When it comes to men, I have a type. Physically, he’s tall and lean. He’s also the soft-spoken intellectual and creative type. And more often than not, he’s emotionally unavailable and self-absorbed. And yet, I date him over and over again, like a broken record stuck on one false note.
This might be why there’s an entire dating industry geared toward women. And as much as you might want to blame it on “Sex and the City,” the truth of the matter is that many women, myself included, don’t always go for the right type of guy. You may now cue the latest romantic comedy that you don’t want to believe is loosely based on your life. But in honor of New Year, New You Month, it’s time for a change“You know it’s time when you need to change when you have a moment where you realize things aren’t working for you,” says Nancy Slotnick, dating coach and founder of Cablight, a company that focuses on “love life management.” Nancy deals with her clients’ dating dilemmas, and often, she says, half the problem is dating the wrong type of guy. “There’s a difference between having types and having flings,” says Slotnick. “That’s what’s called sowing your wild oats. But if you go for the bad guy often enough, you know you need to rethink things.”
Nancy believes that people can absolutely change their types and has outlined some tactics for doing just that.
1. Go after qualities. If you’re into clean-cut, preppy guys, ask yourself what it is about that type of man that piques your interest, and try to assess that in other people. It’s worth while to date outside your type just to identify the qualities you seek in a partner. Try to pick up on clues like how often he smiles or the way he talks to his friends.
2. Don’t think you have to change yourself. “If you’re on a date with someone who is not your type, you think you have to be a version of yourself that matches him and is like him. This isn’t the case,” Nancy insists.
3. Get out of your head. The next time you got out with someone you’d never otherwise give a second chance, try to establish whether it’s your intuition or anxiety talking.
4. Have dealbreakers. It might sound counterintuitive in your initial efforts, but they’ll help you from wasting your time. Have three absolute dealbreakers in your prospective partner. Just make sure they’re based on character and not stereotypes.
5. Last but not least, chemistry comes first. Nancy insists that love is more about chemistry, and that it’s certainly found in types you wouldn’t think of. The difference is that you probably won’t find it in a bar or a chance encounter, as opposed to knowing someone in a non-romantic situation first.
Still skeptical? “Think of those Dharma & Greg situations. They exist,” Slotnick reaffirms.
At the very least, you could try it out. The worst that happens is you sell the story to a movie producer for the next big rom-com box office hit.