Most ladies have a dating wish list highlighting their future partner’s positive characteristics and physical appearance. You know, one that includes their desirable man being intelligent, funny, conversationalist, romantic, attentive, family-orientated, driven, and faithful. He has to be at least six feet tall, with a toffee complexion, and muscular, with a baby face. Does this sound familiar to you? I thought so. So many of us have specific romantic types we gravitate towards, even if the lists aren’t as granular and detailed as the ones above. However, more people are becoming comfortable with breaking away from sticking to a rigid dating list and requirements to try dating outside of their type – called “untyping.”
Some chronic daters have a type and a set of rules for dating because they may find the process to go more smoothly with one another and to feel safe during a turbulent process. Honing and developing types in dating can be an approach for individuals to leverage to quickly identify the characteristics and traits they are attracted to in a potential partner, like active communication and empathy, including personal safety. Outlining your core values and types can help narrow down which potential partners are worth investing time in for dating or continuing a relationship. These dating types are usually configured from your personal life, previous upbringing, or positive romantic encounters. Your type usually aligns with people and their characteristics we already know intimately because it feels more trustworthy, grounded, and authentic.
But suppose you keep going for your type, and it doesn’t work out, and you find yourself repeating old patterns, ending up in relationships with similar endings. In that case, you should consider pivoting to try a different approach, like untyping, but just be mindful of easing into the practice. Start with listing your needs and wants in a partner, and think about what qualities you’re willing to be flexible with and which ones are deal-breakers. Or, try dating yourself first to have a deeper understanding of what your needs are.
Untyping may be good if you find yourself attracted to people who remind you of your past in a negative way. However, it’s important to note that you don’t have to go for the complete opposite of your type. Boundaries you don’t compromise on are essential, and being transparent about those before you start dating again is paramount. There’s a difference between physical types that you can stand to be more open-minded about versus opposite core beliefs, like religion and political views. Remember, if someone’s values harm and conflict with your sense of identity and safety, they aren’t a fit for you. If you decide to try untyping, make sure you’re allowing yourself to be led by open-mindedness and intention while still being mindful of one’s needs and preferences.
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