Five different men look into the camera as an example for different types of guys
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Types of guys: 10 different males of the species you’ll meet while dating online

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

The best part of online dating? All the different types of guys out there. The worst part? All the different types of guys out there. Unlike in years past, when potential partners were often pre-vetted by family, friends, or even professional services, modern dating is more of a free-for-all – that gorgeous man who caught your eye online might be looking for something serious … or he might not. And if the two of you aren’t on the same page, it’s probably going to doom the relationship. Which is why it’s important to figure out what you want before you dip your toe in the waters of online dating.

As self-help guru Stephen Covey once said, “Begin with the end in mind”. It’s helpful advice in pretty much any situation, not least when it comes to looking for love. And especially when it comes to looking for love online. Let’s look at some of the more common things men look for in a relationship, and check out the types of guys you might run into during your search.

What men are looking for in a relationship

While generalizations aren’t always helpful (there are over three billion men in the world, after all) the types of guys you run into online usually fall into a few different categories depending on what they’re looking for in a relationship. Again, there’s nothing inherently bad about any of these types of guys but, if you’re in the market for a serious relationship, you probably shouldn’t look at a serial daters as an option.

The one who’s just looking for something casual

These guys don’t want to settle down and will tell you so. They can be a lot of fun to date, especially if you’re not looking for something serious yourself. You do need to be careful not to catch feelings, however, since the likelihood of a relationship like this turning serious isn’t high.

The serial dater

Check out our article on serial daters for a detailed low-down on how to deal with this (and tips for taming him if that’s what you’re going for) but in short, a serial dater is someone who jumps from relationship to relationship in search of validation, bailing once the initial high wears off.

The trophy seeker

Most of us have had the dubious pleasure of meeting this guy. In the words of Taylor Swift, he’s not looking for a girlfriend so much as a  jewel whose shine reflects on him. While he can be, if not quite fun, a useful date in the right circumstances, as a rule anyone looking for more than a superficial relationship would be better off looking for other types of guys.

The one who’s dating because he should

This guy tries, but you can tell his heart’s not in it. He’s not in a relationship because he wants to be, but because adults date and he’s an adult. Dates with him are stereotypical and cookie-cutter, and relationship milestones tend to happen after the ‘correct’ period of time versus when he feels like it’s the right moment. He might be a good guy generally, but do you really want to build a future with someone so easily influenced by social pressure?

The one who’s looking for a life partner

They’re rare, but this type of guy does exist. It might not feel like it some days, but there are actually men on the internet who are looking for a lasting relationship – more than you think, in fact. A Pew research study shows that something like 44% of people use online dating sites or apps with the intent of finding a genuine relationship1

The types of guys you’ll find on the dating scene

While you’re looking for Mr Right, you’ll run into any number of types of guys. Who knows, one of them might even be Mr Right. Here are some more types of guys you can expect to meet when you look online.

The hopeless romantic

Flowers on the first date, dinner somewhere fancy and candlelit … this guy makes it very clear he believes in love. On the bright side, he’ll treat you like royalty, but you might have to put up with flash-mobs and serenading (fingers crossed he can actually hold a tune).

The Nice Guy

A Nice Guy isn’t actually nice. Rather than someone genuinely kind and caring who acts out of genuine decency, a Nice Guy believes he’s owed favors (usually sexual ones) just because he treats people (usually women) like human beings. It’s best to keep far away from this type of guy. 

The alpha male

Alpha males tend to be dominant and commanding, leaders in both their professional and personal lives. They can also be arrogant, possessive, overbearing and awful at talking about feelings. Some people do enjoy the feeling of ceding control that comes with being in a relationship with an alpha male, but be warned that dealing with his behavior can be exhausting.

The virtue-signaller

This guy is in love with the appearance of goodness more than the thing itself. Whatever the political controversy of the moment, he’ll strive to at least pretend to be on the right side. He’s all talk and no action, though – when it comes to actually showing up and doing the work, Mr Perfect Progressive is nowhere to be found.

The manchild

We’ve all met this guy. Technically an adult but still dependent on his mother (or girlfriend) to take care of him, this guy would rather goof off with his friends or play video games all day than put in the work of being an adult. Unless you enjoy babysitting, we strongly advise staying far away.

The dog dad

You can spot him by the camera roll (or social media feed) full of pictures of his four-legged offspring – or the long-winded stories about the latest cute thing Fido did. Dog parks are his hangout of choice and good luck finding anything in his house that doesn’t have at least a little bit of dog fur. If you’re a canine aficionado yourself, however, you probably don’t mind.

The world traveler

He’s got more stamps in his passport than the post office and most of his stories start with, “So that time I was in Mexico/Kyoto/Rio de Janeiro…” A guy like this can be a lot of fun to casually date, especially if you enjoy listening to stories about faraway lands and interesting people. Make sure your travel styles match, however, or your relationship will quickly be on a first-class flight to nowhere.

The broody thinker

He’s the kind of guy who reads Kafka for fun, the kind of guy who will happily lose hours to philosophical debate. Being with him will be as much intellectual exercise as relationship, which is great if you’re the kind who enjoys debate. Some guys are more into listening to themselves, however, so think carefully before saying yes to an evening with this type of guy.

The entertainer

He’s the kind who loves to make you laugh and is good at it. Being with him can be exhilarating, because he’s always looking for ways to show you how fun he is, but it can be exhausting for the same reason. While everyone loves a show, not everyone is up for constant entertainment, so if you do date this type of guy, be sure to carve out time for yourself.

The pundit

This guy is less Mr Right than Mr Right About Everything. No fact will go unchecked, no error will go uncorrected. While he’s great to have on your quiz team, an actual relationship will probably be a harder road. Still, there’s no denying that being with him will be a learning experience.

Experience a wide variety of men with eharmony

When it comes to dating, there’s no limit to the variety of men you can find online, some of whom will be better fits than others. eharmony lets you meet men from all over the world, all of whom have one thing in common – they’re looking for a serious relationship, just like you. So sign up today and take a look at all the different types of guys on offer.

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