Dating Against Type

Think you know just what you want in a mate? Think again! Broaden your horizons, and you could be in for a wonderful surprise!

By Barrie Dolnick

o one knows the power of dating against type better than I do. At the height of my dating career, I was a textbook example of a cocktail-swigging, designer-clothing-wearing woman looking for Mr. Right. Working in Manhattan as a marketing consultant, I went to art openings dressed in black, black and black. I flirted with artists, documentary filmmakers, musicians—pretty much anyone who I thought looked dark, deep and passionate. No one clicked. Sitting with a girlfriend at an outdoor café one night, a young guy approached us and bummed a cigarette. He then proceeded to sit down and chat me up. He was a scientist — not at all my artsy type — but I agreed to one date. It seemed like a novel idea, and one night out wouldn’t kill me. We’ve been married for nine years now. Talk about dating against type!

Listen to some other stories of single people who found love by dating against
“I mistook moodiness for sensitivity… uh-oh!”
their type—hey, it might work for you, too.

“I always liked ‘bad boys’: They were popular, attractive, the center of attention. I always got blown off and treated second-rate. But I couldn't imagine not having the ‘challenge’ of winning them over. In the end, it was a horrible way to live. So I made the deliberate decision to try someone different. I started dating a sweet guy who complimented me, planned romantic dates, and wanted to be with me every second. He even made me laugh. And now I’m getting married to him! Happiness comes in the most unexpected places at the most unexpected times.”
—Tiffany Tarrant, Atlanta, GA

“I did what many 40-year-old single men do, and only considered never-married women between 32 and 36. Joan was really different—recently separated, two college-age kids, and eight years older than I was. In terms of being ‘my type,’ she was off the radar, off the map, off the planet! But romance being romance, she laughed at my jokes
“You can find happiness in the most unexpected places!”
and fell for my enthusiasm for life in general, and I adopted a few enthusiasms of hers (kayaking, old houses, gardening, marriage). Now we can't live without each other.”
—Noah Henderson, Bridgeport, CT

“I went for the artsy, free-spirited types, and the more brooding, the better. I mistook moodiness for sensitivity and being serious about their work. Hah! I think they were just mean-spirited. These men were usually around my age or younger, and I swore I’d never date someone with kids. Then I met Steven—and tried throwing my type out the window. He’s got a demanding office job; he's 10 years older than I am, and he has two teenagers, but once I opened myself up to it, it just worked. The age gap hasn't bothered me at all, and he’s a happy, well-adjusted person. The kids have been harder to get used to, but after some time they have opened up more to me and probably think I'm not so bad. Which is pretty good for teenagers.”
—Suzanne Noli, Brooklyn, NY

“I always thought my type were the women I went to business school with—smart, focused, ambitious. That’s pretty much the kind of woman I dated through my 20s and 30s, but nothing clicked. On a lark, I let a friend set me up. I could tell once I met the woman that she wasn’t my type — she was a pastry chef, part-time, at that, and focused as much on her mountain bike as on her job — but I decided to make the best of the night and have a pleasant time chatting. Well, we wound up having a great time… and I asked her out again and again—until I asked her to be my wife.”
—Mark, San Anselmo, CA

Astro-coach Barrie Dolnick helps people find love and happiness by understanding their stars and their karmic energy. She is the author of twelve books, including Enlighten Up! and KarmaBabe.
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