Is having a Type holding you back from finding love?

15 September, 2023 / words by Sharnade George

Image via @Juliannastrid

In matters of the heart, the quest for love often involves a delicate balance between our desires and the realities of forming meaningful connections.

One common concept that frequently arises in the dating world, is the concept of having a “type”. This is a set of specific characteristics or qualities we seek in a potential partner and ladies let’s be honest we know we have a type.

When we you get asked that question by a friend or relative “so what’s your type?” our list can range from tall, handsome, muscular, and facial hair.

While having preferences is natural, could rigidly adhering to these preferences hinder our chances of finding true love? This article dives into the psychological nuances of having a type and its potential impact on our romantic pursuits.

As humans we are naturally wired to seek familiarity and predictability, this psychological inclination is rooted in our evolution, where familiarity often signalled safety and survival. When it comes to relationships, this tendency translates into gravitating toward individuals who share similarities with us or remind us of past positive experiences.

This inclination fuels the concept of having a “type” a subconscious quest for familiarity and comfort. However, this psychological comfort can become a double-edged sword, while having a type might offer a sense of security, you can also run the risk of narrowing your horizons and limiting your exposure to new and potentially fulfilling relationships. By exclusively seeking out partners who fit a predetermined mould, we may overlook individuals who possess qualities we hadn’t considered, but who could enrich our lives in unexpected ways.

Psychology has long acknowledged the influence of unconscious patterns in our romantic choices. Often rooted in our early life experiences, these patterns can shape our attractions and preferences, for instance, if we grew up with a nurturing and attentive parent, we might unconsciously seek partners who exhibit similar caregiving qualities.

While it’s not inherently problematic to be drawn to certain characteristics, it’s crucial to recognize when these patterns become self-limiting. Repeating the same relationship dynamics, even when they lead to unhappiness, is known as “repetition compulsion.” This cycle can perpetuate negative experiences and prevent personal growth. Stepping outside our comfort zones by exploring connections that don’t align with our typical type can be an essential step toward breaking these patterns.

In the early stages of dating, having a type might seem like a reliable compass for finding a compatible partner. However, psychology suggests that true compatibility runs deeper than surface-level similarities. Research has shown that shared values, emotional intelligence, and communication skills are better indicators of long-term relationship success than mere external traits. Furthermore, clinging to a type might lead to what psychologists call the “illusion of compatibility.”

This occurs when we idealize someone based on a few commonalities, overlooking potential differences that could become significant challenges in the future. Striving for a genuine emotional connection, rather than focusing solely on meeting a checklist of attributes, allows us to foster relationships built on shared experiences and mutual understanding.

So, how can we strike a balance between having preferences and being open to unexpected connections? The key lies in cultivating open-mindedness, by acknowledging the limitations of a rigid type, we can challenge ourselves to explore a broader spectrum of potential partners.

Now this doesn’t mean abandoning your values or settling for less; rather, it’s about embracing the richness of human diversity and giving yourself the opportunity to discover genuine connections you might have otherwise missed. So to answer the question of “is having a type holding you back from finding love” I would say having a type in the realm of romantic relationships is a complex interplay of psychology, familiarity, and personal history.

While it’s natural to seek comfort in the familiar, clinging too tightly to these preferences can inadvertently hinder your chances of finding true and lasting love. By recognizing the influence of unconscious patterns, questioning the illusion of compatibility, and embracing open-mindedness, you can navigate the intricate landscape of love with a more balanced perspective, after all ladies’ true love often emerges in the uncharted territories beyond our preconceived notions of a “type.”


Sharnade George


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