Have You Tried Not Dating Your Type?
By Frank Kermit
We all have our type. By -type- I am referring to that type of person each of us is madly attracted too. Each of us has our preference of what we like, what turns us on, and what drives us wild. Sometimes, the type of person we are attracted too is the kind of person that we can function well in a relationship with. But other times, the very type of person we are most attracted to is exactly the type of person that is simply incompatible as a long-term partner. It can be a certain kind of look a person exhibits, even a skin tone or complexion. It may be a style of clothing, certain accessories that catch the eye, particular scents like perfumes and colognes that draw us in once upon a whiff, or maybe even a body type.
Each of us has an ideal combination of attractors that when presented to us in a radical idealized form, fuels our lovelorn fantasies into a blazing inner inferno. Inside we feel everything from a warm fuzzy feeling, to tingling sensations, to waves of rapture that throb and pulsate throughout our bodies when the idol of our affections draws near to us. It is no wonder how some of us get into relationships with people who just might be exactly what we need to stay away from.
One of the biggest struggles the people have when they seek out coaching is trying to work out the paradox that the type of person that they are most turned on by, is actually not the kind of person they would be able to be in a relationship with. In fact, depending on what a person values and wants for their futures, the kinds of people they are hot for, are actually not the kinds of people they would trust with their bank accounts. When romance and lust take priority over compatible values and desired lifestyle, the results simply have the poorest chances of succeeding as a long-term relationship.
The issue of course is that romance and lust tend to be time limited. What turns you on today may not be what turns you on tomorrow. What drives us to feel attraction is not solely based on what we were born to feel attraction for.
Our (what I refer to in my work as:) Attraction Mechanism can be programmed and re-programmed throughout our lives by life experience. Through life experience, we learn to associate feelings of attraction with certain stimuli, and feelings of repulsion with other stimuli.
For example, a person may be born with a particular sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual) and through life experience (and possibly in connection with genetic predispositions) may also end up responding to stimuli very positively in ways that would qualify for different sexual orientations mentioned already, and ever expanding sexual orientations (i.e. pansexual).
Another challenge is when what you are attracted too DOES NOT change, but when the person you are with DOES change.
For example, a person may only be attracted to a youthful appearance but is unable to see anything representing older age as attractive in its own rights.
People age over time. Another example is a person that is highly attracted to wealth and status, and is unable to have any intimate response to someone seeking an emotional connection. People can lose wealth and status over time. Whether it is the natural aging process, or a series of unfortunate events that can happen in life, there is one key element that is abundantly clear.
Shallowness is not part of any recipe to long-term relationship success. When considered in this context, a lot of what a person prefers in terms of attraction, may actually have very little to do with having any sense of security to establish a solid base foundation that long-term relationships require to stand the tests of time.
Does this mean that they only way to have a successful long-term relationship is to seek someone that that you are not actually interested in? No actually. However, it does suggest that you may want to find ways to strike a balance between what turns you on, and what is in your best long-term interest.
In some cases, there are couples that simply do without. They pair up with someone that makes them happy and they are attracted too, but not their ideal fantasy attractor. In those cases, a couple may have traded in wanton lusting for a happier and more stable life.
In other cases, there are couples that on the surface do without, but behind closed doors have affairs to satisfy needs that are not being addressed by their partners. This leaves the couple very vulnerable when secrets become exposed. Finally there are people that do not wish to become cheaters, so they may attempt to structure a non-monogamous relationship with their partner in order to be open and honest about their needs being unmet.
Whether doing without, or structuring a non-monogamous relationship is the answer to this challenge is basically up to the individuals and the couples involved. What I can tell you for sure from my experience is that the consequences of cheating, and or being cheated on, are always more severe than trying to find a better solution.
You may not control who you are attracted too, but you do control your behaviors as to what you do with that attraction. It is simply a process of learning about yourself and how to manage your relational expectations.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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