Thursday, May 16, 2013

Do you think of yourself in terms of a "type"?

Do you think of yourself in terms of a "type"? As in, "He's totally my type," or "Nah, she's not my type." Do you know whose type you are?

I was just emailing with my friend Liz and realized that I do think of myself as a type (i.e., not for everyone), but I don't think I'm necessarily very good at predicting whose type I am. I sense that some savvy people walk into a party or "da club" and know immediately who would be interested in them. In general, until I see ample evidence to the contrary, I just assume I'm not your type.

What's the norm here? Do most people have this figured out?

This isn't dating research, obviously; I'm a married woman now! (I guess?!) Just idle curiosity.

(See also "Some notes on beauty" parts one, two, and three.)

28 comments:

  1. I feel like I have a really good sense of whose type I am. Or I used to, when I was single and skinny. When I was single, let's just say, I had a good time, and I was very good at finding people to have a good time with. I don't know if that knowledge is anything I could really articulate though.

    I think it may also have something to do with the fact that I used to be decently, generically attractive. Not beautiful, exactly, but attractive enough that I often had a reasonable expectation (judging the guys by their looks) of who might be an easy target. I also just had a ton of nerve and confidence in my looks/sexuality so I felt comfortable approaching people to flirt - I think that actually goes a long way as well. These days none of that would be the case for me. Post-graduate school and baby, I'm about 50 pounds overweight. So I'm overall just less attractive to the male species these days, for better or worse.

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    1. That level of confidence sounds super fun.

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    2. Well, it led to some mega-unhealthy decision-making, especially in college. And my confidence was pretty localized into my looks/sexuality. In other areas I totally lacked confidence.

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    3. Well, that sucks, but at least you had confidence somewhere I guess. I hope you've got more confidence in all areas now.

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    4. Well, I'm far less confident in my looks these days. I guess gaining 50 pounds will do that to you. But the attractiveness stakes are lower for me these days since I'm married. Still, I'd like to feel good about my body again.

      I think for me getting out of school (both undergrad and grad, both of which seemed to be an exercise in destroying my confidence, in different ways) was a slow path toward being more confidence. I definitely feel more confidence in my overall worth as a human being now than I did back then.

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  2. I think it's a lot easier to identify who's "not my type" than who is. That's why you usually hear the "not" side of that expression more than the opposite.

    Mostly I don't think about what type I prefer, since it would needlessly limit the already small possibilities of my ever getting together with anyone. So I try to be open to different types. But generally, you could say I find it easiest to get along with confident extroverts.

    As for what type I am, I'm more of an introvert. But as for being able to tell who, in any specific case, might be into my introversion, I never have a clue.

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    1. I took it as a given that it's easier to figure out who you're interested in than who's interested in you.

      I also think the physical part of typing is more complicated than the personality part. Though there have been times that I thought someone really disliked me on the personality level, and that turned out not to be the case, so maybe it's always a goddamned mystery.

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    2. Ah yes, the physical side. Something I've often thought about is how I can usually tell (or maybe just imagine I can tell) just by the shape of a person's face whether I would have a chance with her. When I see somebody with what they call "high cheek bones", for example, I generally think, nope, she wouldn't be into me, so I won't bother trying.

      And I've noticed that my OkCupid match numbers correlate pretty well with certain types of faces. I mean, I have high match numbers with what you might call "smart, educated, well-read, cultured" faces, and low match numbers with what you might call "cheerleaderish, mainstream" faces (or, if you're a New York snob, "bridge and tunnel"), the latter being the type you see in line at those velvet-roped clubs on Saturday nights, a whole class of people totally alien to me, and to the types of women I find attractive.

      (Whenever I make generalities like this I always feel like I'm forcing it a bit, like, do I really believe what I'm saying here? No intended offense to cheerleaders, or the good people of Long Island and New Jersey!)

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    3. Ha! High cheek bones? Interesting. I feel very similarly about jocky frat boy types. Nope, not a chance.

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    4. Yeah, for me, someone like this?

      No chance!

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    5. Models only date modelizers!

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    6. I assume all high-cheek-boned people are models.

      (But wait, I AM a model;)

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  3. I think I have a fairly good sense of whose type I _might_ be; it is one of the consolations of being an extremely niche taste.

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    1. If there is a type of person that goes for me, it's neurotic men.

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  4. I'm a dirty urban hippie type.

    What's more interesting is how other "typical" dirty urban hippies don't pay me any mind now that I don't have dreadlocks. I guess because I can also now pass for "soccer mom," I don't warrant a second glance. ;)

    I have fun with it. I have a hot husband, so it's not something I worry too much about.

    (Just kidding! Sorta!)

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    1. I always wanted to be a dirty urban hippie type for a day or so.

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  5. I'm a magnet for the Jodi Arias type. I was born to be murdered via multiple stab wounds.

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  6. Amateur bodybuilders love me. Do I have any idea why? No, I do not. But it has happened since I was 16 and only showed a sign of slowing down when I had short hair. Grew it out again, and they're back. Also introverted narcissists, but at least that one's easy to figure out. (I'm a really good listener. Or maybe I'm just well-practiced and smiling and nodding! Your pick.)

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    1. Ooh, I love the specificity!

      You've reminded me, I seemed to be popular with Asian men in college. I think it's because I was really skinny at the time.

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  7. Also, it took me a good six months to finally get that my boyfriend wasn't mistaken in liking me. I don't normally feel this way, but he's the first one I've dated who didn't fall into a distinct "type," and indeed his "type" is one I've never gone for, nor that has gone for me. (Tattooed pierced earthy skater stoner dude.) I liked him a whole helluva lot but was certain there'd been a clerical error somewhere and that once he realized I was a total square he'd be outta there. Turns out squares are his type!

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    1. Oh yeah I always feel like too much of a square for guys who are stylistically distinct. This must be some leftover vestige from junior high because I am OBVIOUSLY VERY HIP

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  8. To whatever extent I can gauge this (and I think I'm not very good at gauging it), most of the women who seem to have been drawn to me over the years have had a more or less warped sense of humor. That might make me a "type" for some women though I've never been quite sure what the type is.

    My type, as nearly as I can tell, has mostly been women who have quick active minds and strong creativity -- poets, artists, etc. Though also occasionally women who are in some way or other kind of psychotic or damaged -- if I pick up on something like that and if I'm not careful, it becomes like quicksand for me.

    That's just talking about women. The men I find a get along with the easiest are fairly non-competitive. (I usually think of myself as fairly non-competitive.)

    I'm usually a high extravert when I'm around other people, and I tend to relate the easiest with people who are high extravert. (That's the "day" side of me. When I write poems they often come more from the introvert or "night" side of me, or at least they're not any good unless that part of me gets involved at some point.)

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    1. Romantically, I definitely get along best with extroverted people with strong personalities. Otherwise I feel like an obnoxious loudmouth next to them!

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  9. I always think in types...I want to know what "type" of person people think they are (how they identify). Not so much physically, but by personality type/style of being-in-the-world. I have a whole category of friends that I think of as "photographer Virgos with dry senses of humor." (Not that I would tell them this!)

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    1. Ha, let's hope they don't read this blog!

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  10. You don't even want to know why I went down an US Weekly rabbit hole of celebrities in fat suits, but I did, and found a slide of Cameron Diaz in "Being John Malkovich" that made me think of this (I don't think she was actually wearing a fat suit in that movie—she was made frumpy but looked just a tad heavier, but whatever). She's saying that she didn't find the character she played in that movie unattractive—and that others didn't either, as she was still approached by people when in character/costume but by "different kinds" of people. I don't know if she went in public as Lottie, but I'm guessing she did as some sort of actorly exercise. Point is: Yeah, Cameron Diaz has the classic qualities of beauty (symmetrical features, large eyes and lips, youthful look, etc.) but her look was entirely different—so she was still attractive but drew a different type. Anyway, made me think of this topic!


    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-style/pictures/celeb-make-under-20092910/4837

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    1. Thanks, really interesting! A good friend of mine (an attractive, slightly exotic looking blond) cut her hair into a short pixie cut a couple of years ago and reported something similar -- she still gets approached but by different people (and more women).

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