Syrtash stopped me at "should"—a word she hates and wants women to erase from their vocabulary. She's even dedicated a chapter to it, "Don't 'should' all over yourself." She said should is a security blanket that keeps us from taking risks and following our hearts. It wasn't until she released the belief that she "should be with someone more polished and sophisticated" that she was able to fall in love with her husband. After scolding the should out of me, she said, "It seems you are drawn to the potential in a man, what you think he could be or feel he should be for you rather than who he is as a person."
I'm not sure why I'm drawn to the potential in men; it probably stems from growing up without my dad. Maybe I'm hoping if I prove myself, a man will see my worth and not abandon me, so I consistently accept less than what I deserve in hopes that I'll get more than what I need. Syrtash said my hopefulness is a good quality but in the future I'll reserve it for sunny days and lottery tickets.
Recently, I started dating a guy who is soooo not "my type"—a multi-linguistic, advanced-degree earning, career-oriented man who knows a wine bar from cork to glass. Though he doesn't have a basketball physique, he's got a bicyclist's thighs and legs that make my head turn even more. He's also taller than me—Syrtash said it's OK to have one or two non-negotiable superficial needs. Talking to him makes me feel more intelligent and attractive.
Though I'm not clamoring to get down the aisle—six days out the week I'm not sure I even want a man—I am sure that I'm going to stop my insanity and make conscious dating choices that keep me out of type purgatory and in the arms of guys who really deserve me.
By Keysha Whitaker for The Frisky.