Do you have biases about supposed characteristics attributed to a potential suitor’s personality, values and behaviors based on limited information? For example, do you think lawyers are hard-nosed and blood thirsty? Accountants are boring? Men over X age are sluggish and out of shape? Short men are…; tall men are…; men born abroad are…; men raised in certain religious traditions are….
No matter how open you like to think yourself to be, it is rare to not have some stereotypes based upon your experiences or your friends’ experiences. Even if you feel you are unaffected by the media’s depiction of certain professions, races, body types, religious backgrounds, etc., it is hard to not begin to lump men with similarities into some pigeonholes.
As open as I like to think I am to experiencing the person sans the stereotype, I’m not proud to admit I have had to confront my own preconceived notions. And I’ve been delighted rather than disappointed when a man didn’t match my negative stereotype.
Take King Charming for instance. When I learned of his former profession I had images of men who were accustomed to being in control, overbearing, gruff, and autocratic. I felt they were generally not in touch with their emotions and focused on getting their way. Having had few personal interactions with those in his profession, my images were from television shows and movies featuring his ilk.
So imagine my unbridled delight to learn he is humble, thoughtful, kind, generous, gentlemanly, highly intelligent, tender, articulate and caring. Nearly the opposite of all the clichés I’d held.
The lesson is to not assume someone is like others you’ve encountered — even if you’ve not actually met someone of his kind, just seen them in the media. If you allow an open mind, you may be very pleasantly surprised to learn the man has qualities you adore rather than the odious ones you assumed.