Posted by: Kate | December 28, 2008

Not My Type

As you may know, Willem was my college sweetheart.  We met through his then-girlfriend, a complicated and intense individual who was my host on my interview-and-overnight-visit during my junior year of high school.  Willem and I were friends for a few years, passing notes in Chemistry class and watching each other negotiate some weird and wacky relationships.  Then we got together, and that was weird and wacky – and complicated and intense all over again – for a long time.  We broke up, got back together, broke up again, reunited, split more officially, considered a restraining order, and finally, over the course of one very long – why, yes, in fact, you’re right, it was complicated and intense, however did you guess? – conversation, got back together and stayed that way.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing from that moment, which has been mentioned here before and isn’t really the point, except in that, whenever I hear of someone whose partner was unfaithful, I cannot in good conscience rush to the “Dump his Cheating Ass” bandwagon, because sometimes it can work out anyway.  A fact that makes me feel guilty, actually, at times, both because I know how insanely lucky we were to get past that (well, yeah, and the hard work helped, too) and because I know of at least one relationship in which there was infidelity and they clung to hope for a while because they knew we got through it.  It is possible, but it’s difficult and painful and riddled with self-doubt and… what was I writing about?

Oh, right, how Willem and I got together.  I realized, recently, that it’s not only wild that we managed to stay together despite nasty, sludgy, unpleasant water under the bridge, but it’s also kind of astounding that we ever ended up together in the first place.

Because I can’t speak for him, but for me?  He is sooooo not my type.  He’s sports-obsessed and doesn’t like the beach.  He reads books about math and skims through atlases for fun, and could not be less interested in most of my books, TV shows or hobbies.  He speaks of beer and sausage with reverence and considers himself deprived if he can’t just “check the score” regularly; I could comfortably live in a world with no alcohol, meat or television.  He’s a frat boy; I depledged a sorority after five weeks of pledging because I found the process to be too intrusive and ego-destructive.  If all of the chocolate were to vanish off the face of the planet, he wouldn’t flinch.

It’s not an “opposites attract” kind of thing, either, because we are just similar enough to have the potential for serious annoyance.  We’re both bossy, eldest children, smarter than your average bear and high-achieving.  We both hate stupid movies and raw seafood.  We both have a capacity for unbelievable political incorrectness, but only among friends and usually in response to certain media (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Schindler’s List, for example).

If we were to sign up on eHarmony or, we would not ever, ever be matched up with each other.  I don’t care how many dimensions their personality profile has.  On paper, he’s just not my type.

Somehow, we found each other and kept rediscovering each other and stuck with it until it worked.  And it makes me wonder, how many other relationships are so totally unpredictable?  Are other people sitting out there with the same partner they envisioned when they were five, or are most of us with people we would never have guessed were right?



  1. I think it wonderful that you’ve risen above the complications of the past to be the tight little family you are. I married my complete opposite. It only lasted 9 years before he died but it worked because we too had enough in common to agree with each other but enough diversity to make it challenging. You’re very fortunate . . .

  2. Me too!
    In fact, in one of our “off” periods, we were both on match and other dating sites at the same time and we were not matched up.
    I’ll have to think about it more but I think it’s a similar and yet different situation. You guys give me hope though!

  3. The Evil Twin is totally my type and when we met, and moved in together, we had a large percentage of the same books, movies, etc. We freak out our friends (and ourselves) by having the same thoughts at the same times, but we might or might not be in the same place. In many ways, it’s good, but we are also both very stubborn and neither likes to back down, so when we do disagree, it’s usually a pretty big deal. Our biggest difference is that of age: he is 9 years older than me.

  4. My friends are perplexed by my marriage, because my husband and I are so not alike it’s not even funny. I can’t even begin to list our differences. Yet our marriage works and has been working for almost 12 years. It all comes down to the fact that at the end of the day, there’s no one I’d rather be with. And the funny thing is that when I met him, I KNEW that he was the one. We just had to both work our ways through a few things to be in the right place and time to be together.

  5. Shane is about as far as possible from what I pictured myself with 10 years ago. I have always been attracted to older, over-achiever, wealthy, cultured, egotistic, damaged souls. Shane is sports-obsessed, selfless, intelligent, but simple, and content. Even though he is not my type, I knew after our first date that I was going to marry him. He moved in 4 days after our first date, and blended so seamlessly into my life that it was as if he’d been there forever. I don’t understand it, but I am daily thankful that we found each other.

  6. People constantly look at my husband and I and ask “What could those two possibly have in common? She’s from a small town in the south…he’s from NYC. She rides horses…he’s a rapper. She was raised in a Christian household and he’s Jewish….how does all this work?” But it does…it works wonderfully! He wasn’t like anyone I’d ever dated before, not necessarily my type- I guess you’d say…but that made it all the more obvious why it never worked out with “my type”!

  7. I originally thought my husband was not my type, but the more I got to know him, the more it turned out he was. We’re different enough to argue sometimes and disagree, we’re alike enough to enjoy each other.

  8. Frank and I are together today because we are both night owls. During college, when all our other friends would responsibly be in bed for their 9:00 a.m. classes, we stayed up ’til the wee hours because we wisely kept our schedules free of classes before noon most semesters. If we hadn’t had all that extra one-on-one time to get to know each other and hang out and bond, I doubt we would have ever gotten together.

  9. My husband wanted to name our child James T. Kirk S—.

    Enough said.

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