Just my Type: My Funny Valentine

I’m dating myself badly by admitting this, but my first love was David Cassidy. I was five, and I loved him completely. Until I set eyes on his younger brother Shaun a couple of years later, and my fickle eight-year-old self threw David aside like yesterday’s news.

As I grew and evolved, Shaun lost out to Rex Smith, Timothy Hutton (I had to take a break from musicians at the ripe old age of 13) and finally Robert Plant in my rebellious teen years. Along the way, I had schoolmate crushes that never turned into teen dating, as I was half a foot taller than most of my male peers until well into high school.

My first kiss was cruising at Crossroads Mall in the backseat of a Mustang with a boy whose breath smelled of Big Red gum and whose name I cannot recall. It was very wet, and I wasn’t sure I liked it very much.

I didn’t go on an official date until my senior prom when I was surprisingly asked by a fellow member of ‘Jazz Choir.’ That was exciting, and my young brain thought, “this must be the one!” By that time, I realized kissing WAS fun, and of course, since that made me feel warm and squishy, he must feel the same.

Alas, he did not—my first heartbreak.

My recovery was quick, and I moved on to a local 20-year-old Navy sailor who I again thought was the one until he married someone in another port. Heartbreak number two stung a bit more and for a bit longer.

I vaulted into my twenties like a big-haired dating whirlwind. There were musicians, more sailors, football & baseball players and business degree guys before I came upon what to this day is my type. This realization came when I met the man I dated from 23 until 33.

Brilliance makes my palms sweat, and my toes curl. What attracted me was brains. Not just brilliant but SO bright, I had no understanding of what he was saying to me. We’ll call this person Joe, who worked at the University of Washington for the Applied Physics lab. Yes, he was attractive, but his quick wit and vocabulary of unknown words really floated my boat.

Unfortunately, there were many other available women in the world with my IQ kink, and he found most of them, mostly unbeknownst to me, in our ten-year relationship. Heartbreak number three recovery took a LONG time.

My type apparently does not extend to physicality, while Joe was slight, but my height, future heartbreak number four, was several inches shorter than I and several years older than I ever thought I’d find attractive. What he did have was the brain.

This time, they were more cunning business smarts but still gave me that familiar “I have no idea what you’re saying” tingle. This one was long-distance and never destined to be anything, but I learned much from him, have no regrets and had little heartbreak.

Then I met my other, the man who would convince me North Bend wasn’t near the end of the earth. What I imagined I’d have in a partner long ago bears NO resemblance to the person I have shared my life with for the past 15 years.

Early on, we discovered my radar for my type is SO finely tuned that the person I dated in my twenties worked on a project with a skill only a handful of people IN THE WORLD have, and so did my North Bend guy. They even knew each other. I let them speak on the phone once, and they were as mystified by how I’d managed that as I was.

I saw my longtime married friends having common interests with their spouses, spending lots of time together and seemingly being very similar in personality. While my smart guy and I are the same in some key vital ways, we are different in almost every other way.

I’m a talker; he is not. He is a cat guy; I’m a dog girl. He is still; I am wiggly. He likes darkness; I like light. He gets up early; I sleep late. He drives fast; I’m slow. He doesn’t argue; I do. He takes risks; I don’t. He likes loud; I like quiet.

I would have never imagined this would be my person long ago when I was the dating whirlwind. And really, I don’t think he could have been my person back then. It took me until I was nearly forty years old to understand that, for me, difference interests me far more than sameness.

Well, and that hot & sexy brain of his. *shiver*

On this day, how did you get to where you are now? Whether you are alone or with someone, what have you learned along the way when it comes to relationships? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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