Once upon a time, there was a handsome Indonesian bachelor who only dated models. Everybody thought he would never settle down due to his notoriously “liberal” dating habit.
Even if he did end up settling down, everybody expected to see him with a stunning half-Caucasian woman with highlights in her hair and a set of perfect teeth. But, something came in my mail last week, and it was his wedding invitation.
A few months earlier, I heard from a mutual friend that Radit, the bachelor, was seeing his course-mate from college.
“You wouldn’t believe it. It’s Naomi!” my friend said. His tone suggested disbelief while he was describing her: quiet, homely and a little tubby. He explained to me that he personally liked this girl because she was such a sweetheart. But, she was such a departure from those modelesque girls whom Radit used to have strong preferences for.
So, that’s how Radit’s wedding instantly became a hot topic. When friends went out for coffee or bumped into each other at a mall, their first few lines were identical.
“Have you heard?”
“Yeah, I know right?”
Tim, the 25-year-old economist said during a brunch, “This just reaffirms my theory that there are girls you date, and there are girls you marry.
“When you’re just looking to date and have fun, you will tend to seek out physical characteristics, as well as personality traits that are likely to result in a fun/exciting time. But when you’re looking to settle down, you usually want to find someone that you can connect with.”
“It’s just that he’s older now, and he’s already in a mindset where he’s ready to commit. I don’t know if he realized this change when he started dating Naomi, but they did meet at the right time,” I said. “Had they started seeing each other a year earlier, it may have ended differently.”
“I’m not sure what kind of revelation made him step out of his comfort zone, but I’m happy that he’s come to his senses,” Tim replied.
Now, most of us have a list of criteria that we use to screen our potential mates. Some of which could be race, religion, educational qualification, and trivial things like height and facial hair. Most of us put this list under the neat packaging of “type,” which we often use to refuse date offers.
“Oh, he’s not my type,” some people say.
A lot more people claim to not have any particular “type” as a prerequisite for dating, but we secretly know that they’re lying. In fact, they are usually the ones whose list is full to the brim with expectations.
The sentence, “I don’t really have a type,” is usually followed by, “Except that they have to do this, and be that, and blah blah blah.” A single friend in her late twenties once told me, immediately after the “I don’t have a type” speech, “But if he can’t stand my attitude, then he’s not fit for me. It’s not my fault that I have a big personality.”
But then again, what is a “type” really, if it’s not just a way to define your comfort zone? And, what is a comfort zone really, if it’s not just an unnecessary barrier you set for yourself? Throw that laundry list of criteria out the window and maybe just try to connect with people. Who knows, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
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