I’m at a point in my life, where I realize that there are certain things that I require from a person when it comes to being in a relationship, whether it is an intimate relationship or a good friendship. I can usually have a short conversation with someone to decipher whether we will be good friends or otherwise. I know that I can tend to run people off with my “habits of interaction” or lack thereof, but I don’t always see that as a bad thing. It tends to weed out the people who are shallow or just incompatible with me.
There’s this one question that I’ve come across a few times, and maybe you have too, but people will often ask me “What’s your type?” I guess this would mean, what type of person would I prefer as a partner. I think that you can tell a lot more about a person based on the questions that they ask, more so than the ones they answer.
“What’s your type…” I mean, that is such a vague question, and quite frankly, I really don’t have an answer for it, or at least not a simple one. I assume that when people ask this, they want to know what I am attracted to physically, but physical attraction can only take one so far. I always respond with attributes, such as intellect, or in this day and age, something as simple as conversational skills, wit, or humor would be great. However, I can’t help but to sense the shallowness of the actual question itself. I mean, what does one, truly wish to learn from my response? If I stated whatever preferences I might have, at that given point in time, would it deter one who didn’t match up to them from seeking anything further with me? My experiences have proved the answer to that question to be, more than likely, no. Even if one doesn’t fit the “criteria,” I have found that most people would rather just let you uncover their shortcomings on a need-to-know basis instead of just being straight up about things. However, I am quite the opposite. I’d rather show my flaws in the beginning, and if there is still interest, there may be something worth pursuing.
I’ve found that in life, to really learn things, one has to first unlearn what society has programmed us to do. So, when I am asked a question such as, “What’s your type,” I understand that it’s not really that person asking, but rather performing what they have been programmed to do. Performing as in taking on the actions, behaviors, and even language of what they’ve seen or heard. Maybe they have even been asked this question themselves, or maybe seen someone say it on television. All in all, I just think it’s a silly question, as I feel like the only people who actually adhere to being a certain “type” are those who are deliberately trying to do so (i.e. performing) as we are all different and unique.
With that said, I’ll get back to the few things that I do require of someone who takes the role of a friend or a potential life partner in my life. The first thing, although not in any particular ranking, would be mutual interest. It’s important to not just have a mutual interest in one another but to actually show that as well. For example, have you ever had a friend that you always made efforts to contact or hangout with, but they hardly ever make those efforts for you? That doesn’t quite seem like a mutual interest, kind of one-sided eh? Some people may call it “playing hard to get.” in relationship terms. I say playing hard to get is for the birds, and plus ain’t nobody got time for that!
The second thing I require is honesty. This is a really tough one because so many people lie, it has really even become like an acceptable and completely normal thing to do in society. However, it’s never cool with me. For example, I don’t think people should say that they want to be “friends” when what they really want to be is “friends with benefits.” I have found that with most of my peers, how one defines the term “friend” can be quite twisted and confusing (i.e. frenemies). Even in the early stages, I don’t feel that we have to define ourselves as friends. Friendships, like other relationships take time to develop. I like for people to be candid about what they want. For example, if we’re only friends, I wouldn’t treat you like my significant other, if that is clearly not our status. It’s okay to just be two people interested in each other and just that. I don’t think it’s necessary to feel forced to define that, and when the time is right it can be decided upon mutually.
The last thing, I require, just to round it out to three, is a healthy level of ambition. I can’t think of a better phrase than that to describe this one. There have been times when I have encountered people, and we clearly weren’t on the same page. Sometimes, it may have been that the other person just didn’t quite have their shit together at that time, but the point lies in the fact that they weren’t actively doing anything to improve that. Yet, I’ve also experienced the opposite, where someone may have felt that perhaps I could be doing more to pursue my dreams and goals in life. When I say a “healthy level” of ambition, I am describing someone who actively pursues goals that make sense, but not to the point where they are consumed with this whole idea of “getting ahead” in life. (See previous posts What Is Getting Ahead? and Stop Chasing Paper)
Those are just a few things that come to my mind instantaneously, but this is far from an exhaustive list. I chose not to expound upon some basics such as having some general things in common, but mutual interest, honesty, and ambition (of a healthy level) are a must. I wouldn’t say that I have a checklist, but this is just in response to questions from others, and my answers are really just a summary based on my past experiences. Now there are some pet peeves that I have also, but that’s a totally different subject to save for another day. So what do you think about the question? Do you have a type? Let me know.