The Importance of Keeping Your Options Open

By: Elizabeth Marie |

ice cream
We each have our favourite flavour of ice cream, right? A handful of friends prefer strawberry, while my personal favourite is mint choc and chip (though a colleague swears by cinnamon – which for the life of me, I’ll never comprehend).

Yet sometimes it can be sickly sticking to the same flavour; and before you know it, you become bored with this repetition – a bit like dating.

While the majority of people in my social circle enjoy switching up their tastes from time to time, I’m guilty of sticking to one type: tall, dark and dorky. If you look back at my dating history, it’s shocking to see just how similar my exes are – from the brooding software engineer right through to the lofty Computer Science graduate, it’s uncanny how predictable I am when it comes to relationships.

So it came as no surprise that each of my relationships ended pretty sourly – would I ever find someone to share sweet nothings with, or would I be doomed to forever be left with a bitter taste in my mouth?

Why a sweet tooth can be a weakness
After lamenting for hours on at end at the lack of guys that fit my type, my friends pointed out that this was exactly my problem. By narrowing my choices, I was limiting my chances of meeting someone special. So what if they had never heard of Carl Sagan? Perhaps I could let the fact that they were blond go?

By doing this simple task, it made me evaluate past relationships; and brought to light many recurring mistakes I chose to turn a blind eye to. I thought about what pleasures each of the relationships had brought me, and reflected at the cause of our splits – and I realised that my dating disasters were down to me pigeon holing my partners.

With my exes pretty much resembling carbon clones of one another, I practically moulded them all into one person; unable to separate one personality from the other and blending them into one generic type. After several years of sticking to this pattern, it eventually got to the breaking point where I failed to differentiate their strengths; essentially making my chosen type my ‘weakness’.

Keep your options open
With more than 7 billion people populating this planet, there’s plenty of eligible bachelors to choose from. So after much dating-related disappointment, I heeded my friends’ advice – and thanks to a huge fangirl crush on my new favourite musical group, can say I’d happily consider the ‘tall, blond and band-y’ option.

I’m definitely looking at dating with a completely new perspective, and it’s hugely refreshing to say that thanks to broadening my horizons; my newfound epiphany has allowed me to see the bigger picture. And who knows? I might fall in love with a fair-headed gentleman who has no intention of ever going to Comicon.

So now when I go for ice cream, if my preferred choice is unavailable, I’ll try rum and raisin – because everyone needs a back-up flavour.

It’s good to have options.