Okay, this probably isn’t the first time you’ve come across a list of stock-type men you just absolutely have to date during your lifetime; and it probably won’t be the last.
We basic bitches love these kinds of brain-numbing checklists: "5 Men Who Will Teach You How To Love," "8 Guys You Should Sleep With Before Tying The Knot," "4 Guys Who Will Love That You Love Your Cats," etc.
Let’s be real here: No guy can actually teach you how to love, and everyone (I mean everyone) hates your weird-smelling cat. This might be a shot in the dark, but I’m pretty sure no guy wants to be number seven on your laundry list of men to bang before you settle down.
If you ask me, most of these lists have it all wrong, and they definitely don’t making dating in your 20s any easier.
My hope is this list is different -- a bit unconventional, if you will -- because let’s be honest, ladies: The dating pool in your 20s is anything but conventional. It is unpredictable, frightening, exciting and hopefully comedic, if you can have a sense of humor about it all.
But it can also be painful, confusing and downright scary, which is why I’m offering up a list that hopefully makes you feel a little better about the psychopaths currently ruining your lives.
So here are the five guys you should date before you turn 25:
The Artsy Type
Every once in a while, it’s nice to be reminded the world is not just a cesspool of fist-pumping, creatine-taking, idiot bros.
If this sounds familiar (Hello, New York and New Jersey!), you need to experience the Artsy type, if only for a short time.
I’m talking your Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix types. The Artsy Guy is refreshingly intellectual and peaceful-minded, not to mention the fact that he can actually hold a conversation for more than three minutes.
He gets bonus points for his earthy disposition and environmentally-conscious ways, which are both super cute; except for when he chastises you for not using unbleached, organic coffee-filters.
Things also might get weird when you find out he makes his own toothpaste out of fair-trade sea salt and peppermint oil. And, sure, he may go off on tangents here and there: “What is the self? Who are we? Where does the universe end?”
As if you actually have the time and patience to entertain these types of questions! But I’m encouraging you to stick it out because the Artsy Guy almost always has strikingly good bone structure, and he will tell you things like, “I feel connected to your soul” and “your mind is beautiful.”
These melt-worthy comments will make you feel like you’re starring in a cinematic reboot of some great American novel. Enter Leo.
The Douche-Lord Type
I know, this seems counter-intuitive after my description above, but hear me out: Everyone needs to date an assh*le at some point or another in her lifetime (like the Lord himself, Scott Disick).
Should you willingly seek out a relationship with someone who treats you like a piece of dog sh*t? Of course not. But, if you’re anything like most girls in their 20s, you are going to wind up with one of these d-bags eventually, whether you like it or not.
So, why should you experience the Douche-Lord Type for yourself, and what does this kind of guy teach you? Standards, people.
After surviving the emotional turmoil of a man who does not have enough brain cells to realize it is not okay to ignore your calls and party with a hot ex on a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean, you realize you can do better. Way better.
Again, I am not encouraging anyone to (in the words of Gwyneth Paltrow) consciously couple up with one of these self-absorbed idiots. But if you do find yourself chasing after the Douche-Lord Type, it’s the perfect opportunity to realize the meaning of “live and learn.”
The Obsessive Type
Please take this one with a grain of salt, too, because I’m not talking "Fatal Attraction"-obsessed, I’m talking about the guy who actually thinks the sun shines directly out of your perfectly-shaped ass.
This is the kind of guy to remind you that you are beautiful, amazing and intelligent. He will rearrange his schedule just to see you, and will show up at your door with breakfast in the morning.
Sure, he can be somewhat annoying, and your friends will probably call him “creepy,” or “stalkerish,” but there is nothing wrong with spending a little time with a man who makes you feel like you are on par with a law-degree-wielding Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Let me go one step further and tell you this is the guy you want to date post-ugly-breakup with Douche-Lord Type (when you are done sulking, obviously, and come out of your Pinot Grigio-induced coma ready to date again).
The Obsessive Type will help you build up your recently battered sense of self-worth because he actually thinks you’re perfect. Spend enough time with this guy, and you’ll start to think the same thing.
But if he actually becomes obsessed and starts collecting strands of your hair from the shower drain, please run. Fast.
The Older Man Type
Three words, ladies: wine and dine.
Older men (at least from my experience) are an entirely different breed of men, and for good reason: They are established career-wise, experienced in relationships and confident in what they want out of life.
They are (usually) done playing the sick head games you are way too familiar with, and they are straightforward about their intentions.
When the Older Man Type takes you out to a wine and tapas bar and says something to the effect of, “I want to be in a relationship with you,” he probably means it. Unlike Douche-Lord Type, who probably means to say something more like, “I want to ruin your life by having sex with you only when it is convenient for me.” Get the picture?
The Older Man is sure of himself and dependable, and hopefully looks like a slightly younger version of George Clooney. The cons? People might think he’s kidnapping you into human trafficking as opposed to taking you out for dinner.
But hey, you can’t win ‘em all, right?
Disclaimer: The whole point of dating an older man is experiencing what it is like to be in a relationship with someone who actually has their sh*t together. Please do not think that, when I say older man, I mean a 38-year-old, balding, jobless loser who is camping out on mother’s pull-out couch (permanently, I mean) and killing six-packs of PBR. This kind of older man is part of an entirely different list. And not the good kind.
The Shockingly Normal Type
Just like you need to be reminded that there are intellectual men in this world, guys who have their sh*t together or even guys who are crazy enough to be obsessed with you, it’s nice to remember there are normal men in your age-range who are worth your time.
The Shockingly Normal Type is just that.
He is intelligent, complimentary and driven. He will contact you in the daylight and take you out on proper dates. He will ask you meaningful questions about your life, and yes, he will tell you you’re beautiful.
This guy is so shockingly normal you might spend your entire lunch break trolling every one of his social media accounts trying to find something incriminating. "Nobody is this normal," you tell yourself.
Maybe he’s an ex-con, or maybe he didn't file his taxes this year. Maybe he uses way too many hashtags on Instagram (I’m talking more than five).
But probably not.
And if you stop trying to figure out what’s wrong with this shockingly normal human, you might just realize you’ve found a keeper.