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Having a "type"
I caught myself thinking, the other day "They're not really my type, but..." about somebody I'd met. And that got me thinking a little, about what it means to have "a type" and how we interact with the purely superficial aspects of relating to other people.

I think most--perhaps even all--people do have a type. A particular sort of purely physical appearance that grabs the attention even when you don't know anything about the person in question. Types vary quite a lot, though they're certainly influenced by media, so they lean towards the things we see in media, but I have to say that my "types" are not quite the types presented most often in the mainstream, so that's not the only thing going on there.

I have three, roughly. I like short, slender, "cute" boys, I like tall, broad-shouldered, athletic (but *not* "built") men, and I like muscular and mildly curvy women, not an extreme on either front, but a gal who looks like she could pick me up one-handed is just <3.

*None* of the long-term partners I've had in my life have been those types. Not even close! My partner is definitely not, my paramor is not, my long-distance off and on boyfriend is not.

A lot of people speak in ways that suggest that initial "hoo boy, I'd hit that!" reaction is meaningful, and being attractive, being somebody's "type" is how you form a relationship. Tinder and other quick-rejection apps certainly are built on that assumption.

Personally, though, I say that appreciating the purely physical and having a relationship are barely even *similar*. Sure, they tend to run together sometimes. But that's like saying that peanut butter and chocolate are the same thing just because if you visit the candy aisle you see them paired up a bunch.

A *purely* physical appreciation for a person's body really doesn't have much to do with how well you'll get along with that person, after all. We all know that. Yet we conflate that immediate sense of "hot!" with the whole experience of dating, courtship, love, etc. I've certainly done that in stories. It's a useful way to signal that a couple are compatible to the reader, to show them noticing each other in a physical way. Stories aren't reality, though!

I don't know that I even have a point here, exactly, this is just something I've been musing on lately. I don't know if I'll ever end up with somebody who's "my type". Maybe I will, maybe I won't. I like enjoying the eye candy, but so far nothing has ever worked out. And I really am entirely happy with the people in my life. Just because they're not "my type" doesn't mean they're not immensely sexy, after all. :3 A type is an aesthetic, that's all.

Sometimes it's just nice to look.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1516294.html.