I hate to admit it, but I’ve always had a “type”. Countless times, I’ve fallen for dark-haired guys who are a little bit rock’n’roll, somewhat sensitive and very, very tortured. Kind of like a Michael Hutchence-Jon Snow dream combination.
So what was I doing with a giant crush on sporty, cheerful Nate*?
Seeing as my last relationship with a formerly drug-addicted, post-rehab philosophy student had ended, I was thinking that maybe my “tortured artist” type wasn’t working out for me.
It was time to think outside the dating box.
This is where Nate came in. He was as far from my "type" as possible. He was a blonde courier whose main interest was being physically fit. That was about it. Sure, he was nice and funny, but certainly not the cultured intellectual I was used to. There was no way he was going to visit the art gallery with me, for example.
To be totally honest, the main reason why I was interested in Nate was because I'd happened to see him with his shirt off, and he had a six pack. The rest of him was muscly, too. I decided that, for once, I would follow my other instincts and date a guy mostly because he had a "good" body, and because I was physically attracted to him. Maybe cerebral connections were overrated.
Again, Nate was a likeable guy, so dating him wasn't difficult. But for me, my main interest in him stemmed from his buff body.
Dr Nikki Goldstein on the relationship question she gets asked the most. (Post continues after video.)
Looking back, it's absurd that I was with him at all. I didn't find his face to be particularly handsome, and we had few things in common - whether it was hobbies or political beliefs, we were different and even opposed.
I suspected that I was also an exercise in "out of the box" dating for Nate. I wasn't like any of the athletic, skinny, younger party girls he usually courted. If anything, I was that female version of the dark, rock'n'roll-obsessed artist that I usually fancied. We were each fascinated in our obvious differences, and appreciated them. I liked his carefree, fun-loving nature, and he seemed to find me interesting and cultured.
If you've ever watched a rom-com movie, you'd perhaps conclude that our unwavering love for each other managed to cancel out our differences. After all, opposites attract... right?
The difference is that this is real life, and one glimpse of a "hot" body does not a relationship make.
In reality, Nate's six pack and other assorted muscles didn't stop him from seeing another girl on the side - and perhaps it was the muscles that made him do it.
But even before I discovered his betrayal, I knew deep down that we didn't have enough of a connection to sustain a healthy relationship. And, seeing as I was (and still am) a committed Christian, there didn't really seem any point in casually dating a guy with a "hot" body if I'd decided to remain a virgin until I was married. Nate and I didn't even kiss, despite his attempts. For all of my lusting over his muscles, I think I only saw him with a shirt off twice.
He was devastated and sorry for cheating and begged me for another chance. In my mind, I knew it was over before anything had really begun. This was possibly my punishment for taking such a shallow approach to dating.
That was over 10 years ago, and these days I'm happily married to Jeff, with one child and another on the way. Although Jeff's main passion is comedy, he is also a dark-haired musician with a tendency to torment himself with life's big questions. So maybe there is some wisdom in sticking to a "type" after all.
I think that Jeff's body is absolutely perfect. His frame is what I'd describe as "just right" - neither skinny or a muscle-man. But every time he has a moment of self-consciousness about his appearance (as we all do), I'm quick to remind him that having a "hot" body doesn't make you a better or good person - and it's certainly not enough to make a committed or ideal life partner.
I'll let him brood about that one for a while.
Do you have a 'type'? Do you believe that opposites attract?
*Name has been changed.