No 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 coffee-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 their type — hey, it might work for you, too.
Trading in ‘bad boys’ for a nice guy led to her happily ever after
“I always liked ‘bad boys’ because they were popular, attractive and 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
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He found his soul mate in a single mom “I did what many 40-year-old single men do and only considered dating never-married women between ages 32 and 36. Joan was really different — recently separated, two college-aged kids, and she was 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 and fell for my enthusiasm for life in general — and then I adopted a few enthusiasms of hers (kayaking, old houses, gardening and marriage). Now we can’t live without each other.”
- Noah Henderson, Bridgeport, CT
Falling in love with someone older has made her wiser about relationships
“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 opened up more to me and probably think I’m not so bad now. Which is pretty good for teenagers.”
- Suzanne Noli, Brooklyn, NY
A free spirit finally captured his heart “I always thought the women I went to business school with were my type — smart, focused and ambitious. That’s pretty much the kind of woman I dated through my twenties and thirties, 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 (and part-time at that!) who 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 with her. 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