Q. I am a successful, attractive, African-American female in my mid-20s who appears to have everything going for me. I emphasize “appears’’ because people who know me believe I’m a young, vibrant, well-educated woman who has many opportunities awaiting her (and they are right). They think I don’t stay up at night worried about anything.
And here is where they’re wrong.
I have trouble dating and meeting men for a variety of reasons, but there are two that stick out most:
1. I have only been attracted to tall, attractive, white men. I’m talking about Tom Brady/Josh Duhamel/Paul Walker types. No one else. I have very good friends of all different cultural and racial backgrounds and I love them dearly, but as far as attraction goes, I’m only drawn to white males. I don’t tell many people this because I’m afraid I’d be judged and looked down upon. But I only get that electric feeling with white men. (P.S. I’m working on breaking away from the pretty boy types I listed above because history has proven that the pretty ones are usually the dudes that break hearts.)
2. I’m still trying to get over a man I dated back in 2009 and 2010. I feel like he was the one that got away. I know it’s been a while but it’s like I can’t completely get over him. . . . I just don’t find that “spark’’ that I had with him with anyone else. He was so many things to me: smart, wicked attractive, educated, driven, funny, well-rounded, and his personality clicked well with mine. But he lived far away and it wasn’t going to work. So I had to let him go. The icing on the cake is that I found out recently that this guy got married. Cue the water works. I was pretty hurt by it but he’s been gone for so long, so it is what it is. The real downside is that I find myself only being attracted to men that resemble his physical features. Dark hair, brown eyes, tanned, beautiful.
The dating pool shrinks even more.
Anyway, I don’t know what else to do. Men that meet me say they’re surprised I’m single (probably because I love sports, action movies, and don’t pay much attention to pop culture). I moved to Boston a year ago, so I don’t have many friends that can play my wingman at bars or outings to meet guys. Going solo, I’ve tried extracurricular activities, going out, visiting bars . . . but I have this sinking feeling that I’m never going to meet someone that I’m wholeheartedly attracted to. I. JUST. FEEL. ALONE. Any advice?
LIVING IN A BLACK AND WHITE WORLD, Massachusetts
A. We all have a type, LIABAWW. And when we’re asked to imagine our perfect mate (or sexual partner), many of us picture Tom Brady. Or if you’re me, Robert Pattinson.
There are certainly some big issues at play here - race is just one of them - but I actually think that your problem has more to do with age, a breakup, and a recent move. You had a long-term boyfriend for some of your early 20s and then made some big life changes. You’re still creating your world in Boston. It’s an exhausting process.
My obvious advice is to join clubs, hang out with people after work, and say yes to every social opportunity. My less obvious advice is to stop using words like “only’’ and “don’t’’ and “never.’’ Don’t be rigid. Whenever we have a terrible breakup we say things like, “I’ll never fall for anyone who isn’t just like him/her!’’ In reality, you don’t know who you’re going to fall for. And you don’t know how your type will change as your peers get older (not every pretty boy gets to keep his hair and Tom Brady physique). Just get to know people and see how it feels. When you turn 29, you might see a serious change in what grabs your attention.
And as far as feeling like you’re never going to meet anyone, well . . . everyone has that fear. You’re only in your mid-20s. You’ve got so much time. You will be hot for someone again. They’ll be hot for you. It’s inevitable.
I used to have a type, but I found that as I got older I dated outside of it. What ultimately attracts me to someone is their personality and their character - and the chemistry we have together. I mean, yes, they have to be reasonably attractive - they can’t be hideous to me - but men who were reasonably good looking but not my “type’’ ended up being serious boyfriends because we really clicked. You may find that when you really click with someone, they become more attractive to you.
Everybody has a “type.’’ But you might find that even if a guy doesn’t fall into your specific category, you might be attracted to him anyway, once you just sit down and start talking to him. I think your only problem is that you’re worrying about this too much. When you are out, just talk to people, whether you’re looking to date them or not. Talk to men and women. Just meet people in general. Eventually, you’ll meet somebody you want to date. Good luck. POWDERGIRL
Nerdy tall white guys can be OK, too. Thank God my (good lookin’ African-American) wife dated outside her “type’’ 32 years ago. So the lesson is, expand a little past the Brady look-alikes and the pool is still pretty big.
I have a type, and if I described it, and then you saw my wife, you would realize that she isn’t it. But a “type’’ is just that. There may be a certain style of house you really like, but then, when you’re ready to buy, that house in your desired area isn’t affordable, or it needs a lot of work, or you find the one you want, but it’s not in the right neighborhood. So you keep looking, and eventually you may find a house completely different than what you started out looking for, and love it more than any of the “type’’ you thought would be the only one that you could be happy with.
The guy from my past whom I found the most physically attractive (we’re talking major fireworks here) was a 6-foot-4 black basketball player. I married an attractive, freckled, white man of average height who looks like a cross between Adam Sandler and Bill Gates. And he is the best husband and father on the planet. I laugh with him everyday. He is hot.
I used to claw my way over and through any crowd of guys to chat up black Irish, Spanish, Latino, or Italian girls. I married a sandy-haired French Catholic. You never know till somebody blows your roof off and you go, “OK, I’ll do anything to be with this person. They make me crazy.’’
Tom Brady. Ew.
Paul Walker. Meh.
Who is Josh Duhamel?
Edited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@ globe.com. She chats online Wednesday at 1 p.m.