Saturday, October 27, 2018

Survival of the Fittest: The Trouble With Typecasting

Image source: Facebook

Last week, I saw this picture on Facebook and couldn’t help but laugh. For the past few years, it’s been a running joke in my family that I have a “type.” I used to be in denial about it, but now, I’m honest with myself. I do gravitate towards men of a certain height and build, and most of the men I find attractive have similar features. While I don’t think there’s any harm in looking (and liking what you see), I am careful not to get caught up in the trap of typecasting.

In television and film, typecasting is defined as “to cast (an actor or actress) in a part calling for the same characteristics as those possessed by the performer; to cast (an actor or actress) repeatedly in the same type of role” (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary). In relationships, typecasting happens when we allow the same type of woman or man to “audition” for the role of significant other. 

For example, let’s say I meet a guy. We’ll call him “Joe.” Joe seems to check off all my boxes as far as looks are concerned, and after talking for a bit, it seems we like a lot of the same things...and Joe loves Jesus! So far, so good. We go on a few dates to get to know each other, and soon, Joe’s true colors show. Turns out, he’s not the man I thought he was, and he ends up breaking my heart. So ladies, why is it that when we finally get over the “Joe” in our lives, when we’re finally ready to put ourselves out there again, we somehow end up attracting (and attracted to) someone who looks, talks, and acts like “Joe”? That’s typecasting. 

I’ve seen it happen too many times to count: Friends going from one guy to the next, not realizing that all the men they’ve loved are basically the same person. I want to avoid that at all costs, so I keep reminding myself of what I mentioned in a previous post. “Marriage isn’t based on feelings, it’s based on fit.” I don’t know about you, but I want my marriage to last, to serve as an example of how well love works when you do it God’s way. If it fits, it survives. That’s why they call it survival of the FITTEST! “Joe” can look good all day long (Fellas, “Jessica” can, too. Don’t flex. Y’all have types just like we do.). He/she may fit your type description, but are they fit to help you carry the calling on your life? Looks won’t lighten your load!

If God repeatedly allows the “Joes” or “Jessicas” in your life to break your heart, it’s because his/her heart (and others like it) is not the heart that’s meant to love you. God may send someone into your life who is the complete opposite of your “type” in every way, not only in looks, but in the “type” of job they have, the “type” of money they make, the “type” of degree they have (or none at all). That person could end up being the best fit for you, but you’ll never know if you keep wasting your time on people who don’t align with your purpose. I’m not saying you should settle for someone you’re not attracted to, but challenge yourself to broaden your horizons and look beyond your type. You may be surprised by what you find...or who finds you. 😉

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