The Choice Film – The dangers of ‘Having a type’ who you date

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Dating expert and eHarmony contributor, Charly Lester, shares her thoughts Lionsgate’s latest film The Choice. 

This Friday THE CHOICE opens in cinemas across the UK. Based on the popular novel by Nicholas Sparks, the same man who brought us ‘The Notebook’, one of the key themes of the film is the importance of choosing the right person.  It’s funny because it’s not something we’re particularly good at! Too many of us go through our lives with mental checklists and expectations of features which we believe are essential in our ideal match. Then one day, we’re sitting opposite the person we know we want to spend the rest of our lives with, and it’s only then that we realise just how irrelevant the list was!
If I had a pound for every time a married person described their other half as ‘not my normal type’ I’d be a rich woman! Because when it comes to choosing someone, often we’re too concerned with the external packaging, and not with the characteristics that really matter.

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I’m not saying looks aren’t important. In my opinion, for a relationship to be more than just a good friendship, you need to be sexually attracted to the other person, and normally that attraction is linked to physicality. However often we try to confine that physical attraction to a neat set of boxes. If your last few partners have been tall, or had a certain hair colour, you can begin to form a ‘type’ in your head. Often people decide that this ‘type’ is the only one which they are attracted to, so they search online dating sites for matches of a particular build or colouring.

If as I’m saying this, you’re conjuring up an image of your own ‘type’, take a second to work out exactly what that is. Now, think back to all your previous relationships. Did every person on the list fit that exact ‘type’?

Physical attraction may be based on looks, but often our perception of someone’s looks is affected by their personality. And in reality, when it comes to finding a life partner, personality is the most important box to check, because in time looks will fade.

In this day and age, we have more and more options as online dating has allowed us to reach thousands more potential partners than we’ve ever had access to before. Because of that, we’ve all become even more picky. Our mental checklists have become longer and longer. Not only do we have a physical ‘type’ in mind, but we also know what kind of job we’d prefer our partner to have, which part of town they should live in and where they should have gone to university. We have idealistic views of age, height, political stance, upbringing, religion and income. And whilst some of those things may really be deal-breakers, I can guarantee that they will not be the things which make or break a relationship.

A good relationship is built on far more than a list of ideal characteristics. Often the most important aspects of compatibility are things which we can’t even put a finger on, or things which we don’t even realise about ourselves.

So next time you find yourself faced with a romantic option who is not necessarily your normal ‘type’, make sure you give him or her a fair chance. Ok, so they might have the wrong colour hair, or be a few inches shorter than you expected, but you may find out they are compatible with you in far more important ways.

To find out about the choices medical student Gabby Holland makes, and how they affect her life, check out THE CHOICE, by LionsGateUK, starring Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace and Tom Welling. The film will be in cinemas from Friday March 4th.


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