We all have a “type”. Without any coherent reason, we find ourselves drawn to a specific look and specific traits in a potential romantic partner. When we do date our type, the vibe is unmatched; leaving us convinced that maybe soul mates do exist. Which is often confusing if we keep being attracted to a toxic type of person who brings us more pain than healthy-balanced love. Even worse, when we find ourselves repulsed by healthy love. “Gentle boys are such a turn-off, I like bad boys”… Ever heard someone say this before? I have, many times. And every time I hear “My father was toxic and unavailable and now I’m unconsciously seeking out men who mirror my childhood relationship with him”
In our pursuit of the vibe of being with our type, both men and women of all ages, to their frustration, find themselves in repeated toxic patterns around love and no clear understanding of how to break such patterns.
Our type is linked to a story and every time we choose them, we repeatedly choose that story. How the story eventually plays out depends on which place inside you, you chose it from. Your shadow self (on autopilot and stuck in trauma) or higher self (aware and actively growing), both come from a place of resonance and will create the vibes that feel like love but one and its vibes keeps you small and in a repeated disadvantage.
Many things contribute to designing your type. Your relationship with your parent, the dynamics within your parents’ marriage, the environment and community under which you were raised and the media. However, one that is prevalent is your early childhood experiences with your parents and the marriage dynamics.
Luyanda is a 34-year-old man. He is a hard-working man who loves gym and is a hopeless romantic. When he joined one of my mother wound healing programs he had just been left by his long term girlfriend and was having a hard time accepting that the relationship was over. My poster had said “the program will help you heal your relationship with women”, and that’s why he joined. It wasn’t long into the program when it became apparent to both me and my colleague that Luyanda struggled with a deep inferiority complex. Nothing about how he tackled the first few tasks said he feels he is enough.
Luyanda’s type is overpowering women. He says he likes them stubborn, overachievers who “keep him on his toes”.
Lu’s mother abandoned them with their father when Lu was only 3 years old. She left his father for not being ambitious enough and moved to a different country to start a new life. As he grew older, Lu watched as his father carried the shame of having not been enough for the woman he loved. When his father finally got in contact with Lu’s estranged mother, Luyanda notes that all she did was talk down on his father. He says his father never stood up for himself.
So here we have a man who at a young age was abandoned by his mother. How did it make him feel? He notes that as he grew to understand why his mother was not in his life, he concluded she left because he wasn’t good enough. Couple that with the unconscious programming that took place as his father battled his own inferiority complex around his relationships with women. Lu without awareness and the right tools to heal his parental wounds, stood no chance at ever cultivating healthy attachments to women as an adult. Because whether we are aware of this or not, we are always seeking out the familiar, even when it is not good for us.
We now have a man who can’t help but unconsciously seek to mirror his childhood relationship with his mother, because mothers are the template from which men learn to relate to women. To add salt to the wound, as he became of age and was forming his identity, the man around whom he modelled it, was a man who didn’t feel he was enough.
When Luyanda said he is attracted to women who are overpowering, more successful than him and overall, highly independent of him. What he meant was that he is attracted to women who make him feel he isn’t good enough.
Lesego is 30. Her mother suffered great trauma at the hands of a supposedly rich man and totally despises all men with material wealth. All Lesego ever heard growing up was how men with money are monsters who are incapable of loving women.
Her father was highly irresponsible with money. She recalls how at age 10 they had moved more times than most families. They lost their house due to her father’s carelessness with money. She recalls how her mother always came to the rescue. “Mama always had a plan and most importantly mama was happy her husband who has less money and is irresponsible with it was highly affectionate and faithful.”
When I met Lesego she was tired of attracting men who feed off of her financially. Her marriage had just ended and she was ready to attract a man who brings more than words of affirmation to the table. She wasn’t aware why she is naturally drawn to these men and why they are drawn to her. Her mother’s beliefs about material wealth in relationships had seeped into her and her parents’ marriage became the template from which she models all her romantic relationships. Of course like many people, she wasn’t aware of this.
Our childhood conditioning determines our type. It is absolutely nothing mystical and it damn sure isn’t a soul mate thing – I suppose it can be a soul mate thing considering for most people the synergy is often due to shared trauma. I, however, doubt you want to tie your soul to such attachments. When you are aware that your type is only a consequence of conditioning you start to question the synergy you feel with certain individuals. If this synergy is coming from a place of trauma or of awareness and love. You now begin to see it as an opportunity to introspect and grow in love for self, so as to align with experiences that are fulfilling and filled with love. You awaken to the power within you to redesign your beliefs, choose better and break toxic cycles as a bonus.
After reading this, are you now aware how your type came to be your type?
What is the story that you have been repeatedly choosing, by choosing to go for your type?
Are you willing to play in a new story?
Photographer: Adrian MacDonalds