What's my 'type'?

8 June 2018

'So, that's the one you went out with?' Dad asks, nodding towards the bar where a lovely, lean fellow is pulling a pale ale. 'But...he doesn't have any tattoos, and he's white!? Not quite your type, Grace!'

We all have a giggle at this, and I quip; 'yes, but he smokes and works behind a bar. That’s two boxes ticked!' 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

Now, I have been told before by friends – and partners, actually – that I seem to have a 'type'. Typically, at least for the past few years, all the people I've taken a liking to – and celebrities I've crushed on – have been of a similar style, shall we say. My angelic ex, for instance, was mixed race and had tatts down both arms. He didn't smoke, but co-managed a bar and made excellent coffees for a living when we met. And yes, I admit I've had a few brief encounters with men much like him in appearance, in recent years. Having said all this, I did go through a phase aged 16 – 19 of going for exclusively slim white guys who wore pop punk T-shirts and cared an awful lot about the state of their hair...yep, a good pair of skinny jeans and perfect fringe flick had me swooning, back then. Actually to be fair, I could still appreciate that vibe now… 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I do struggle with the idea of having a distinct type, though. Over the years I've heard it said countless times – friends shrieking excitedly over drinks 'Oooh, you'd like him/her, they're totally your type!', or being told gently after an unsuccessful date 'you're just not really my type...?', or even recently a friend told me my ex’s new squeeze is similar to me in more than a few ways, which led to us debating whether we go for similar people to exes, because we love the familiar...and really do have a type. 

Well, I call bullshit on a lot of that.

Not because I full-on refuse to accept that we as humans do tend to go for a certain kind of partner, when we're on the lookout. I mean, yes, we do. We all have our physical preferences, and looks can be important. But I also think the personality and the brain play more of a crucial part in finding the perfect person. So we may someday end up with someone we never thought we'd be attracted to – they may be a different race, sex or size to our pre-conceived 'type' – because we're turned on by what's in their heart and their mind. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

What I'm getting at is, quite selfishly, something I have realised about myself recently – well, I've been aware of it for a while, but failed to see just how important it is to me until now.

I like...the creatives.

(Photo: Erin Veness)

Yes, I f*cking love a person who is positively bursting with creativity; ideas, projects, passions, plus deep yearnings for art and music and words.

My romantic history mostly consists of creative types; highlights being media students, artists, film makers, stage hands, tattooers, music producers and several singer/songwriters. I've also been with a fair few actors, and do not recommend. Slippery buggers, they are. Journalists can’t always be trusted, either. And I found the few office types I've dated to be intensely dull. Not because they're all boring people – an optician I went for drinks with once was a closeted musical theatre nut and full-on West End wannabe (but sadly, also an a*sehole). No, I think I can like someone with a fairly conventional 9-5 life, if they have more to them than that. If they have a secret love for watercolours, for instance, or they finish work late some days so they can go straight to their local open mic night. Maybe they are covered in tattoos, beneath their pristine pressed suits...who knows. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I spoke with a bookish friend recently about dating someone in your field; they were adamant they wouldn’t want someone who was also a published writer, as they’d feel they were always subtly competing, or they’d disagree on each other’s methods and choices. I suppose that would be the case for me, too – I like the idea of dating another blogger, for instance, as I feel it could be interesting seeing how they work and learning what they aim for...but would it get a bit much after a while? Maybe it would be safer to be with someone who thrived in another creative area.

One of the best TEDx Talks I’ve ever seen was one in which Cecilia Knapp recites some beautiful spoken word, and encourages her listeners to get some creative energy and outlets in their life, wherever possible. She explains that creativity is not just for ‘a privileged few’; we can all find it within us and it’s so important that we do. I of course wholeheartedly agree – and another initiative to inject some creativity into your everyday life, besides the simple fact that it’s a release and a healing, is that it’s impossibly attractive and endlessly interesting. Almost everyone you meet will be drawn to your energy and it’s always a fun thing to chat about. It’s so wonderful to have an answer to the ‘what are you reading/writing/listening to, right now?’ or ‘what projects have you got on?’ questions. And just to say more than one thing when you’re asked the wonderfully vague question ‘what do you do?’ over drinks at a networking event in the city, or family friend’s birthday party in the local pub.

Yes, if I did have a ‘type’ when seeking a partner (something I don’t actively do these days), it would simply be: someone with passions and flair. Someone who works hard on things for themselves, or to eventually share with others in their own way. Someone who gets excited about colours and textures, reads at every opportunity, wants to decorate themselves as they wish – with clothes, piercings, ink, make up – and considers a trip to an art gallery, indie cafe, theatre or cinema an ideal date.


  1. Totally with you on this!! Creativity in any form is SO. ATTRACTIVE. Also about dating someone in the same field, having been in a long-term relationship with another writer I can vouch for it getting a bit much. It's wonderful to share your passion with someone, but can also be restricting when you're both doing the same thing all the time. And right now I find myself falling for someone who perhaps isn't my 'type' as my friends might say, and even I might too because not all of our interests & ambitions align perfectly, but his personality is glowingly lovely and he's an artist. So I can't really help myself...

    1. Thanks, Amy! I love that you get it. And I'm so happy you're falling for someone as we speak...!


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