This Is Why Your Type Isn't Working

This Is Why Your Type Isn't Working

And How To Maturely Fix The Problems With Your Type


We all have a type we’re most attracted to.

There's no doubt about it.

"He's gotta have big arms" - "She's gotta have long hair" - "Oh it's his eyes" - "Her laugh is so contagious" - "He cooks for me" - "She just gets me" - "He's a business owner" - "She's a lawyer" - "They meet all my checkboxes"

Consciously or not -- superficially or not -- fair or not -- we were born and raised with a set of requirements we look for in a significant other.

Sure, our society can argue that everyone is equal and should have all the same opportunities, but that isn't true. The guy/gal with a bigger wallet will always have more opportunity than those without. The guy/gal with a healthier physique and mind will always have more opportunity than those without. This may be sad, but the truth either way. Making it in the game of life requires you to understand the rules of life.

So let's play within it. 

There are generally 9 types of people we fall for. We look for them, and we also become them. But before I get in to each archetype in the next post, let's take a look at:

why you have a type in the first place

why your type isn't working

and how to fix it.

 

In the most basic Freudian way to say it, we have a type because of our parents. Our caregivers. The people who raised us.

They were the ones that provided for us and the ones that sparked an understanding that we need others. The attachment theory research of psychoanalysts and therapists (e.g. - the likes of Dr. John Bowlby and Dr. Sue Johnson) agree to this innate human need for affection. In a nutshell, the behaviours and attributes of our parents helped us survive, so we constantly look for people, with familiar behaviours and attributes of our parents, who can continue to keep us alive. Thus "the type" stemming from our parents.

If not our parents, then any other caregiver that had an impact on our childhood.

A brother. A sister. An aunt. An Uncle. A cousin. A neighbour. A teacher. Anyone with authority and the ability to help you survive and thrive in the world.  

Now, this sensitivity to familiarity can go one of two ways. The wisdom of Alain de Botton calls these longings either the repetition dynamic, or the recoil dynamic.

 

The Repetition Dynamic

The repetition dynamic is when we're drawn to people with the most similar/impactful characteristics as our parents or caregivers. If our mom sang to us, we tend to look for those with vocal or musical talent. If our dad continually took us camping, we tend to be drawn to those with an outdoor and adventurous personality. If our affectionate neighbour had a greenthumb, we may look for someone with equal interests in agriculture. Anything on top of our basic human needs (e.g. - feeding us, bathing us) that was impactful is something that sticks out to us and is often part of our checkboxes for love. Think about your childhood and find the similarities between your caregivers and your crushes.


The Recoil Dynamic

The recoil dynamic is when we're drawn to people with the exact opposite characteristics as our parent or caregivers. The reason for this tends to be a memorable incident or incidences that sparked threat to our livelihood. And as a child, this could be anything immature -- like being detained from socializing, getting burnt out from expectations, or feeling humiliated in any way. Whatever the cause, the association of pain gets linked to distinct traits/personalities that this authority figure portrayed. If they were a writer, we may be appalled by anyone who reads a lot. If they were a musician, we detest anyone who touches the piano. If they were a business owner, we may be turned off by anyone who shows too much control or responsibility. Whatever and whoever the reason, we look for someone completely opposite. Think about your childhood and find the polarizing qualities between your toxic elders and your romantic infatuations.

 

Which way do you sway? Repeating your pleasurable early life, or recoiling from an unhealthy childhood?

 

 

If you fall under the repetition dynamic, cool.

If you fall under the recoil dynamic, cool.

Whichever tendency you have is completely normal and can lead to a healthy and successful relationship. I’m here to tell you that your failed relationships are not an indicator of an inability to love.



If you're having trouble with love, we may think it’s our fault for being attracted to a certain type. Our close friends may have come to the conclusion that your type isn't right for you. Our families may be on the lookout for potential suitors because you haven’t found any good ones. They see your failures at love and conclude that your type isn’t your right type. You've thought this yourself:

"Why do I keep falling for such dbags?!"

"Why don't they ever call back?!"

"Why does it always end like this?!"

 

True, maybe you just aren't compatible with those you tend to be attracted to, but the fact behind our attraction is that it's very hard to change who we're attracted to. The way we feel affection and are attracted to another is imprinted in us at infancy. Which means we'll always be attracted to a certain type. (Or at least within a range of a specific type). So how do we stop ourselves from failing in love?!

The answer to this is in ourselves. Who we're attracted to isn't the total problem, but how we're attracted to them is usually an indicator of a healthy or unhealthy relationship. How we react to certain situations with them is a fork in the road between good and not-good love. And not-good love tends to happen because of our connection to our past. 

In our past, in our childhood, our actions and reactions to relationship interactions are the foundations for our adult interactions. The way we dealt with bickering and disagreements and the butting of heads as a child is typically how we've come to butt heads as adults. The comfortable-ness of our lovers come to be very similar to the comfortable-ness we felt with our caregivers, thus resurfacing our child-like behaviours to certain things.

 

 

For someone with a Repetition Dynamic tendency,

certain behaviours in our partner could spark childlike reactions:

  • Seeing them yell at us could lead to thoughts of inadequacy (feeling like a bad child), which could lead to totally giving up or stonewalling.

  • Seeing them ignoring us could lead to thoughts of confusion (feeling like an unintelligent child), which could lead us to start yelling in order to prove our intelligence.

  • Seeing them sad could lead to thoughts of us needing to fix them (feeling like a child at fault), which could lead us to force too much change on them.

  • Seeing them spend time with others could lead to thoughts of betrayal (feeling like a jealous child), which could lead us to subconsciously get back at them in irrational ways.

The trick here is to understand that we are not children, and they are not our caregivers. They are their own person and they have the ability to communicate any issues to you. It's your responsibility to A) ease out their feelings in a mature manner, and B) not react as a child.

 Think about the last time you had an argument or felt unaligned with them. Chances are you stirred up irrational emotions and thoughts, and chances are you let them create irrational actions. Practice acceptance as an adult.

  1. Always keep your cool. Breathe in and out with focus.

  2. Do not stonewall them, let them speak their thoughts as you listen attentively.

  3. You do not need to change or fix them, that's their responsibility and you can only supplement a fraction of that.

  4. They don't have control over you.

  5. Let them know how you feel. Do not be scared of rejection or humiliation.

  6. Don't forget that they bring happiness to you with the familiar behaviours they possess.

  7. Allow your deepest self to come out as you allow their deepest self to come out.

  8. This will spark a new energy to allow for growth.

  9. Allow space for this growing love.

  

For someone with a Recoil Dynamic tendency,

certain behaviours in our partner could spark reactions that we experienced as scolded for as a child and were essentially traumatized by: 

  • Seeing them act childish (the very characteristic that drew us to them -- could be positively described as free-spirited and youthful) could lead us to snap at them the way our caregivers did: "Grow up!" 

  • Seeing them put emphasis on work (the very characteristic that drew us to them -- could be positively described as organized and disciplined) could lead us to snap at them the way our caregivers did: "You have no emotion!"

  •  Seeing them spend hours on their appearance (the very characteristic that drew us to them -- could be positively described as well-kept and pretty/handsome) could lead us to snap at them the way our caregivers did: "Who in the world are you trying to impress?!"

  • Seeing them become the life of the party (the very characteristic that drew us to them -- could be positively described as outgoing and friendly) could lead us to snap at them the way our caregivers did: "Stop looking for so much attention!"

The trick here is to understand that we are not children, and they are not our caregivers. They are their own person and they have the ability to communicate any issues to you -- just in the same way you have the ability to maturely communicate. Rethink all your fiery responses and change them into an accepting and calm understanding response. Reread the responses above, see how immature they sound, and think up compassionate thoughts and words instead. Like:

“I understand your need for play” - “I’d appreciate it if we could spend more emotional time together” - “You look phenomenal and I understand it’s your body to accessorize” - “You are a lovable person and can see why others like talking with you too”

It's your responsibility to A) ease out their feelings in a mature manner, and B) not react as a child.

Think about the last time you had an argument or felt unaligned with them. Chances are you stirred up irrational emotions and thoughts, and chances are you let them create irrational actions. Practice acceptance as an adult.

  1. Always keep your cool. Breathe in and out with focus.

  2. Do not stonewall them or attack them, let them speak their thoughts as you listen attentively.

  3. You do not need to change or fix them, that's their responsibility and you can only supplement a fraction of that.

  4. They don't have control over you.

  5. Let them know how you feel. Do not be scared of rejection or humiliation.

  6. Don't forget that they bring happiness to you because they don’t conjure up traumatic memories.

  7. Allow your deepest self to come out as you let their deepest self to come out.

  8. This will spark a new energy to allow for growth.

  9. Allow space for this growing love.

 

In Conclusion

As a free adult in this shrinking world, do not let yourself succumb to childlike behaviour. I get it, our partners make us feel like we can be a free-spirited child, but to make a relationship mature means our actions need to mature with it. Keep a firm grip on open communication and don’t regress into a childlike state.

The Repetition Dynamic and Recoil Dynamic that we experience isn't something we can totally change about ourselves or our failed relationships. So accept it, accept yourself, and accept the types you are attracted to. Our types will, more or less, always be our types. And the way we choose to interact with them is how we play this game of life.

In the next post, I’ll be talking about the 9 archetypal types of lovers we’re attracted to and who we inevitably become.