I broke up with my husband. Before the heart palpitations begin, let me allay any fears – this happened before we were, in fact, husband and wife.
It was a month into dating and things were going well. So I did what any reasonable person would do – I broke it off…
By this time, Andrew and I had been hanging out in groups for quite a while and we’d only started to go on real life dates. Dinner. Movies. Cheesecake Factory. Museums. It was all very pleasant. Fun, even. I liked him. There was just one problem… Andrew was not my type.
I remember the night I broke it off. We were sitting at a small diner in the city and I told him I didn’t see it working out. He took a breath and then…. He said a slew of nice and wonderful things about me. Truly and without hyperbole the nicest things anyone has ever fixed their lips to say about lil ol me. Who was this dude?? I let him down and then he proceeded to make me feel like I was a wonderful person.
That night I went home and bawled my eyes out. I mean I sobbed and had no idea why. “I was the one who broke it off,” I thought, “isn’t this supposed to be the other way around?”
Cut to that Sunday, I saw him at church and instantly – INSTANTLY – regretted my decision in a huge gigantic colossal way. I knew I made a really dumb mistake, but I still couldn’t understand what exactly I was feeling. I went to the person I go to when I need to be told the truth with no filler – my brother.
Now, my brother is a man of few words. But he chooses those words carefully. He tells it like it is, is a good judge of character and does not suffer fools. We met at a coffee shop and I asked him what he thought.
He proceeded to inform me with no hesitation that he very much disliked every guy I had ever dated (sorry if you’re one of them and you didn’t know that. I don’t know what to tell ya.) And then said Andrew was a “good dude.” Coming from my brother he may as well have thrown a parade for the kid. This was high praise. It also made me pinpoint where I had gone wrong.
My type, hitherto, was tall. Like 6’ 4” tall. Also, confident. Assertive. Extroverted. Funny. A people person. Charming. Unapologetically vocal. Flashy. Popular.
Now, some of these things are not negative in theory. On their own, they are even positives. The aforementioned combination was the guy I typically went for. And, on the surface, it was a really good match.
But it was also only a match on the surface. What was really happening was I was overcompensating for the areas I perceived to be my weaknesses with other people’s overcompensation. I was shy – so I thought I belonged with an extrovert. I didn’t feel like my voice was valid, so I got someone vocal. I didn’t think people liked me, so I found someone popular.
In addition, what I perceived to be confidence in those situations was not. Much of it was ego. The guys I tended to gravitate towards were quite pleased with themselves. Quite. Really quite.
What ended up happening (every time, mind you) was that I didn’t believe I was enough – so I got someone who knew they were enough for the both of us – who also found other girls who thought they were enough and, well, you can figure it out from there.
Andrew wasn’t my type. Thank God I realized that was the best thing about him before it was too late. I still see many of those qualities in him; confidence, charm, assertiveness, maybe not 6’ 4” but certainly taller than me. The difference is that these things do not need to announce themselves. They do not need to suck all of the air out of a room. They are simply a part of the fabric of all that he is.
The best relationships are not based on what will make you happy as you are, but what will nurture you toward who you want to be. I’m so blessed to be with a man who does not hide the best or worst of me, but supports me and encourages me in how to be better in both. His love for me and belief in the God in me does not let me settle into complacency but gently spurs me in the direction of my purpose whereas those that came before him were content to leave me in whichever position was most convenient for their comfort and convenience.
I had built my “type” based on my life up until that point – things I’d witnessed, what culture says is important, my own insecurities and blind spots. My type was a lot of what I thought I wanted and not much of what I needed.
So, what do you do when he’s not your type? I would urge you to prayerfully consider that that, in fact, may be his best quality.
Questions for you:
Is your type holding you back? What is it actually built on? Where does it come from? Does it have more to do with your present comforts than your future growth? What questions do you have regarding “type”.