He’s not your type and that’s good - Macleans.ca

He’s not your type and that’s good

Single women are advised to be more open about who they date


Illustration by Taylor Shute

A checklist of requirements may be your biggest impediment to finding true love, says Toronto-born dating coach Andrea Syrtash in her new book He’s Just Not Your Type and That’s a Good Thing. Syrtash coaches single women to consider the type of man they think they’re attracted to, then counsels them to work on doing things differently, such as dating a shorter man if they’ve always gone for tall, or an introvert if they’ve always liked the charismatic. “It’s not about throwing out your standards,” Syrtash told Maclean’s from her home in New York. “It’s about being more open.”

The now-married dating coach herself admits she was not at first physically attracted to her husband. “He wasn’t my type. I mean, he’s an attractive guy but it’s a funny thing,” she says. “I dated these all-American clean-cut, more conservative-looking guys, and my husband is dark. His parents are from Egypt. He didn’t come in the package I thought was my type.”

Syrtash connected with her husband, Michael, during a brief move back to Toronto. He lived next door to her sister. “He would walk into our house, put on my sister’s slippers and start making eggs without even saying hello!” Michael, she explains, “was a teacher, an improv actor and a drummer. His favourite T-shirt, which he wore often, was vintage—but not in a hipster kind of way. I believe it had a hole in the left armpit.”

Syrtash had broken up with her American boyfriend and made “a conscious decision to focus on my dating pattern. I realized that my head dominated my heart. I realized I wanted to be with a guy who made me laugh and was emotionally intelligent and spiritually connected. I wanted to be with a man who deeply understood and inspired me. I did not know what he would look like, but I knew how I wanted to feel around him.”

In the book, Syrtash gives the example of women who aren’t attracted to nice guys. “I think women view nice guys as weak,” one woman told her. “We love to know someone is strong, powerful and in control.” Syrtash writes, “The issue, of course, is that if you equate nice with weak, you will have a hard time respecting or feeling turned on by the ‘nice’ available men you come across. Repeat after me: nice and weak are not synonymous.”

When “Lisa” finally broke her old dating pattern and married a nice guy, she found it liberating. “With a nice guy, there are no games. There is no wondering: does he like me, is he mad at me? There is no self-induced torture, no If only I was thinner, prettier, more his type.

Not only that, says Syrtash, but when you date bad boys, “you’re sending the absolute wrong message to the absolute right guys. Do you know how many men tell me they feel they need to act like jerks to attract women? They see bad boys getting all the girls, and they modify their behaviour.”

Syrtash warns women, however, that if they do change their dating pattern, they should be prepared to meet the gremlins of their inner voice passing superficial judgment. On a date with a nice guy, that gremlin might say, “This guy seems too nervous. Turnoff!” Try the counter-argument on yourself, she says. “Maybe he’s nervous because he likes me. Besides, I’m not perfect either and if I don’t give him a chance, I may be missing a great guy.”

Syrtash admits she also used to hope her future husband would earn a lot of money. But then “a funny thing happened to me when I realized I was falling in love with a man who would never earn a six-figure income—I worked harder than ever and found the career of my dreams. Michael’s modest income was a catalyst for me to realize my professional potential.”

She coaches women to “book a date with a man who is shorter, balder, greyer or heavier than you. Take a risk. Stay open. Log onto a few dating sites and play with the parameters for height, age, income, and miles away. See who shows up. The ultimate dating challenge isn’t really about landing a certain type of person—it is about becoming the person you are meant to be.”


He’s not your type and that’s good

  1. The premise of this article is based on the assumption that the guy who is "just not her type' would be so grateful to be noticed by a picky, superficial woman such as this that he would submit to her experiment on the "short, bald, grey, heavy" side of the tracks.
    Sorry to tell you, honey, but picky, surface chicks like you may not be the TYPE that these successful, nice guys who but substance over style might like. So then where does that leave you?
    I'll tell you where it leaves you – right where you started: With more meaningless rendezvous with the one-night-stand super-jocks that wouldn't be able to pick you out of a police line-up the morning after …
    … well, at least until your looks start to fade, that is.

    • .LOL!!…well said!

      • Stupidly said, in my opinion. Have you read the book? Has nothing to do with what Ceeger is saying and in fact the author is anything but superficial (I saw her talk in Vancouver recently). She also has a good lesson in there for girls who date jerks. If you read the book, you'll see she's very respectful to men and says she always dated good guys who weren't good partners for her. She doesn't allow 'man bashing' (too bad ceeger bashes her). She's now with a guy who makes less money than she does and says she's never been happier. A lot of women would be concerned if a guy earned less and to say that's shallow is just ignorant. I found her approach incredibly honest and down-to-earth. It's so irritating to see this 'sorry, honey' response. Lame.

    • Well. Aren't you just a peach?

      My love of almost 3 years is quite handsome. He, however, was not my "type." I have always, without exception, dated good guys (I've never had a thing for the bad boys), however, I typically dated men who were outgoing, social and very friendly.

      Imagine my surprise when I fell in love with an introverted, shy and quiet man.

      Am I a picky, superficial woman who assumes a man should be grateful to be noticed by me? Not at all.

      You are missing the point of the book and the article.

      I hope others are getting it.

  2. Looks were never what attracted me the most to a man. I'm alone…………………………………………………………………………………………

  3. Ouch Ceeger. I think superficial bias is weighted pretty evenly between both sexes!

    • True enough, but this article is specifically about women deigning to slum with the "nice guys." I've also got choice words for the egotistical lunkheads who think they're God's gift to women and are quick overlook the faithful, thoughtful, intelligent girls out there just because some tarted-up ho offered him the Keys to the VIP. But let's wait until Macleans.ca profiles that breed of jerk before we get into that. This article concerns the female breed of jerk, and there's lots there to discuss for now.

  4. This is an interesting thread! I finished the book a few weeks ago and have re-read certain parts. It's a very positive and inspiring read. I agree with Michelle that both sexes can be incredibly superficial. It's ignorant for us to say that's not the case. The funny thing is, this book hardly focuses on looks! That's such small part of the message of 'He's Just Not Your Type'. The author's real message is about getting outside your comfort zone to find love and she shares exercises on how to open up. Most chapters are dedicated to advice about how to break a pattern that's not working and stories of women who found great love with unexpected men (because they lived across the country, were divorced with kids or just were opposite from their usual 'type').

  5. I also read the book (and have to say this article doesn't capture the essence of the book adequately). Clearly "Ceeger" has not read it but he seems to have some pent up issues which have nothing to do with the book. "He's Not Your Type" is anything but superficial and the advice to the women reading it is simply to put aside their previous checklists and consider men they would have previously ignored for a whole gamut of reasons. Ceeger's comments are insulting to women in general and to the author in particular. By the way, the main message of the book is that no matter what "type" a guy may be, if he is abusive, insulting or displays some of the misogynous traits of "Ceeger", all women should keep away. (I would guess that many of the readers of the book, are in fact, attractive women but when their looks "fade" they will remain accomplished, attractive, and bright .)

  6. I learned shortly after highschool that people generally have richer characters than a one-dimensional stereotype that we may get from their appearance, or how they act around someone they don't know well.

    I got to know people covered in tattoos, pierced, bearded, wearing black makeup, and find out they're decent people like anyone else. I've known guys who would wear nice clothes and drive expensive cars, but had empty houses and credit cards hounding them. I've noticed in myself a tendancy to ascribe all sorts of positive traits to an attractive girl, to find they were simply false assumptions :P I met a girl recently who had a very offputting, condescending tone, but stuck it out and found she relaxed more around me and I got to know what a sweet, fun person she is.

    I can understand why appearances can be important: before anyone meets us, what else do they have to go on? When I had long hair and a beard, people were coming up to me asking for drugs, I realized maybe my appearance was giving the wrong impression, haha!

  7. I've noticed in myself a tendancy to ascribe all sorts of positive traits to an attractive girl, to find they were simply false assumptions…

    That is sometimes called the "Halo Effect". It's a trick of evolution. Our evolutionary instincts warp our perceptions in order to "fool" us into mating with an attractive genetic specimen.

  8. The fact that anyone could have a 'checklist' is beyond my comprehension. Just goes to prove that people aren't as open minded as they like to believe.

  9. I live in Toronto, the world capital of eye avoidance (or so I've heard it called). Here, I've heard unmarried female friends say that men won't make a move. I've heard unmarried male friends say that women are witheringly dismissive. I don't know, maybe it's Toronto's old parched Protestant culture that haunts us still. Me, I'm married and I am SO HAPPY to not have to go through all this.

    • Where does one find these unmarried female friends?

      • Find a gay guy to hang around with..they have lots of unmarried straight female friends :P

    • The girl Im dating now made the first move on me. In return, she got a great guy with a good career ahead of him. If she hadnt made the move I can tell you I'd probably be dating someone else right now.

  10. Typical feminist logic – I have to be a misogynist by virtue of the simple fact that I take issue with a class of women that is first looking down on a certain type of man! LOL! What twisted logic you employ.

  11. Shorter, balder, older??? Oh my, I never thought I could be fashionable before! Looks like I have a trifecta on the go! ;-)

  12. i'll be totally frank: I'm a guy in his mid-20's with a great career ahead of me (nice six-figure salaries). In spite of having pretty good looks and being in great physical shape, and having a great sense of humour, I have run into some very picky and selfish girls. Two girls who I had bad experiences with told me I didn't make a move, and one told me I'm like a nice "guy friend". The girls i have had success with in dating are the ones who are attracted to me from the start. One thing I have learned and this applies to all men–it is SO much easier to date women who are attracted to you from the start and just like you for who you are. Men who Pursue women that play games and date multiple guys, and women who pursue men who are "cool assholes", are just creating their own problems.

  13. ….I totally agree with Titus and I have this to say: Women need to consider making a move on a man if they feel the moment is right. It is not just the man who is capable of making a move. The girl im dating now made the first move on me and her confidence has led to a great relationship. Not all men know when the moment is right (I fall into that category) and I can tell the women out there that if you like a man, show some confidence and make a move sometimes. Many guys are apprehensive about making moves too early in dating, so don't let a "nice guy" get away. That "nice guy" could be the key to an amazing relationship.

    Anyways, thats my 2 cents!

    • How do you make a move?! I'm the most shy person in the world! Ahhhh!!! I'm gonna be one of those crazy cat ladies I know it. *le sigh*

  14. Date a shorter guy? Uh…..NO. I gotta keep SOME of my self-respect LOL!

  15. This whole thread especially the first two comments r comical

  16. this is a great article!! :)