Monday, November 9, 2009

Have you ever dated someone who wasn't your type?

When I first started dating my boyfriend, I thought he was cool, fun, sweet and charming—basically everything you'd want in a guy—but I had a hard time getting past the fact that he wasn't my usual type. At the time, I had never even been to Europe, so dating a Brit was something that I never imagined for myself. Plus, he has a fair complexion and blue eyes and light brown hair—in the past I typically liked guys with my same coloring. And, while he has played on various soccer teams and appreciates a good Knicks or Yankees game, he just isn't very sporty. His gym attire screams Euro and he looks a bit awkward in baseball caps. (Sorry hun, you know it's true).

I suppose I had always pictured someone like Mark Wahlberg for myself—baggy jeans, Timberland boots, scruffy facial hair. (Who didn't though, right?) However, I must say that while Boston accents are so so sexy, British accents are definitely sexier. Obvi.

In the last three and a half years, I've traveled more and seen more places than I have ever dreamed about, and that's thanks to my boyfriend. If it weren't for him, I'd still be an uncultured girl from Kentucky without a passport. Because of him, my mind is more curious and open, and I'm chasing after dreams that I never thought would be in reach. And it's because of him, I'm happier than I've ever been in my life. (Minus the empty bank account, of course). The moral of the story? Throw your checklist away. No guy will have everything you think you want, and if he does, he probably won't be as wonderful as you imagined.

Can anyone else relate here? Have you dated someone who wasn't your type?


  1. While single I had a very firm "everyone gets a first date" rule. That meant if he was short, tall, chubby, skinny, whatever he got a first date because "types" are limiting. Granted, you can't force attraction and that "zing" that makes a relationship work, but you can't find that "zing" if you always jump to the idea that the guy asking you out is not your type. Of course, my friend Staci who has known me since Bid Day at UGA and through law school says I don't have a type other than "male"...
    But yes, checklists are limiting and will keep you from experiencing what the buffet of boys has to offer.


  2. i agree with scs. "types" are very limiting. and i love the "everyone gets a first date" rule! i also am of the school of thought that sometimes you need to date someone outside your ideal type just because. i have definitely dated someone i wasn't super attracted to and knew wouldn't work out just because i was in a time of my life where i needed a partner-someone to really rely on other than my mom or my best friend. obviously, this isn't a super nice thing to do, and i should rely on myself, but i feel the need to point out that i made it clear to him we would never be serious. he didn't listen to me of course-mostly because i am so awesome.

    finally, i never would have dated mike if i had stuck to my "type". he was 19, still in undergrad, and all punky. but look how that turned out! ok, so we aren't dating now, but i never would have known what it was like to be in a really great relationship-one that made me feel like a million bucks all the time; one that made me feel like everything about me that i didn't like was amazing and beautiful and special; one that made me realize i was just a great catch and should never settle for anything less than i deserve. so even if mike and i never work out, i will always know what a great relationship is and that is something i might not have learned if i hadn't given him a chance!

  3. For me, the key was to throw away the "type" but to keep the checklist. That is: After I went out with a guy who was sweet, cute, kind, etc., and he just absolutely wasn't doing it for me, I made a list of what I REALLY needed in a guy. These were nonnegotiable things that I really and truly needed in a boyfriend. The list contained some obvious things like "Gets along with my family," yes, but in doing so I realized that there were a lot of supposedly obvious things I really didn't care about. (Like, I don't care what his job is as long as he's not in a financially precarious position; I didn't care if my friends loved him as long as they got along with him okay.) Some things were specific to me, like "Isn't into porn," because that might not bother some women but it's really upsetting to me (I don't care if a guy watches it on occasion, but if it's a nightly or even weekly thing, I get upset).

    Anyway. I've held true to that checklist ever since, and it's worked for me. The key was to not talk myself out of any of them on account of a guy's other good qualities, because nothing went on the list that was nonessential. And as it happened, my boyfriend is pretty much my "type," but that's secondary to him being my REAL type.

  4. oh my, your man sounds great -hold on to him. love the brits.

  5. I've dated many guys who were and weren't my type...

    I'm single now.

  6. Ellen! Love this post and I am so glad you found Luke! He is such a great guy!

    And clearly I dated someone who I thought for sure was not my type... and married him!

  7. Shannon, I LIKE that rule. More single gals need to follow it. Does you current bf fit everything on your "checklist" or did he stray from your usual "type?"

    MA, you ARE a cougar and I kind of love it. It's amazing that your 19 year-old guy made you feel so wonderful and beautiful and wasn't intimidated by you or your age. He must be a secure guy, which is always important and not as easy to find as you would think. Stay in touch with him and hopefully things will work out when the timing is better!

    And WOACA, that is a REALLY good point about your type and checklist being separate. I have never thought about it that way. I'm going to pass your wisdom on to my single friends ;)

  8. Aurora, have you ever dated a Brit before?? If so, how do you think they differ from American guys? Just curious :)

    E, what did you learn about dating guys that weren't your type??

    And thaaanks, Lalla! I LOVE Diego, too! In what ways is he not your type?? I didn't know he wasn't. Or...hmm..yeah, thinking back on your high school crushes, I guess I can see it now. You're much better off! :)

  9. My husband was so not my type, until I thought about his tall, slim build, intelligence, education, maturity, spirituality, um, he was my type! We just had very different experiences as adults until we met. I married him when I was 35, and we're still together 11 years on!

    Your guy sounds quite spectacular, by the way!

  10. Thanks, Whizbang...your guy sounds GREAT too! (Umm, I think my bf might get a big ego when he sees some of these comments :))

  11. Nice article! I tried dating outside my type twice. Neither time worked. It's pretty much "hit or miss" as most people have a "type" for a reason I suspect.

    Fortunately, I didn't experience anything like this guy did:
    On the flip side, through my experiences it more so just solidified the reason I have a type and why other types generally haven't worked for me.