Leaving Your Types Behind

Drew, my husband, is not my type.
Or, I should say, he wasn’t my type, because now we’re married and I am quite smitten with him. I honestly don’t know why I wasn’t head over heels in love with him the very first time we met. Life is strange that way.

And that is why I am dubious every time I hear someone describe their “type.” Tall, blond, blue-eyed and a doctor. Or tall, with a 6-pack, dark hair, blue eyes, rock star. Please … do people like that even exist? The problem with “having a type” is that it makes you blind to the actual person who is right next to you and who really fits you. Not the crazy dating you, but the you who wants to settle down in a solid relationship without games, without being “friends with benefits” or any of that other stuff we claim to constitute a real partnership for life.

I admit, 7 years ago my type was a certain blond, blue-eyed, cosmopolitan, rich, spontaneous, fun guy, with a great wardrobe, who would fly in from a different continent and show up at my door unannounced. Or we’d rendezvous at various major international airports as he crisscrossed the world. Did I mention he had a cute accent?

Sounds dreamy, doesn’t he?
Not so much. But I didn’t know that back then.

When I first met Drew, we hated each other. We worked together at a small newspaper — he as the photographer, I as the social page editor. I was there first, but Drew walked in and acted like he owned the place and was smarter than everyone. That didn’t go over well with me. We clashed over pretty much everything at work, but things really went downhill when during the course of an argument I told him that I would never date him.

We didn’t speak to each other for days, not even at work. Then came a period of “thaw,” when we spent time together outside of work and, during one memorable non-date, we shared the contents of our wallets. (Him: foreign currency, picture of his niece, volunteer firefighter membership card. Me: A quote reading “the map is not the terrain,” Hungarian currency, picture of above mentioned blond.) We talked for long hours after work, went to the movies, even held hands, but it never occurred to us that we had found what we’d been looking for. I was too busy pining for the blond to realize what was happening.

Then one day, something changed. I honestly can’t say what it was, but we looked at each other and we knew that this was IT. We were both ready — we didn’t want games, we didn’t want a pretend relationship. We wanted the real thing. Cosmopolitan, he wasn’t. Great dresser? If flannel is your definition of style, then yes. And his 6-pack was in the fridge, not on his stomach.
But he got me. He understood and enjoyed all my little quirks. He was — is — warm and funny, works hard, appreciates a good laugh and he doesn’t think it’s weird to make stuffed animals talk and dance in order to cheer me up. We both have our own little demons and traumas from life, but we aren’t afraid to talk to each other about them. He doesn’t judge or make fun of me or tell me that I am crazy or emotional, even when I am. These are not the qualities I ever thought were “my types.”

So all I am saying is that if you’re still out there, searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right, maybe you should forget your types. It sucks to be out there in the dating world, hoping that someone special will come along. Sometimes it doesn’t happen; sometimes it happens from one day to the next when you least expect it. Sometimes the constant waiting and hoping can make you crazy.
But take a look around you: Is there someone in your circle of friends or at work, who doesn’t have a chiseled face, isn’t tall, is maybe a little awkward around you? Do you know someone who is the complete opposite of your type? Even better: Can you be open to the possibility that your type, the way you imagine it, doesn’t exist? That thought might give you a lot of freedom to share the contents of your wallet with someone you’d least expect.

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