Remember the popular, satirical YouTube video called “(Authentic) Black Marriage Negotiations”? Well, if not, to refresh your memory: the wildly popular video featured a computer generated image of a Black woman listing all the things she wanted in a man.
The clip was loathed by the many, but there were some who liked the video. It gained my attention because it tapped into what has been a big issue in my work.
People are often unable to tell values from wants. Often, these people suffer from “Type Hype.” But, what’s the fix?
“Type Hype” & Identifying Relationship Vitals
As the computer animation rattled off her laundry list of things she desired in a mate, it reminded me that both men and women – regardless of race – sometimes get a little too fixated on what “type” of mate they want, versus a person who is actually compatible with them – a person who shares their values.
Among the cartoon’s desires:
- A man who will pay all the bills, yet recognize she is an independent woman
- An educated man
- A thug
- A man who can take charge, lead and direct his household, until she disagrees with his direction
- A man of God
- A baller, etc.
Most of the desires are contradictions to point out the absurdity of having any kind of list for anyone, and the video inspired many copycats and responses from a variety of perspectives.
Beauty and wealth. Education and class. They all sound good on paper, but you can meet the most beautiful, wealthy, educated aristocrat of your dreams and they could be an amoral beast. To get the love we want we have to learn how to move beyond “types” and look for love based on common “values” and complimentary “personality.” Love doesn’t come from “type hype.”
What is “type hype,” exactly? Quite simply, it’s when you get caught up romanticizing your ideal “type” of mate, which results in “hyping” up or projecting unrealistic expectations upon your ideal partner.
“Type hype” can doom a relationship and pose some unnecessary pitfalls, because much of the time it causes you to ignore evaluating the real things that contribute to a successful relationship: values and personality.
So, what’s the antidote to “type hype”? The answer is…
In creating a good match, you have to take stock of your “relationship vitals” – things that make up the core of what you want and believe in, then take stock of the things that are “non-starters,” (ie: the things that would kill a potential relationship – like if your partner doesn’t believe in monogamy and you do, or if you don’t want kids, but your potential partner wants a basketball team).
From there, take stock of your personality and the personality of your partner – are you both introverts? Extroverts? Are you more driven and is he more of a supporter? Do you mesh? And take stock of your level of physical attraction and how important is that to you to be sexually attracted to your partner.
I’ve found in my practice that if you can confirm that a partner shares your top values, has a personality that meshes well with your own, meets your non-starters, and there is a healthy level of romantic attraction your chance of making a successful match goes from virtually nothing (about .04 percent) to a nearly 50-50 chance.
Don’t you like those odds better?
But in order to make that match you need to be able to:
- Distinguish the difference between a non-starter (need) and a preference (want).
- Learn what your core personality type is.
- Understand how your personality fits or is compatible with other personality types.
After the initial rush and passion of a new romance, after the sex, after time passes, you will eventually get used to your partner. You will get older. Your needs or desires may change with time. And at some point, all the great sex and good looks in the world won’t cover for the fact that if you can’t get along with your partner, if you don’t enjoy spending time with them or talking to them, if you aren’t friends – it’s not going to work.
It’s like the befuddlement when someone cheats on a gorgeous actor or actress. People lament, how could he or she run out on one of the most beautiful people in the world?
Because beautiful doesn’t mean we’ll get along.
Beautiful doesn’t equal happiness.
Beautiful doesn’t mean you’re a good person, or a stable person, or a kind person or simply – the right person for you.
Beautiful is just that. Beautiful. A gorgeous person could be faithful or they could be a cheat, but their looks are no real indicator of truths that lay in their personality. A beautiful person can be insecure, they can be shallow, they can be mean or emotionally ugly.
Values are the things that tell you who is right for you.
And who is right for you? How will you go about identifying that person?
First, you have to know you who are. Next, you have to be ready to throw your list away that says your dream man must be 6’1”, have dreadlocks, an advance degree from a prestigious university, has White House connections and the skin tone of a young Denzel Washington in Mo’ Betta Blues. Instead, you have to focus your attention on finding someone who matches your (realistic) relationship vitals.
Why? With a “list” you may be holding yourself back from the kind of man (or woman) who is actually right for you.
Have you ever suffered from “Type Hype?” What lessons did you learn?
For more ways to un-complicate your relationships, valuable tips and resources for finding your ideal mate, and more, check out my book!