Is it Necessary to Have a Dating Type?
Don't focus on superficial qualities
Many women say they have a certain type of man they prefer to date. Is this smart? Yes and no. It depends on what they're using to qualify a man as dating-worthy. Listen to our experts as they share their thoughts on the subject.
Don’t limit yourself
By only giving a certain type of guy a chance, women really limit themselves, said Shawna Dirksen, a matchmaker and dating coach. “Women who stick with one particular kind of guy are often the same ones who always say, ‘there are no good guys out there’ or, ‘I never meet anyone I would date.’ They may be overlooking great guys who would make excellent partners and opting for things that are superficial or circumstantial,” she said.
“The best approach to successful dating is to stop making quick decisions on whether or not you are attracted to or would date someone. Instead of immediately checking off the reasons you wouldn't date a particular guy, look for the reasons you would date him and consider giving him a chance,” Dirksen said.
Rochelle Peachey, a dating and relationship expert and founder of the online dating site, I Love Your Accent, said, “Women who insist on sticking to their type are missing out and are likely to stay single longer than they would like. There is nothing wrong with having preferences but to only date a certain type limits your chances of finding happiness.”
Peachey added, “I am not suggesting you date a short man with a beard if your preference is a tall, clean shaven guy, but when you have a list of must-haves and must-be's longer than your arm, it’s time to break free and think outside the box. So you like man who stands 6’ and this one is 5’10”? Give him a chance. Or if you like to date the banker type, can the real estate guy get a chance?”
Peachey said she recently talked to a woman who was delighted with a man she’d met in an elevator, of all places. “He was dressed well, great smile and had a little accent that got her twiddling with her hair. They shared a cab and she was hoping he would ask her to maybe have a cocktail or give her his number. They chatted with no long silences and she was already in like with him and he was her type, right up her alley. When he got out, he handed her his card and said, ‘I would love to take you out for a bite to eat, please call me if you are interested.’ She waved goodbye and looked at his card. He was an attorney. She does not date attorneys, so she ripped the card up. She is still single.”
One of the considerations is your own age. “If you are 18-25, then you can have a type and stick to it if you must, but if you are over that age, break down the barriers and let the others in or you will still be searching for that type when you are in your 40’s,” Peachey said.
Limit checklist to critical items
Michelle Frankel, founder of NYCity Matchmaking, said she thinks that women should have a dating type.
“Just like a GPS road map, you need to know your destination and what type of transport will get you there. Meaning you should know what type of person you generally connect well with. Someone who is type A or an artistic laid back type. Or a workaholic or someone whose focus is to have a work/life balance. However, a dating type should be filled with critical non-negotiable characteristics in your partner and should be realistic,” Frankel said.
“I always have my clients perform an exercise where they write down everything they can imagine wanting in a partner from physical to personality traits. As well as dealbreakers in a partner. This exercise is done over a week so that clients really think through what is most important. At the end of the week, they get to select six must-have’s and three dealbreakers. Someone being 6 feet tall usually never makes the top six on the check list. Usually, the list is topped with traits such as kindness, commitment-minded, family oriented and the like,” Frankel said.
The dating checklist to determine dating type should not be focused on superficial items, Frankel said. “If you are going after the same type of person time and time again and it is not working for you, you should re-examine and throw out that check list. Maybe the perfect person for you doesn’t look like or have the job you imagined. Having strict criteria really can prevent you from meeting someone wonderful. Trust me, my husband is a vegetarian and that definitely wasn’t on my checklist,” she said.
No perfect type
Remember, there is no perfect type out there for anyone. Everyone is human, and everyone has flaws. The best you can do is find someone whose flaws are acceptable to you and that you can live with for the next 10, 20 or 30 years or more. You may find that Mr. Right comes in a different package than you imagined he would have, and might work in a different field than you’d ever considered dating someone in. Until you give yourself the opportunity to get to know a man, you don’t truly know if he’s right or wrong for you, because you’re basing it on superficial aspects of his personality and life.
Find someone who wins your heart by listening and being compassionate and kind, and you have someone who deserves your love and trust.