I’m decidedly more into the artsy, Robert Downey Jr. type guys as opposed to the frat-boy, Brad Pitt-lookalikes. Books over booze and brains over brawn; without even realizing it, I seem to have developed a “type” of datable man for myself. But dark and chiseled good looks aside, there’s one more characteristic that seems to afflict every man I date – they’re terrible communicators. As a writer, this simply doesn’t work for me. I get frustrated, they can’t understand why I need more; every time I solemnly vow to myself that I won’t settle for this type ever again, I go and fall in love with the next Matt Bomer “doppelganger” that crosses my path. And so the vicious cycle continues.
Some things in our lives are non-negotiables. I recommend being honest with yourself about your needs, and insisting on setting a few unbreakable rules. Is family of paramount importance to you? Then don’t waver. Are you independent and set on having your own career? Don’t let anyone change your mind. Is smoking a total deal-breaker? Stick to your guns.
The thing with limits, however, is that when you start holding people against them, you might never find that perfect combination of qualifications you’ve dreamt up for your “perfect man.” And so, ladies, I urge you to look past your “type” of man to the great boy beyond; start to look for the bigger picture. Sometimes the best experiences you’ll have in love are the unexpected ones. Think of it as a shopping trip for the perfect wedding dress; even if you’ve always seen yourself as the fluffy ball gown type, you just might find yourself mesmerized by a mermaid-style. Don’t tell yourself what you want, but remain open. You might end up surprising yourself.
Brett was an Ohio State grad. At first glance, he was a dead ringer for Daniel Craig: far from my normal type. But after giving me directions – while I was lost, dripping with sweat, and looking desperate, no less! – he asked me out to dinner, and I reluctantly accepted. “He’s cute enough, yeah, but he’s so not my normal kind of guy!” I told my friends. In my financial state, however, I was hard-pressed to turn down a free steak dinner, so I met up with him. Imagine my surprise when I found out hours later that he was a bona fide finance mogul. Sharp-witted and clever, he had played soccer and even gotten a full scholarship for a mix of academics and athletics – not too shabby. Despite my initial snobbery, I was pleasantly surprised by my dinner date. That was the last time I (please excuse the cliché) judged a book by its cover, and I’ll forever be grateful to the dating gods for the opportunity to date someone outside my type.
My best friend at school, on the other hand, gravitated towards the so-called “juicehead” guys. Tanned and tall with rippling muscles, she wanted a man who could throw her over his shoulder and take her home to his cave. Imagine her surprise when she found herself strangely attracted to the wiry blonde in her English Lit class one unexpected day. Like me, she had previously encountered some serious communication issues with old boyfriends and decided to try something new; by giving this new guy a shot, she felt understood and respected like she never had before. So much for her old Jersey Shore types!
While it’s easy to fall into the rut of a dating cookie cutter, you can find another type without compromising what attracts you most. Stay firm on what’s important to you, but lose the idea of a formula for finding the perfect guy. Close your eyes and open your heart; you’ll start to find yourself connecting on a more personal and rewarding level. Eschew the idea of having a “type,” and chances are, you’ll find yourself a lot luckier in love.
Image by Rachael Cortellessa