Written by: Ibbie Aromolaran, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
“He’s a great guy, but there just wasn’t a spark.”
“I would ask her on a date, but she’s not the type I usually go for”.
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, or maybe you’ve even said it. I’m here to tell you that perhaps if you give him/her a chance, attraction can grow over time and sparks will fly!
Many of my clients and others I know have hesitated to date people who are not their ideal “type” because there isn’t an instant attraction or spark. Fairy Tales, romance novels, and movies like The Notebook can make us feel that we should aspire to a magical, instant and obsessive kind of love, and if, for some reason, we don’t instantly feel that, it means we’re incompatible.
This misguided belief can cause us to dismiss each potential partner who walks into our lives when we don’t immediately feel the infamous magical soulmate connection. We can either spend our lives searching for this euphoric feeling or we can take the steps to grow and nurture that type of connection over time.
If we spend more time focusing on the qualities that contribute to longevity and success in a relationship, it is more likely that we will end up with the person that is right for us, rather than focusing on instant sparks with someone who ends up being wrong for us in the long run.
I like to refer to this as the Standards vs. Preferences debate. Standards are the qualities that determine longevity in a relationship and relational success. They should align with your values, growth, who you are as a human being, and who you aspire to be. Whereas preferences are surface-level qualities that do not determine if a person will be an ideal life partner (i.e- physical attributes and sparks).
I encourage my clients to go on dates with those who are not their ideal type because I strongly believe that attraction can form over time. The Proximity Effect is a psychological idea that physical and psychological nearness to others tends to increase interpersonal liking (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). This means that the more time you spend around someone, the higher the chance that you will grow a strong liking for them. A similar idea is the Mere-exposure Effect, which states that we tend to develop a preference for something simply because we are familiar with it.
When you give a chance to someone who is not your usual type, you are opening up a world of possibilities for your romantic life. Now that you know attraction can grow over time, I urge you to try a new thing. Your courage to go on a date (with an open mind) with someone who isn’t your usual type may lead you to your happily ever after.
You never know until you try!
Ibbie Aromolaran, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Known for her unique, time-saving, efficient & fun approach to dating, Ibbie Aromolaran has a passion for guiding and empowering ambitious women to create the love lives of their dreams. As a Mental Health Therapist turned Certified Dating Coach, she is deeply dedicated to helping women uncover their deep-rooted barriers to successful dating and build new, effective habits from the ground up through her high-end, 4-phase program that helps women learn to date like pros and create meaningful connections within 12 weeks! Ibbie has a certification in dating & relationship coaching, a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and is currently in her doctoral program studying social psychology and the science of human interactions. All in all, she is keenly interested in sharing her knowledge about how humans can best connect with one another.