Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Type Setting

I hate the question: “What’s your type?”

I honestly don’t know the answer. (Um…. breathing?)

I will admit, I try and be a bit vague in my blog...writing stuff like “my type is one that is into me.”

And then I got complaints: “You shouldn’t be so vague.” (Moi?)

So I have been digging a bit deeper. What attracts me? What do I want in a mate? And of course…what’s my type?

I’m a big believer in chemistry. You meet someone and you just sort of know. Of course, there are things down the line that they reveal and you learn more and more about their habits, both the good and the bad…but you know pretty early on if someone is going to be a match for you. So how do we quantify that as a “type”? And should we have a type?

If I had to narrow it down to the physical I’d say: bigger bear type guy; plus or minus 5 years from my age; good hygiene; and has a full set of teeth (you’d be amazed at how many guys don’t regularly go to the dentist).

For the emotional stuff: A listener (such a challenge I tell you); laughs often; surprisingly helpful (i.e. carries a case of books to my book signing, and then brings me coffee the way I like it); likes a challenge and enjoys figuring things out.

And then there is: Works in a job he likes (and doesn’t complain about it every five seconds); not a drug addict, not a criminal, likes his family…etc, etc.

Recently, I was looking through some profiles on an online dating site and ran across the profile of someone I dated a while back. So I gave his profile a read. I can see why we were matched. Based on his profile, we were perfect for each other. But here’s what he forgot to add: “Mr. X doesn’t really want to be in a relationship. He’s still bitter from his divorce and just wants sex every once in a while, and might occasionally take you out for a meal if he can make the time.”

So if online dating doesn’t work…I’m thinking of trying something new. Enter my sister.

A couple months ago my sis told me that she is “putting together a team” to find her a good man. Her thought was maybe her friends know the secret formula since she can’t seem to find Mr. Right on her own. So off she went and was set up on a number of blind dates. The first guy “her team” introduced her to was a nudist (and he wanted their first date to be at a nudist colony…ah awkward!). But my sis went on the date (fully clothed) and it wasn’t a good fit. They were just too different. (Oh really? Um…Trust me, he needs to wear some shorts to family Sunday dinner. This much I know.)

Next she was set up with a professional pilot who had a yacht. (Sounds good, right?) BUT…there was a divide. The pilot/yacht owner was 12 years older than my sis, and it was a decade of difference. Diverse musical tastes, different stages of their careers, and then he said “I’m too old for you.” (Apparently he dated lots of women who had lied about their age, but when my sister showed up looking her real age …he knew she wasn’t into him. And he was right.)

“I’m not giving up on my team,” my sister proclaimed, “but I am adding new members.” Good attitude sis. So I thought I too would put together my own team.

My Team: “What’s your type?”

Me: “You tell me.”

Oh god, what did I just do? I was vague again!!! But my friend Marcy was first out of the gate and after photo approval on both sides…my first date was set.

Mike* (not his real name) pre-date stats told to me via Marcy: Nice guy. Works in Finance. Divorced. One adult child. Lived in a house in a nice neighborhood. Check, check and check. “Okay, set me up.”

After our first date I learned: Lives with his brother (aka doesn’t pay rent); doesn’t talk with his kid (ever); works in finance for a car dealership…and he invaded my personal space in that touchy feely way all through dinner.

So what I thought was my type, clearly wasn’t. And I’ve learned…it’s hard to just go off photos (and Marcy.)

“I’ve got a great guy for you,” proclaimed another team member. This time I didn’t get a photo but was only told he was a writer. (If you are a regular reader of my blog…you know, I usually don’t date other creative types for fear, two creatives make a wrong.) I reluctantly went on the date.

And yes, it was one of the best dates of my life. Conversation for hours, fascinating guy, tons in common, oh and cute attractive and “my type” – what do you know?…it worked! (Or did it?)

After dating a while it’s always good to be realistic with what your type is and how it is ever changing. Tell your friends what you’re honestly looking for and be willing to be set up. (But, I will add: my type will be fully clothed on a first date.)

Bottom line: It’s okay to have a type…but its also nice to go “off type” because really you never know.