Are you a serial dater?

When I disclose a dating profile to a woman I sometimes hear her say, “He’s not my type”.  Men say it too but just not as much as women.  Bearing in mind this is a paper transaction and she does not even know the man I am putting forward, I am curious to know what she is basing her decision on so I ask “What is your type?”   In response and as no surprise to me come the descriptions of ex partners from relationships that did not work.  These women, or men in some cases have closed themselves down to a ‘type’ hence they’re still single.  If this sounds like you then newsflash, you’re in a dating pattern, or what some dating experts call a serial dater.

For years I was a serial dater.  I was attracted to men who quite frankly treated me very badly.  I told myself after every ‘Groundhog Day’ break up that I would not get involved with men like that again but of course I never stuck to my own rules.  Trust me I read every dating rule book there was in an effort to capture Mr Right but all I ever dated was Mr Wrong.  I let so many nice, wonderful, caring men pass me by.  I even attended some of their weddings knowing it could have been me and my only excuse for not dating them was that I felt they were not my ‘type’.  I put that down to what I thought was a lack of ‘chemistry’ which I will address below.

Einstein defines insanity as doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.  Sound familiar?  I had been dating the same type of men for over two decades and so by April 2008 I was right there with Einstein, because that’s when I realised I wanted no more of dating the same person and expecting a different result.  I decided there and then I was putting a stop to choosing the wrong men over and over again and expecting them to be right for me.   I also wanted to put a stop to letting the good men slip away before I ran out of them.  Not long after my Einstein moment I met him, my Mr Right, and I am still with him today.   He is nothing like any of the men I have previously dated; he is kind, considerate and showers me with affection.

So how did I meet my Mr Right?

Quite simple really, I dated outside my type.  My ‘type’ was tall, dark and what I considered handsome.  But my type was also selfish, aggressive and controlling.  So not such a nice combination now is it?  If I didn’t feel butterflies and there weren’t fireworks on a first date then there was no chemistry as far as I was concerned and ultimately no attraction for me.  I realise now that I misinterpreted bad behaviour as chemistry.  Such behaviour included late or no replies to text messages, always being treated as second best and even being told I was “better than nothing”.  I put my choice of men down to bad luck when really I was master of my own destiny, making all the wrong dating choices.

When I met my partner there was no chemistry and there were no fireworks.  He wasn’t my type nor was I immediately attracted to him.  He was into rock music and motor bikes neither of which I am interested in.  But we became friends over a period of time and I noticed that he treated me differently, he was nice to me, there were no games and it felt natural.  I opened myself up to date someone different, who turned out to be the love of my life.

So my message to you is that I urge anyone out there who is single and has moved from one failed relationship to another, like I once did, to date outside their type.  Now I am not advocating that you drop your standards or change completely but take a leap of fate, be open minded when you go on that first date, then maybe have a second date with him because quite honestly you have nothing to lose but maybe a soul mate to gain.

A book that I recommend you read is He’s just not your type (and that’s a good thing): How to find love where you least expect it written by Andrea Syrtash

Tara McDonnell, Certified Matchmaker