Breaking up with my type: How I learned to stop worrying and let myself loathe the men I once desired

Realizing that you hate the people you want to sleep with is the adult version of learning that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy don’t exist, all at once. It’s disappointing. But at some point you have to stop pretending.

For most of my 20s I had a type: tall, unshaven, record-obsessed hipster men who treated me like trash. Not the kind of trash you tie up neatly and respectfully bring to the curb every day. The kind of trash that gets stuck at the bottom of a dumpster soaked in some mysterious liquid and you pretend you don’t see because it’s too scary to acknowledge that you might one day have to confront its grossness.

I could pick them out of a bar like a game hunter on safari. Though to be fair, they weren’t hard to spot. My type wore, exclusively, distressed denim shirts, tight black jeans and colorless canvas sneakers. They were attractive but not in your typical way, in a way where their big nose or lanky build or asymmetrical haircut made me think I had discovered gold. And they always shared a name with at least one of The Beatles (if Ringo had been named Mike).

Because I am an idealist, my type was always about my age. I have a hard time opting into the current system whereby men can live half an adult life without considering another person’s emotions —until they turn 40, at which point they decide to start caring and then can freely choose from millions of unsuspecting women of any legal age. It’s a rule of principle not desire, and so it is more or less useless. I love salt-and-pepper-haired men, with distinguished creases and futon-less living rooms. But while this rule is probably the single biggest factor keeping me single as I continue to catch, then recover from, 30-somethings like colds, I refuse to be part of any system that perpetuates a cycle of inequality.

Men of my type were very confident. Not brazenly confident, like loud men in suits named Blake can be. Subtly confident, in a way where their opinions on “Pet Sounds,” Lars von Trier, “Infinite Jest” and other things I taught myself to care about were indisputable. In a way where they could talk for hours about a particular photography project without ever thinking to ask if the other person was interested because of course they were. They weren’t loud as much as they were firm, perpetually in their own heads with unwavering conviction about what they liked and didn’t, and I loved that about them. I envied it.

I was always a tomboy. I liked cars and bikes and anything that got me dirty. But at what seemed like an arbitrary age to a girl who never really grew breasts, it came to my attention that girls shouldn’t like bikes and cars and things that got them dirty. And so the pattern began. Sneakers? No. Curly hair? No. Seconds of spaghetti? No way. I’m pretty sure I spent the next two decades trying to figure out what the hell I was supposed to want. And so for a long time my type was someone who could help me do that.

But my type would always end it by letting me know he “just wasn’t feeling it,” which usually coincided with some mid-tier life event like his 30th birthday or his best friend’s wedding. These swift and silent breakups would leave me so utterly disconnected from what I assumed to be reality, where actions and words represented the thoughts of the people who perform them, and so completely distrusting of my ability to read social signals, like our late nights sharing secrets and his telling me he cared, that eventually I decided to stop dating altogether.

It was then, when I gave up on men completely, that I discovered the treasure — the pearls — that are 30-something female friendships. Around 30, I realized, was when single women got better and single men got worse. It’s the age when women have internalized and learned to deal with the injustice that comes with their gender; they get stronger and give fewer shits. Men, on the other hand, learn that their wrinkles are by some weird miracle considered attractive, as are their dad-like bodies, and that essentially the limits of time as we know it do not apply to them. They get spoiled.

My relationships with women were like a whole other species compared with my romantic flings. We traded honest stories of struggle. We empathized with years of pushing ourselves to be more aggressive with the men we worked with and more chill with the men we slept with. We’d learned to manipulate and contort our feelings so many times we were lion tamers of emotion. When we finished a bag of Kettle Chips in one sitting we reminded one another that we deserved it. We shared tips on body-hair removal and fears of infertility. I learned what real conversation felt like. We asked questions, admitted flaws; we listened to one another and let ourselves be vulnerable.

Resource :

0 Response to "Breaking up with my type: How I learned to stop worrying and let myself loathe the men I once desired"

Post a Comment