November 02, 2022

How Type is Holding You Back

As a professional Jewish matchmaker working to bring Jewish hearts together, I navigate through many biases and preconceptions. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for singles is the idea of “type”. In this post I share how your fixation on “type” may be holding you back from finding lasting love.

Do you have a “type”? Are you trying to spot your type in a dating profile? Is that what you look for in the photos? Is that the chemistry you are hungry for? The chemistry that you will instantly feel with your type? How is that working for you? Why isn’t it working? Why hasn’t it worked? Why are you still single?

As a matchmaker, “type” is one of the biggest obstacles I face and one of the most frustrating excuses I hear when a client declines a match. I’ve come to believe that you can determine how far along someone is on the scale of self-awareness and emotional maturity by how wrapped up he/she is in this idea of “type”. “He’s not my type; she’s not my type.” Making that statement shuts down the heart as well as the possibilities.

How do we decide who is our “type” and who isn’t? How and when is this ideal formed? If type is someone who embodies all (or most) of our preferred characteristics, it sounds more than a little bit unrealistic. Yet we cling to the belief: “I’ll find my type and voila, instant compatibility because he/she will be exactly who I’m looking for.”

Sometimes “type” is a checklist of preferences; other times it’s about chemistry. We might not even know what it is that is making us fall so hard, but boy-oh-boy, my pulse is racing and the chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, off the charts chemistry is often an unhealthy attraction to someone who subconsciously triggers deep emotional wounds and needs. These wounds may have been created by a primary caregiver. Could it be that some dysfunctional patterning was formed in childhood that has set you up to to attract a similarly dysfunctional partner? Subconsciously seeking out partners with similar characteristics to a parent or other caregiver is common. If you were raised in a healthy, emotionally stable and nurturing environment, you likely formed a healthy "type"; if your environment was unstable, fearful, abusive, or lacked emotional support - you may be drawn to partners who bring a similar energy to the relationship and find yourself reliving patterns of behavior and emotional states that are unhealthy and unsustainable. 

Fixating on type not only limits the already limited pool of singles you come in contact with, it can lead you to experience the same relationship roadblocks over and over, or to repeatedly be attracted to partners who cannot give you what you need. Dating only your type might be the very reason you are still single. Your type might, in fact, be the very opposite of what you should be looking for. You might actually be happiest with someone who isn't "your type". 

Singles who come to me without a hang-up about type are the clients I get most excited about. These are the singles whose hearts have not closed - the singles who remain open and receptive to discovering love in all its disguises. These singles understand that love doesn’t have a look, an accent, an education level, a hair color, a height, a title, or instant intense chemistry; love is not logical; love is not a list of must-haves; love is undefinable, elusive. This is why you often meet someone who "looks good on paper" (meaning he/she seems to have the qualities that you want), but you aren't attracted romantically. They should be your type, but you just don't feel it. 

If you are focused on dating only your type, I encourage you to try something different - someone different. Maybe your type is a hindrance, a stumbling block, an unhealthy connection. Give yourself a break from your type. Dating is about meeting lots of different types. While you're at it, I encourage you to reflect on the qualities that make you say "yes" or "no" to a match. Understanding what makes "your type" so attractive to you will increase your own self-awareness and if you're trapped in an unhealthy dating cycle with type, self-awareness is how you get out.