What do you say when you’re asked what your “type” is? Do you say you don’t have one? Or do you sum it up with one generic point that draws you into your date of choice? The fact they’re over 6ft tall, for example, or with a shining head of ginger hair? What’s the cookie-cutter kind of guy that you look for?
The brainy English comedian Dave Gorman came up with a very interesting theory on this. Our fantasy shag, man or woman, is normally a vague indicator of our type. If you fancy Megan Fox, that correlates to a confident, glamorous brunette, while Kiera Knightly lends more to the classic English beauty. On the flip side, Channing Tatum would be a chiselled pretty boy, while Harry Styles et al, apart from a slight paedophilic disposition, would indicate a bit more grunge and a bit less hairbrushing. And if your guy of choice fits somewhere along the line of best fit from your List Of 5 Celebrities You’re Allowed To Sleep With, they’re normally a match.
I knew a guy that specifically fancied curly haired blondes with big noses – and good for him! When he got a new girlfriend, people would say ‘Oh yes, she’s soo his type’, and she could sleep soundly knowing that she ticked a good percentage of his dating boxes. Any other woman would be greeted by the friendship group as “She’s not very ‘him’…”
And yet, we’re constantly being told to ‘push our boundaries’, to ‘step outside our comfort zone’, and to look for the hidden gem we’d normally ignore.
So all your friends say Hey, who cares! Give it a go anyway! You might be surprised!
You get to the first date, you’re sitting there chatting, and they mention they don’t want kids. They mention they’re a party animal. They mention they don’t like going to the cinema and don’t eat Chinese. They prefer techno to rock and roll, or dogs to cats. Whatever it is, they’re just not your type.
In post analysis, we go “Well, they don’t like xyz.. but they’re kind of cute.. so maybe we could give it a go…”
And this is our downfall.
That gut feeling you have on the first date, of whether it’s going to work or not, is more of an indicator than anything else. If they’re not your ‘usual type’, if they don’t tick certain boxes that you normally strive for, if they’re not making you jump up and down with excitement at the thought of all their wonderful pro points – then they’re not the one for you.
My last ex had spent the last ten years dating Latino girls. Wooing them in Spanish and flaunting his Classic British Gent charm, it was an easy target. They had long flowing brunette locks, tanned olive skin and mysterious dark eyes – an understandable aim for future love.
While we dated, odd comments would come about how I should ‘get more of a tan’, or how I should style my hair a certain way, or how I should try a different type of food, whether purposefully or not, to align me with the hispanic girls he was used to dating. In truth, I simply wasn’t ‘His Type.’ When we broke up, he went straight back to South America and found another to fit his ideal. And that was that for my English rose.
It’s not just him that tried to make subtle changes – my regular “type” is normally a bit more rugged and roughed up. Ruffled beard, a few tattoos, likes indie gigs in hipster bars, that kind of thing – so perhaps I tried to rub off a few of these traits on him. When we went to a rock concert together and he spent the entire night sat down with his arms crossed, it felt more like being at a gig with my dad, rather than a cool boyfriend I could party with. And that’s okay too – more signs it just wasn’t meant to be.
And this isn’t just the case with this ex – in fact, most ex’s are ex’s because, fundamentally, we wanted different things.
While, often, there are hidden Pro Points to someone who wouldn’t normally tick your boxes, sticking within your comfortable shaggable boundaries is absolutely fine. Through years of dating, through many Pros and Cons lists, through love and heartbreak, we’ve found a type of person that rocks our world. That gets us fired up. That makes us go, “Oh my god, get me more of them.”
And that’s absolutely fine.