On the first Monday of every month, Agape Match hosts Lunch Break with Maria, a live monthly webinar dedicated to dating, love and relationships. To attend the next Lunch Break webinar, visit AgapeMatch.com/events for future listings.
In our very first episode of Lunch Break with Maria, Agape Match’s CEO, Maria Avgitidis, interviewed relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of “He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing).”
To view Maria’s interview with Andrea and learn more about breaking the cycle and start dating your non-type, see below:
If your dating life were a movie, what would it be? How would it begin and end? Now think about that story, do you find parallels with your dating habits?
The million dollar question we always ask anyone who walks into our office – What are you looking for in a partner? Almost always, they will present a list with typical characteristics like empathetic, kind, loyal, good communicator and so on. As we move further down, the list starts to become more superficial – needs to own a home, have a degree from prestigious university, make a salary over X amount, and other “deal-breakers”. We then present the scenario of matching them with the perfect partner who meets their values, is reliable, provides emotional support but isn’t in the profession of their choosing or doesn’t have a graduate degree, would they still be interested in meeting them? Countless times we hear no because what they’re really interested in is a specific lifestyle.
In Andrea’s book He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing), she pinpoints how often we focus on paper checklists and the ways they can lead to bad dating patterns. She suggests divorcing yourself from the familiarity of types and learn to date your non-types. The biggest misconception in dating our non-types is the notion of “settling.” What you’re doing instead is repositioning what you have been looking for in terms of values and who you want to spend your life with. She focuses on the 3 Non-Types: Superficial, Circumstantial, and Departure.
Superficial Non-Type: Always going for the rich tall handsome guy, makes over a million a year, expensive suits or watches, ect.
Circumstantial Non-Type: Has a great career, is kind and warm but perhaps is divorced or has children from a previous relationship, is different religion, and so on. And while you want to pursue this relationship these “circumstances” are getting in the way.
Departure Non-Type: You always go for the extrovert but are now into someone who is introverted and thus departing from the types you always go for.
How do we then reposition our dating patterns? Maria and Andrea suggest some questions to ask yourself and exercises you can do:
Identify what success means to you: Success doesn’t always mean financial success. Andrea wrote her book after the markets collapsed in 2008 where many women she recalls, woke up to partners who lost their top earning salaries and realized that they were married to a lifestyle instead of a partner whose values were aligned with theirs.
Do I LIKE myself with this person: It’s human for us to think that love will overcome all and if I can pour all my love to this person, everything will be okay. It’s easy to love someone, however it’s not easy to LIKE them. People divorce not because of lack of love, but because of lack of like. Falling into like is harder than falling into love. Ask yourself, do I LIKE the way he treats me, do I LIKE his parenting style, do I LIKE the way he makes me feel.
Who do I want to be with when no one else is looking: Think about the quiet unpredictable life moments – maybe you lost a loved one, lost your job, developed a sickness. In these moments you need someone who is stable, reliable, emotionally supportive because the prestigious degree won’t mean much when what you need is a shoulder to lean on.
Make super clear what are your deal-breakers: We’ve heard every single type of deal-breaker from salary to travel habits to more obvious religion and ethnic preferences. We often assume a partner that doesn’t share our ethnic/culture/religious background for example won’t want to immerse themselves in ours. So we stick to dating the same type of person because it’s familiar and “safe”. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are a great example of how just a bit of openmindness can change your life and lead to a long lasting relationship. Rita married Tom who at that time already had a child of his own. Tom converted to Rita’s religion and became Greek Orthodox!
What Values Do you Have? Ask yourself, what is amazing about me? What am I offering? We don’t give ourselves enough credit sometimes. We tend to focus on what is out there and how we can attract the right person but what about you makes you attractive?
You can learn more about Andrea’s dating advice by visiting www.andreasyrtash.com or follow her on Instagram at andreainny. You can also buy her book: He’s Just Not Your Type (and That’s a Good Thing)