The French writer, Proust, in “Swann’s Way” talks of the protagonist feeling his deepest love for a woman who was not “his type”.
And an ex-colleague met her husband of 30 years ago on a train and instantly decided he was not “her type”. I met my lovely husband 35 years ago, when we became neighbours, and also instantly decided he wasn’t my type. Oh, and I just asked him what he thought at the time and been told he felt the same – crumbs, never thought to ask him before now!
New applicants to Drawing Down the Moon, the matchmaking agency I ran for thirty years, often said they needed our help because although they’d met lots of singles recently, none are quite “their type” romantically. They claimed they could always spot “their type” right away, often in the first few seconds. And yet, they were still single, moving from first date to first date, always seeking that special frisson that might suggest “this is the one”.
Our experience at Drawing Down the Moon was that you’ll most likely to spot your future soul mate, not on a first date, but on a second or third date with a match with a similar level of attractiveness, status, social background, outlook, lifestyle and education. This is why we always suggested a “pre-date” of just one hour over a drink with a single objective: could this person be a “maybe”?
A date that hits the “my type” button straight away is most likely “lust at first sight” not a signpost to long term and deeper love. Research from a survey I organised of 200 couples who’d been in very long term relationships confirms this. The spark is most likely to be ignited, not on a first encounter, but a bit later when you’re relaxed and doing something that’s fun together.
Still doubtful? Do some homework and ask all the happy couples you know what their opinion of each other was at their first encounter and be prepared for surprises!
Proust: The love of my life was not my type.
The big news of Marcel Proust’s novel, Swann’s Way, is the love of Charles Swann for the courtesan Odette de Crécy, a story that takes place before Marcel’s birth. This section — a novel in itself, which indeed has been filmed as Swann in Love — is best summarized in Swann’s closing words: “To think that I wasted years of my life, that I wanted to die, that I felt my deepest love, for a woman who did not appeal to me, who was not my type!” Again, this error of Swann’s will be repeated by both Marcels, the actual Proust and his fictional protagonist. But note that Swann’s renunciation doesn’t stop him from marrying Odette! This he evidently does in order that their daughter may be introduced to the Duchesse de Guermantes, a sweet but rather loopy motive.