When it comes to love and relationships, everyone has a particular image come to mind. The ideal partner, a person who you know doesn’t exist but you can’t help imagining: Your exact “type.” This Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be interesting to discuss this topic with four anonymous students, asking about their personal modes of attraction and addressing the ethics behind having certain types. Their responses were as follows:
What is your year, major and pronouns?
Student 1: Second-semester physiology and neurobiology major, she/her/hers
Student 2: Second-semester molecular and cell biology major, she/her/hers
Student 3: Fourth-semester exploratory major, he/him/his
Student 4: Fourth-semester mechanical engineering major, he/him/his
Have you ever been in a relationship? If so, how many?
Student 1: I have never been in a long-term one, but I have had a few flings.
Student 2: Yes, I’ve been in three.
Student 3: Yes, I’ve been in five.
Student 4: No.
If you were ever to line up your exes, would there be a visible pattern?
Student 1 : No.
Student 2: They’re all similar personality-wise, but definitely different in physical appearance.
Student 3: Yeah, they’ve all been Latina.
Do you have a type? If so, what is it?
Student 1: Yes. They have to be taller than me (sadly I’m 5-foot-8) and have dark hair but eye color doesn’t really matter to me. I really like scruff and I would want them to have good music taste and a good sense of humor. Also tattoos and earrings.
Student 2: I like guys who wear bandanas with dark hair, preferably parted in the middle. I would also appreciate it if they have good music taste. They have to be put together, I hate slobs. I also hate box boys. Like guys who are built to the point they look like squares. Basically Roblox men.
Student 3: Curly hair, pretty eyes. Eyes are the first thing I notice about a girl. They don’t have to be tall. If they have a cute smile, I’m hooked.
Student 4: I want them to be kind and funny. I’d also like them to be somewhat athletic so they can go to the gym with me.
Are physical attributes more important than personal attributes to you?
Student 1: If I’m not sexually attracted to someone, it would be hard for me to be in a relationship with them. However, I think someone with a really good personality makes them so much more attractive.
Student 2: Personally, I think both matter equally to me. Since I’m more introverted, I would prefer to be with someone who’s more extroverted to help bring me out of my comfort zone. There has to be substance to them, it can’t just be all looks. Otherwise it won’t be fun for either of us.
Student 3: Looks are what I notice first, but personality is what keeps me interested.
Student 4: Looks are definitely what I notice first. Once I get to know them then physicality starts to matter less.
What’s your ideal height for a partner?
Student 1: 5-foot-11 or taller.
Student 2: I prefer them to be taller than me (I’m 5-foot-7), but I don’t mind if we’re the same height. However, I don’t like it when they’re way too tall. It’s uncomfortable to kiss anybody who’s 6-foot-4.
Student 3: My ideal height would be around 5-foot-7, but I wouldn’t mind dating someone taller than me.
Student 4: 5-foot-7 is my ideal but any height is fine.
Do you have a preferable body type?
Student 1: I don’t like skinny guys, but I also don’t like super muscular guys. Somewhere in between those two.
Student 2: Lean and muscular.
Student 3: Not really, just average build I guess.
Student 4: Yes, thick.
Is intelligence a turn-on?
Student 1: No, not necessarily. Intelligence doesn’t turn me on, but if they have a good work ethic then yes.
Student 2: Yes. If they’re smart that’s great. Smart but also humble.
Student 3: Yeah. Half the girls I’ve dated are probably smarter than me.
Student 4: Yes. I feel like smart people have more substance.
Is confidence a turn-on?
Student 1: Yes. I’m not the most confident person so if someone with me is confident then I’d want it to rub off.
Student 2: Yes. It makes me confident if they’re confident.
Student 3: Yeah. It translates to energy for me, so if someone is confident it sends good vibes and I feel like that could impact me in a positive way.
Student 4: Yeah, it’s just attractive to see a confident woman.
Most favorable body part?
Student 1: Arms and hands. I love calloused hands. Veins are not mandatory but they’re nice to look at.
Student 2: Arms. Veiny arms. I don’t know, there’s just something nice about them.
Student 3: Thick thighs save lives.
Student 4: Titties.
Would you ever date someone of a different race than you?
Student 1: Yes, but it would be difficult because a lot of my family is foreign and can’t speak English. So it would be harder to communicate with them on a deeper level than surface level conversations. I would not be in a relationship with them if they didn’t have a good relationship with my family.
Student 2: I actually am currently, so yes.
Student 3: Yeah, I don’t care about that.
Student 4: Yes.
Would you date someone of a different religion?
Student 1: I would date them, but not marry them. It would complicate the family dynamic.
Student 2: I would date them, but I probably wouldn’t marry them. My family is very religious so it’d create issues.
Student 3: Yeah. I’m barely Catholic so anything would work.
Student 4: When it comes to dating I don’t really care, but I probably wouldn’t marry them just because it would cause family issues.
Do you think it’s okay for people to have certain types? Would you agree with those who consider it discriminatory?
Student 1: It’s 100% okay for people to have certain types and I don’t think it’s discriminatory at all. It’s like saying you’re not allowed to have a favorite ice cream flavor so you’re stuck eating flavors you don’t like.
Student 2: I think it’s good to have a type. Everyone is attracted to different things so it’s impossible not to have one. It’s just freaking natural selection.
Student 3: Not really. We all have types so you’d be pretty hypocritical if you said you didn’t.
Student 4: Yeah, I think it’s fine. It’s not discriminatory since everyone has their own preference. Some people like sweet, some people like sour.
Would you agree that the term “relationship” has different connotations today than in years past?
Student 1: Yes, absolutely. Relationships now are so much more open and diverse. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make certain things unclear.
Student 2: Hell yeah. My parents got together when they were 16 and they’ve been together since then. There’s such a distinction between relationships now and back then because it’s become more difficult to differentiate between an actual relationship and just hooking up. People just don’t want to put labels on anything anymore.
Student 3: Yeah, it does. There’s so many different types of relationships nowadays and it makes things complicated when you both aren’t on the same page.
Student 4: Yeah. Back in the day relationships were more about going on dates at restaurants and movie theaters, but nowadays it seems all about sex.
Do you have a different type when it comes to seeing versus sleeping with someone?
Student 1: Yes.
Student 2: Yeah. When it comes to sleeping with someone, personality doesn’t matter as much for obvious reasons.
Student 3: No because the only times I sleep with someone are when I’m with them.
Student 4: No, I don’t have any particular preference when it comes to sleeping with someone.
Describe your type in one word.
Student 1: Complicated.
Student 2: Crackhead.
Student 3: Charming.
Student 4: Confident.
Esther Ju is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.