Having A Type Might Be The Reason You're Single This Valentine's Day

Brace yourselves, people. It is the time of the year again, where all your online social networking platforms -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and etc. -- get flooded by pictures of bouquets, teddy bears, love notes, beautifully packaged chocolates and couple selfies. There is no escape. I repeat, there is no escape.

You can run, but you can’t hide, from the onslaught of lovey-dovey status updates, check-ins at nice dinner places, filtered pictures of expensive food, fancy desserts, and couples with the side of their heads awkwardly stuck to each other, and of course, self-indulgent statements including generic phases like “best boyfriend ever!” and “I’m so grateful for…”

Surprisingly, or not, it is also during this time of the year (before, during and after the week of Valentine’s Day) when I get an increased number of messages from some of my girlfriends who happen to be single. *cue Queen Bey’s "Single Ladies"*

Another time of the year when single people talk to me about being single, and being miserable about being single:  Christmas. And as their G.B.F (gay best friend), I am obliged to lend my girlfriends a listening ear, and offer some comforting words and encouraging advice like a true-blue love guru.

After talking to different friends and listening to each of their personal stories over the years, I slowly come to realize that most of them actually share this common fear: They worry that they will never find the guy of their dreams. And some of my girlfriends even entertain the possibility of remaining single for the rest of their lives because they see their chances of finding their “Prince Charming,” the “Perfect One,” as virtually non-existent.

In which case, I usually offer these three pointers to them:

First of all, you must never lose hope that there is someone out there waiting for you. He exists, and you need to believe it.

Secondly, you need to put yourself out there, and by that, I mean, expand your social circle, go meet more people, and don’t be afraid.

Thirdly, stop keeping to your “type.” Be more open to the new people you meet. Stop dismissing people before you could even get to know them better.

All in all, I suppose the third point is probably the most important advice. First impressions are nonetheless important, but having quick judgments on people based on their appearance, looks, backgrounds, the car they drive and etc. will cause you to miss out on some great personalities you could have gotten to know. A shut mind closes doors and overlooks windows of opportunities.

Here’s one question for you: Had you ever gone to a house party and the first thing your eyes did was to scan around for the guys who might be your type? Perhaps the ones who fall into the “sporty and athletic” category? Or those who are the “scruffy-hipster” sort? Well, no judgment here. We are all guilty of doing so.

You may argue though, that “having a type” helps you to filter people, so you can then focus your energy on fewer individuals. Well, that’s true, and I can’t agree more. People can feel it, when you are giving them half-f*cked attention. When you are sincere in trying to keep the conversation going, the other person, if interested, will also try to put in the same amount of energy, if not more, to keep up with you. Restricting your number of “targets” may actually be beneficial because you can offer more time and attention per person.

However, if the initial process of selecting who you would speak to is already so “type-specific,” aren’t you but sabotaging yourself by restricting your options in the first place?

So instead of only going after those who are apparently “your type,” you should mingle around more, with different types of people. Talk to someone you would otherwise not approach for a conversation. People can surprise you, you know, if you give them the chance to. If you had always stationed yourself at the beer-pong table (where all the rowdy “jocks” often were), perhaps for the next party, you could try to join the small group chilling at the balcony, or those people who are playing Wii at one corner of the house. To come out of your “type” mentality, you actually need to consciously remind yourself to do so.

I think some people hold on to their “types” so stubbornly because they have this idealistic picture painted in their mind, and they think that by achieving what is in the picture -- perhaps having a boyfriend who is “tall, dark and handsome,” speaks three languages and is in the school team for whatever sports he plays, or a boyfriend who is of the same race, at least five years older, and has a job in Goldman Sachs or J.P. Morgan -- they would then be truly happy.

Too many of us are in fact suffering from the “Post-Disney Syndrome,” where we consciously or unconsciously believe in the ideas of “Prince Charming” and living “happily ever after.” We were taught since young by the stories of Cinderella and Belle that true happiness in life could only be achieved when you’ve found “The One,” or when he has found you.

In any case, I believe that there is nothing wrong with being single. Because of social pressure, many people assume that finding a boyfriend is their ticket to happiness in life, and they dismiss every other single person as lonely and miserable. However, there are many who are single and are fine with it; they are the ones who realized that they don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy with their lives.

Many of us also have the misconception that being single isn’t a personal choice, when in fact, it can be. As much as a person can choose to be in a relationship, he or she can also choose to not be in one. Single-hood does has its own perks too. However, for those who do not see the advantages of being single, they are usually the ones who are particularly miserable about being single.

So, for those single ladies who don’t really have a “type,” I say, good for you. The world is your oyster. All you have to do now is put yourself out there and keep your eyes open. Sometimes it's fine to be a little more proactive and take some initiative, but never appear too desperate. It is always necessary to play a little "hard to get," trust me.

For the single ladies who do have a “type,” perhaps it's time that you let go of some of your ideals and explore the other options available; they might turn out to be better than what you expected. And one last piece of advice: Be careful what you wish for, ‘cos you just might get it. But the worst part comes, when you realize that what you want isn't actually what you really need.

Photo via We Heart It