Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Type

My friend Felice has been on a few dates with a guy who seems obviously interested in her based on their interactions thus far.

He calls. He takes her out. He follows up and asks to take her out again.

Still, my friend Felice questions his interest based on a small admission he made during one of their dates.

His last serious girlfriend was an all-american blonde. (Felice is an ethnic brunette.)

During a recent conversation, Felice asked me the question I’m not sure how to answer any more.

How much do "types" matter in relationships?

I used to think "types" mattered a lot. If a guy at a bar had a thing for Asian or "exotic" (Ugh, I hate that term) girls, I could count on him to approach me. Likewise, my friends who were attracted to tall, dark and handsome types generally ended up with them on the dance floor.

But over the years, I’ve watched friends fall for people who don’t fit their "types" at all. Guy friends ending up with women I would’ve never pictured them with. Girlfriends ending up with guys shorter or bigger or more ethnic or whatever than they’d ever described in our young girltalks.

So you’d think based on all that, the simple, evolved answer, would be that types don’t matter. After a certain level of maturity, people look beyond hair, eye, skin, height, weight, etc. to fall in love with what lies beneath.


Initially, I told Felice not to worry, that types don’t matter at our age.

Unfortunately, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it’s really that simple.

I mean, don’t we have "types" because it’s a natural, almost animalistic thing – to be drawn to a certain look of a human being that causes a chemical reaction in ourselves?

So as much as you may feel – or want to feel – satisfied by the nice, funny, gold-hearted person who happens to be the opposite of your type, isn’t it just simple fact that you’d be a lot more excited if those qualities were packaged in the "type" that makes you feel all tingly inside?

Thankfully, I think Felice’s new man has also dated non-Blondes, so my theory doesn’t have to
apply to her potentially budding relationship.

The asterisk in all this seems to be that some people truly don’t have types.

Which, at the end of the day, leaves hope for us all.


Ken in Michigan said...

Wish you could see how many people read your blog (and don't necessarily reply). It might give you incentive to write even more. I'm just happy you are still blogging. How about a general update on your job, your boyfriend and living in Chicago? Beside, your blog is called 'Chicago Plus One! Having grown up in Milwaukee, it was always an adventure (when we were young) to go visit the 'BIG CITY'. Any great, non-touristy places to eat or visit (favorite bar, favorite pizza, etc.) so my next trip to Chicago is a memorable one?!! Hope you are happy in Chicago!! Milwaukee (and Michigan) misses you!

Thomas said...

It's an interesting question. There's probably some cultural pressure to accept the same type as we are, and some genetic pressure to accept a different type as we are.

I think what it comes down to, after a while, is how the person treats you, and how many of their individual characteristics you find endearing.

So, while a guy might initially go for an All-American Blonde, if he finds a smart, funny, cute Asian girl who makes him smile all over, he's going to go for it, and be a fool not to.

John said...

Depends on the person. I know a lot of men(and women) who are only interested in a certain "type" of person. Often times it is physical appearance but job type, income, etc...can also be considered types and I unfortunately know plenty of people too consumed with that info as well. There are a lot of attractive women in all races, ethnicties, creeds, shapes and sizes. The physical attraction and appearance wears off after a while. And as people age and mature a bit more, the inside of a person moves to the forefront of the wishlist often times as the priorities sometimes change. Those who figure it out sooner don't have or need this later transformation. And there is nothing wrong with physical attraction and intellectual capacity, fun components, etc...I wouldn't ever "settle" for just one or a few of those things.