Why Having a Type is Normal but Limiting

Tall, dark and handsome. Short, curvy and funny. Covered in tattoos, with green eyes, a nose ring, and a PhD. When you ask someone if they have a type, chances are they will have a pre-rehearsed line like this. Some people are more specific; some only have a trait or two. Some will focus more on physical characteristics, and others only mention personality. I was curious about your answer to the question “Do you have a “type”? If yes, what is it?” and I was excited to see such a range of responses.
Here is a selection to whet your appetite.  

“Wit and thoughtfulness.”

“James Franco but only if he winks.”

“Humorous, witty and ambitious.”

“Tall, vegan, critical thinker, socialist if not communist, minimalist.”

“Funny people. People who smell good.”

“My type is a gal with dreams. Aspirations and such! Passion, enthusiasm, zest! Purpose is my type.”

“I think my overarching type is kind hearted nerds. Mostly Latino or black, sometimes bearded tattooed white guys.”

“My dream guy would be tan, vegan, trying to live waste free and has a good dick.”

“The only noticeable type I have is older.”

“My type is usually nerdy bearded bois with deep voices.”

“People who are open, kind hearted, punctual & have good communication skills.”

“Quirky, able to communicate, curious, imaginative.”

“Has their own identity and is comfortable in it rather than just chasing what’s popular.”

“BDE, kind, sarcastic.”

And my personal favourite:

“Type:writer.”

I wrote about chemistry on the blog recently, outlining some signs that you’ve got it good with someone. Reading up on chemistry really got me thinking. If so much of our attraction for someone is based on factors outside of our control, is having a “type”, then, totally invalid? Or is there something to it? Here’s what I discovered.

Having a type is valid, but it should be more about chemistry.

Psychologists agree that having a type is totally normal. Whether said type is healthy for us in relationships is another story entirely. We tend to be attracted to the familiar, and if the familiar happens to be “emotionally unavailable” (I see you, daddy issues), we probably go for people like that without even realising or wanting it. The general recommendation is to take a look at your dating history, the “types” of people you usually go for, then ask yourself if it has worked out well with them thus far. If the answer is yes, and your relationships are happy and healthy, it’s not really a problem. But if you keep running into the same issues with every new person, it may be time to break free and expand your horizons.

So, while there is nothing wrong with having a type, try not to limit yourself to dating people who fall under such a specific set of criteria. Chances are there is someone much better for you out there who only ticks one or two of the ten boxes you have deemed essential, but your connection with them is stronger than someone who looks perfect on paper. These past two years of being single have seen me practice what I preach. By giving people a chance who I would have normally looked right over (wait for it) due to something arbitrary like height (ha), I have made some wonderful, lifelong connections. Things I look for in a potential partner have shifted. My priorities are different. I care far less about physical appearance, and far more about shared values and laughter (and whether Lentil approves, of course).

At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you want to change your pattern. But I can’t recommend highly enough giving someone different a chance. Give it a go and see what happens — you might be pleasantly surprised.

What is your type, if you have one? Leave a comment below!


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As usual, please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments or email me at contact.isobellawolfe@gmail.com


4 thoughts on “Why Having a Type is Normal but Limiting

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