As an online dating coach, I offer a range of services to clients, from getting them off on the right foot with the right profile and photos, to doing most of the dating “work” for them, leading up to the date itself. Recently, I arranged a date for a client, and she seemed less than thrilled with the man I chose for her.
She told me via text, “I have to be honest, he’s not my type and I’m not attracted to him, but I will of course meet him for a drink tomorrow as I wouldn’t want to hurt someone or cancel last minute.” My client also suggested she show me some of the men on the apps she was interested in so I could get a “better sense of the guys that interest me.”
I replied: “I appreciate the feedback. Let’s leave the possibility of a pleasant surprise open for tomorrow. And then I’m happy to discuss next week. I think I have a pretty good sense of your type, but it obviously also depends on who answers and can carry a conversation.”
So she went on the date (glad she took my advice) … and it went much better than she expected.
“Great guy!!!” she said in a survey following the meet-up. “I was pleasantly surprised so thank you for that as this was initially not my type. He is extremely warm-hearted, well-mannered, intellectually stimulating and we had a lot (to) talk about. For the most part of the date, I felt a great vibe between us and could see myself continuing to see him. We had a lot in common regarding work and education so it was really nice to speak with him and the conversation was flowing.”
My client said that instead of picking up on something she didn’t like and shutting down the opportunity to meet someone new, “I just went with it and felt great.”
I understand that everyone’s time is valuable, so it’s easy to write off someone as just “not my type.” But what does that really mean? For everyone, it’s probably a little different, but in essence, there’s something about that person you aren’t 100% in love with. Maybe they mention an interest you don’t share (you’re an artist, they’ve never been in a museum) or you’re not immediately attracted to them physically (more likely). Either way, none of those things are the linchpin in a successful relationship. Instead, it’s best to go into a first date with an open mind — and as my client found out, there’s a chance that you’ll be surprised by the results.
It’s difficult to go on a first date with zero expectations, but it’s important to not overthink. Instead, let the relationship progress naturally… and enjoy every step of the process of getting to know someone, even if they’re not “the one.” Who knows? They could make a great friend or match for someone else in your life. Maybe it’ll just be a funny story or an experience where you learn something new. That’s OK! And definitely not a waste of your time.
As some food for thought, what is a “type” anyway? Is it really just a pattern? Embracing the unexpected can lead to some of the most fulfilling connections. The concept of a “type” often stems from superficial preferences or preconceived notions that may not be indicative of genuine compatibility. My client’s experience serves as a testament to the idea that being open-minded can pave the way for surprising and meaningful connections. So, the next time you’re tempted to dismiss someone as “not your type,” consider the possibility that you might be overlooking a chance for something truly special to unfold.
I’ll always encourage my clients to take every dating opportunity that comes their way … and I do really enjoy it when my advice pays off.
Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter, eepurl.com/dpHcH for updates and tips.