There are two things that tell you everything you need to know about a person: who their friends are, and who they fancy. Admittedly, we have slightly more control over the former, but the ungovernable nature – the sheer libidinal force – of the latter is far more revealing anyway.
As 99 percent of heterosexual relationships will attest, people rarely pair up based on objective levels of attraction. While friendships (casual ones, at least) are often forged in the fires of circumstance, there is a deeper and more sinister psychology at play when it comes to matters of the loins. For instance, are you only attracted to guys who don't like you back? Do you instinctively swipe on anyone with a textured French crop? Have all your exes worked in graphic design?
Well, there are reasons for all those things. Here's what your foul little impulses say about you.
The Guy Without a Social Media Presence
You've grown tired of seeing poorly thought out tweets and an obsessively minimal grid, so you set your sights on the type of man who cannot embarrass you in a public forum. There are positives and negatives to this: you get to send him your selfies directly to fulfil that Instagram-like dopamine hit, but you also have to deal with him asking you who Kylie Jenner is and exactly what it was that she realised.
You're someone who is always looking to better themselves. Even though you've never been able to stick to a social media hiatus for more than three hours, you're doing your best. You've probably dipped in and out of veganism for the past year, and you will not stop trying to get your friends to practice "mindfulness", even though they've already told you they really just need to pick up their Sertraline prescription.
The Guy Who's Devastatingly Hot But Also Incredibly Stupid
You've been with this man since you were at school. You've never had to go through the pain of searching for a photo of him to send the group chat with an accompanying justification of why his face looks the way it does in every single picture. He has never not looked good in a photo. Even in that one of him holding a withered old hand to his face, captioned "We miss you everyday Nanny", he looks fucking fit.
You aspire to be just like Love Island's Molly Mae and Tommy Fury and have a man who is literally obsessed with you. If you mention feminism in conversation, he says, "Wow babe, so you're smart smart." You really are smart, though: you've realised that none of us can really have it all, so you've focused on the most important factor of all: hotness. Well done.
The Guy Who Is Quite Boring and Doesn’t Share Your Interests Whatsoever, But Has His Shit Together
You appreciate the finer things in life: a bed frame, nutritious (but rich) home-cooked meals and a superb dicking down. You weren't always this way – no one is. You've just shagged about enough, dated the same man over and over, and inevitably realised you were sick of being someone's mum. Sure, there's doing emotional labour, and then there's sorting all the meals, doing his laundry, helping him tidy his room and having to force him out of bed on the weekends. You'd rather have someone who is more "together" than you, i.e. a shrill, hysterical mess.
The Emotionally Unavailable DIY Musician
You've had a lot of three to seven month relationships with guys who have been wearing the same pair of jeans since 2016 and only use Instagram stories to share gig posters. Which is fine! Nothing wrong with that! You fancy this man because he is demonstrably good at something you care about, and there is nothing sexier than being impressed. Of course, whether you actually like them or just want validation from someone whose craft you respect is up for debate, but you'll never truly know until you've cucked yourself.
The thing about men who are really passionate about something is that they only have enough energy left over to be kind of into you, which – unless you're the sort of person who can get by on three shags a month and attention you've explicitly asked for – is terrible news. You might get a lot of artistic mileage out of them, being a musician / writer yourself, but this "type" is seriously habit-forming. You will make the same choices over and over again until you reach 30, at which point the cold hand of death simply won't allow you to spend another Tuesday evening in Wetherspoons with a vegan who can't cook and plays in a hardcore band called "Pram".
Twitter Socialist Guy
You are university educated, probably to MA or PhD level. You may not have been political at school, but by the time college or university came around, you got bang into Corbyn and Mark Fisher and the wannabe journo or law-types you dated at private school. It's time for a basement dweller with brain, someone who knows how to both set up a union and diffuse any Twitter argument with the deployment of some good old-fashioned passivity. You aren't the marrying sort, but absolutely would settle down for life with your Twitter socialist guy.
The Older Guy
Whether your penchant for older men started while fantasising about your teacher nailing you in the classroom, or when you spent every university lecture twirling your hair and eye-fucking your decrepit married professor, the wide-on for older guys doesn't come from nowhere.
You have Daddy Issues, by way of: i. a difficult relationship with your father, possibly absent; or ii. were his little princess, and can only picture the dad-sized hole in your life being filled emotionally and, yes, sexually, by someone his age. You overly revere masculine authority – if you're a straight woman, you are likely to believe men are funnier, smarter and more capable of this thing called "life" than your fellow woman. You likely attack your career in a masculine way – throwing your weight around and acting Alpha to appease the middle management, and with his finances backing you you're probably very successful to boot. You make jokes with your other half about him being Leonardo DiCaprio, but he looks closer in age to Leonardo DaVinci.
The Early-Twenties Skater Guy
Sure, he's a crap shag, lives on someone’s sofa and regularly pisses himself when drunk, but that's not going to stop you wasting an entire summer pining after him like a dog after a slice of barbecued chicken. This man is a sexual honeypot, luring you in with his greasy hair, toplessness and "well meaning idiot" vibes. You fantasise about him doing supremely romantic shit like cooking you dinner or going down on you, but he spends most of his time stacking it on a handrail outside a train station and only talks to you when he needs to "borrow" three quid.
If you consistently go for this guy, despite the fact he can't offer you anything except cigarettes and a good time, then you're probably a dreamer. You follow a lot of astrology accounts on Instagram, and whenever anything like "you pretend you're not interested even if you are, Aquarius" comes up, you linger and think, 'Wow, that’s so him.' You're a straight girl, of course; no other demographic is this self-flagellating. You still get wistful over things that happened when you were underage drinking and listen to a lot of Lana Del Rey.
Literally Any Guy
If your dating history is a series of incongruences – a jacked financier in their forties followed by a milquetoast poet followed by a psytrance DJ followed by an overgrown emo – then you're probably someone for whom banter is by far the most important element when it comes to sexual chemistry. You view dating as an experience economy; as long as the craic is there and you’re not fully repulsed by them, it's game on. This is either a supremely chaotic or honourable way to be. You probably identify as queer because you "fancy everyone!!", and anyone who isn't a close friend describes you using terms like "elusive" and "funny" and "hmm I'm not sure". You change your hair a lot.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.