Relationships

What’s Your Type?

What's Your Type?

Do you have a type? I never thought I did, until I dated someone who wasn’t…

I have friends whose dating histories can be neatly summed up as “struggling artists on the brink of their big break” or “athletic bankers with a closet full of suits.” But I’ve always pictured myself as someone who was open to any interesting prospect, regardless of labels. (Because that sounds cool and open-minded, and who wouldn’t want to be that?)

Then I met my boyfriend.

When friends would ask, “What’s he like?” the first phrase that came to mind was always, “Not my type.”

He checked off zero of the usual boxes. He’s blond. And blue eyed. And southern. And optimistic. And younger. He is also a writer, which is surprisingly refreshing. (Our texts are always punctuated. Our emails are sometimes lengthy.) The biggest difference, though, is that HE IS SO NICE.

In the early days of dating, it felt like he spoke a language I didn’t understand. He showed up when he said he would. He took a genuine interest in my life. He laughed at all my jokes, even the ones that were only 50% funny. I never felt confused about where things were headed or anxious as to what would come next.

Cue realization — I did have a type!

Looking back, it became abundantly, uncomfortably clear. My type had always been… (anticlimactic drumroll, please)… guys who were mean. Regardless of their resumés, the one thing they all had in common was their razor-sharp awareness of the areas in which I could benefit from subtle “improvements.”

There was the French boyfriend who scoffed at my American eating habits. “In France, it is normal to eat a tomato for dinner!” he’d announce, giving my fries the side-eye. Or the boyfriend who would “helpfully” point out the shocking overnight growth of my stray, goat-like chin hair, or how the small fold of skin near the crook of my arm resembled “an elephant’s butt.” Or the boyfriend who told me, after any 30-second silence, that I was “too quiet.”

Enter the boyfriend. He is generous with his time and his attention. He is unconditionally supportive. He shares my sense of humor and he wouldn’t change a thing.

As a result, I can be myself — the complete, sometimes-quiet, sometimes-making-up-song-lyrics-while-acting-like-a-velociraptor-while-brushing-my-teeth self — and that, dear reader, is everything.

Would I have predicted this? No. But many of the things I love have been acquired tastes. (Physical Fitness. New York City. Broccoli Rabe.) Sometimes going against type is a very good thing. Now, of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you have a type? Have you ever dated outside of it?

P.S. An awesome dating tip and would you date older?

  1. Kelly Libby says...

    Great post. I have a type…and that’s why i’m single , now. P.S. You’re an adorable couple. :)

  2. Ivy says...

    These are so fun! My husband doesn’t really fit my “type” either. I seemed to go after guys who were incredibly witty, which while interesting and usually very funny, could and would oftentimes lead to sarcastic comments that were *too* sharp. I am loud, extroverted and hard-to-embarrass, whereas my husband is the complete opposite. Quite, shy and an introvert, but the sweetest and most tender-hearted soul I’ve met.

  3. Height is always a major thing for me. I wanted someone tall so that I could be that petite girl next to him. However, things normally start changing and age does make a person see things differently. All of a sudden he doesn’t need to be Tall TALL anymore… As long as he’s taller than me I’m going to choose to be ok with it. Now I’m married to a wonderful man who ticks the boxes, and is still taller than when I put my heels on.

  4. Isabela says...

    what a cute post!

  5. wkwr says...

    It’s because he’s SOUTHERN! :)

  6. Tida says...

    So happy for you, Caroline! Happy holidays to the cute couple.

  7. amy says...

    He’s a hottie! You look great together. Congrats!
    I’m still looking for mine…. : (

  8. PM says...

    So happy for you, Caroline! He seems like a keeper. :)

  9. YAY! I’m so happy for you, + this post, + that pic!
    (the other reader: lol “foine!”)
    I could have written this same post 17 years ago. Well maybe not so eloquent — but My guy was the first nice boyfriend I had. I married him. :)
    blessings to you both

  10. I guess over the years I have come to realize that I have two types – artsy unattainable boys and down to earth southern “gentlemen.”

    Being artsy myself I always found myself in the way of boys who had big ideas and loved to paint. Boys who had good taste in music, movies, and could talk to me about art and poetry. They could always accompany me to an art gallery or discuss abstract concepts. They were so different than the types of boys I grew up with.

    However, when the artsy boys didn’t work out I found myself suddenly attracted to exactly the kind of boys I grew up with – the kind of boys who were rooted in their southern values and knew how to fish, hunt, and fix things. I found those qualities suddenly very practical and attractive versus utilitarian and mundane. The type of boy who really knew how to use their “m’ams” and “sirs.”

  11. I absolutely loved this because it resonated with me so well! I also dated quite a few mean guys (and the nice guys I dated were my shortest relationships!) and when I met my husband was so refreshing to be with someone who liked my quirky qualities :)

  12. I loved this post, it’s wonderful to see people who make each other happy. I couldn’t believe how redundant my “boyfriend wishlist” became once I met someone that was kind and lovely to me. I was kind of embarrassed I’d wasted so much time and attention on guys who didn’t treat me well.

  13. Susana Silva says...

    Caroline,

    I’m so happy for you! Really! Now I love 2 couples Joanna and Alex and you an your blue-eyed handsome.
    That’s it – being yourself at all times without the anxiety of “does he like this?”.
    I’ve recently fallen in love, but I am truly doubtful about the outcome and also overwhelmed. I had decided that my life would be working, taking care of my son and when he is ready to live his life, get a dog and stick to my sofa. Then this guy came out of nowhere and he was so intense in what he said he felt about me that I truly fell for him. We are living a fairy tale and that’s what scares me, because fairy tales are just tales…
    Anyway, really happy for you and really confident about true love!

  14. SJ says...

    After reading most of the comments, I will sound redundant, but I will say it anyway: It was a great post.
    Many times it is difficult, but I think the idea it’s just that: find someone who takes you as you are and with whom you can enjoy sharing your life.
    My husband is partly my type, partly not. May be I just didn’t what to totally agree with my type, hehe

    SJ simplyconversing.wordpress.com

  15. Maddie says...

    Caroline, it has been the most beautiful/inspiring thing to watch you stand back up from your breakup and fall in love again. I’m so happy for you that you found this guy! Whichever way the road goes, I’m rooting for you.

  16. AND he’s cute? Lucky you :)

  17. jessica says...

    get it girl!!!

    southern men FTW!!!

  18. Rachel says...

    So happy for you! You are a star :)

  19. I love this. I’m introverted, artsy and always imagined myself with someone older, brooding and creative. My husband is a few months younger, athletic, extroverted, not into music or arts at all and a super laid back and happy guy. And I love him for that.

  20. Melissa Just says...

    My Hubsband is not my type at all and I love him so much!!! It’s actually quite similar to your story, except for the physical appearance that are opposite for me. I always fell for the Blond Badboy. When I meat my Husband I was absolutely not looking for a reflationship and sertenly not with a nice dark hair guy. I had to learn that beeing treated nicely and supported with love is the right way. After four years and getting married I still have moments of amusement of how loving, careing and patience he is.

  21. TeraB says...

    Cute!! Happy for you :)

  22. Nicki says...

    My type: engineers. The last slew of guys I dated in New York were all engineers and…surprise!…the two guys I’ve briefly dated since moving to Colorado have also been engineers. Go figure! ;) So stoked for you, Caroline – this was such a great post! You two are adorable!

    • SJ says...

      hehe. Me too! Although it might be partially related to the fact that I’m also an engineer, so I end up ever since college being too much around engineers.

      SJ simplyconversing.wordpress.com

  23. Irene says...

    Wow, this is sooo sweet) I’m really happy for you guys. In modern society it’s gets harder and harder to find a person you can be completely yourself with. I thought that was nearly impossible until I met my boyfriend. He’s a gem, for sure :) Wish you the best, guys) Stay funny, spontaneous, free-spirited and young at heart :)

  24. Lynn says...

    So glad you discovered this now at a young age! I am enjoying my second marriage (10 years) and it took me way too long to figure it out. My husband could not be more different. He is an introvert I am an EXTROVERT but I’ve never known a more patient, kind and generous man who makes me feel loved safe and secure in who I am. He adores my kids and treats them as his own. Sometimes there are ” diamonds in the rough” and it’s worth giving them a chance !

  25. Lindsay says...

    Isn’t it shocking how clear it is that you have a type once you’re with someone who doesn’t fit into it? I have a type: well-educated, well-read, usually older, sarcastic sense of humor, tall, dark haired, brown eyed. But I am happily married to a man who is not my type at all.

  26. Marta says...

    One of the times I hang out with my boyfriend shortly after I met him, I remember to think “I could never date a guy like that!”. One year later we started dating and have been together for more than 3 years (but I still haven’t had the courage to tell him this :D) So yeah, he’s not my type either!

  27. 100% of the time they have to be deep thinkers. I have have have to be able to wax eloquently on with them and debate our opinions (big and small). And that is nearly the only consistency in mine. And he has to stand his own against my sarcasm.
    Although I would say I prefer tall with light eyes. But I’m open-minded like the rest of the world ;)
    Fun post!

  28. Rachel says...

    Yaaayyy! So happy for you. Falling in love is the greatest. I look back on the year that I was falling in love with my husband as one of the happiest times of my life.

  29. AJ says...

    Wonderful 8) This is exciting and so well put and bang on. Being happy being ‘you’ in love is so liberating!

  30. ” I never felt confused about where things were headed or anxious as to what would come next.” That is an excellent harbinger of a loving relationship. He looks like a very sweet guy.

    In regards to my type, i would have to say “virgo.”

    http://www.jestcafe.com

  31. Aga says...

    I was hoping a post like this would come and i loved reading it!!! Your dating/love-related posts leading up to this big boyfriend reveal have been a pleasure to read, Caroline. Very happy for you! He sounds lovely!

  32. Nina says...

    yes, I have a type. They actually all resemble each other, I’ve been told. Typically light hair, blue eyes, and they are an overwhelming workaholic. and usually a dick to me. I haven’t dated in a long time so as to avoid that.

    I really admire someone who loves their work and works hard. But that usually means they don’t make time for anything else in their life. And when they do they are critical and impatient.

    sigh…

  33. Erika says...

    Oh boy. Have I dated some GEMS. A guy who wore a Mr Bubbles t-shirt, another who once ate a lightbulb as a party trick, and the man I was desperately certain I would marry. “Desperate” being the key word! To be good enough, to be everything he needed, to be the woman I thought he wanted. It took five years, 500 breakups and back-togethers, countless tears, and finally a betrayal I could never forgive for it to finally click. I spent so much time trying to be his type, that I was blinded to the fact that he was never mine. He took a long time to get over, but boy am I glad I did. Enter my husband – the kindest, nerdiest, funniest, most wonderful father and man to ever walk the earth. From day one I felt like I could be myself, and that has made all the difference. During the thick of what I like to call, “The Asshole Years” I remember crying to my best friend and telling her that I believed anything worth having was worth working for. She put her hand on my hand, smiled and said, “I promise you, NOTHING should be this much work.” Amen to that, sister.

    • Isabel V says...

      Thank you! Your comment made me laugh and gives me hope as I continue my search for the future mister. I’ve dated my fair share of real winners I thought needed my help (“I can fix it!”–I couldn’t), or where the relationship required an exhausting amount of work. It really is true that if something requires that much maintenance, it probably wasn’t in great shape to begin with. I’m glad you have such a wonderful best friend and that you’ve found the man of your dreams!

  34. Love this post! Congrats Caroline! Viva el amor!

  35. My husband isn’t my “type either”. Mostly because, like you, the type I was generally attracted to were jerks. Glad I got over that :)

  36. Erin says...

    My 3.5 years in NYC have been filled with singledom punctuated by dating boys who are unavailable or who aren’t looking for anything serious. I have spent hours poring over online profiles, agonizing over text messages (both sending them and those received) and putting up with guys who didn’t give me the attention I deserve, every time realizing hindsight that it wasn’t right.

    BUT a month ago, I sent a seemingly very funny and cute guy a message online. And dating him has been a revelation – he is sweet and caring and hilarious and I feel 1000% comfortable being my goofy nerdy self around him. We talk on the phone (what?!), we have AMAZING chemistry, and we talk about things coming up in a month without freaking out. I haven’t been this giddy about a boy in ages and I forgot just how good it feels to be with someone who communicates openly and reciprocates emotions and affection.

    I don’t know that I have a type, but I have a tendency to settle for something that’s not right, just because. And it’s so refreshing to be reminded what all of my past flings were missing and to know that I don’t have to settle!

    • I think a lot of us sometime settle for what is not right. I am happy you found a good one! Dating can be very overwhelming.

  37. Chloe says...

    “sometimes-making-up-song-lyrics-while-acting-like-a-velociraptor-while-brushing-my-teeth”

    I’m not the only one who does this?!

  38. Anne says...

    Oh this really cheered me up. What a lovely story. So happy you have found such a fantastic man. I just celebrated 4 years with my boyfriend. Before him I had two other boyfriends (and in between them a LOT of dates). Funny thing, when it comes to dates (at least when I dated now more than 4 years ago) I would always go for the beautiful, out-of-reach, type. Someone I knew I actually never would end up in a serious relationship with. However, when it comes to boyfriends all three of them have a little, despite their big individual differences, something in common. They are all the thoughtful, generous, quiet, kind of guy. Me on the otherhand is very talkative and out going – I guess I attract my opposite persona.

  39. Gabi says...

    Caroline, I don’t know you at all, but you seem to be such a lovely person. I’m so happy you’ve found someone deserving of you.

  40. Aimee says...

    Go for it! I married the guy who wasn’t my type in many things. I liked tall, dark and handsome, broody guys, guys that didn’t appreciate me. Guys my age or near it, with no baggage. My man is tall and handsome, but looks more like a viking with blondish-red hair, he’s nearly 7 years older and had been previously married. More than that, he absolutely loves and adores me still after three boys/pregnancy/births, ten years married and 4 dating years later. I never question his love. We can talk for hours and hours and hours…still. And we definitely fell in love quickly and like we were hit with lightning. I didn’t really believe in that incredible chemistry (love at first site BS) and that “oh-so-right” feeling until I met him. I love him so much, and couldn’t imagine working through this life with anyone else by my side. We could have eloped immediately and I still think it would be just as wonderful today as it was then, but we had some growing pains to get through. Once we did though, it has been awesome. Go for it! When its good, its good! Appreciate the nice in him, it goes much further in the long-term.

  41. Lesley says...

    I feel like I could’ve written this post! I had a very similar experience; in fact, I almost stopped dating my now-boyfriend after 2 dates because he was “too nice”. About six weeks prior, I broke up with the meanest guy I ever dated. After I broke things off with him, I distinctly remember thinking “If the universe would just send me a nice dude, I promise I’ll recognize and appreciate it. ” Cut to two months later, and I’m considering ignoring the texts and calls of a guy who seemed “too nice.” What a dummy I was! Thank goodness I remembered that I had asked for “nice”, and went out with him again. Now it’s two years later, and I feel so lucky to have found a genuinely good person who loves everything about me. As it turns out, we all deserve a nice guy :)

  42. Irene says...

    So happy for you, Caroline!

    I always tell my husband that his best quality is that he is simply a nice, good person (quite a bit nicer than me in fact…).

    He always kind of scoffs at that “compliment,” but it was so totally refreshing when we first started dating. No drama, no games, no guessing his intentions. When you first encounter a person like that it seems so absolutely radical – like they’re bygone species.

    Mind you, I wonder if guys sometimes think the same about a girl they end up being in a serious, committed relationship with… “The biggest difference, though, is that SHE IS SO NICE/NORMAL/NO DRAMA/etc.” :)

  43. Geny says...

    So, so happy for you Caroline! Love doesn’t have to (shouldn’t) be complicated. Beautiful text… and beautiful couple!! xx

  44. Jen H says...

    Is it just me or does he totally look like Cody Walker?

  45. Marcy says...

    I love your posts, Caroline! They are so sweet, endearing and totally relatable. You’re awesome– keep it up.

  46. I love this post so much – it is so sweet and I think also SO familiar for tons of people.
    I’ve been with the man I’m now married to since just before I graduated high school, so I never really had a chance to decide what my type was…if it counts, the boys I “dated” in high school were always very sarcastic, with wit a bit to sharp and biting at times. That’s what I get for being a high school snob who wouldn’t leave the confines of the Advanced Placement kids.
    But my husband is what I’d like to think now as my type. He is the kindest person I know, immediately loved by anyone he meets. So gentle, and also very strong. It is so lovely to hear similar stories!

  47. Deborah says...

    I love this post!!!I am printing it out and giving it to my 19 year old son to read!!! who happens to be the nicest, sweetest young man, who thinks he has to be tough, to get a girlfriend:)!

  48. Aude says...

    I loved reading your post! It’s refreshing to read simple (in the good sense of the word), truthful words to which you can actually relate!
    And you two look so good and sweet in that picture… A lovely couple! Congratulations on the “nice boyfriend” ;-)

  49. i love this- applies to my life as well. my friends will agree ;) congratulations on a great relationship

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  50. HE IS SO NICE.

    I have come to realize this is one of the most important, too.

    You look so happy and in love.

  51. So beautiful Caroline! I think me and all the other readers are very happy for you :). I think my type is weirdly looking skinny guys who make me laugh. Is that a thing? ;)

    xx b

  52. ceciel says...

    You two are the cutest!! Love hearing about this *new relationship. It’s super fun for us old married types (12 years and counting). xoxo and happy holidays, Caroline!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha i was telling caroline the same thing! i LOVE dating stories now that i’m married and years away from all that dating drama. love it :)

  53. Rachel K. says...

    This post really resonated with me. A long time ago, my brother asked me, “Why do you date jerks?” I didn’t know what he meant and got defensive. Recently, I came to the realization that yes, I do have a type and it is the same kind of type you describe. Do you have a one that got away? Mine always makes me sad because, as you say, HE WAS SO NICE.

  54. Maria says...

    You make a beautiful couple! My husband did not fin into my “type” when I met him, but after almost nineteen years together ,all I can say is that I am blessed to have found such a kind,joyful, clever guy …

  55. I wanna be like you,
    I wanna walk like you
    Talk like you, too
    You’ll see it’s true :)

  56. Jess says...

    This is such a lovely post, Caroline. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us readers! I had an almost identical experience and am now happily engaged to the man who was “not my type.” Looking forward to a lifetime of being 100% my weird-self and loved for it. Cheers!

  57. Ashley says...

    Although I blame pregnancy hormones, I teared up at this line: “I can be myself — the complete, sometimes-quiet, sometimes-making-up-song-lyrics-while-acting-like-a-velociraptor-while-brushing-my-teeth self.” You are so right. That is EVERYTHING.

  58. Tamsin says...

    I have thought about this a lot, and while you definitely want to end up with a nice guy you don’t normally want to start off with nice. You want sexy, hard-to-get, slightly out of your league and certainly not boring/clingy/suffocating. My husband made the first move in our relationship and then backed right off, we were off and on for a year due to his reluctance before we were official.. and although that year was fairly miserable at times it made me 100% sure I wanted him. Once we were official he transmorphed into a truly nice guy and 3 years later we’re very happily married and just had our first baby. That said, if he was this nice when I met him I would probably not have fancied him much, thinking him to be a bit too traditional and straight-laced. Why is love so cruel and complex??

  59. Caroline, I absolutely love you writing about this relationship. I didn’t realize it until this post popped up, but I love it when you share this story! And I can’t help but feel like you are talking to me about me. I started dating a guy outside my type around the same time, struggled to fall in love (well, see that was what was happening, and I still haven’t verbally admitted it!) and he is also blond and blue-eyed LOL. I’m so glad you are so happy!

  60. What a lovely post! Congratulations for finding a nice guy. When I met my actual husband my first impression was exactly the same: He is so NOT my type! But fast forward 5 years we are married and have the most beautiful 2 year old who completes our family with my 11 year old from first marriage (and our dog Lola).
    Best of luck and Merry Christmas!

  61. Gina says...

    Well, I also thought I didn’t till I felt in love with a man who definitely wasn’t… he’s 30 years my senior (I used to think that a guy in his 30’s was too old for me) and he’s the most amazing, loving man. Now I realize I had a type and boy, it was a bad one. Mean, careless, always stoned and immature. Now I feel so good being just myself with a man who loves me to bits and makes me feel confident, desired, respected and beloved. I love him so much. He’s my only type now! :)

    • Gina says...

      How similar….
      My man is almost 20 years my senior and I would not have it any other way.
      We are celebrating 20 years next yr. and it has been the best relationship of my life. We laugh and for that I am very thankful!

  62. Rachael says...

    I think there has been quite a lot written lately about how kindness is the most important attribute in a mate and as I get older it is a quality I really value in others.
    My husband is so smart but also so humble. He is sweet and adorable and loves loves loves our dogs (this is REALLY important). BUT he is very different from the guys I dated when I was younger, he is not athletic for one which I now realize was a theme among my early boyfriends. Intentionally or otherwise I also was always the smartest in my relationships, I think it is so good for me that I ended up with a man who I truly admire and appreciate for his intellect.

  63. beth says...

    My husband is also the nicest, kindest person that I’ve ever met. Congratulations on finding a person who brings you such happiness and contentment. It is a priceless joy in life.

  64. tunie says...

    o my gosh, congratulations on finding a gem! And thank you for posting a photo of the two of you! Is really nice of you to share this!

  65. Johanna says...

    Oooh so happy for you C- I had the same “type” in university and am so glad I married a very different type!! You two are adorable together and oh my goodness he’s very handsome!!!

  66. Carly says...

    Ahhhh!!! This post made me grin ear to ear. So happy for you Caroline. Xx

  67. Gah, I adore your love life updates! So happy for you both!

    My husband is also not the type who I expected to be with, but it works wonderfully. <3