Swipe Right On Different

When things aren't working, it's time to try something new.

Hey hopeful romantics,

I’ve been thinking a lot about the journey of dating. And I say “journey” because that’s what dating is; there’s no definite end, and you don’t have to hate it along the way.

The mindset that dating is this horrible process is why a lot of being hate being single. They don’t see it as something that could be fun or a learning experience. And no wonder; if you’re hoping every date is “the one,” you’re bound to be disappointed each time they’re not.

Welcome to the world of jaded dating.

This week I listened to one of my favorite dating podcasts, Dateable, and they spoke with Logan Ury, a behavioral scientist turned dating coach. Ury talked about how she threw a singles party, and the night ended with several people connecting and continuing to date.

But the catcher was, the people who hit it off said they wouldn’t have matched with their partner on a dating app, either because of their height, age, looks, etc.

Yet, in-person, they clicked.

That got me thinking about my relationship and old ideas of what I wanted a partner to look and act like: at least three years older than me and above 5’11” since I’m 5’7”. Since I lived in Los Angeles, I had a slew of model-gorgeous men to choose from so I opted for men with chiseled chins.

Yes, younger Kirstie was a bit shallow.

Given those parameters, my current boyfriend wouldn’t have shown up on my dating apps, mainly because he’s two years younger than me. The fact he doesn’t like taking photos of himself and has only one that clearly shows his face doesn’t help either.

That realization was pretty wild but also unsettling. Had my boyfriend and I not shared mutual friends, I would’ve missed meeting him because of the limitations of dating apps and meeting people in real life.

Now you might be thinking, well, Kirstie, there’s no way to possibly meet everyone out there.

And to that I say, you’re 100% right. You’d also be pretty damn exhausted if you tried.

But if you find yourself in one bad relationship after the next, then maybe the limitations you put on your own dating life aren’t working. And I’m not just talking about height, age, or whether they have a cringey profile photo of themself posing with a tiger; I’m talking about your checklist.

Qualities like: must love dogs. Needs to be outdoorsy. Has to have parents who aren’t divorced. Needs to have a wicked sense of humor. Should have abs I could do my laundry on.

Those things.

Most of us have a long list of qualities we want in a partner, yet trying to stick to that list hasn’t worked out. That list is causing us to miss out on people who could make us happier than anything we’ve ever experienced.

That’s why it’s important to have standards and want a connection, but you might need to date a little differently to find someone great.

Strive for that loving connection but seek it in people who might not look like you thought they would. Get clear on the values that make you feel good, rather than the qualities that look good on paper.

Now that I’m older, what I care most about is someone’s kindness and ability to be patient and gentle with me. Someone’s college degree won’t hold me in the moments when my anxiety gets the best of me. A nice car won’t have conversations with me about my lingering existential dread.

You don’t have to let go of your entire dating list completely. But maybe it’s time to tweak your age range or admit that you don’t even notice the difference between someone who’s 5’11” vs. 6’.

All I’m saying is, give different a chance!

And you do that by getting clear on what values matter to you in the ~long run~

I’ve linked some helpful articles about this topic below.

And to all my non-single subscribers, did any of you end up in a relationship with someone who wasn’t exactly your “type”? Let me know!

Until next week my lovely readers.

All the love,

Kirstie


Content I Loved:

The Science of Dating (Podcast)

Why You Should Date People Who Aren't Your 'Type'

How To Start Dating Outside Your ‘Type’

9 Interesting Things That Happen When You Date Someone Who Isn't Your Type

Signs Your Relationship Isn’t Just High-Tension in Quarantine, but Toxic and Abusive

What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life?

Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend Is Sending Me Mixed Signals

Articles I Wrote:

16 Little Lessons I Learned From Dating A “Nice Guy”

7 Ways to Invest in Yourself Today That Could Transform Your Life Later

Are You Growing Together Or Apart?

7 Qualities That Shouldn’t Matter When Looking For a Life Partner


Book Update:

*If you're new to this newsletter and my work, I'm currently writing on a book, What I Wish I Knew About Love, that's set to come out early 2021 with Thought Catalog Books.*

I sent in my FINISHED MANUSCRIPT this week! Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be edits and a lot of marketing, but the book train is moving forward. I’m incredibly excited.