1. The Unicorn
The Unicorn is totally normal and well-adjusted. He has a good job, and makes a decent living, but is not a workaholic. He likes his family, but doesn’t live with them. He is funny, and well-informed, and cooks a mean pasta bolognese. He has friends from all periods of his life with whom he is still in touch. He is not an alcoholic, drug abuser, or porn addict. He reads. He is easy on the eyes, or even hot. He is taller than you. The Unicorn longs wistfully to meet his special someone, to lay his head in your lap to watch HBO on Sunday night after a weekend full of chores and friends and family, and to wake up with you on Monday mornings in perpetuity.
The most important thing to know about The Unicorn is that, as his name implies, he does not exist.
2. The Married Guy
Look away from The Married Guy. He is either faithful, in which case you should concentrate your energy on trying not to hate his wife for her obscene good fortune, or cheating, in which case you should concentrate your energy on hoping he falls down and breaks his ankle, at a minimum. Either way, he is not for you. Don’t give him a chance to flirt with you, even at a wedding; it will only erode your faith in humanity that much more.
The most important thing to know about The Married Guy is that he is already married and therefore nonexistent, as far as you’re concerned.
3. The Eeyore
Poor Eeyore. Some woman done him wrong, and he can’t get over it. Maybe it was a divorce, maybe just a non-contractual broken heart, but either way he can’t love again because it just hurts. too. much. He sure can mope, though. He lives somewhere grim and bland, with unadorned white walls and no headboard. The bulk of his emotional energy goes to nursing his great scabby wound, carefully enlarging it day by day. Eeyore may perk up for a bit when he meets you, because even forlorn people get horny, but he can’t be happy with you long-term because he cannot be happy. If your cup of love and affection truly runneth over, feel free to unload some into the gaping maw of Eeyore’s unhappiness. You won’t get it back, but perhaps that will lighten the load for the rest of your journey.
The most important thing to know about Eeyore is that you can’t fix him, but you can waste a lot of time trying. No seriously, you can’t fix him. For real.
4. The Peter Pan
Oh, Peter. He is so cute in those tights. His childlike enthusiasm for life helps you unearth the old, fun you, who stayed up drinking until the bars closed and talking until the sun came up. Sadly the old you, like the current Peter, did not have a job that required leading staff meetings at 9 a.m. At some point in your relationship with Peter, you will remember the benefits of 8 hours of sleep and sufficient hydration, and you will gradually become the buzzkill who starts tapping her foot impatiently when Peter orders another round at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday, or worse yet the fuming harpy lying rigid with fury as you wait for him to stumble into the house at last call.
The most important thing to know about The Peter Pan is that he can’t resist something shiny, and eventually you will become dull, what with the desire to sleep at night and the full-time job. Best chance with Peter is to meet him when you are 25 and perhaps grow up together. Wave bon voyage to that ship, for it has sailed.
5. Mr. Saturday Night
Mr. Saturday Night is a big success. He has a closet full of Ben Sherman shirts and if he doesn’t yet own a bespoke suit, rest assured that he soon will. Mr. Saturday Night smells good and drives a nice car, which he valet-parks with assurance at trendy restaurants. He owns a well-furnished condo in a high-rise, with black leather modular furniture and an unused kitchen. With his carefully mussed hair, gym membership, and backslapping affability, Mr. Saturday Night is half overgrown frat boy and half metrosexual, but all narcissist. He’s a good date if you like wearing heels and drinking martinis in places that are always a bit too loud, and don’t mind spending weeknights alone while he works late and gladhands with business associates.
The most important thing to know about Mr. Saturday Night is that he will look almost as good at 45 as he does at 35, and it’s then that he will marry the smart, attractive, and blonde-highlighted type of 30-year-old that you were five years ago.
6. The Braying Ass
Not to be confused with poor Eeyore, The Braying Ass is single at 35 for reasons that he can’t quite discern but you readily can. He condescends to waiters, interrupts your sentences, elicits a weary if wincing acceptance from colleagues, and has a little too much body hair to be overlooked in light of his other bad traits. The Braying Ass subscribes to Maxim. He is confident for no good reason. He is a little too close to his mother, who loves him with a fierce and unsettling passion. He has an annoying, honking laugh, but nice eyes and a good heart.
The most important thing to know about The Braying Ass is that he is not ideal, but he actually looks pretty good in some lights. Some of his bad traits are just habits that can be reversed in time, but some run far deeper, and you will be cringing about them at dinner parties ten years from now. Make that 40 years if your kids inherit them.