitely had a focus when searching.
*Side note: someone really needs to help dudes out with teaching them how to select good photos to use in their dating profiles that accurately give the viewer and idea of what they could expect should they meet in person.
I’ve been on and off one dating site for about a year and a half now. I’ve gone on a decent number of first dates, a good amount of second dates, the rare third date…. and that’s it. Yes, I’m stuck in the 3 date curse loop of dating Hell. But out of all those first dates I’ve been on I would only classify one of them as truly horrible and I would say that even more of them were very successful so all in all, I’m not doing bad.
So what gives? If I’m going on successful dates, why have I not gone on a 4th date yet? Dating, especially online dating, is a numbers game. Go on enough first dates and you might find someone you’re compatible with, the more dates you go on, the better your odds.
This has caused me to do a lot of thinking lately, but what I find even more fascinating is that I started to reflect on the actual dates I went on and guess what? The first dates I would rate the highest were with guys I would classify as most definitely not my Type. Shocker! But is it really? You know WHY I think they were the best dates? Because they were with guys that the conversation wouldn’t stop, they were dates where we talked well past last call.
Was I physically attracted to them? Yup. Was it the immediate “I want to rip your clothes off” attraction that I usually experience with my Type? Not at all, it was an attraction that grew as the hours passed, as the conversation continued.
Recently I went on two different first dates. One was with a guy I had been exchanging great, well thought out messages with (Bachelor #1). Who looked like he could be cute, but who my friends who know me best said “doesn’t really look like your type”. The other was with a guy who embodied everything in my Type list (Bachelor #2). When Bachelor #2 walked up to me in the bar, my knees went weak. He was gorgeous, but as the minutes passed I found it harder and harder to get a conversation going with him. We definitely flirted, but we didn’t talk. (He also kept checking his phone while we played pool – HUGE turnoff). I found myself hoping he was just bad at first dates and that when we said goodnight he’d kiss me and things would sort themselves out. (He didn’t kiss me). Smoking good looks will only do so much, and when nothing physical happens it’s just a waste. Our date lasted an hour and while he did call me a few minutes after we parted ways to ask me to call him to let him know I got home ok, I haven’t heard from him since.
On the flip side was my date with Bachelor #1… that lasted over 10 hours. That was full of laughs but also of intellectual discussions. It was a date that 1/2 way through he asked me out on a second date. And ended with us unable to stop making out. When we first spotted each other my initial thought was “yeah definitely not the type I usually go for but I guess he’s kind of cute” and then I experienced the phenomenon of stimulating conversation increasing someone’s level of attractiveness to me. Our conversation flowed easily and didn’t stop, it wasn’t forced and it kept building. Since our date I’ve heard from him multiple times, we’ve confirmed that date #2 will be happening and he is the reason for this blog post because this experience has forced me to reevaluate everything.
Maybe this was obvious to all of you, but to me this was a new revelation. I recognized a long time ago that what gets me off physically doesn’t match up to what gets me off mentally. But I’ve stubbornly stuck to my guns with what I think I need to be happy and I’m quickly beginning to realize that I think I might have been going about this entirely backwards.
Perhaps THIS is why I’ve got a 3 date curse; I’ve been so focused on looks and swag rather than trying to find someone who is going about dating honestly, who is putting out there what he hopes to get back. If I’m not going on dates with guys who genuinely are hoping to find a woman to share their life with, it’s a no brainer why I have yet to have a 4th date (or anything more than that).
This doesn’t mean I’m settling… actually I think it’s the exact opposite. It means I’m reworking my standards and reorganizing my priorities in what qualities I’m hoping my match possesses. Which might mean I won’t be going on as many first dates, but at the end of the day, I’m not looking to date around, I’m looking for someONE to date…. exclusively.
Ingrid Michaelson posted a tweet earlier today that included this quote that really resonated with me: “All you need is the right kind of love.”
And that’s what it boils down to, isn’t it? That I have not found the RIGHT kind of love. It seems to me that one of the fastest changes I can make to open myself up to that right kind of love is to abandon my death grip on the idea that I will only be happy with a guy who is my Type. Because really, has my Type worked out so well for me so far? Not at all. How can I possibly think that history won’t just keep repeating itself if I continue to try and date the same type of guy?
Time to change things up, time to not focus so much on the immediate physical sexual appeal and time to focus more on that slower building mental sexual appeal. It’s time to open myself up for the right kind of love… and also prepare myself to eat crow if it turns out that all my friends were right when they’d tell me that it’s my Type that’s the problem and the only reason I’m still single.
So let’s do this! Lets get out of the rut I’m in, change tactics, and see what happens. It’s time to find the right kind of love for me!