A funny thing happened last night. After meeting up at a local bookstore to hang with a guy I recently met, I realized I totally have a “type” of man that I’m drawn to. Although this is by no means revolutionary—plenty of people have a definite preferences—I’ve never really given it much thought until now.

Over the years I’ve dated a diverse set of men from corporate dudes to those with hard knock lives, and aside from being taller than me, able to make me laugh, and relatively respectable, I didn’t really care what they looked like, what they did for a living, or if they were good on paper. Like most women I’m attracted to cute guys, but my definition of cute varies wildly (i.e. I think Mos Def, Nas, that dude who played Thor, and Idris Elba are all FIONE). But as I perused the books with a (cute!) Cameroonian Frenchmen with solid arms and an easy smile, it hit me: You like “unique” dudes!

And it makes sense; I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum. I “went natural” well before it became all the rage, I’m a born and bread Cali girl whose mistaken for an East Coaster, I’m a little bit militant, and I’m the odd, quirky one in very conservative, straight-laced family. When light skin men were in, I was happily betting on black, and when everybody fawned over “street” dudes, I was rocking with the nerds.

After coming home and comparing this outing with the Frenchmen to my last date with the awkward guy, it began to make sense. My feelings for the awkward guy were lukewarm not because he was awkward, but because he was missing something…he wasn’t “different” enough. Sure he was nice and gainfully employed and could hold a conversation, but there was nothing exciting about him that made me continue thinking about him long after our date. But the Frenchmen? He has me obsessively checking my phone and I am very excited about the next time we’ll hang out.

Sometimes, though, different comes with a price. Adjusting to another’s cultural differences, and how they view the roles of women and men in a relationship, for example, can be a little rough. And like anything, dating a “unique” guy doesn’t always go according to plan. But when it comes to initial attraction, for me there’s nothing better than a man who is as off-beat, quirky, can teach me a few things, and is “different” as they come.

Do you have a type? 

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