We all have our physical types. However, for the Christian woman actively dating (or at least scoping the market), having a type cripples her success with men.
To explain to a readership who knows very little about me, I like chocolate men. I like my men the colour of a Twix bar minus the caramel. I like strong arms and broad shoulders. I like 6 foot guys. I like a good face with a healthy beard. This is my type and I’ve never been ashamed of my preference. I’ve never allowed others to make me feel bad about having a type either. I was attracted to what I was attracted to and I wasn’t particularly receptive of men who fell short of that criteria.
However, the day I fully appreciated the shortage of Christian men, let alone chiselled- dark skinned- bearded-with broad shoulders-Christian men, was the day I considered adjusting my preference. As I imagined a long and prosperous married life with a man who resembled Morris Chestnut, it suddenly dawned on me that the pool of Christian men is far too small for such rigidity. I wanted God to give me a tall, dark skinned man with good facial hair and the height of a typical basketball player because this was the desire of my heart. I would justify my desire by reminding others that there was nothing that God cannot do. If a child can be conceived by Immaculate Conception then I could marry a Morris Chestnut archetype after God’s heart. I had total disregard for the fact that at least in the western world, women who identify as Christian largely outnumber men who identify as Christian. Therefore, demand beats supply in this context.
I’ve since moved on from this rigid type (although not completely) but I fear a lot of us haven’t. A lot of us are still subscribing to these “types” without appreciating the detriment to our love lives or even how fickle we’re being. I’m not suggesting that we disregard attraction either or feign attraction when it’s clearly not there. Attraction is important. Attraction (generally) precedes love/like, so downplaying its significance is pointless. I’m simply saying reducing attraction to a checklist of largely superficial traits knowing full well that the pool of Christian men is nothing but a puddle is insane.
We use phrases like the “heart wants what the heart wants” to justify preferring one complexion over another or one type of “look” over another but what does the heart even know and why are we still giving it so much discretion? A more pressing question is how did the heart even know what to want in the first place? Our types aren’t genuine. They’re often attached to some sort of emotion or memory. For me it was the constant barrage of dark skinned men in films. Growing up, I was a huge fan of black Hollywood ( I still am) and most of the male protagonists were huge, muscular, dark skinned men with deep voices and beautiful smiles. They were always the smoothest talkers, the best dressed and the most articulate. I most likely developed a fondness from there and built my physical type around that. For others it might have been a bad experience with a shorter guy for example and suddenly everything about taller men became your “type”. This is how types develop; there’s nothing natural about them. The heart wants what you’ve exposed it to. The Christian dating game is too formulaic to approach it with your heart and nobody ever found the value of x using their heart. The heart may want what it wants but there’s no guarantee that you will find it.
Realism shouldn’t be confused with cynicism here because we’ve seen the numbers of men in most of our churches. I’m by no means suggesting a lowering of standards. I’m simply saying that women are not spoilt for choice in the same way men are. The dating experience for Christian men is a completely different because the pool is more like an ocean; for every one guy, there are seven available women. The Christian female, on the other hand does not have the same luxury. To now completely close yourself off to the guy who doesn’t dress as well as you want him to purely because he doesn’t dress as well as you want him to , or the guy who isn’t as tall as your dream man is not strategic. The reality is, the few men that are available might not look exactly like your dream man but cute is cute. I’m suggesting a broadening of horizons.
Be less picky. Zero in on the things that are most important to you like having a man that is family oriented, maybe even business oriented. Someone who won’t mind sitting through hours of Grey’s anatomy with you or listen to you talk on and on about Grey’s anatomy. Someone who is sensitive at the moments you need them to be, someone who knows when to protect you and place your feelings above his own.
Nobody went to a buffet and ate just the salad. There’s a rainbow of good looking Christians brothers and besides you only need one walk down the aisle with. In the mean time have a feel for the market.
Having said this, I can’t part with the beard thing.
Love Cris x
P.s One of my girlfriends has no type. Her only requirement is he has to be cute to her. I think that’s the principal thing.