He's Not My Type: Why Changing Your 'Type' Could Work for You

Most of us have a type. Whether it's blondes, athletes, intellectuals, or jerks, we find ourselves drawn to certain types of people -- and probably don't even know why. Breaking out of your type can be one of the hardest things to do. But also one of the most rewarding.

Says dating expert Kimberly Dawn Neumann, "Sometimes breaking 'type' can be a positive move for your dating life. You may be attracted to the same kind of person over and over because it feels familiar, like a dynamic you grew up with or saw in your parents' relationship without even knowing it. Open up your options if you haven’t been finding the love you want because at the very least, you can better define what it is that you want in your life, and not what you find comfortable that could possibly be dysfunctional." Here are six stories from women who broke type -- and had it work out great.


1. From quiet guys to guy who won't shut up. For years I dated a guy who didn't talk much -- if we were out with friends, he'd rarely join the conversation, and even if he and I were alone together, he was a man of few words. It never bothered me because my dad is also the strong/silent type, and I respected the fact that he didn't blather on about nonsense. Still, sometimes it drove me crazy that it felt like pulling teeth to have a decent conversation. At some point, I ended up being attracted to a guy who was extremely gregarious and a non-stop talker -- and that's who I married. Now I have the opposite problem.

2. Guy from a different culture -- who actually likes TV! I've always gone out with tall, skinny, artsy/intellectual types. And artsy/intellectual types haven't worked out for me. Save me from the hipsters! So I decided to try something new -- now I'm in a relationship with a guy who’s closer to my height, a more athletic build, and is super smart, but in a totally different way than I'm used to. He’s in business and not the arts or academia; he enjoys more mainstream/lowbrow culture like The Family Guy, has a GIANT screen TV -- I almost ran out of his apartment the first time I saw it. Most guys I’ve dated either didn’t have a TV or kept a tiny one hidden somewhere inconspicuous because, OMG, TV is so lame. I’d grown up in a sort of closed culture and dated mostly guys of my same religion -- and it's a very white religion. But this guy was was born in India.

3. From degrees to no degree. I was convinced I only wanted to be with someone with multiple degrees, someone really academic, maybe even nerdy in that sense. While my husband is brilliant, he never felt comfortable in the classroom and didn't graduate college. I was honestly taken aback when he told me that he didn't get his Bachelor's and, while I'm embarrassed to admit it, I even wondered if that might be a dealbreaker. But that little fact didn't stand in the way of being able to engage in our thought-provoking conversations -- or chemistry! It was a big wake-up call for me that a person's intelligence -- and in turn, attractiveness -- has nothing to do with holding a degree.

4. The secure guy. I always dated or was into "funny" (i.e., insecure) writer types. But I wound up marrying a dude dude who was in a band when I met him, went days without showering, and had a side gig as a nanny. Total departure from the usual guys I wound up dating, because he was super secure. And it was hot! P.S. My husband showers now.

5. The younger guy. My husband was 22 when I met him. I was 39. It took me four years to finally trust that, yes, he really wanted to be with me. And no, there wasn't anything wrong with him. We've been married 28 years now.

6. The ex-felon. My husband is an ex-felon. I had spent years in LTRs and dating men I considered "accomplished" and driven -- focused on getting far in their respective fields. When I met my future husband, he quickly shared some facts about his life that gave me serious pause: He was not a college graduate, and most importantly -- he had spent three years in prison for dealing drugs (pot and pills) and was on probation. He didn't drive (DWI on top of it all). I appreciated his honesty on our first date -- but I was freaked out. Who was this guy? And how could I have such instantly strong feelings about someone so different from me -- who had made so many bad decisions in his life? As we got to know each other better, I realized why. He was an amazing human being -- with a kindness and warmth I hadn't met in many individuals. You just liked him -- immediately -- and it wasn't just me. He was charismatic and sweet. He was exceptionally intelligent and well-read although he did not go to college. He was open-minded and just. And he is an amazing father to our daughter.

7. The short guy. While I'm only 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches, I typically dated men who were at least six feet if not taller. My family is tall so maybe that's why. My husband was my lifelong British pen-pal. Our respective schools set us up, and in an odd streak, while they almost always set up girls with girls in other countries, somehow Gareth and I were matched together. We stayed in touch from 1984 through 2002, when we first met. I never knew, NEVER, until right before he came out to the States on holiday, that he was only 5 feet, 4 inches. This was despite exchanging photos. It never occurred to me to ask his height, even though we had grown closer over the years to the point where we knew there was something there. When the subject of height came up, it didn't faze me at all, it was just something we'd mentioned in passing, whereas in earlier relationships, I never would have considered dating someone my height. I think, by the time I'd met Gareth, I'd grown up enough to realize that there were more important things than height. In October of 2014, we will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. We have a beautiful 8-year-old daughter together. I was meant to grow old with and even deeper in love with this man.

Did you end up with a guy who wasn't your "type"?

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