Personality, looks, similarities—all play a role in determining our ideal type. There are also sociocultural considerations. For instance, there’s evidence to show that adherence to a masculine or feminine gender role is linked to a preference for certain qualities in a mate. A 2011 paper in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology notes that hyperfemininity, which is a “strong adherence to traditionally feminine attitudes and beliefs,” is characterized by a marked preference for more traditional and stereotypical male/masculine behaviors and a higher tolerance for male sexual aggression and coercion. Hypermasculine men may also tend toward women who display stereotypical “female” qualities.
While it may be hard to curb your enthusiasm for tall, lanky artists, it’s clear that breaking away from what we consider our “types” can be a good thing. If always going for the bad boys leaves you perpetually heartbroken, or if you’re bored by your similarities with the on-paper matches, perhaps try something that doesn’t fit the mold. It can require overlooking Tevas with socks or seeing eye-to-eye (literally), but widening the dating pool certainly can’t hurt.