Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Every type is my type....

When a friend tells me about her latest single male acquaintance/workmate/bus driver and declares, "He's just your type!" I have two questions to ask. First, how do you know your bus driver is single? (Jumping red lights = frustrated = not getting any?) And second, what exactly is my type, lady? Because you and I both know I don't have one.

No, I refuse to be typecast. There's no 'Tall, dark and handsome for me, please!' When it comes to dating, no type is safe from me - for I have been out with them all! A 6ft 7in basketball player; a bald, heavy-metal-loving music journalist; a blonde high-flying City boy; a squat-living crusty; a depressingly beautiful sound engineer who was 10 years my junior (please don't judge me...) And the list goes on. Now, you could think me insufficiently discerning, or really rather cheap. But I'd prefer to say I'm just exploiting and enjoying one of the most wonderful aspects of being single - that you can experiment with all types of men until you find The One.

And why not? Why limit your experiences to only one kind of man (even if he has multiple-personality disorder, there's still a limit to what one 'type' can show you) and deny yourself a thousand different adventures? I can see why some women get stuck with a type; it's easily done. Your first love was an Ashton Kutcher lookalike? Then of course you'll be drawn to kerr-azy pretty boys in the hope that heart history will repeat itself. You grew up in a family of builders? Then, yes, muscly men with rough hands will be reassuringly familiar. But there's a wide world of men out there and restricting yourself means you'll miss out.

If I hadn't dated the basketball player, I wouldn't have me his Olympic Gold Medal winning - and now past it - friend. If I hadn't dated the music industry guy, I would have missed out on the brilliantly glam backstage parties (I once drunkenly invited Kool's brother to impregnate me). I wouldn't have dined in expensive restaurants (thank you, City Boy), or been entertained by exotic tales from abroad (thank you, crusty), or had a song written for me (ah, thank you, young pup).

Of course, there were some downsides; the basketball player nicknamed me shorty because he didn't actually know anyone under 6ft; the crusty would make me get on night buses; and the man-cub would come to visit me on his 'wheels' - which, honestly, turned out to be a mountain bike! But it's all experience, right?

Best of all, you can learn stuff about yourself, too. I was surprised to find I have quite a strange sense of self; it doesn't matter who I'm seeing, I'm still me. I don't adapt my dress sense or behaviour. I also learnt that I could never, ever enjoy heavy metal. But the man who taught me that could just as easily have turned me off Thai food. This is the thing; different men have different interests that may resonate with different aspects of your personality. If you stick to one type, you may never discover those bits of you.

So has this all-embracing approach got me nearer to finding The One? Well I think that's missing the point. Yes, a big love would be a sweet PS to my story, but I'm more interested in enjoying the journey. I didn't start dating like this deliberately, it was just in my nature. Dating (and appreciating) a zillion different types of men has taught me there's no specific 'type'. It's all about the individual, and anyone out there could be The One. And you'll have more chance of finding him if you haven't ruled out 99% of the male population! Do the math, as our American friends would say. Oooh, an American.... Now I haven't dated one of those for a while..... :)