By Ananya Panchal

I love chicken, but every boy I’ve ever been with was vegetarian. Maybe I have a type?

My fourth grade crush was tall. He had dark messy hair — but a good messy like Justin Bieber circa 2014 — brown eyes and lashes longer than mine. If I had a police lineup of boys who fit that description, I guarantee you every boy I’ve ever had a crush on, including my current boyfriend, would be there.

So yeah — maybe I do have a type.

I used to think I liked “bad boys,” the boy from fourth grade, for example. Man, was he a rebel. He always cut in front of me in the lunch line (something I used to consider outright flirting). He never showed up for garbage pick up and he SAGGED his pants which was very against the dress code. *gasp*

My current boyfriend fits his general appearance but is the furthest from bad boy that a boy can get. So maybe I had a type, but it changed.

Here’s a potential theory.

You find someone, you date them, and things don’t work out. So you move on to your next quest for love looking for the gaps that your previous significant other couldn’t fill.

The type you thought you had becomes fluid. It becomes not only a product of your childhood and your influences, but also who you are in that specific time in your life.

I personally believe that you don’t really have a “type.” You just have experiences that have shaped who you are, who you want to surround yourself with and what you want your relationships to look like.

Some of these experiences puncture holes through your heart, through your self esteem, through the walls you’ve put up. You look for a person who fills the holes that previous relationships — romantic or not — have created.

As humans, we feel the need to make sense of and categorize anything and everything. This tendency leaks into our relationships, as well, hence the need to have and stick to a “type.”

So I hate to break it to you, especially so close to Valentine’s Day, but the new crush you have your eye on — the one who checks off every box on your list — is probably not your “type.” They’re just someone you hope will make up for the last heartbreak.

But at the end of the day, the person who will consistently work through your hardships is you, and your “type” is just a person who can complement and support your efforts. The vegetarianism and brown eyes may have been coincidence, as long as I’m not trying to find a lookalike of a past love.

At the end of the day, the types we think we have are insignificant. Maybe your significant other really is Mr. or Mrs. Right, even if they’re not Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.

This is a judgment free zone, so you do you.

But if another heartbreak ensues, and you go out looking for your next significant other, don’t “go looking.” Try starting with a clean slate, have an open mind and recreate your so called “type.”