On the internet we find tests, which type of man or woman we are and which type we like or who we should go for being in a happy relationship. So we asked ourselves whether the choice of partner is really a type question.
How often does a relationship or meeting someone that is actually promising end up with the concluding comment ” I always choose the wrong men*women”? Why do we think that, and are online tests really helpful in saving us from this seemingly repetitive act next time?
The fine difference
Just because people are beautiful by scientific standards does not mean that we are attracted to them. According to American psychologists at Wellesley College Massachusetts, 50% of the 35,000 respondents find faces attractive because of their symmetry and the other 50% because of personal preferences. These preferences are the result of our social imprints, our upbringing, but also of media consumption.
However, if we can say that we find someone attractive, this does not mean that we find the person attractive as a partner. And how often does it happen that we fall in love and say “actually it’s not my type of man*woman”. So our partner does not have to be the type of person we would describe as attractive if we were part of such a large-scale survey.
A friend once told me that he is totally into blondes, but then he would only marry a dark-haired girl. So is that an exception when it comes to type preferences?
Sense and nonsense of tests
I (Julia) am generally rather skeptical about tests that are designed to determine one’s own personality or the fit with other people. Therefore I would rather call this kind of tests “Tendency descriptions in the current context”. Some may find themselves in the results of such tests, but the downside is that the classification often deprives us of the possibility to act differently. Consciously or unconsciously, we then confirm in our behavior what we believe to know about ourselves through the test result.
Regarding the dream woman*man tests, it would be a pity if we would then only look for exactly that one person and overlook the actual dream partner, because at first glance he*she doesn’t seem to fit into our “prey scheme”.
Of course Tinder and Co. make it easy for us to be guided by the purely visual as a first impression. But maybe we will find out, that the external fit does not necessarily lead to a fit beyond that. Well, if you’re not looking for a relationship, these apps are probably the best choice, because we can really let our external preferences run free.
Doch wenn ich selbst zurückblicke auf meine vergangenen Beziehungen, hätten die Personen unterschiedlicher kaum sein können.
If I were asked, I would probably also say that I find a certain type of man*woman attractive. But when I myself look back on my past relationships, the people could hardly have been more different. And yet they were wonderful relationships, which were sometimes smaller or even bigger learning gifts to my personal development. But it took a while before I was able to acknowledge this and use it for my own benefit.
Why we always seem to choose the wrong one?
I think that’s the crux of the matter, we choose people as partners with whom we can grow. In my opinion, it is always the right people at the right time, even if this seems difficult to understand at first glance.
Anyone who has this thought “why do I always end up with the wrong men*women” should take a closer look. The fact that we repeatedly choose people with perhaps similar behavior often says more about ourselves than about the person opposite.
This insight is usually uncomfortable and working to change these preferences is often even more uncomfortable. But the process is worthwhile, because afterwards we usually recognize early enough whether someone suits us or not, whether someone is good for us or not, and we can act accordingly. Often the sources for the choice of partners lie in early childhood, our later social environment or even first relationships. The reasons are therefore very individual and should be examined in a professional setting.
Beautiful does not mean equally attractive. Our choice of partner does not have to match what we would otherwise call attractive or “our type”. If we “always” end up with the wrong people, we should invest time and effort to look closer and learn to read the message behind it.