That dreaded type question

There are some questions that are overused and should really not be asked.

Like ever.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day, and somehow (of course) the topic of my singleness came up. She asked a question I’ve been asked before and one that I always hate: “Well, what’s your type?” Did I mention I hate this question?

I don’t think there should be “a type” that I have to define to try to find someone who’s right for me. First off, I won’t be trying to find anyone. Second, if Mr. Right and I do happen to cross paths at some point, then I will know that he is Mr. Right. I won’t need to consult the “my type” list to make sure he meets all of the qualifications. Do I have standards? Absolutely—and they are non-negotiable. But I don’t like the idea of a “type.”

I love Tie
I need someone who can handle Tie and me

I think trying too much to define exactly what you’re looking for creates this ideal man that may or may not exist. Sure, there are qualities in a guy that I want (e.g. he has to love Jesus and be able to make me laugh), but I would rather meet someone and get to know him rather than someone else trying to help me out by setting me up with someone who is “my type.” You might immediately know someone is all wrong for you right off the bat, but you could still form a nice friendship with that person, if nothing else.

It’s possible that a lot my thoughts on this matter stem from my growing dislike of classifications. As much as I love all of those Buzzfeed quizzes, I’m tired of the labels of introvert and extrovert and whatever that word is for the in-between-vert. Just because you have some introverted tendencies doesn’t mean you are introverted all of the time or need to be labeled as such. We are probably all more in-between-verted that we let ourselves believe. We aren’t crayons, and we weren’t made to be—so we won’t always be coloring in blue or red or pink. We get to mix things up a little and not simply be labeled as one specific color.

And that’s a good thing.

So, to answer homegirl’s question, I don’t have a type. If I meet a guy who is wrong for me, I’ll know that at some point. If he’s right for me, I’ll know that at some point. But I won’t sit around and analyze whether or not he’s my type. I know the qualities I find attractive, and I know the ones I don’t. But I don’t need to list them and box people up. I know I’m very picky about things, but I have this fairy-tale-like idea in my head that if there is someone out there for me, then he’s by no means perfect but is perfect for me. He’s not a type—he’s just who he is. I want someone who will sweep me off my feet and show me what love is and what love does.

The thing is, I don’t want to be a type. I just want to be me. I don’t want to treat others like they are certain types. I just want them to be them. So just be you, and don’t try to be someone’s type.

Besides, there’s Someone who already loves you just as you, and it’s the greatest love you’ll ever know.

And He doesn’t have a type.

I’m keeping my head in the clouds

People really love to give advice, regardless of whether or not it’s requested.

And we do this A LOT.

I’m single, and people often like to offer me advice on how I should find a man. I usually let people talk when they start because it can be rather entertaining—because obviously if I’m single, I’ve NEVER thought of any of these things. Allow me to elaborate with a handful of fun little examples:

Just find someone at church. This is always a go-to for people. I go to church, so I must be inclined to fall in love with some hunk who spends his Sunday mornings in the same building I do. Friends, it’s sweet you want me to meet a nice Christian man, but that might not be the place I find him. Plus, I do not go to church on Sunday mornings in search of a man. It’s not my focus, and I don’t think it should be. If that’s my reason for going to church, it would be time to re-prioritize.

What about someone in your running community? I love my friends who are runners, but I’m never dating a runner. There are some couples out there who met through running or who both compete, but that’s not for me. I want someone who has different interests than I do. I’m with me all day every day—I don’t want someone just like me. I want someone who doesn’t necessarily understand the oddities that come with being a runner but still tries to and supports me, anyway. And I want to be able to support him in other things, like some recreational sports league that he acts like will be covered by SportsCenter every night.

Have you tried online dating? No, thank you. I know this has been successful for a lot of people, but I also know a few people who have had to endure some nights and conversations with some strange birds. I’m not willing to risk my first date on someone who may or may not be anything like what his computer profile leads me to believe.

If you like a guy, just ask him out. When people say this to me, my initial response is always, “Do you even know me?” I can face my fears and be brave in a lot of aspects of life, but I truly struggle with this one. And THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. A few years ago, I made what I considered to be a valiant effort to ask a guy to go with me to a football game. He told me he had to do chores around his house. On a Friday night. I don’t know many single men who live alone and stay home on Friday nights doing chores that could likely be done on Saturday or Sunday. Maybe he was having the queen over for tea that weekend. Needless to say, I’m hesitant to receive another such response.

head in the clouds
I’m fine with my head in the clouds

I understand that people are just trying to be helpful, but at the same time, I think it’s better to let me keep my head in the clouds. I still have that belief that somehow, someway, my life is going to turn out like all of those romantic comedies I love so much. And if it doesn’t, that’s alright, too. But I am not going to go seeking and actively trying to be calculative about securing a date for my brother’s upcoming wedding.

I know I’m probably not going to lose my voice to a sea urchin and make someone fall for me through my silence. I don’t plan on going to any royal balls anytime soon, so I likely won’t lose a slipper and have the prince search the entire kingdom for me. I’m not writing a column about how to get rid of a guy while he is secretly trying to make me fall for him. I don’t have intentions to travel to Alaska pretending to be engaged to someone, resulting in the two of us realizing we actually really love each other.

But a girl can dream.

I’m OK with the fact that I still believe in fairy tales. I’ve seen them happen to so many people around me, and I hope you never stop believing in them. They may not always happen the way we think they will or should, but life has a way of being magical and special on its own—because we have an Author writing our stories who knows what He’s doing a lot more than we do.

And that’s something that gives me hope that whatever happens will be better than anything any of us has dreamed of—ever.

Why I love love

When I was a little girl, at some point I fell in love with love.

Or so I thought.
 
I had this idea of what I thought love was: it was Harry telling Sally on New Year’s Eve just how much she meant to him; it was Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell jumping ship and swimming toward each other at the end of Overboard; it was Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski overcoming various obstacles throughout high school and college to end up together in the end; it was Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence finally realizing how they felt about one another after years of growing up together; it was Todd placing three different candy hearts that said “Marry me” on them in front of Christy before she finally realized he was proposing (and most of you have probably never read the Christy Miller Series, but you should); it was Squints Palledorous jumping into the deep end of the pool, knowing he couldn’t swim and essentially faking his own drowning all so he could kiss lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn; it was Ariel giving up her beautiful singing voice so that she could become human to spend time with Eric.
 
Obviously entertainment media had a huge influence on my perception of love.
 
Over the years, however, I’ve come to see that love is so much more than my youthful mind could have imagined. It’s not just some concept of two people realizing they want to be more than friends. It’s not just butterflies in your stomach when your dream person enters the room. It’s not just a feeling.
 
Love is something you do.
 
I went on a walk with my mom yesterday, and I was reminded of why my definition of love changed so drastically as my heart matured. As we were walking down my parents’ street toward the duck pond, my mom noticed a nail laying on the sidewalksomething I didn’t even see and something most people probably would have ignored. She, however, picked up that dirty thing and carried it with her to dispose of in one of the trash cans at the park. My mom has one of the biggest hearts of anyone you will ever meet, and she has this unexplainable love for any living being. She’s constantly caring for others, even strangers who could potentially encounter a nail on the pavement. That’s what love does. As we continued our walk, we chatted about various things, and we mentioned one particular person who is not the nicest individual in the world. My mom easily could have said plenty of negative things about this person, but she didn’t. In fact, she started pointing out all of this individual’s good qualities. It hit me in that moment that my mom is one of the reasons I am such a fan of loveshe has always modeled it so purely and in a way that draws others in to her warmth and sincerity. She doesn’t want to waste her time bashing others when she can be using it to build people up and use kindness in place of hate. That’s what love does.
 
And don’t think that entertainment media can’t also show examples of what love really means: it’s Anna stepping in front of Hans’s sword meant to kill her sister, Elsa; it’s King Triton letting his daughter go and turning Ariel back into a human when he realizes how much she wants to be with Eric; it’s Ross folding his hand of cards and not letting anyone know what he had, because he wanted Rachel to win their meaningless game of poker and to see her happy; it’s Dottie Hinson dropping the ball at the plate so that her younger sister, Kit, could be the hero for once; it’s Lee Brice singing about hating to dance yet twirling the woman he adores around the dance floor; it’s Bruce Willis pushing Ben Affleck out of the way and giving up his own life in Armageddon so that his daughter won’t lose the man she is going to marry; it’s Thomas J. losing his life in My Girl when he has an allergic reaction to hornet stings after he goes to look for his best friend’s mood ring that she lost when the two were playing in the woods; it’s Belle taking the place of her father to live in imprisonment with a seemingly ferocious beast.
 
That’s what love does.
 
I still have my fairytale beliefs of falling in love and kissing in gazebos, but I also know that love is more than writing across a screen that says, “…and they lived happily ever after.” We have the ability to show love to others every single day if we are willing to take on a little bit of selflessness. The greatest act of love this world has ever seen is the epitome of that: grace so big that He died on a cross so that we can live.
 
I love seeing examples of love all around me. It makes my heart smile when I realize that there are genuine people out there who truly want to love others. I’ve never told a guy I love him, and I’ve never had one say those three little words to me, but I know a love so much bigger than words could ever express.
 
And that is a reason to love love even more.