Do We Really Have A Type?

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And are types just barriers that set us up for failure?

People say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Then allow me, Keysha Whitaker, to declare myself insane... at least in my dating life. I'm a 31-year-old woman of color who keeps dating the same type of man, over and over.

Unfortunately, they often end up being jailbirds, pathological liars and rehab projects to whom I've loaned money, written resumes, forgiven lies, posted bail and bought clothes. But who can fault me? My type of guy—a smooth-talking, 6'3", caramel-skinned, basketball-physiqued brotha with a beat in his step (think rapper T.I. or Michael Ealy)—looks good, and looks good on me. (And, of course, not all caramel-skinned brothas are these things, just the ones I snag.) The Frisky: The Straight Guy Index: Ten Types Of Hetero Lovers

 

It's easy for me to remember the guys in my life who were my type.

There was Roger with his big brown eyes. After I helped him through emotional and financial trauma, he got a new fiancée two months after we went "on pause." There was the sexy, thuggish-ruggish BK who'd just gotten out of jail and then skipped out on the $1,300 cell phone bill he ran up. I bought a suit for Army veteran Anton so he could go on job interviews. Lee, a minor-offense jailbird, used the wrong words. "I'm an upholstery dude," he said one day. He meant "upstanding." The Poet met my mental, physical and emotional desires save one quirk: polyamory. The Frisky: Dating Don'ts: Nine Types Of Guys To Get Over Immediately

Now I feel I'm in type purgatory: the place where good girls who've made one too many bad dating choices go to suffer. So I reached out to Andrea Syrtash, the author of the new book He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing). Syrtash's main point is that when you have a type and it repeatedly doesn't work out—why not expand your horizons? Syrtash outlines three categories of "nontypes" or "NTs." There's the Departure Nontype (DNTs)—the guy who is the opposite of the ones you usually date. There's the Superficial Nontype (SNTs)—the guy who, well, because of an affinity for grimy T-shirts or eating two boxes of Ho-Hos daily, isn't likely to be any woman's type. And then there's the Circumstantial Nontype (CNTs)—the guy who could be great but is tossed because he lives in another city or is recently divorced. Syrtash dated her type—a high-paid, handsome corporate guy—for five years before breaking it off to be with, and eventually marry, her nontype: an average-wage teacher who plays music. Syrtash suggests that a woman looks for how she feels with a man rather than what he looks like on paper.

 
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