Do We Really Have A Type?


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

Over the phone one night, I told Syrtash my dating woes. I'd tried dating out of my type, too. There was an Italian boy with a blond streak down the middle of his brunette head, the bald Jewish ex-record producer with a bad case of crow's feet, and an alcoholic Dominican boat mechanic—but those relationships didn't end with the happily-ever-after stories that Syrtash and the women in her book recount. Now, I don't know if I'm looking for my type or the total opposite. Syrtash listened attentively and said that in dating, "all relationships that don't end in marriage are going to end." Whether they're your type or not. She said it's important to "walk away from it with new insights on how you want to be and who you want to be with."

"It's not about settling for a guy who looks goofy," says Syrtash. "You should be with someone who brings you to your highest potential. It's about who you are with him. I'm asking all women to uncover their dating patterns because change happens through consciousness. We don't have better luck until we change our patterns."


Syrtash asked me to tell her about some of my more "successful" relationships. As I described them, I realized many of them were out of type. My first boyfriend in college was 5'8" (only an inch taller than me), studious, quiet, and grounded. Let's call him The Doctor. I wasn't initially attracted to him, so we started as friends. He took me on sweet dates, sent roses on my birthday, and soon I was in love. We dated for four years, though in the beginning I broke up with him to chase my dream of bagging a Will Smith lookalike. The Doctor took me back, but the short breakup had done serious damage to our relationship and his self-image. One day, five years later, in a private conversation with his mom, she asked why we broke up initially. Proud of my growth, I told her that I had to get over my superficial obsessions before I could appreciate everything The Doctor offered: genuine love, super emotional support and stability. A month later, from his med school dorm room, The Doctor said he didn't want to be with me because I "told his mother he was ugly." Crap.

My next NT was Derrick. Again, I wasn't initially attracted to him—I thought he had a skinny head. But he pursued me for months, until the day I saw a loving interaction between him and my nephew and I fell for him hard. After I gave in, he said he didn't want a relationship, but we dated for seven years with intermittent periods of passion and exclusivity, then hate and elusiveness. I never walked away because I had an unexplained admiration for him and craved his company—mentally and especially physically. I still thought his head was skinny but I loved rubbing it. But in the end, he still didn't want a relationship. The Frisky: Mind Of Man: I am Not A "Sensitive Guy"

For the past year I dated a man, Mr. Maybe, who is my type on the outside but my nontype on the inside. Though he was lovable, caring and truly liked me, a large chunk of his personality was the opposite of the alpha-dog attitude that moves my mojo. I stayed because I believed I should wake up and appreciate him on the outside and inside.

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