During the cold months after the holiday season, I usually fall into hibernation mode, recovering from the cinnamon-spiced overstimulation. It’s also a quiet time with everyone busy with dry January and implementing the latest exercise regime; no one wants too much togetherness. It’s the perfect time of year to binge-watch the trash Netflix shows because, let’s face it, I’m not going out in below 30-degree weather. Over the past few years, I found a new tv genre I am drawn to, like a moth to a flame. Reality dating shows are not only mystifying to me that anyone would be willing to participate, but they are wildly entertaining. Although the quality of this TV is questionable at best, I always find myself learning essential life lessons. My latest obsession is the Netflix hit “Too Hot To Handle,” where a group of hot singles are forced into a sexless retreat meanwhile they thought they were headed to “Pleasure Island.” They must attend workshops to learn how to build emotional connections over the physical/shallow relationships they are used to. It’s brilliant, and yet again, I have connected the dots on a concept I mastered after my own time spent as a sexy single.
"I hope people consider things like morals and values when creating their “type,” but unfortunately, this exercise is usually skin deep."
Suppose you have been dating out in the wild. In that case, you are likely familiar with having a “type” in which you stereotype people based on physical attributes and assume that’s the type of person best suited for you romantically. I hope people consider things like morals and values when creating their “type,” but unfortunately, this exercise is usually skin deep. Most people don’t realize the idea of your ideal type starts when you are young, based on the people around you and how you view yourself. The features seen as traditionally attractive within our society also influence what you find attractive. Our biology plays a big part. For instance, men often find curvier younger women more attractive because they look fertile. Women tend to find older men attractive because they tend to be more financially stable and can provide to keep a woman safe. These stereotypes have been around for a long time for evolutionary reasons. We may think we created our types, but there are a lot of factors at play. These so-called “love maps” are made up of many things like hormones, psychology, biology, and more, and that’s actually how our “type” is created.
So, you may be thinking on a show where everyone is “Too Hot To Handle,” they must all be everyone’s type. I mean, they are HOT! But these single hotties are no different from the average but slightly more superficial. From the beginning of the show, what is very evident is the importance they place on physical looks within themselves and potential mates. Before getting to know anything about a person, they deem them worthy or not solely based on their looks. This is a huge barrier for most of them, and they push away any vulnerability needed on their part. If someone isn’t deemed “attractive enough,” they write them off as a potential partner. On the flip side, the people they find attractive struggle to build meaningful connections because they focus only on the physical aspects of the relationships. Through workshops and being forced not to touch, you watch this group of emotionally challenged humans blossom. One relationship stuck out to me, so fair warning SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!
A flirty English playboy named Harry is a man on a mission right off the bat, finding one of the girls we will call girl #1, super attractive, immediately identifying her as “his type.” Unfortunately, she has a lot of suitors, and Harry is not at the top of her list. It turns out she has her own issues, and she showed severe avoidant attachment signals to anyone who shared any level of genuine interest with her. As soon as someone shared genuine interest, she lost hers and ran as far as possible. Meanwhile, Harry began a friendship with a girl he deemed “not his type,” which we’ll call girl #2; he even confided in girl #2 about his intentions with girl #1! Meanwhile, girl #2 was also attractive, just not what he considered his type, so he immediately overlooked her due to the physical attraction for girl #1. Their friendship begins to grow throughout the show, and sparks are flying. With their guards down, the pair can be vulnerable with each other, and it was super cute to watch them fall in love and end the series in a relationship. They won the ultimate prize.
"With their guards down, the pair can be vulnerable with each other, and it was super cute to watch them fall in love and end the series in a relationship. They won the ultimate prize."
While reflecting on the show, I thought back to my own dating experience. There were so many men that I disqualified for so many stupid and superficial reasons. Looking back, those reasons were never really the reason. I was too afraid to let anyone in because I knew that would force me to be vulnerable, and I was scared. It’s easy to disqualify someone because they are a little short vs. letting them in and risking getting hurt, so we push them away. THTH demonstrated this in many ways, and you watch as this idea of a “type” keeps the cast from letting genuine prospective partners close. Don’t get me wrong, I thought Leonardo Dicaprio was my type for a long time, but looking for an unrealistic ideal kept me safe and single for a very long time. It wasn’t until I confronted myself and identified what was important to me that I finally opened my heart to letting someone in. I still manifested an attractive man into my life, and our bond built from a friendship to the most profound love I’ve ever experienced. When I let go of my “type,” I got exactly what I wanted.
So, if you haven’t met your person because you stick to a strict “type,” I challenge you to let go of the superficial and get to know someone before deciding what role they will play in your life. So much more goes into attraction other than physical features, and all of our looks will fade anyways. None of us will be too hot to handle in the nursing home.